People's opinions/thoughts on Animegao Kigurumi

      People's opinions/thoughts on Animegao Kigurumi

      I browsed through the forum of Cosplay.com and there is a thread on the subject matter of kigurumi cosplay. (Link here: cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=178043&highlight=animegao) Now granted the thread is nearly 8 years old when it was first created but I feel it remains relevant today.

      After reading the posts, there were mixed feelings on kigurumi, both positive and negative. Some were fascinated by it, some were freaked out or scared from it. Here are of the some key points from the Cosplay.com community:

      - It's scary or creepy. No doubt at early times, kigurumi was a very foreign kind of cosplay in the US so it was not quite positively receptive.

      - Emotionless or expressionless, because masks can have only 1 visual facial expression, can only communicate through third party or body language. Therefore, cosplayers are turned off due to limited emotions kigs can make, they desire real time and human expressions.

      - Uncanny Valley Effect

      - Sticker shock (Masks cost ~$800 USD)

      - It's a more suitable type to crossplay, it's better for male performers to kig as female characters rather than going out unmasked crossplay with MtF social stigma. People assume most kigs are performed by males but aren't really bothered by it.

      - Reference to Bones (FOX) episode :P

      - Animegao Kigurumi is the appropriate term. The public relates the term kigurumi to animal onesie pajamas.

      - And the relationship between fursuiting and kigging. Both play costumed characters and both bring those characters to life. Although furry fursuiters are a lot more popular than kigurumi.

      Feel free to chime in your thoughts on public opinions of animegao kigurumi and if you have personal experience on public interactions/reactions, please do share.
      Kig-O Member since September 2016

      Sacramento, California

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

      I think it's the common public reaction; I'm sure that there was uncertainty in Japan when such mask styles first made an appearance way before just like when westerners caught wind of it years later. People will get over it and recognise something totally new over time.

      I'm seeing "kigurumi" as a shorthand or collective term; I don't prefer the use of this term as, you said yourself, can include "onesies" and that is out-of-scope.

      I've always used "animegao" (アニメ顔) because it the name to the style of cosplay and I proactively downplay any use of looser terminology. Also, using animegao as a hashtag enables more-relevant cross-referencing on social media.

      It's all about having fun with like-minded people, that's what Animegao Kigurumi, like any other social hobby, gives it value.

      Post was edited 1 time, last by “BritKig” ().

      Way before I got into kig, I was friends with a lot of the cosplayers and performers. Especially when it came to meeting some of them online and in person. I've had some that think it's creepy or weird. But I was the adventure type and I was also not afraid to give something new a try. Plus after joining and becoming one too, I started meeting new friends online and some that are showing interest.
      In my opinion Animegao Kigurumi in Western society, still has an expectation of being Cute, serene, demure, restrained, in the minds of the Fans and regular audience. For example you would never expect a Kig performer doing Miku Hatsune, to be jumping around like many J-Pop stars do on stage.

      So far in the Americas we have not had the live Animegao show experience, beyond theme parks.

      On the other hand, fursuiters are more noted for being active, interactive, hyper and zaney. In many ways like their cousins the professional sports mascots. Just look at any fursuit parade as an example of suiters interacting with the bystanders.

      Both performance arts share a lot of common drawbacks and experiences, yet are perceived differently because of the way they interact with an audience.

      Kiki

      Post was edited 1 time, last by “Miss Kiki” ().

      Miss Kiki wrote:

      In my opinion Animegao Kigurumi in Western society, still has an expectation of being Cute, serene, demure, restrained, in the minds of the Fans and regular audience. For example you would never expect a Kig performer doing Miku Hatsune, to be jumping around like many J-Pop stars do on stage.

      So far in the Americas we have not had the live Animegao show experience, beyond theme parks.

      On the other hand, fursuiters are more noted for being active, interactive, hyper and zaney. In many ways like their cousins the professional sports mascots. Just look at any fursuit parade as an example of suiters interacting with the bystanders.

      Both performance arts share a lot of common drawbacks and experiences, yet are perceived differently because of the way they interact with an audience.

      Kiki


      Think about it this way - if the character you're performing were actually standing there, they most likely wouldn't act like a football mascot, nor in the manner they do in the animegao stage shows. Rather they'd behave like, well, a normal person (with exceptions of course). The kigurumi cosplayer follows suit, since the goal of kigurumi is generally to emulate a character as closely as possible.
      Your signature here
      Renko:

      And there in lies the difference between Animegao and Fursuiting IMHO. You take the most psychotic, violent character from video games or Anime, one who has a great costume and props, but would be a menace in normal society. Have a Kig performer do that character, and you get an extremely restrained presentation.

