Animegao Kigurumi Mask: The Definitive Guide in 2022

INTRO

This is a complete guide to Animegao Kigurumi Mask in 2022.

In this in-depth guide you’ll learn:

What is Animegao Kigurumi
How to get start with Kigurumi
The Knowledge of Kigurumi parts
Where to buy Kigurumi mask and parts
How to DIY your first Kigurumi mask
Lots more
So if you’re ready to go, this guide is for you.

Let’s dive right in.

Contents

Chapter 1    What is Animegao Kigurumi

Chapter 2    Guide to Getting Started with Kigurumi

Chapter 3    Kigurumi parts Guide

Chapter 4    Some Advice for kigger

Chapter 5    Where to buy Kigurumi mask and parts

Chapter 6    Kigurumi DIY

   

Chapter 1

What is Animegao Kigurumi

Contents

What is animegao kigurumi?

A brief History of Western Kigurumi

3 kinds of Kigurumi style

Is animegao a fetish?

Are all animegao performers male?


What is animegao kigurumi?

Animegao kigurumi, known colloquially as kigurumikigu or occasionally dollar and kig, 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 animegao (アニメ顔, "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 elsewhere, including North America and Europe.

As with other kinds of cosplay, many hobbyists have costumes of established characters from games or animations.

The characters are usually female, and commonly human, although kigurumi characters of other races and genders do exist, including male (such as Kenshin Himura from Rurouni Kenshin), mechanical (such as Gundam Wing), elfin (such as Deedlit or Pirotess from Lodoss), and demonic (such as Inuyasha from the anime of the same name).

Some kigurumi are original characters created by the performer.

Both men and women wear kigurumi.

By wearing a body suit and mask, kigurumi cosplayers are able to get closer to the appearance of the original character, especially in the case of animal characters or highly stylised characters.

In animegao kigurumi, the performer playing a humanoid anime character wears a flesh-coloured body suit (a zentai suit known as a hadatai) and matching mask usually moulded from clay or fiberglass composites.

The body suit allows them less-detailed skin features, on the level of animated characters, and the mask allows a similar level of facial features.

Some hobbyists obtain masks from established hobbyist mask studios.

As of 2018, there are six mask studios locations in Japan, as well as in Taiwan and the United States. 
Major production examples include a Japanese studio that takes orders for customized masks with wig and eye parts based on studio's original designs for over 130,000 yen (about US$1,182), and a Taiwanese studio that takes orders for fully customized masks for over 131,000 yen (about US$1,190). 
The average price of a mask produced by Mask Studio is between 100,000 and 200,000 yen (about between US$910 and US$1,819).

Though this term originated as animegao, the original Japanese term is not used to describe masks based on anime characters. Instead, the term kigurumi (着ぐるみ) is used by most performers.


A brief History of Western Kigurumi

Preface: What you need to know as background, if you are new to this hobby. 

It's difficult to imagine that Animegao Kigurumi outside of Japan has been around as long as it has.
By my research on the web, and interviews with the pioneers of Western Kigurumi, I can say that we have already surpassed the 10th anniversary.

In fact sometime this year may well be the 15th anniversary of the exporting of the art form. 

Kigurumi, as a performance art, in its many forms, has existed for countless years before this.
My sources indicate that in Japan, what we now refer to as Anime face, or Animegao style, began about 1993.

I have not done further research to confirm those assertions. 

Animegao style, is where Fans and professional theatre companies, create masks and costumes.
Reproducing in three dimensions, the artwork being drawn for popular Japanese Manga and Anime cartoons.

Bringing these characters to life as it were, they can now react with their audience on a more personal level.

This is much like meeting Mickey Mouse at Disneyworld. 

There were several companies in Japan, such as Kameari Factory. (Which has been making costumes for TV and stage since 1997.)

They made commercial Anime and realistic style FRP masks for sale to the consumer.

These can be seen in photos posted on several Japanese Fan sites.

There also seems to have been several inexpensive plastic masks of Japanese TV show characters, much like what I know of as Halloween masks.

Then there were the professional theatre troupes, which had their own mask manufacturers.
All of these were used for the purpose of Animegao Kigurumi. 

The other focus of this article is Western Kigurumi. A basic definition of which would be, Animegao Kigurumi that occurs outside of Japan and the surrounding Asian countries.

Western Kigurumi includes the UK, Russia, Australia, North and South America, to name but a few.
While there are stylistic differences between Japanese and Western Kigurumi, I am going to leave those aside for a time, and concentrate on the people, places, and things associated with the first decade of the Western Kigurumi movement. 

The dawn of Western Kigurumi: 

The start of Western Kigurumi seems to have happened in 1999. That's the year that Dolphin Factory and Buildup Studio Sigma, opened and began making Animegao masks.

These masks were made from Fiberglass Re-enforced Plastic or FRP for short. They were quite similar in fact to the fiberglass shell of an automobile.

These were sold both inside and outside Japan, and being generic faces were adapted to portray many characters.

Having commercially available masks outside Japan was the key to the spread of the hobby. 

Wikipedia says Dolphin Factory is a noted Kigurumi costume maker in Japan that only makes costumes based on original characters. This studio is a large supplier of hobbyist Kigurumi facemasks of the animegao (アニメ顔 - Anime Face) kigurumi style. 

There is no Wikipedia information on Sigma except the link to their homepage, under the heading Animegao. Sigma also provides a staff resume, and list of Suit actors on their site. They have galleries of characters that go back to 1999. 

Western Kigurumi:

The Pioneers It has been confirmed by two sources, that Yuri Tsukino was the first Western Kigurumi performer. Her archived website Yuri's Kigurumi Paradise, suggests she began in 2000.

However, since the website was relocated in 2005 to a different server, that information is unverifiable. This website shows that Yuri was a practitioner of Japanese style Kigurumi. Separate sources say Yuri lived in the USA. 

Information back from Neko Yumekuri in Japan, states that Yuri was interested in Kigurumi back in 1998, but did not get her first Kigurumi masks till 2000. Neko made her the masks, (Multi from To Heart, Sakura from Card Captor Sakura) so they definitely came from Japan.

Yuri also had Sailor Saturn and Sailor Moon masks on her site. Origins attributed to Kanakig in 2005. The idea known as KiguruMex, had its beginnings in 1998. They were the first Animegao Kigurumi group in Mexico and Latin America.

It took several years before their mask making skills reached the point where they were willing to perform at a convention. Princess Peach was created in 2001, and in 2006 a newer version appears to have debut at the TNT convention in Guadalajara.

The attending Japanese Kigurumi performers noticed her, and a relationship between the groups grew. In 2007 the mixed group, (3 girls and a boy,) began performing together, and in 2008 they officially took the name KiguruMex. 

One thing you may note about this group is that the girls do not always wear a Hadatai /Zentai. Many of the pictures are of just them wearing a costume and their masks.

Masks that have been painted to match their own individual skin tones. Some have argued that these do not meet the strict criteria of being Kigurumi, and have labeled them Dolls instead.

Looking at her Facebook page, Reika Kurokawa claims to be the second Kigurumi performer in the United States. Her first mask came from Dolphin factory in 2002. While her website Rieka’s Kigurumi Haven appears to be defunct, she is still active. Her characters include Rika, Kumi, Haruka, Milk and Reimu. 

Rabbit in the Moon is the pioneer of Western Kigurumi most people have heard of. Although she credits Yuri as being earlier, she informed me in an interview that she has pictures of her as 'Red', a mask made by Dolphin Factory, from 2002. However, she did not actually perform publicly until a year later, with 'Kitty' her other dolphin mask. In those days her characters generally wore street clothing as opposed to costumes. 

Over the years, Rabbit has expanded her collection to include several custom made masks from Kanakig, including Bridget mouse, Minerva mink, and Jessica Rabbit. All of these characters used specifically cosplay costumes. Several videos can be found on Youtube, dating back as far as 2006. 

Somewhere in California, Vandelay Masks was making specific masks from a thick stiff rubber compound. In 2003, Cassandra Lewis (Ignes) bought one of their Sailor Mercury masks, complete with molded in tiara and hair. This was her introduction into Western Kigurumi. She credits Rabbit and Yuri as being her inspirations. Later in 2005, like Jovina and Leigh, she bought one of the original Kanakig masks.

In 2003, “B” the owner of a Dolphin mask was convinced to Hall costume at Balticon 2003. At that time, Animegao Kigurumi was almost unheard of in North America. “B” herself participated in other forms of Kigurumi, and had the Dolphin mask for possibly a year at that time. 

This may be the first outing of a Western Kigurumi performer at a convention. A-Kon 2003 was held about a month later, and that is where Rabbit believes she premiered Kitty. The Balticon outing was a one-time event. As far as anyone knows, “B” never appeared in public again. 

