Regular convention attendees might be familiar with seeing cosplayers walking around in big, almost life-like anime character masks. This style of cosplay is known as “Animegao Kigurumi” (anime face kigurumi.) Some people might find them uncanny, to others they can be quite interesting. Today I decided to shine some light on this niche of cosplay.
The outfits consist of a full-body lycra suit like a zentai, and a face mask. Face masks are usually made from high quality plastics and epoxy, and the full get up can cost over $1000. Masks can either be bought premade if its an existing (and popular) character, and some masks are made as custom designs for the wearer. Vision in the masks is very limited, the wearer can either see through the lenses of the eyes or on some masks the vision is through hidden slits in the eye brow.
For animegao kigurumi cosplayers it’s all about creating the illusion of being the character. Performers don’t talk with the mask on and will sometimes try to act in-character too. Kig-cosplayers are also known as “dollers” as rather than trying to act like a specific character some cosplayers will try and pull of a more ‘living doll’ like effect with their performance and costume.
While Animegao Kigurumi definitely stands out, it’s all still cosplay. And at the end of the day cosplay is all about self expression, having fun and showing your appreciation for the characters you love.