      Animegao, is like being a Celebrity star. They meet and greet their audience, sign autographs, pose for pictures with their fans. If they could talk, they'd probably have panels at conventions where they answer questions as their character. But they are still like movie and TV stars, or Music Icons, still a little aloof and separated from their fans by their handlers.

      A football Mascot's job is to pump up the audience. However this is done from a distance as the fans are in the bleachers. A fursuiter, or theme park mascot, gets up close and personal with their audience. They are more likely to interact in a more lively manner. High Fives, Hugs, etc. There's definitely a more touchy feely aspect to fursuiting.

      At least that's my take on things.

      Senkan wrote:



      - It's scary or creepy. No doubt at early times, kigurumi was a very foreign kind of cosplay in the US so it was not quite positively receptive.

      - Uncanny Valley Effect





      I experienced this in the early days. Animegao Kigurumi was very new to Western comic and anime conventions.

      I have had cosplayers freaked out by my characters. I have had other fans run away afraid, because I was a moving doll like creature, and probably too close to their little girl nightmares.

      However repetition has desensitized the average crowd. Seeing all the cute kigs on youtube or the convention reports, on the internet in general. Seeing live Animegao at the same event year after year, has made Animegao Kigurumi more familiar and normal to most attendees.

      Miss Kiki
      as a cosplayer (i was around when this thread started) to fur to kigu.....
      ok so yea fursuit are more popular, they have been around longer and were embraced faster (maily by children) and kids seem to embrace kigus also but something else seems to happen.

      I'm noticing a disconnect in the kigu community, yes it started in Japan and Furdom started......somewhere... but it's masked cosplay so yea uncanny vally but still it's starting to be accepted, at AWA people loved Rias (not me) and Maggie, and this is the SOUTH so yea..... there is that.

      Sticker shock.......a fursuit can cost anywhere between $500-$4000 so honestly the kigu sticker shock....isnt a shock.

      Back when i was first introduced to kigu....2001 i think at Otakon by...Yuri i think....and even then i was so shy i just said hi....and all my friends were freeked out and dismissed it but i wish. I WISH i had stopped and talked to her and gotten to know her. I was always fasinated by it, but i couldnt find info, and back then doller was the same and the internet went out when someone picked up the phone, which is why i got into furry, the full transformation aspect really allured me into it. But even crossplay back then was taboo so furdom and kigu was very very fringe, but still, i wish i could have talked to my younger self and told them to be more socal.

      Now something that bothered me, obviously we are adults and some of us are into kinks, now that seems to be the disconnect, why don't we embrace it? the Furries do...actually the furries do if you go to a fur con and go to the artest alley you thought it was gay days at disneland and a nudest colony. They can be sexual and be ok with it, yes they know when kids are around to turn it down or completely off but the last time I checked there are no kids around here or the chats. So why do we as a community turn away from it and try to hide it instead of accept and embrace it (basically as a community) we dont say, "hay you do you" why do we have to shun others. as a woman this always turned me off from some fandoms that the community can be so disconnected and you have to pick and choose who are your friends that you associate with. We are all kigus... can't we just accept that some are sexual and support eachother regardless of things? I understand Kigu started in Japan which is sexually repressed, but as a fandom that goes around the world can't we change and embrace who we are and embrace eachother as a community?

      Eitherway, i know all fandoms have their ups and downs I will support anyone regardless of what they kink or things (unless they are rasists or bigots, in which case I shall contiune to educate and enlighten) so regardless if your nonsexual, hypersexual, and into.....things with 13 sylibles or just want a hug, I will contiune to be positive, supportave and a friend to all.
      This is another "if I had a nickle for every time"
      And the misinterpretation of a term "uncannyvalley" as well....



      We have to remember we fall into the "stuff animal" zone.
      We will always have outsiders "mundanes", that cat call and make jokes while we are in earshot.
      I ignore these as most are usually folks that are not aware of what animegao kigurumi is and since
      there is no "quick" explanation you can throw at them I find the best thing to do in these situations
      is to continue to perform :P

      Do this because you love the hobby and ignore those who sling verbal or written content~ (it will always be present)
      Thanks for the replies of information.