In 2004 a new performer entered the stage. Lint's Kigurumi Dream website opened up. Lint Chisa was a homemade mask and an original character. While the website is long gone, Lint still remains with us via the Youtube videos that were posted. 

Also in 2004, Western Kigurumi took a stride forward when Kanakig Studios began making Kigurumi masks. Located in Bangkok, Kana sold worldwide, using E-Bay initially, as his method of distribution. His masks launched many Western performers’ careers.

Cass and Leigh UK are listed as purchasing his first production model. During his run as a mask maker, he became known for making custom masks for several performers. He also made masks for other clients that do not consider what they do to be Kigurumi. 

Kanakig shut down commercial production in 2011 due to the flooding of his workshop. He no longer takes orders, but still makes masks for his own personal use.

In 2004, Fantesca Design began making Kigurumi masks in the USA. To my knowledge, they were the first in North America to make FRP masks. These were essentially generic masks, in several styles and sizes. Fantesca did do some special orders, notably the Kos-mos mask that Yuri owned. Fantesca stopped production about 2007. 

Western Kigurumi: The first wave.

The first wave of Western Kigurumi was triggered by this new availability of Animegao style masks in 2004. World wide, many kinds of performance arts involved encasing the suit actor in a complete body costume.

These Animegao masks were seen and discussed by fans of these other Kigurumi styles, and shortly thereafter, adopted. This is not surprising, as in Japan there also were several forms of Kigurumi outside the Animegao style, which were being followed by fans worldwide.

In effect, the first wave of Western Kigurumi, consisted of performers who added Animegao style to their repertoires. 

Jovina made the crossover to Western Kigurumi in 2005, purchasing masks from both Kanakig and Fantesca. She wore her first Kigurumi mask publicly at Katsucon in 2005. Since that time she has advanced to make her own O.C. Masks. 

I myself, purchased my first mask from Fantesca Design in 2006, and premiered it at a Montreal convention later that year. Since then, I have gone on to make more masks of Original Characters for my own personal use, have repaired masks for other Performers and have worked to bring new performers into the hobby. 

Leigh from the UK bought one of Kanakig’s first production masks, but she doesn’t recall doing much with it until 2006 when she posted her first Youtube video. At that time she says there were only a few Kigurumi performers in the UK. According to her, Kigurumi in the UK did not pick up till 2009, when the Eurokig website went on line. 

Hikarinaka our friend from Russia writes that she started thinking about Kigurumi in 2006. By 2008 she had developed what has become known as the Ball Jointed Doll style Kigurumi. This hearkens back to what in Japan was called the Doller style of Kigurumi, which was separate from Animegao. Hikarinaka has been credited with spreading Kigurumi to Western Europe and the Ukraine. 

The second wave of Western Kigurumi. 

As Wikipedia states in the entry on Animegao, interest in Kigurumi spread to the western world about 2005. What it doesn’t mention however, is the fact that the release of Japanese cartoons world wide, created a new generation of fans who had no interests in costuming or attending conventions or performing before that.

They were somewhat surprised to find there were other fans of other forms of media such as Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror etc, interested in Anime. They jumped into Animegao style Kigurumi head first, and were somewhat shocked to find practitioners of the other Kigurumi styles already involved. These new fans are the second wave of Western Kigurumi. 

Cody Nakamura became interested in cosplay in 2003. He got his first mask from Fantesca in 2004. Cody does male characters, which are rare in Animegao Kigurumi of any style. He may well be the first Western Kigurumi performer doing male characters, certainly the first in North America.

Cody says that in the beginning, convention security would pull him aside because his mask was allegedly “scaring” the attendees. Kigurumi was that new to US Anime conventions. From Kenshin Himura in 2004 he went to Inuyasha in 2005, and most recently Edward Elric in 2010. Edward was made by Kigurumi Alice, before she retired. 

The Kigurumi Lover’s Wiki, lists 2006 as when Miharu Nakashima first started Kigurumi. Wikipedia, notes that she designed the Tiger Miharu character, and had Dolphin make her the mask. Since then she has also designed Asteroth, which Dolphin also made. 

Miharu is credited for running the first panel on Animegao Kigurumi at a Western Anime convention. This took place in Baltimore at Otakon 2008. It was held with her in full costume, using a microphone and a laptop running a voice changer application. Most of the audience also arrived in costume. It was estimated that only 2 people in the audience were not part of the Kigurumi community. 

Otakon 2008 was also credited with being the largest gathering of Western Kigurumi performers to that date. They set a benchmark of eight characters. Miharu, Jaidera, Cloe, Milk, Ayane Kimie, Athena, and Inuyasha, all in one picture. There were also other performers there who did not appear in character. Previous to this, a private event Jovina hosted, had six performers in Animegao Kigurumi, as the owner of Fantesca Designs was a guest. 

The Kigurumi Cosplay Society website came into being in 2007. It is a support and social networking website for people who are part of the Kigurumi Cosplay Community.

Through it, the members and guests, have access to a central point for information sharing. Several of its forums and tutorials discuss the aspects of making Kigurumi masks, performing, and many related topics.

It provides a means for members to contact each other, through a built in instant messaging, and allows members to voice opinions on subjects under discussion. Prior to technical difficulties in 2014, it had a photo gallery section where members could post pictures of their own works. Currently there are approximately 4100 members world wide. English is the common language. 

Managed by Wyu Ri, the KCS also contains access to her line of commercial masks and bodysuits. Working from Singapore, Wyu began making masks as a sideline in 2008. Due to material restrictions, these first masks were made from paper clay. Wyu sold the masks world wide, and over the years developed many different models. Having developed a mask that blinks, She is working on the possibility of moving mouth masks. 

Western Kigurumi has gone from the obscure, creepy and misunderstood, to become recognized and more commonplace at Anime Conventions around the world. While not universally accepted yet, the art form is at least recognized and a fan base of admirers is developing.

Western Kigurumi continues to grow as new Fans discover the fun and excitement of the art form, but Performers are still few in numbers, and complaints of distances traveled to meet other Performers persist. This limited exposure, has slowed the spread of the hobby, and most Performers stay in touch through the medium of the Internet. Still, certain events have become annual meeting points for Performers from all around the world.

Impressive things have happened in the first ten years that Animegao Kigurumi made it outside Japan, and there are some pretty incredible things that have happened since. But those stories are for another article. 

Kiki FeegataJune 2014. 

Addendum by Jovina; August 2015

Kanakig recently has reopened his mask making operations. 

The KCS website went down for a while but is now back. The store is not functional at this time. 

KigurumiOnline (Kig-O) is a recent addition to the kigurumi community. 

Facebook now has many pages devoted to Kigurumi and Kigurumi performers.

Anime North 2015 has now become the largest gathering of Kigurumi performers in North America, perhaps even largest outside of Japan.


3 kinds of Kigurumi style

Furry style

Anime style

Tokusatsu style


Is animegao a fetish?

Only so as much as anything can be a fetish these days. Some people have a fetish for something as mundane as shoes.

It’s true that animegao has a lot of fetish material out there, and touches on a lot of popular kinks: objectification, latex and crossdressing to name a few. But that’s just one small part of animegao culture.

It’s not fair to whitewash the entire hobby as a fetish, nor to pretend that aspect doesn’t exist.


Are all animegao performers male?

Amongst hobbyist performers, the ratio is about 95% male and 5% female.

Amongst professional performers (who are hired to promote products or perform on stage), the ratio is reversed to 95% female and 5% male.

Professional performers are often hired from gymnastics clubs, dance troupes  and stunt groups.      


Chapter 2

Guide to Getting Started with Kigurumi


Contents

The Guidelines of Kigurumi Preface

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Getting Started with Kigurumi

Care and Maintenance


The Guidelines of Kigurumi Preface

Preface,

Many times we see newcomers asking questions, wondering if there is any place they can go for guidance. This is what I've come to realize over my tenure of preforming both privately and publicly.

Most of these guidelines are all but common sense but, since there has been such an outcry from folks in the community I have decided to put my thoughts down here to share with the newcomer and maybe the veterans will learn something as well.

I would also like to mention THIS IS NOT THE DOGMA OF KIGURUMI AND THIS IS NOT WRITTEN IN STONE.

Basics

THE HEAD.

This can be constructed of any number of materials. FRP (Fibre-reinforced plastic) is not the only material used in the manufacturing of a kigurumi mask. It can be a ½, ¾ or a full enclosure. This is all dependent on the end user's wishes.

