Wanting to get into Kigurumi

      Wanting to get into Kigurumi

      Hello, I've recently discovered the world of Kigurumi and I must say I am hooked and very interested in getting into it all, but I know nothing about this realm of cosplay, and cosplay in general. Currently I am living with my parents while I earn my drivers license and save enough money to get my own place, so I won't be buying anything for a while but I thought I could at least do some research. So, right now I only really have one question; what does Kigurume involve? How does one become a kig?
      There's no such thing as a bad idea, just good ideas that go horribly wrong.
      First, the checklist:
      • Mask
      • Bodysuit (hadatai)
      • Outer costume
      • Padding (optional)
      • Breast pads (optional)
      Keep in mind that animegao-kigurumi is one of the more expensive forms of cosplay and requires significant committment and more-so by those on tight financial budgets.

      This site's supplier list can be found here; it does need updating as some sites are no longer operating.
      The word "Kigurumi" has several meanings, but they all have a common theme. Kigurumi "involves" putting on a full body costume, of one type or another, so that there is no part of the performer visible to the outside viewer. This version of Kigurumi, called Animegao or "Anime Face", involves costumes and masks that are derived from Japanese Cartoons and Comics. ( Anime and Manga respectively.) Still, the concept of full body coverage applies.

      If you mean how does one become a Kig performer, then that is a roadmap from start to destination that can take many different paths.

      It probably starts like you, with an interest to find out what this "Hobby" is and to learn as much as you can about it before you decide to move forward. Or there could be a burning desire to "BE" a particular character at a convention. Eventually both lead to other forks in the road like

      * Deciding if this hobby is for you and what your motivations for starting are.
      * Choosing a character
      * Researching wardrobe choices
      * Creating the character's body style
      * Choosing a Costume
      * Obtaining a mask
      * Deciding on what performance venue suits you
      * Practicing in costume
      * Performing for the viewing audience

      This is only a crude guide. Each one of these forks can lead to other forks where choices must be made. Like crossing a city, there is no one path. Everybody has their own preferred route, Some paths take longer, some may dead end and require backtracking, but with persistence a way through can be found.

      Fortunately in this group, there are many friendly townspeople, willing to give you directions along the way.

      Kiki

      Post was edited 2 times, last by “Miss Kiki” ().

      That was a pretty philosophical answer there, Miss Kiki, what with all that talk about roads. So, from these posts it seems to me that it's really just a matter of buying the attire; body suit, mask, clothes & accessories. Or is that oversimplifying it?
      There's no such thing as a bad idea, just good ideas that go horribly wrong.
      Nurbs:

      There is a high level of Mental and Physical preparation involved in Animeago Kigurumi as well.

      Mentally, you have to prepare yourself. You will be acting as another character, stepping into a new Role. Is this an established character with her own personality, or will you be making up the way she responds to situations from whole cloth. Then you have to learn how the character reacts to those different situations like being insulted, dealing with terrified kids and demanding parents, even the possibility of being groped by some idiot. The stress of maintaining the illusion for periods of time and not dropping out of character. Imagine situations, see what has happened to other performers and figure out how you want to react. It takes a while to become comfortable with your character, to deal with the performance anxiety.

      Physically you need to prepare yourself for the limits Kigurumi imposes. Bulky outfits causing mobility and dexterity challenges. Being half deaf and half blind from the mask, not to mention the lack of proper ventilation. The extra weight of the costume. The need for exaggerated gestures, learning ways to communicate without talking, determining which poses work best for your character, the use of any and all props, practice practice practice till it all becomes second nature. Knowing how long you can remain in suit, what the signs of problems are and how to address them. ( Fatigue, overheating, dehydration.)

      Fortunately you can begin preparing yourself even before you get your first piece of attire. Practice getting dressed while wearing gloves. Look at pictures of female poses and see which ones fit what you intend to do. Try them out in front of a mirror. Keep doing dress rehearsals when you add an element to the costume. Discuss all questions with other performers to see what solutions and workarounds are available.

      Think of it like being an actor in a play, all the rehearsals, wardrobe fittings, script changes, the frustrations and emotional roller coaster ride that preparations will cause. All leading up to your first performance before an audience opening night.

      Kiki

      Post was edited 2 times, last by “Miss Kiki” ().

      Basically Nurbs its just about having a laugh, its no where near as deep as people are describing it as. Yeah its expensive and if you take anything seriously you can find philosophical nuances, but don't over complicate yourself if your new here. I did and it didn't help. kig is just about having fun and messing around, its basically weeb furrys.
      If you want to chat more with me about kig, dm me
      Nurbs:

      Question 1. Have you picked out a character you wish to perform as?

      Question 2. Does this character have a signature outfit that everyone would recognize?

      Can it be created by purchasing clothing from retail stores ? Is the outfit available from one of the Anime costume stores in Asia? Would you consider having a seamstress custom create the costume for you, or are you handy with a needle and thread? Can you find the appropriate shoes in your size? Can all accessories, bags, hair clips, broaches, necklaces, be bought?

      Question 3. How closely does your body match that of your character?

      Will you have to cinch your waist? Will you have to buy or make hip padding, breast forms? What kinds of support garments will be required to hold everything to your body?
      What kind of zentai will you require to cover everything? Does it need toes or special zippers? Does your costume show cleavage? Do you want a full open face hood or just eyes and mouth holes?

      Question 4. What about the mask?

      Is there a mask maker out there that makes a kig mask that looks like your character? Would you want a custom mask that really looks like your character ( Assumes that this in not an Original Character being played, but one from a recognized Anime or Manga. ) Are you capable of making a mask of your own?
      Having said all that above, the first step is to know who you want to kig as. A recognized character can be easier, as more stuff is available for purchase than for an original character. I see that you use a drawing of the Wendy's mascot as your avatar, so let's work with that.

      You have to make your body look like the character's body. For the sake of this post, I will assume that you are a boy. This involves padding your hips, stuffing a bra, padding your butt, cinching the waist or wearing a corset. Whatever steps it takes. This version of Wendy is not the little girl any more.

      Then comes the character costume. With luck you might find one at a Halloween costume place. Possibly there is a shop which makes mascot outfits, on-line, you can order from. Otherwise someone will have to find the fabric and sew the dress. The accessories like the cameo broach, the striped red knee socks and shoes will need to be purchased. Don't forget underwear.

      Since the costume is high necked, your zentai does not need built in pockets for the padding, It will not require toes either.

      While all this has been going on, you will have to find someplace to buy the mask and wig from. More time will be required, if you want a custom mask with features that look like the drawing. Living at home I doubt that you have the space to create a mask yourself, or 3D print one. Of course I could be wrong.

      So that's the basics. Create the body to wear the outfit. Get the outfit. Get the mask. Suit up and enjoy performing.

      Kiki
      Wow, I knew there would be a lot involved in making the outfit but actually reading what it takes really brings this into perspective. I'm planning on making an original character. Looks like it's going to take a while, several years most likely, before I can actually start purchasing anything. I wonder if there are any kigs in or around Minneapolis that meet regularly/semi-regularly that I could meet with and get some help.
      There's no such thing as a bad idea, just good ideas that go horribly wrong.
      The drawbacks of living at home Nurbs. There's lots of of young Kigurumi hopefuls in your position. But it gives you time to plan ahead, so when you are ready to begin, you will know exactly how.

      Don't discount any big Comic or Anime cons around Minneapolis. These are natural places for Kigs to congregate.

      Having an original character, means she will have to be exceptional to be noticed, and not get lost in a sea of cosplayers with flashy costumes, doing recognizable characters from TV, Movies, Video games, or Anime.

      Kiki