Kigurumi

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This article is about cosplay (dressing up like an animated character) styles. For the J-pop band, see Kigurumi (band).
File:Splash mascots.jpg
"Kigurumis of Splash mascots"

Kigurumi (着ぐるみ?) is the Japanese name for costumed performers who represent cartoon characters, often animals. The name comes from the Japanese verb kiru (着る to wear?) and noun nuigurumi (ぬいぐるみ stuffed toy?). These performers appear at shopping malls, theme parks, and anime conventions. The costumed characters found in theme parks, such as Disneyland, on children's TV shows such as Barney and Friends, Teletubbies and Bananas in Pyjamas, and roaming the sidelines of sports events as mascots are also included in the Japanese term kigurumi. Frequently, their appearance serves a festive promotional purpose, and they are often used to entertain audiences of children. Kigurumin, a style of Japanese street fashion, employs kigurumi costumes as personal dress. Popular outfits include Pokémon characters such as Pikachu and Piplup, Disney characters, Sanrio characters such as Hello Kitty, elephants, dinosaurs, cats, dogs, rabbits, cows, sheep, pigs, pandas, unicorns, tigers, kangaroos and koalas.

Animegao

Animegao (アニメ顔?, anime face) is a type of kigurumi used to portray anime or cartoon characters. The face of the performer is fully covered with a stylized mask, and the costume of the character is worn. Used in stage shows, the concept of animegao kigurumi was then adopted by cosplayers, who made custom masks of various characters and are sometimes called "dollers". It is still a very minor part of the cosplay scene in Japan, though around 2005, it began attracting attention in other countries, including the United States, Canada, and European countries.

As with other kinds of cosplay, many hobbyists have costumes of established characters from games or animations. The characters are usually female, and commonly human, although kigurumi characters of other races and genders do exist, including male (such as Kenshin Himura from Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X), mechanical (such as Gundam Wing), elfin (such as Deedlit or Pirotess from Lodoss), and demonic (such as Inuyasha from the anime of the same name). Some kigurumi are original characters created by the performer.

The parts of an animegao kigurumi cosplay include a flesh-colored body suit (known as a zentai) and matching mask usually molded from clay or fiberglass composites. The body suit allows them less-detailed skin features, on the level of animated characters, and the mask allows a similar level of facial features. Some hobbyists obtain masks from established hobbyist mask studios such as Build Up Studio SIGMA[1] or Dolphin Factory.[2]

Fursuit

Main article: Fursuit

In English-speaking countries, kigurumi are referred to as costumed characters, animal costumes, mascot costumes, or fursuits, depending on the context. Fursuits are mascot-style costumes that represent animals and cartoon characters according to established styles within the furry fandom. Such suits completely cover the performer's body, and are often padded as necessary to render the appropriate shape.

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