Kigurumi for the most part have hair. Do yourself and the mask a favor and take care of the hair. Maintain it. If you don't know how then ask. Research it. You know girls aren't all hair stylists. They get help or practice allot. 

THE BODY

Since kigurumi characters are 99% female we need to address this with who (the host) want to look. There are many ways to achieve a transformer body and care and preparation for these needs should be addressed before one purchases any cosplay (costumes).

This is to insure proper fit and accuracy to the character. Yes, skinsuits are supposed to be tight. Baggy misfitting suits do not create an illusion of the character, they show up as mistakes. 

THE SKINSUIT, ZENTAI, HADATAI, OR TIGHTS

Rule of thumb here. Buy from a “Kigurumi specific maker” this will insure the color and material will best match the kigurumi mask itself though there may be slight variations from maker to maker and tailor to tailor. If you can afford it get two. One for practice and the other for show.(ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR SUIT BEFORE GOING PUBLIC)

COSPLAY (THE COSTUME)

This all depends on your character. I suggest researching ad nauseam for the small details and the right tailor to make the item or items for you.

If you are a newcomer please avoid shopping and choosing a tailor based on price. This can bite you causing you to need to repurchase for another tailor or returning the item (s) back the the tailor for repairs and or alterations.

To the newcomers, have a detailed set of measurements made of you “IN” your finished skinsuit. By finished I mean the finish shape you are attempting to achieve. And when I say “have” this means someone else takes the measurements. (gulp, I know what you're thinking)

This is the only way to insure you have the correct information, especially when ordering custom tailored items. This also means the garments that go underneath the cosplay i.e. pantsu, stockings, petticoats, gloves and so on. And don't forget your shoes, these will make or break you. There is no substitute for well fitting comfortable shoes you can walk in. Be ready to spend some big bucks on these and DO NOT again shop for price, your feet will thank you.

On the subject of cosplays. This is one of my pet peeves and this is because of the characters I preform that is FEMALE. Girls do not wear cloths that are wrinkled, dirty, mismatched or badly fit.

Take your cosplays to a tailor if needed to have them fit to you if they are not perfect. Always take your cosplays to a dry cleaner and have them cleaned, pressed and carry them in a garment bag to where ever you are going.

Try not to stuff your cosplays all into one bag to take to a venue, please do yourself a favor. Remember you are representing the community when in public.

PROPS

My philosophy on props is this. If you really need that giant prop your character has do yourself a favor. Have a handler. They can carry it for you. That is one of their jobs. For newcomers, don't worry about the prop. You are going to have enough to do figuring out have to navigate. Learn your kigurumi first before attempting a prop.

Behaviors

No talking. Are you really going to ask why? Can your cute kiguness reflect that cute anime voice over?? If not than don't. Does this mean you are completely  mute? No it doesn't. Taking you and the person you need to talk to aside (handler, photog or kigurumi) get the communication done and move on.

Unmasking in public. Hey, if you want to look like a complete idiot go ahead, Same rule applies here as talking, If you must get out of public view and do it. Usually to catch your breath, have a sip of water or to adjust your suit. Don't make a big deal out of it. Do it, get it done and move on. Be a professional here as if nothing happened. A quick recovery from an action or a mishap as if nothing happened is the sign of a professional.


The Quick and Dirty Guide to Getting Started with Kigurumi

(a list of various pieces of gear with price tiering)

Getting started in kig can be daunting due to the fact that high quality masks of an Anime character can easily set you back $1000 or more; however, you can get in for just exactly that too. This little guide will break down and explain the differences in tiers and terms you will see while ordering from various makers.

Tier 1 (quick, dirty, and sexy?)

This tier will get you in with the smallest investment but comes with some caveats I’ll go over on each

Instead of a hadatai from a maker, you can get pretty much any cheap flesh tone zentai for about $40 US. My first was a Milanoo but anything off Amazon works fine here. The downside is that they are usually shiny and not matte leading to the mask and bodysuit colors looking off.

Next up is shape enhancement. This is kinda all on you at low tier. If you need boobs any enhancer will do: socks, push up bras, foam sleep forms.

You need to get boobs under your zentai, just beware the mono boob to follow as it will not track into your cleavage well. You can add a simple shaper that pulls you in a little if you want to try to minimize that belly, You can probably get away with spending only around $60 here before we step into tier 2 and even then you’re going to be able to carry what you get here over.

As far as masks go technically the hobby can be started with anything from the hard plastic Generic anime girl mask from a novelty store, the rubber female anime blonde who’s always lurking on ebay, or if you want something a little nicer at the end of this tier and a with a little bit of DIY a Munimuni.

Now Munimuni is a Japanese maker who mass produces in a much softer material and you order a face, with eyes, straps to put it on, and maybe a wig. Muni comes with some DIY required on arrival but it’s not that bad and can look good with some skill. This leads into the two caveats for this maker though: first size and second they are sold at sex stores in Japan.

In terms of size they aren’t that tiny but they are sized to cover Asian faces better. If you have a fatter face you run the chance of the mask not sitting so great in front of you and showing who is under it at times. There’s not much to say about the sex toy thing other than because it is sold alongside them in Japan, most kigs from that country will not be pleasant to deal with and you get that nice stigma going for your kig presence which can lead to awkward real life encounters with other people. Price ~$165-200 US

So to get you into your nude kig body on the cheap, you are looking at:

Mask~$170
Zentai$30-$50
Padding~$50-$70
Total~$290-$330

Tier 2 (that $1000 sweet spot!)

This is where things get fun because a lot of what I’m going to write out here falls into the higher end as well. You will be spending money at this point and it will be a nice chunk depending on your route.

Shapewear is a delicate subject because some people use a lot, some use a little and it all depends on what you are aiming for in size adjusting. Corseting and waist cinchers work here, try not to spend a ton on them as they will be under your hadatai and not seen.

You may also want to invest in a leotard or other undergarment to keep your sweat away from the corset as they don’t clean easy. I’ve gotten some good corsets from Corsetdeal.com for less than $50. As far as under or over bust, honestly your mileage may vary I know people who swear by either, but personally use over.

If you need to add to your hips you can get crafty with some open cell foam or just buy silicone stuff. Maybe you have hips naturally; this section is just kinda all over due to how varied we can be in size and shape as humans.

I would recommend taking time on this before buying the hadatai as your shapewear is going to affect your measurements when done right. I’ll include links to some ideas on amazon for what you might use around a corset in the link section. Just do yourself a favor a read up on how to size and wear a corset properly as failing to do so can lead to SERIOUS INJURY!!!!!!!

It is at this point you need to get a hadatai from your mask maker, most are resellers for MyWayFetish (they don’t speak English very well). The hadatai has many options at this point from crotch zippers to pockets for breasts. These are made to measure so plan to get help from a friend. Each maker has their own way of selling them and thus different prices and shipping costs to you.

Now this is a little bit of a fun subject but it’s time to talk boobies. Everyone needs some enhancement when getting in kig as your proportions change just from putting on the mask. Now if you’re ordering with a maker they will probably tell you the forms that come with your MWF hadatai are “asian” sized so you will want to keep in mind you need to shoot a size or two larger.

Personally unless you are planning a lolita character, I wouldn’t recommend going below their “E” size. Alternatively you can buy pretty much any forms to put in the pockets, but they are best measured by weight and this guide assumes you’re taking the less complicated route and getting them with your hadatai.

Now we move onto the big cost again, your mask! There are several good makers that have intro masks around the $500-600 mark which right now is DAME and RTPS. You pretty much just get to choose open or closed mouth, hair color, and eye color at this tier so you won’t be getting any actual characters unless you can find a used one. You’ll probably still have a multi month production window, but they are usually quicker turn around since they can cast these in advance then finish to order.

Brief note here There are a lot of Asian makers that also sell in-between the ranges I’ve given between tier 1 and 2. You get what you pay for so go looking around and just be wary of cheap kig heads. Also that whole Asian sizing thing comes up in terms of head size and it sucks to get like a Nukopan and discover it’s 90% of what you needed and you look like a pinhead….

So dirty total for mid tier naked kig

Shapewear~$60-$150
Hadatai~$240
Mask$450 (DAME converted to US) $575 (RTPS Etsy)
Total~$780-$990

Tier 3 (Time for actual cosplay)

Okay at this point we are assuming you’re either balls to the wall in or are just ready to throw money at it. This is where we are going to talk really only about the mask as tier 2 pretty much covers everything below your neck.

The terms at this point for mask makers are going to be semi-custom, an existing shell design that they adjust a character onto, (Miku anyone?) and full custom, the big one off sculpt just for you. Pricing is going to vary a lot at this point but you get what you pay for. GKO does some really nice semi-customs but do not do full customs at all.

