Kigurumi performer or doller

      The word "kigurumi" on its own usually refers to a cosplay outfit known as a "onesie", meaning one part.

      What we do here, in absolute meaning, is "animegao-kigurumi". Whilst not all one part, animegao translates as "animegao mask". The word "kigurumi" on its own is perfectly valid, though colloquially.

      The word doller is also valid but not often used in comparison to other means of references.

      I prefer to use "animegao-kigurumi" because I find it is less likely to cause confusion with other cosplay styles.
      "Animegao kigurumi, known colloquially as kigurumi, kigu or occasionally doller, is a type of cosplay which uses a masked character costume to portray anime or cartoon characters in the real world. 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. In Japan, most cosplayers refer to this style as (アニメ顔 - animegao, or "anime face"), while performers 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."
      Taken from

      The term is basically interchangeable but for practical purposes Animegao Kigurumi is used for clarification. It can be very confusing with the current influx of "ball joint style" masks now gaining popularity amongst the community.
      Back in the early days of Kigurumi in Japan, the old school traditionalists, for whom Kigurumi was a way of life, sometimes referred to themselves as "Dollers". This distinguished them from the Japanese Kigurumi "Hobbyists"

      You could be right, that now the Kigurumi Performer subset, which do life sized, Ball Joint Doll face Kigurumi now refer to themselves as "Dollers" to differentiate themselves from "Anime-Face" Kigurumi.



      It depends on your definitions.

      Super Sentai can refer to any of the costumed superheros like the Power Rangers, Ultraman, Kamen rider, Iron Man, who wear masks. By that definition the new Black Panther would qualify. To the Japanese, any "Suit Actor" qualifies as Kigurumi.

      Of course all the villains and monsters they face are Kigurumi as well.

      Kemono is the Japanese word for Fursuiters. Which is technically a form of Kigurumi.

      Pokemon / Digimon monsters are Kigurumi. Although those cosplayers shun the word furry.

      Someone may correct me, but I believe that KiguruMex refers to the Kigurumi performers in Mexico who do not always wear zentai. They too have been called Kigurumi Dolls or dollers.

      There are the "Mascots" both sports related and commercial product. Again another definition of encased acting, or Kigurumi.

      There's the Mardi Gras or carnival oversized paper mach ea heads. which depending on the costume could be considered Kigurumi.

      Female masking refers to another hobby where rubber masks are used.

      Furry tends to be another hobby as well. Although they do share many of the attributes of Animegao Kigurumi.

      And of course Kigurumi has been almost trademarked for the Animal Pajamas now.

      It's specifically because of these, that we differentiate ourselves into Animegao Kigurumi, Ball Joint doll (BJD) Kigurumi, Magical Girl Kigurumi. Kigurumi Maid ( like the cafes) just to further define our styles.


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


      In my experience, 'doller' seems to be completely unused in the Western community as of now. Kigurumi is the de-facto term for our costumes in English, despite it only meaning "mascot" - "animegao kigurumi" simply got cut down over time. Kigurumi is further cut down to kigu or 'kig' in colloquial use. The term "animegao" really only gets used when there's a need to differentiate from the pajamas that have also acquired the name kigurumi.
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