      Communication is key, change the people's opinion. When you're around the conventions while in costume, talk to the people directly. (Well, not verbally :P , but use a third party such as written communication or handler to further pique the public's interest.)

      Kig cosplayers are living & moving ads, they attract attention and passively sell their hobby to others. Heck, even they can also help to try the growth and increase the kig mask studios' revenue.

      Also, based on Amy Kig's recent photos, the public feeling goes through process of this:

      The feeling of fear/scared -> (to) curiosity -> (to) interest, then finally donning the suit for themselves.

      The more time people get exposed around to kig, they get less scared and more curious.
      Kig-O Member since September 2016

      Sacramento, California

      Rias Kitsune wrote:

      Now something that bothered me, obviously we are adults and some of us are into kinks, now that seems to be the disconnect, why don't we embrace it? the Furries do...actually the furries do if you go to a fur con and go to the artest alley you thought it was gay days at disneland and a nudest colony. They can be sexual and be ok with it, yes they know when kids are around to turn it down or completely off but the last time I checked there are no kids around here or the chats. So why do we as a community turn away from it and try to hide it instead of accept and embrace it (basically as a community) we dont say, "hay you do you" why do we have to shun others. as a woman this always turned me off from some fandoms that the community can be so disconnected and you have to pick and choose who are your friends that you associate with. We are all kigus... can't we just accept that some are sexual and support eachother regardless of things? I understand Kigu started in Japan which is sexually repressed, but as a fandom that goes around the world can't we change and embrace who we are and embrace eachother as a community?

      As someone who is into a lot of... stuff... I agree that it'd be nice if it had more of a ''oh, okay, i don't like it, but you do you'' reaction. But at the same time it is sorta understandable that some people find it repulsive to know, that the person they are interacting with, likes that sort of stuff and, i guess, ''taints'' for a lack of a better word, their harmless hobby in a way.
      "hi" -Albert Einstein

      Senkan wrote:

      The more time people get exposed around to kig, they get less scared and more curious.

      Lilykig wrote:

      As someone who is into a lot of... stuff... I agree that it'd be nice if it had more of a ''oh, okay, i don't like it, but you do you'' reaction. But at the same time it is sorta understandable that some people find it repulsive to know, that the person they are interacting with, likes that sort of stuff and, i guess, ''taints'' for a lack of a better word, their harmless hobby in a way.

      At the end of the day, if society isn't routinely exposed to anything new altogether, then there is no chance of it opening its eyes up. As far as I can recall, the Dutch have the best track record (at least in Europe on the grounds of public perception and entrenchment in law) for social tolerance.

      Currently, in my own eyes, things are heading in the right direction, though somewhat slower than ideal.

      There has been late-night TV documentary coverage of the dilemmas of the hidden parts of society over the last few years here in the UK. If anyone is interested in knowing more about this, PM me and I'll respond with the links (some content may be geo-restricted).

      Rias Kitsune wrote:


      Now something that bothered me, obviously we are adults and some of us are into kinks, now that seems to be the disconnect, why don't we embrace it? the Furries do...actually the furries do if you go to a fur con and go to the artest alley you thought it was gay days at disneland and a nudest colony. They can be sexual and be ok with it, yes they know when kids are around to turn it down or completely off but the last time I checked there are no kids around here or the chats. So why do we as a community turn away from it and try to hide it instead of accept and embrace it (basically as a community) we dont say, "hay you do you" why do we have to shun others. as a woman this always turned me off from some fandoms that the community can be so disconnected and you have to pick and choose who are your friends that you associate with. We are all kigus... can't we just accept that some are sexual and support eachother regardless of things? I understand Kigu started in Japan which is sexually repressed, but as a fandom that goes around the world can't we change and embrace who we are and embrace eachother as a community?

      I disagree here. If the community starts showing a lot of sexuality, people will assume that we're a fetish/porn community instead of a cosplay one (as happens with furries quite often).
      Your signature here
      If there is one misconception that kigurumi needs to be resolved is: "There's some weird or crazy old man behind/wearing the mask". We need to somehow tackle that problem of associating kigurumi and mature content. We also need to show that animegao kigurumi is a type of cosplay that is very open to all and a family friendly hobby.

      Act professionally and be respectful to all others when out performing in kig.