I’ve not dealt with DAME personally at this level so I can’t give much info on them, but they’ve done some pretty work and I’m assuming it costs the pretty penny. Ride the Pig Studios will do pretty much anyone in semi-custom or full. There’s usually a long wait on full custom since they are one off sculpts, yes one off, they will not sell it again without permission from you and they try to take your body size into account for proportions. Makers at this stage are usually busy and require more lead time on quotes and deliveries because of the nature of making these masks.

Mask$900+

Tier X (DIY)

So this is here mostly because I see people with 3d printers going “how hard could it be” or wanting to sculpt their own for other reasons.

Basic things you need to be aware of are: prints are going to take days and multiple pieces to put together, you need to be ready to sand and properly finish to have a smooth looking kig, you will need to know how to use an airbrush as it takes a good bit of work to paint them properly, and you are going to be styling some hair.

With that out of the way, there are many different kig head files online I recommend going to Openkig as they just ask you credit them for the original file and that’s about it there. They just want to make kigging more accessible to all and you can even modify their stuff. If you want to sculpt your own I have used Autodesk Meshmixer and Sculptris. Both are free and aren’t hard to pick up. Just know it’s still an art skill so good luck and have fun if you were bad at sculpture before.

This concludes my quick and dirty guide for what you need to start kig. It’s just about having fun at the end of the day. You can get whatever you want in outfits from anywhere with kig and still be the character you chose and that’s half the fun. If you are on a tight budget don’t rush in to the hobby please it’s not cheap even after the initial investment because you almost always want a new mask or outfit. Happy kigging

Links: Munimuni works munimuni.jp

Foam Sleep forms (example you will want to take the time to figure out your size)

Amazon link

Corset deal corsetdeal.com/ (cheap corsets for under your suit)

Various kinds of soft shapewear on amazon (for under and over corset and general use)

Amazon link

Amazon link

DAME Kigurumi (please note all their prices are in GBP) facebook.com/DAMEkigurumi/ (contact here regarding any mask inquiries) damekigurumi.com/Home (offers their skin toned matched hadatai on their website)

Ride the Pig Studios etsy.com/shop/pigdroppings (for their best deal on generic masks) facebook.com/ridethepigstudios/ (ordering hadtai and actual character masks)

Goukaou Kigurumi Studio facebook.com/gkokiggoukaou.blog131.fc2.com/?fbcli…9373qJLFeMtGWGw9ng0ZUSBOM (most ordering can be done through their website)

Open kig openkig.com

Care and Maintenance

So you've bought everything, waited untold weeks or even months, and now are in the position to have fun being a kig. But wait! There are a few things you need to know to ensure your suit remains in pristine condition.

First and foremost, if you bought a hadatai from MyWayFetish or one of their resellers you'll see that the breast forms that came with it have velcro attached to their backs, to hold them inside the breast pockets.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you be handling those with your suit gloves – the velcro hooks WILL noticeably damage them. Instead, either handle them barehanded or if you absolutely must handle them while suited up use latex, nitrile, etc gloves.

Your kig’s hair is finite so you need to be careful when brushing out your wig. Please check with your maker for their preferred brush and pay attention to details about it. I personally like to use a Michel Mercier Detangling brush (yes the as seen on TV brush) for “FINE” hair. This means the pink one usually, but you should read the box or make sure you are ordering that one.

Before you start brushing the wig out make sure you are avoiding any areas that have been glued or hard styled, You’ll eventually have to redo them, but no reason to inflict that on yourself early.

Start by holding the section you will be working on then start brushing the bottom section of the hair working your way up. This will help work out the knots in the wig without straining the hair as much.

Slowly repeat this around your wig and it should stay nice for longer and you won’t look like you have terrible hair skills. The back of the neck is very susceptible to tangling and knotting so pay extra close attention there.

If you need a little help get a bottle of Mane and Tail detangler from your local beauty supply store it doesn’t take much but a squirt or two per area to help get everything back in shape.

Now you have had your, put away your mask and have a stinky sweaty hadatai on your floor. Time to wash it. This is best done with a delicate detergent like Woolite. You can hand wash it, or you can get a delicates bag to put it in a washing machine on the gentlest cycle possible. When it’s clean it’s best left out on a drying rack or other large surface to dry. DO NOT HANG IT UP WET!!! This will cause it to stretch out over time and it will end up bunching at various points which won’t look very good.


Chapter 3

Kigurumi parts Guide


Contents

MASK

HADATAI

INNERWEAR

4 kinds of kigurumi mask

Full Custom vs Customized Semi Custom


MASK

With no doubt one of the most important things in kigurumi, since it’s what gives it its iconic appearance. As not every country got own makers, most kigs will order their masks online from overseas makers as a surprising high number of them can handle english and international shipping.

If a maker doesn't speak english or can't ship international, there's always the option to use one of several shopping services listed in the resource page. Which maker to choose mostly depends on your budget, head circumference, style preference, as well as the desired features. 

The vision is usually located in small slits inside the eyelid crease as well as in the black parts of the eyes. Generally the primary ventilation is also through the vision slots mentioned above, though it's possible to get fans added to the inside of the mask.

Another optional feature would be a locking mechanism, but it's not recommended as the slightest core warping can cause it not to function properly anymore, resulting in an unwearable mask. 

Regular maintenance should never be neglected if you want to keep the mask in a good shape. Storage should be done inside a padded box that is kept in a dark and cool space as direct sunlight and heat can cause the core material to warp. The wig needs to be brushed and detangled after every use to extend its lifespan, and styling might have to be redone once a while.

HADATAI

If you don't feel like showing your real skin, it doesn't match your mask, or if you need to hide shapewear, there are multiple options to cover your body. As the masks restrict airflow, it's important to consider that each additional layer of clothing will be a burden on your health, and therefore you should try to only cover what is necessary.

For example, if you are wearing an elaborate outfit, it's enough to wear gloves and thights, but for something like swimwear you will want to wear a proper bodysuit. 

In order to archive a smooth-looking skin, a hadatai must be tailored to your measurments, otherwise it will appear very wrinkly and ill-fitting. Generally you should have your innerwear completely figured out before ordering your hadatai to prevent the risk of poor fit or torn seams. As the base color of masks varies between makers, it's a good idea to order fabric samples first to see which fabric color option gives a good match. 

The main features that distinguish a hadatai from regular zentai are not only a skin-like texture and seamless appearance, but often also an integrated vest that functions as pockets for the breast forms. An alternative for female wearers is a 3D chest that's tailored to fit the shape of your natural breasts, however, this has the downside of an increased amount of seams in that area. 

INNERWEAR

While it mostly depends on the character, proportions in anime are often exaggerated in way that your natural curves will seem small in comparison. Due to that, kigs can wear everything from breast forms, corsets, waist cinchers, and multiple layers of padding, to nothing at all. All of this depends on the difference in anatomy between your own body and the one of the character that you want to depict. 

Different to real breasts, the cup sizes of breast forms are defined by their weight, meaning the letter will say nothing about how large they will look on your body. In general, it's possible for everyone to wear breast forms, but you will have to get the concave type in case you just want to increase the size of your natural bust. While the measurments used by manufacturers for breast forms can vary, there are some common types, which can be found here

Padding is used regardless of gender when in need of thick curves, and it's often worn in combination with a corset or waist cincher. Compression shapewear or tights are commonly used to help smooth out the padding and hide its edges. For an optimal appearance, it's essential that nothing stands out below the hadatai, and everything is in a similar color.

4 kinds of kigurumi mask

Half Head

 3/4 Head 

 

Full Head 

   Hard Hair (Solid Hair) 

Full Custom vs Customized Semi Custom

Today’s public service announcement involves the rampant incorrect use of the term “full custom” when referring to Animegao Kigurumi. To be honest, I learned talking to clients and makers that many folks aren’t aware what “full custom Animegao Kigurumi masks” refers to and how they are different from customized semi custom masks.

So allow me a mixed metaphor here, and let’s cut right to the heart of the issue (if you’re short on time, no need to read further than the next two lines):

Full Custom (Bespoke, Couture etc.) kigurumi masks are created for buyers from scratch, specifically to  fit their style, character, emotion or personality. These designs are never resold. Full Custom (in this sense)  means unique, one-of-a-kind, never to be duplicated for another client.

Customized semi custom kigurumi masks are what most people are familiar with – masks where the pre-made shell or digital sculpt (template) is set, but specific aspects can be changes (ie. Hair color, eye shape, mouth shape and simple changes of face shape in certain areas. But things like cheek or jaw structure remain generic chins). These designs are created for resale, and a single design will be re-sold a number of times.

