The kigurumi trend is spreading worldwide rapidly due to conventions. Being dressed in a kigurumi has always been fun for people. People are encouraged to wear the outfit of their favorite anime, animal, or comic character. Everyone seizes this chance to enjoy together with people who have the same interest.

Initially, kigurumi was used by performers to dress in a costume for conventions, theme parks, festivals, and international fairs. Later, kigurumi was used to refer to a cartoon costume. Some costumes may cover the face of the performer, while in others, it may be visible depending on the convention. Kigurumi shouldn’t be mistaken for overalls, which they aren’t.

Origin of a Kigurumi

Kigurumi originated from the land of kawaii or Japan. Japan’s culture has always been famous for its visionary creativity in artistry. That’s how the first-ever kigurumi was designed as a costume for a cosplay. This is where the meaning of kigurumi as costume originated from.

Later, a company named SAZAC made kigurumi pajama in the 1990s. As a result, the concept of kigurumi evolved into Japanese street culture. This is how kigurumi became popular.

In 2005, kigurumi started to attract the attention of people from other countries like Canada and the United States. All over the world, young audiences not only embraced but adopted the kigurumi culture in their life. Youngsters started to express this affection with Kigurumi by buying and wearing it to a convention or festival without hesitation. The audience even started to immerse themselves in the main source of kigurumi such as anime, movies, and manga.

There are two categories of Kigurumi one can fit into for a convention: pajamas and animegao.

Kigurumi Pajamas

Kigurumi Pajamas

These are sometimes considered as sleepsuits too. They are usually styled in the form of animals or fictional characters like Pikachu. You get holes for your hands, feet, and face. The pajama is fully buttoned up and sometimes has pockets too. It is super comfy, soft, and really warm. It may even have a tail with it, depending on the character it is representing.

Animegao Kigurumi

Animegao Kigurumi

Animegao (anime face) is a type of kigurumi used to display an anime character to the world. It is a bit different from cosplay as it comes with a mask and bodysuit known as zentai. You have to cover your skin with the bodysuit, then wear clothes and a huge mask over your head. It is a bit expensive as compared to simple kigurumi cosplay.

Kigurumi Conventions

Conventions are held by different private organizations for people from all walks of life. Their purpose is to allow people to indulge in their interest and passion while having fun. The worldwide growth of kigurumi can also be attributed to these conventions.

There is no clothing rule for a convention. It’s not mandatory to wear a kigurumi or dress up in a costume. People can participate in their regular clothes as well. However, this is usually a place where people can showcase their creativity. People from all around the world gather at the convention with their choice of costume. It allows them to interact with like-minded people.

It provides an avenue to share culturally diverse interests. It is a chance to be greeted, celebrated, and belong. These conventions also provide a platform for promotion and marketing. People from all sides of the world make costumes and masks and be a part of such conventions to sell them.

The organizations that hold such conventions usually have a website too. They post their schedules, locations, and plans there. Usually, such websites require you to register by filling a form. Some also mention their registration charges.

Some of the biggest and renowned conventions of all times for kigurumi are as follows:

Anime Boston

It first started in the year 2003. It occurs annually for three days. It encourages the combination of creativity and diversity. This annual convention is celebrated in Boston, Massachusetts. It is organized by the New England Anime Society.

Tokyo Comic-Con

It is one of the world’s biggest pop culture events. It occurs annually in early July and gathers more than 130,000 visitors. You get to see a great variety of characters from comics, animation, games, and movies.

Tokyo Comic-Con

Katsucon

It is a 3-day fan-based convention held in DC annually in February. This event provides a platform for multicultural enthusiasts sharing the same interest. The convention typically offers an art show, anime music videos, artist alley, charity auction, various costume contests, game shows, formal ball, karaoke, musical performances, workshops, video gaming, and much more.

Comiket (Comic Market)

This is a biannual event which is organized by the Comic Market Preparatory Committee (ComiketPC). It promotes self-made products including games, movies, costumes, and masks. It is one of the largest manga and anime fairs in the world today. It occurs during August and December every year.

Comiket (Comic Market)

Kigurumi Wasshoi

It is a convention for fans of animegao kigurumi. The event is usually attended by hundreds of animegao kigurumi cosplayers across Japan and all over the world. It is celebrated 3 to 4 times a year. Here, you can see a picture of the recent event that happened in 2019.

Kigurumi Wasshoi

Anime North

It is an anime-based convention that first started in Toronto. It celebrates anime, manga, games, music, and all other forms of Japanese culture.

Conclusion

Every single performer and most fans wear their kigurumi to these conventions, which they think is the best way to show their interest. There is no need to feel shy in wearing a kigurumi. There are a lot of people wearing it already who will make you feel normal. It never feels strange to live your passion with people who share the same enthusiasm as you.