      A tip from criminal justice:

      When you are out in public, assume there are cameras everywhere, that you are being photographed or videotaped anytime and anywhere. Do not embarrass yourself or your community members by doing anything inappropriate or unprofessional.
      Kig-O Member since September 2016

      Sacramento, California

      KineticIsEpic wrote:

      I disagree here. If the community starts showing a lot of sexuality, people will assume that we're a fetish/porn community instead of a cosplay one (as happens with furries quite often).


      I guess this is where the divide happens. The sexual connotation does not bother me personally. Even the anime community as a whole has this sexual thing associated with it, with the word hentai being thrown around everywhere, but the anime community is still blossoming and booming.
      That aside, i think, and correct me if I'm wrong, that Rias meant the kig community should be more accepting when it comes to fetishes, and instead of shunning people, should have a more carefree point of view on the whole ordeal, not that we should start doing more sexually related things in public. Now with more acceptance comes more exposure of course, but i don't think it would be in such a large scale that it'd do almost any harm to the community per se, although that's almost just a thought experiment.
      "hi" -Albert Einstein

      Lilykig wrote:

      KineticIsEpic wrote:

      I disagree here. If the community starts showing a lot of sexuality, people will assume that we're a fetish/porn community instead of a cosplay one (as happens with furries quite often).


      I guess this is where the divide happens. The sexual connotation does not bother me personally. Even the anime community as a whole has this sexual thing associated with it, with the word hentai being thrown around everywhere, but the anime community is still blossoming and booming.
      That aside, i think, and correct me if I'm wrong, that Rias meant the kig community should be more accepting when it comes to fetishes, and instead of shunning people, should have a more carefree point of view on the whole ordeal, not that we should start doing more sexually related things in public. Now with more acceptance comes more exposure of course, but i don't think it would be in such a large scale that it'd do almost any harm to the community per se, although that's almost just a thought experiment.


      This is exactally what I ment.
      Cosplay has hentai
      Furries have alot of dicks and bondage
      Scifi has alot of things including full blown Klingon sex
      My Little Pony has.....well yea get the idea

      Everything has a fetish side to it, of course we dont do it in public but we don't need to birate and shun people in the community for just being human beings as well as kigus

      Senkan wrote:

      If there is one misconception that kigurumi needs to be resolved is: "There's some weird or crazy old man behind/wearing the mask". We need to somehow tackle that problem of associating kigurumi and mature content. We also need to show that animegao kigurumi is a type of cosplay that is very open to all and a family friendly hobby.


      Okay, I've been thinking about this now for a few days remembering conversations with another good friend (A Kigurumi Performer too)
      You have to start thinking realistically, not every kigurumi performers out there is between the ages of 17 and 24, they all aren't over 160cm in height and weigh in at 45kg. Animegao Kigurumi has been around since the early 90's (being a conservative guess). The main studios, BuildUp, Nukopan and Zukopan have been around that long as well. So I guess what you're saying here is these guys should get out of the business because of a need to resolve some issues others outside of this growing rich community are saying?? "
      weird or crazy old man behind/wearing the mask" you said it. These guys are in their early to late 50's and I know for a fact some are older.

      I think the point here is to be kigurumi means a lot more than what other's thoughts are on the matter. If I would have listened to what others said about me I'd never have pursued the craft.

      Some words I personally go by:


      Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now, etc.) defines acceptance as a "this is it" response to anything occurring in any moment of life. There, strength, peace and serenity are available when one stops struggling to resist, or hang on tightly to what is so in any given moment. What do I have right now? Now what am I experiencing? The point is, can one be sad when one is sad, afraid when afraid, silly when silly, happy when happy, judgmental when judgmental, overthinking when overthinking, serene when serene, etc.

      So try not to overthink this, accept all kigurumi and don't try to justify explain to outsiders. I've found through the years the ones to whom this is cool will always be there, as well as, the ones who think it's absolutely creepy as shit ^^

      Great thread btw!!
      I agree with cici 100%. Does it really matter who is behind the mask? Does it REALLY matter what people that "don't get it", outside the community thinks? As a hobby, kigging is an odd thing and we can't really, I guess, throw people out based on how big or old the person behind the mask is, when we ourselves are sort of "the odd ones" from the cosplay community in a way, just to battle meaningless stereotypes.

      I don't even know if I have any sort of credibility on this subject i don't even have a kig yet, hope it's okay that I chime in ohgodwhatamidoing X/
      "hi" -Albert Einstein