Do I think full custom is better than customized semi custom–well, yeah, considering I’m a maker and sell full custom kigurumi masks. Do I think there is anything wrong with buying customized semi-custom masks? No, not at all. What bothers  me is the misuse of the term full custom (as it applies to kigurumi masks) by some maker, seemingly to mislead buyers about what they are really paying for. Want to know more? Read on…

What does old Mr. Webster have to say about what “custom” means?

cus·tom–adjective

– made specially for individual customers: custom shoes. – dealing in things so made, or doing work to order: a custom tailor.

Fairly loose definition, yes? Indeed. So I wouldn’t blame you for considering that every kigurumi mask out there must be custom,  since made made specifically for you, right?

Well…not so much. In the kigurumi world, full custom has a clear meaning – it refers to kigurumi masks that are designed from  the ground up (not from a template), specifically for each customer.

The issue for me arises when makers out there start claiming they are selling a full custom product, when in reality it’s not even  close to custom. Why does it concern me?

My concern is that it’s very confusing for buyers, I’m sure, when shopping for their kigurumi mask, to see the words “full custom”  thrown around on everything. Of course, those buyer think (and justifiably so, since they aren’t mask experts) that what is being  sold must basically be the same as all the other “full custom kigurumi masks” out there. And frankly, that couldn’t be further from  the truth.

How do you avoid the confusion? It comes down to the same advice I always give –educate yourself about what you are buying. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Don’t be fooled into thinking you are getting something you aren’t.

I’ll give you one very good hint: if anyone else can buy the same kigurumi mask you are, if the maker you are considering allows you to  order a specific model online or gives you a pictures for you to choose a model from, it’s not custom. Period.


Chapter 4

Some Advice for kigger


Contents

5 Tips on How to Survive a Hot and Sticky CON

Advice for acting/performing in Kig

Quality versus Price Point for Kigurumi Masks


5 Tips on How to Survive a Hot and Sticky CON

AN2016 in Toronto became a main attraction for the cosplay and kigurumi communities. Although it was a great experience for all attendees, it was actually quite hot and humid compared to last year's gathering. 

Here is my latest Ahri's Diary entry on 5 tips on surviving the heat:

1) Water - when you are in full zentai, foundation garments, padding, etc. you will inevitably sweat like a pig. I don't know where this idiom comes from considering that pigs only a few sweat glands — compared with more than 2 million in humans.

Sorry, I digress. Let's just say that you will lose a lot a water due to perspiration (which can be a bit stinky. Pee-you!! So ladies, please don't forget to apply a generous of deodorant). Staying well hydrated is a must. Water would be a key component. For those that need more calories, there are always sports drinks for considerations.

2) Caffeine - stay away from the cup of java or another swig of that dark cola. Caffeine acts as a diuretic; which means that you will need to pee more often. Again, promoting the elimination of fluids instead of retaining it.

How annoying and cumbersome it would be to keep stripping out of your entire kig outfit and then to get into it again. For me, getting dressed completely on my own is not possible without help. So, I always end up with a kig washroom buddy.

3) Sun - stay in the shade as much as possible. Yes, you'll be tempted to photo bomb everyone left, right and centre because you are wearing the most desirable and authentic kigurumi character cosplay attire.

However, you also don't want to bake in your kig ensemble either. Therefore, be aware of your body temperature. I mean, it would be pretty cool for a kig to be photographed on a stretcher in an ambulance - but that would also cut your Anime Convention time short. 

4) Air - finding a good flow of air is essential. We were fortunate that we had a booth at Anime North. Though there was not a huge bellowing breeze, I was able to find some air by sight believe it or not. Essentially I walked behind all the booths and watched how the fabric was swaying back and forth.

The more movement, I figure the more likelihood of catching a breeze. I ended parking a chair in the best possible area and even fell asleep. Apparently there are photographs to prove it..but I hope nobody will post them.

5) Take it off - as much as I love Ahri, there are times when I must really take the mask off. Having a mask on does impede your ability to breathe normally. Therefore you will at times need to find a private spot to take it off.

Advice for acting/performing in Kig

Your best tutorials will be the Anime themselves. Any videos where you can see character performing. How they move, pose, gesture. After that we can take it into the realm of how the characters would act meeting a live audience.

The best advice, would be to act their ages. Many tutorials about acting like a woman, pre suppose that you are pretending to be an adult, not a child or a teen. Look at the people around you that are about the age of your characters, and see if you can pick out certain traits to emulate, that you can add to the character.

Quality versus Price Point for Kigurumi Masks

Let's face it, when it comes to Kigging - it can and will get pricey. This art form is not without its share of financial investment. 

What hobby or club do you know of that is "free" or has little monetary investment?  

Many sports incur some sort of cost like golf - shoes, clothing, golf clubs, lessons and green fees. Video gaming has a price tag - the electricity, the game system and controllers, the internet charges, the games themselves and the hundreds of hours spent in front of a screen. 

Between the different Kig cosplay outfits, the undergarments and its contraptions, the videos and photos to learn to mimic your desired Kigurumi character, the cost of attending various global conventions (travel, hotel stay, food, convention prices), and not to mention the coveted mask - Kigging can become an expensive adventure.

Since this is my first exposure to the world of Kigurumi, I'd be lying if I told you that I knew how each of the masks are constructed and which is better. However, the one thing I do know, is when one decides to make this substantial financial investment - one better do his/her due diligence and homework.

For as far as I know, the mask is the most expensive part of your entire Kig ensemble. Buying a mask on-line, sight unseen can be really hard to do. You can rely on referrals, reviews and ratings as this helps build one's confidence in the mask maker's reputation and that they aren't going to run away with your hard earner dollars.

However, this will only lead you to making a purchase so far. The rest is based on a gut feeling unless you have been able to place several masks side by side from various Kig mask makers - touch and closely exam each piece.

I'm particularly weary of people who push other people's product - it makes me feel like a used car salesman is trying to sell me something that isn't in my best interest. I would also become concerned, if they are going to get a kick back, finder's fee and/or commission for referring me. 

I want to know that someone who refers me to the appropriate mask maker; refers me based on the mutual understanding that the mask maker would fulfill my visions and my hopes for my character and NOT just for their own personal financial gain. So what did I initially look for? Aesthetics in the masks are extremely important to me.  

The proportions of the face, the tonal colouration of the face especially the eyes, and the quality of the wig pieces. These were the initial elements that really drew me in. Again, this was somewhat hard to determine because photos are only 2 dimensional.

When I was able to see them in video form, this made things much easier for me to distinguish what I thought would be priorities in my decision making. Mask makers can generally provide you with information about their masks and walk you through the process of selecting and designing the best one for you.  

The one thing that is true in real life, and true to Kig masks - that eyes have it all. How welcoming they are has a lot to do with how others will perceive you and want to interact with you.

Therefore, I'm not into strange coloured eyes and shapes. I want people to feel comfortable approaching me because I want to interact with them. If all I am doing is driving them away, then I feel like I've missed the mark of Kigurumi cosplay.

The other component that I realize is really important is the Kig mask hair; especially for a female Anime character. 

I really love my Kig's hair!! But after seeing what a tangled mess some masks' hair can get into after the Anime North convention, I realized that not all wig hair is created equal. Likewise the placement of the wig hair on the mask head itself; in each creator's hands is not equal.

I combed and brushed many many Kig wigs that Anime North weekend. Some were easy to detangle. Others, not matter what I did, I just couldn't cover spots of the mask underneath the hair. I might write something about Kig hair maintenance when I have some time - because this can be a subject matter all on its own. In summary, I feel that wig hair is an essential component to consider when making a purchase.

Since my Ahri character has 9 tails at the back, I wanted to ensure that I could be photographed from all angles and look fabulous. I didn't want to have to worry about a bald spot on my head, or swinging my braid around and it falling out. I needed to ensure that Ahri looked gorgeous, top down and all around. For others of you, this might not be as important.

However, if your Kig ensemble has special details on the sides or in the back, then you really should consider getting a mask that can be photographed from all angles and still look great; and NOT just from the front. 

It was great being at Anime North and seeing so many masks from different makers, because it was at that event that I could start noting the differences between other masks to my own. I realized that not all mask surface finishes are equal. Mine seems to have what I refer to as a porcelain finish and flawless. Others seem to have horizontal striations around the mouth and nose areas.

I also became acutely aware that some side profiles of the mask heads didn't look balanced; especially in the eyes and upper cheek areas where it seemed to be "hollowed" out or flattened (this may be an artistic style). However, it just looked disproportional to the features of the character to me.  

I really appreciated that my padding in my mask were adjustable. This ensured the best fit for comfort on my head. Wearing a Kig head is not like getting fitted for a motorcycle helmet. There is a lot more attention to detail that is required.

My mask completed enclosed my own head. However, there are others on the market that just strap on to cover your face, and not your entire head. Again, what one chooses depends on preference, price point and what your mask maker will do.  

Since I'd never tried a Kig mask on before, I didn't have a reference point for fit, comfort, weight, padding, ease of wear ability, and breathability. I was glad to see that my Kig mask was designed to fit my body's frame. I'm not 6' tall. I'm not 180 pounds. Therefore, a Kig mask that looks natural on me was another desired goal. The talented creator also took into consideration my head proportions when it came to eye placement in the mask. This was extremely helpful because the mask maker tried to increase my visual fields by maximizing the vision ports when I had the mask on.

Generally I don't have anything negative to say about my Kig mask. I've been told that I did really well for my first time out in full gear. I would tell people to expect that the head does have some weight to it. My Ahri Kig mask has a lot more hair than I do so this was part of the additional weight experience. Hearing is also reduced because of the padding and the full head enclosure; Again, not an issue because I'm not trying to have a full fledge conversation while cosplaying. I think that these elements I will just get use to the more time I spend in character.

In summary, I would highly encourage first time buyers to do their homework and research. The saying "you get what you pay for" holds true.Therefore, buy the very best that you can because in the long run - this will keep you happiest for the years to come cosplaying your character.

There is a reason why Ferraris and Lamborghinis never go on sale. They've been around for a long time. They've put the time and effort into product development. This hold particularly true of experienced and gifted mask makers as well.

P.S.Another term that is really important to understand is the meaning of custom, customizable and semi-custom. 

Each Kigurumi mask maker may use these words differently; but some will use them interchangeably

For me, something that is "custom" should mean that it is truly a ONE of A Kind - an absolutely original and that no one else will ever have the exact same thing. Something that is labelled customizable or semi-custom means that there are elements of the mask that can be changed or modified - but the basic shell is a repeated design. 

If I pay top dollar, then I would expect and anticipate that I have something that is 100% original and unique to my specifications. It's like buying an original work of art. However, calling something that is modified off a base where you can swap out the eyes and hair ISN'T what I would refer to as "custom". 

This should be correctly labelled as customizable and semi-custom. I suppose that if one wanted to stretch the truth, yes, they could call something customizable as "custom" because the eyes and hair was changed to the buyer's request. However, I as the consumer would find this not only confusing but misleading

Therefore, always confirm and clarify what you are going to be purchasing with your mask maker to avoid disappointment.

Please comment below and let me know if I'm helping anybody out there...I'm still new to this world and welcome ALL feedback. I'll be posting pictures again really soon to this blog entry so check back later in the week. 


Chapter 5

Where to buy Kigurumi mask and parts

INTRO

Below you can find a list of all makers who accept commissions as well as other resources, detailing all information you need to know to get into kigurumi. Everything is getting updated on a regular basis, but it might happen that we miss out on some details which are not listed online. In case that happend, please feel free to shoot us a message. 

Note: If a maker is not listed here, they either don’t accept commissions, are very new and still need to be proven as reputable, or it’s a flat out scam. Don’t trust anyone popping out of the nowhere offering masks as there has been an issue with scammers using stolen photos and 3D models trying to rip people off (like My Fetish Store/Yuko Kigurumi aka Yue LeeDreamDollysNijinon Kigurumi Lab, and KiwataK).


Contents

SHOPPING SERVICES

MASK MAKERS

SECONDHAND KIGURUMI MASK

HADATAI

INNERWEAR

OTHER


SHOPPING SERVICES

A small selection of agents experienced with kig-related purchases, they are to use when international shipping isn’t available and will organize it on your behalf for a little fee. 

China – for everything Taobao: Cssbuy (IOSS) China – for everything Taobao: Sugargoo Japan – commission orders: Tenshi Japan – 2nd hand orders: White Rabbit Express Japan – in-stock orders and auctions: Zenmarket (IOSS)

MASK MAKERS

Name:Boundary
SNS:Weibo
Status: open
Language: chinese
International Shipping: via Taobao’s Forwarding Service
Price Range: 
shell: 2380-2480CNY (~375-390USD),
semi-custom “bjd”: 2980-3080CNY (~465-485USD),
agent fee and local shipping
Type: full-cast (PU)
Sizing: small
Waiting Time: 1 month
Notes: mask models are limited available only via group order, delivery in a wooden storage box, masks don’t come with wigs, additional fees for elf ears, piercings, and tongues


Name:Build Up Studio SIGMA
SNS:Twitter
Status:open(contact)
Language:japanese
International Shipping:limited
Price Range:
generic: 104.500-151.800JPY (~915-1330USD),
semi-custom: 205.000JPY+ (~1780USD+)
Type:full-cast (FRP)
Sizing:average
Waiting Time:generic 2 months, semi-custom ?
Notes:fabric covered PE foam padding, wigs are prone to frizz and tangling (less noticable in light colors), open mouths are breathable fabric, additional fees for extra eyes (10.000JPY) and accessories


Name:DAME Kigurumi
SNS:FacebookTwitter
Status:open(contact)
Language:english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
generic: 500GBP (~700USD),
semi-custom: 650-1050GBP+ (~905USD-1460+)
Type:full-cast (FRP)
Sizing:average to large
Waiting Time:1-2 months
Notes:fabric covered PU foam padding, full-lock option for semi-custom masks, offers back zipper closing, wigs are heat resistant and can be styled accordingly, additional fees for accessories, can do furry style masks


Name:Dollkii
SNS:Weibo
Status: open
Language:chinese, english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
premade “bjd”: 2470-2520 CNY (~390-395USD)
Type:full-cast (PU)
Sizing:small
Waiting Time:none
Notes:only limited premade batches, masks don’t come with wigs, latex sponge padding


Name:Doll’s Kingdom(aka Hikarinaka)
SNS:FacebookInstagramTwitterVK
Status: open + beware(contact)
Language:russian, english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
semi-custom “bjd”: 32.000-49.000RUB (~430-655USD),
semi-custom: 32.000-65.000RUB (~430-870USD)
Type:full-cast (FRP)
Sizing:large, custom
Waiting Time:12+ months
Notes:full-lock option for all masks, multiple options available, optional LED eyes, questionable quality, copies other people’s works and 3D models without permission, prone to poor communication as well as leaving people in the dark for years(att. Data, Sabine Kielhorn, Milandis Hoffman)


Name:Double Mirages
SNS:FacebookTwitter
Status:open(contact)
Language:french, english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:semi-custom: 745USD+
Type:3D print (PETG)
Sizing:average, custom
Waiting Time:6-8 months
Note:full-lock option for all masks, additional fees for accessories, can do restorations for any mask


Name:Elysium
SNS:TwitterWeibo
Status:closed(only open at new year’s eve)
Language:chinese
International Shipping:via Taobao’s Forwarding Service
Price Range:
semi-custom: 2900-4700CNY (~455-735USD),
agent fee and local shipping
Type:3D print (flesh color PLA)
Sizing:average
Waiting Time:2-4 months
Note:all masks come with a detachable face for switching expressions on the go, styled hair is glued to very visible white craft foam, full-lock option for all masks, integrated cooling system is standard, additional fees for more face pieces (800CNY) and accessories


Name:Fairy Shape
SNS:Weibo
Status:open
Language:chinese
International Shipping:via Taobao’s Forwarding Service
Price Range:
semi-custom: 2680-3680CNY (~420-580USD),
semi-custom “bjd”: 2680-6000CNY (~420-940USD),
agent fee and local shipping
Type:3D print (resin)
Sizing:small, custom
Waiting Time:3 months
Notes:latex sponge padding, full-lock option for all masks, masks don’t come with wigs, eyes are just paper Reviewby Angel Li (chinese)


Name:Goukaou Kigurumi Studio (aka GKO)
SNS:FacebookTwitter
Status: closed (until june, contact)
Language: english, chinese, japanese
International Shipping: yes
Price Range: 
shell: 550-930USD,
semi-custom: 1080-1380USD+
Type: full-cast (PU, FRP for orders placed after April 2021)
Sizing: average
Waiting Time: 1 year+
Notes: default mask color is flesh – don’t match kig pink hadas, delivery in a plastic storage box, EVA foam backside, additional fees for follow-me eyes, accessories, and hard hair


Name:Gurgle Love
SNS:FacebookWeibo
Status: open
Language: chinese, english
International Shipping: via Taobao’s Forwarding Service
Price Range: 
shell: 810-1310CNY (~130-205USD),
generic: 1148-1347CNY (~180-215USD),
semi-custom “bjd”: 1146-1837CNY (~180-290USD),
semi-custom: 1300-1548CNY (~205-245USD),
agent fee and local shipping
Type: full-cast (PU)
Sizing: average to large
Waiting Time: 2-3 months
Notes: PE foam backside, 3 skin colors to choose from (porcelain, pink, flesh), poseable eyes are standard, offers plus-size for some models, additional fees for custom wigs


Name:Heyao(aka Maniajuns)
SNS:Twitter
Status:open
Language:chinese, english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
semi-custom: 850-1580USD
Type:3D print (resin)
Sizing:small to average
Waiting Time:1-2 months
Notes:commissions done outside Taobao have heavily increased costs, full-lock and integrated cooling system is default for all masks – the later causes intl. shipping issues due charged power banks, has a history of mass-manufacturing custom commissions as generics without permission


Name:HiDolls
SNS:Weibo
Status:open
Language:chinese, english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
premade “bjd”: 1980-3560CNY (~315-560USD)
Type:full-cast (PU)
Sizing:small
Waiting Time:~1 week
Notes:Dreammask’s kigurumi sub-brand, masks don’t come with wigs, latex sponge padding


Name:Hyokkame
SNS:FacebookTwitterInstagram
Status:open(contact)
Language:japanese, english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
semi-custom: 247.500-270.000 JPY (~2170-2370USD)
Type: full-cast (FRP)
Sizing:large
Waiting Time:2-3 weeks
Notes:fabric covered PE foam padding, wigs have a felt bottom and should not get in excess contact with water, hidden drinking hole at open mouth masks, additional fees for accessories


Name:Iluca Workshop
SNS:Twitter
Status:open(contact)
Language:japanese
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
generic: 85.000JPY (~745USD),
semi-custom: 100.000-120.000JPY (~880-1055USD)
Type:full-cast (FRP)
Sizing:small
Waiting Time:3-4 months
Note:website is long dead – contact at Twitter, eyelid crease vision for most masks nowadays, additional fees for complex hairstyling


Name:Jiao Jiao de Kig(aka Mayumi)
SNS:TwitterWeibo
Status:open
Language:chinese, english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
semi-custom: 900-1900CNY (~145-300USD),
semi-custom “bjd”: 1400-2500CNY (~220-395USD),
hard hair: 4399-4599CNY (~690-720USD)
Type:full-cast (FRP), 3D print (TPU, for hard hair)
Sizing:small
Waiting Time:2 months
Notes: no padding, anime eyes are just paper, full-lock option for all masks, additional fees for elf earsand accessories


Name:Justin Bailey
SNS:FacebookTwitter
Status:open(contact)
Language:english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
generic: 600CAD (~485USD),
semi-custom: 700CAD (~570USD),
full-custom: 1200 CAD (~970USD)
Type:full-cast (FRP)
Sizing:average to large, custom (50CAD)
Waiting Time:1 year
Notes:fabric covered PU foam padding, full-lock option for all masks, optional switchable eyes, additional fees for accessories


Name:Kaga Kigurumi
SNS:FacebookTwitter
Status:open(contact)
Language:english, chinese, japanese
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
semi-custom: 650USD+
Type:full-cast (FRP)
Sizing:average to large
Waiting Time:2-4 months
Notes:two sizes available, full-lock option for all masks, optional follow-me eyes, additional fees for accessories


Name:Kefanying Aniplus(aka Sekiya)
SNS:TwitterWeibo
Status:open
Language:chinese
International
Shipping:via Taobao’s Forwarding Service
Price Range:
semi-custom: 3500-4200CNY (~550-660USD),
agent fee and local shipping
Type:3D print (reinforced resin)
Sizing:average
Waiting Time:2 months
Notes:full-lock option for all masks, poseable eyes are standard, optional LED eyes, additional fees for fans


Name:Kig Cos(aka Wyu Ri)
SNS:FacebookTwitterInstagram
Status:open + beware(contact)
Language:english, chinese
International Shipping: yes
Price Range:
semi-custom: 880-1440USD,
semi-custom “bjd”: 1000-1673USD,
hard hair “bjd”: 1500-2373USD
Type:3D print (resin-coated PLA)
Sizing:large, custom (3D print)
Waiting Time:5+ months
Notes:overly inflated reselling (scalping) of Taobao goodswhile claiming it as his own workkeeps sending out defective products and takes zero responsibility in giving refundswill slander and doxx scammed customers that got a refund from Paypaluses illegalrips of game 3D models


Name:Kigurumi Kenkyusha(aka Baidaoshan)
SNS:FacebookTwitterWeibo
Status:open(contact)
Language:chinese, english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
semi-custom: 2500-4000CNY (~395-625USD)
Type:3D print (resin-coated PLA)
Sizing:average
Waiting Time:2-3 months
Note:4 mask models available, very basic sponge padding, full-lockand belt lockoption for all masks, interchangeable eyes, responds around 1pm chinese time


Name:Kigurumi Sensei Store (aka Masuku Tsukuru)
SNS:FacebookTwitterInstagram
Status: open
Language: english
International Shipping: yes
Price Range: 
shell: 375USD,
semi-custom “Munimuni”: 550USD+,
semi-custom “original”: 720USD+
Type: 3D print (kig pink resin)
Sizing: small to average
Waiting Time: 2-3 months
Note: convulted PE foam padding, hidden drinking hole at open mouth masks, additional fees for complex hair and accessories


Name:Kigurumi Zonghezeng(aka KIGzhz)
SNS:Twitter
Status:closed
Language:chinese, english
International Shipping:via Taobao’s Forwarding Service
Price Range:
generic: 1880-2280 CNY (~295-260USD),
agent fee and local shipping
Type:3D print (PLA)
Sizing:average
Waiting Time:2-3 months
Note:only offers premade generics without any customisation options, integrated thick spandex hood for all masks, small vision inside the eyelid crease, additional fees for plus-size


Name:King Mask Studio
SNS:FacebookTwitterWeibo
Status:open
Language:english, chinese
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
generic: 3600-4500CNY (~565-705USD)
Type:3D print (resin)
Sizing:small
Waiting Time:1 month
Notes:commissions done outside Taobao have heavily increased costs, latex sponge padding, very difficult closing mechanism with the ears working as locks for all masks, barely any vision field, masks don’t come with wigs per default


Name:Kirisaki Craft (aka Koki Kirisaki)
SNS:Twitter
Status: open (contact)
Language: japanese
International Shipping: no
Price Range: 
shell: 32.000-38.000JPY (~285-335USD),
semi-custom: 100.000-198.000JPY+ (~880-1735USD+)
Type: full-cast (FRP)
Sizing: small
Waiting Time: 2-3 months
Note: commissions are decided via lottery, very small vision field inside the lashes and brows, open mouths are breathable fabric, additional fees for accessories


Name:Munimuni Works
SNS:FacebookTwitter
Status: open (contact)
Language: japanese, english, chinese
International Shipping: yes
Price Range: 
shell: 68.03-83.04USD,
premade: 165.07-188.08USD
Type: vacuum forming (vinyl)
Sizing: small to average (EX)
Waiting Time: none
Notes: masks are to assemble yourself, inside shell is prone to cracking, eyes need treatment with anti-fog spray for proper vision, vinyl can cause allergic reactions due to toxic fumes, manufactures in a chinese doll sweatshop


Name:Natural Factory
SNS:Twitter
Status:open(contact)
Language:japanese
International Shipping:no
Price Range:
semi-custom: 68.000-71.000JPY (~600-625USD)
Type:full-cast (FRP)
Sizing:average
Waiting Time:??
Notes:plastic lined foam padding, wigs are heat resistant and can be styled accordingly, sells premades via Yahoo!


Name:New Face Doll(aka NFD)
SNS:TwitterWeibo
Status:open
Language:chinese, english
International Shipping:via Taobao’s Forwarding Service
Price Range:
semi-custom: 2800-3000CNY (440-475USD),
semi-custom “bjd”: 1500-2800CNY (~235-440USD),
full-custom: 3000-5000CNY (~475-790USD),
hard hair: 5500CNY (860USD),
agent fee and local shipping
Type:3D print (resin)
Sizing:average, custom
Waiting Time:3 months
Notes:full-lock option for all masks, mesh eyes are standard, optional follow-me eyes, additional fees for plus-size and accessories


Name:Nukopan
SNS:FacebookTwitter
Status: open (contact)
Language: japanese, english
International Shipping: yes
Price Range: 
shell: 22.000-41.000JPY (~195-360USD),
semi-custom: 180.000JPY+ (~1585USD+),
semi-custom “bjd”: 264.000-275.000JPY (~2325-2420USD)
Type: full-cast (CFRP)
Sizing: small to average
Waiting Time: 4+ months
Notes: only premade shells and mask can be bought international, bjd masks come without padding, additional fees for accessories, prohibits resale of their masks as well as using their shells as base for commissions


Name:Oculi Mori
SNS:FacebookInstagram
Status:open
Language:english, french
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
premade: ~350GBP (480USD),
semi-custom: 400GBP+ (550USD+)
Type:full-cast (resin)
Sizing:average
Waiting Time:??? months
Notes:wigs are detachable by default, additional fees for accessories (horns, piercings, tongues, etc), sells premades once a while


Name:Raigeki Workshop
SNS:FacebookTwitterWeibo
Status:closed(until fall/winter)
Language:chinese, english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
semi-custom:2800-5000CNY (~440-785USD),
hard hair: 8000CNY (~1250USD)
Type:3D print (resin-coated PLA)
Sizing:average
Waiting Time:6-12 months+
Notes:regular commission slots (listing is “The Scream”) are highly limited and you will be charged the doubled amount while closed, very basic sponge padding, full-lock option for all masks, optional follow-me eyes, additional fees for glassesventilation system, and plus-size


Name:Ride The Pig Studio(aka RTPS)
SNS:FacebookTwitterInstagram
Status:closed(until december)
Language:english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
generic “pinku”: 575USD,
semi-custom: 850USD,
customized semi-custom: ~1200USD+,
full-custom: ~1600USD+
Type:full-cast (PU, FRP), 3D print (ABS)
Sizing:large, custom
Waiting Time:generic ~6 weeks, semi-custom 3-6 months, full-custom 10-12+ months
Notes: hard custom cast padding, full-lock option for all masks, multiple options available, additional fees for clip-on hair parts, questionable accuracy for anime models, poor communication Reviewby Natalie Kig


Name:RINS
SNS:Twitter
Status:closed(contact)
Language:japanese 
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
semi-custom: 300.000JPY+ (~2630USD+) – need new prices
Type:3D print (PLA, since october 2021)
Sizing:custom
Waiting Time:12-24 months
Notes:only open once a year, default mask color is beige – doesn’t match kig pink hadas, eyes need treatment with anti-fog spray for proper vision, offers back zipper closing, additional fees for accessories, can be harsh on noses (att. CorujaUTx)


Name:Shinkai Workshop(aka ChestnutZaZa)
SNS:TwitterWeibo
Status:open
Language:chinese, english
International Shipping: yes
Price Range:
generic: 1600CNY (255USD),
semi-custom: 2300-2900CNY (~360-455),
full-custom: 3200-3800CNY+ (~500-595USD+)
Type:3D print (PLA)
Sizing:average
Waiting Time:2 months
Notes:former Tuzi head staff, commissions done outside Taobao have heavily increased costs, full-lock option for all masks, optional follow-me and LED eyes, additional fees for complex wig styling and accessories


Name:Smol Art Beans(aka SAB)
SNS:FacebookTwitterInstagram
Status:closed(contact)
Language:english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
semi-custom: 300-450USD+,
full-custom: 400-700USD
Type:3D print (PLA)
Sizing:custom
Waiting Time:1-3 months
Notes:offers a wide range of natural skin shades, additional fees for hard hair and accessories, can do restorations and restyling for any mask


Name:Teitoku Workshop
SNS:FacebookTwitter
Status:open(contact)
Language:english, chinese, japanese
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:semi-custom: 8500HKD+ (~1095USD+)
Type:3D print (resin-coated PLA)
Sizing:small
Waiting Time:4-6 months
Notes:commissions are decided via lottery, offers back zipper closing, open mouths are breathable fabric, won’t do characters that were already done before


Name:Tuzi Kigurumi Workshop(aka Alice Kig)
SNS:TwitterWeibo
Status:open(contact)
Language:chinese, english
International Shipping:yes
Price Range:
semi-custom: 2500-3500CNY (~395-550USD),
semi-custom “bjd”: 2600CNY (~410 USD)
Type:3D print (PLA)
Sizing:average
Waiting Time:1-2 months
Notes:commissions done outside Taobao have heavily increased costs, full-lock option for all masks, optional follow-meand LEDeyes, follow-me eyes only have eyelid crease vision, open mouths can flap in for drinking, custom facial expressions can be hit-or-miss, won’t do any hairstyling


Name:Visia
SNS:WeiboBilibili
Status:open
Language: chinese
International Shipping:via Taobao’s Forwarding Service
Price Range:
semi-custom: 3499CNY+ (~550USD+),
semi-custom “bjd”: 3999-4499CNY (~625-705 USD),
hard hair: 4799CNY+ (~750USD+),
agent fee and local shipping
Type:3D print (PLA)
Sizing:custom
Waiting Time:2 weeks
Notes:latex sponge padding, optional movable mouth for bjd models, optional LED eyes, additional fees for accessories


Name:Yousen DollKig (aka Echo)
SNS:Weibo
Status: open
Language: chinese
International Shipping: via Taobao’s Forwarding Service
Price Range: 
shell: 1680CNY (265USD),
semi-custom “bjd”: 1860CNY+ (295USD+)
Type: full-cast (PU)
Sizing: small
Waiting Time: 2 months
Notes: only one mask model atm, masks come without wigs, additional fees for accessories

SECONDHAND KIGURUMI MASK

Places where you can buy/sell pre-owned masks, but first make sure that the listing you want to buy doesn’t consist of stolen photos.

Kigurumi Market – Facebook group
Mercari – requires a shopping service
Xianyu – requires an app to search
Yahoo! Auctions – requires a shopping service

BODY

HADATAI

Please be aware that you will need detailed measurements of your body for a comfortable fit, therefore it’s recommended to get someone to help you for an exact match.

52Zentai – bjd print
Ayame Store – spandex, thick spandex (2mm), glossy spandex, nylon, neoprene, partials
Cantillon – spandex, thick spandex (1.5mm), spandex, glossy spandex, nylon, cotton, ice silk
DAME – MWF and Cantillon spandex vendor
Goukaou – spandex, thick spandex (3mm), latex, body detail airbrush, bjd print
Joytop Latex – latex
Kigurumi Kenkyusha – spandex
Latex Catfish – latex
Moli’s – spandex, lycra, modal, plush-lined thick spandex
My Way Fetish – spandex (prone to quality issues), lycra, modal, ice silk, addon nails
Petsuit – custom print spandex and latex (with or without tails)
Visia – spandex, thick spandex (2mm), nylon, partials, addon nails

INNERWEAR

Bimei – silicone breast forms, hip and butt padding (cheaper on their Taobao)
Corsetdeal – corsets, waist cinchers
Dongguan Manmiao – transparent silicone breast forms (recommended for unusual color bodysuits)
Dame – silicone breast forms, hip padding
Hour Glass Figure – waist chincers, hip and butt padding
Mystic City Corsets – corsets
MoCoACG – hip padding, breast pocket service
Orchard Corset – corsets, waist cinchers, shapers (with detailed sizing guide)
Roan Yer – various silicone parts (cheaper on their Taobao)
Serval Sponge Breasts – latex sponge breast foams (white
True Corset – corsets, waist cinchers
Uniqlo – shapers (recommended by jp kigs)

Important: There’s been issues with silicone parts being returned by chinese customs due to restrictions on the export of “prosthesis”. If your parcel takes unusually long, make sure to check your tracking for alerts here as it might have returned to the seller.

OTHER

Miscellaneous otherwise useful links related to the creation, maintenance and storage of a kig.

Arda Wigs – wig making supplies
Assist Wig – wig maintenance goods
BeGLOSS – cleaning products for pvc and latex clothing, including masks
Captain Miaow – horns
Cubeco – resin eye molds for bjd masks
Everything Needs A Case – storage and traveling cases
Monu Dangpu – animatronic kig-size animal ears
O2COOL – necklace fans for portable cooling without effort (can be found at Walmart)
Simply Caddy – costume storage bags
Spandex World – hada fabric
SparkFun Electronics – tech (screen eyes, voice boxes, etc)
Tamiya – paint supplies
Tangle Angel – big brushes
Tangle Teezer – compact brushes
WeNext – resin printing service used by cn makers
Yibeier – custom kig wigs

If you are looking for clothing, an extensive list of shops can be found here.


Chapter 6

Kigurumi DIY

Production process

full cast

Few manufacturers now use this method, generally have switched to 3D printing, a small number of kigurumi mask not suitable for 3D printing like furry kigurumi mask will be made in this way.

3d print

Now the mainstream production method, you can make your own kigurumi mask through 3D model, and there are many optional materials, the material is light in weight, high in hardness, and the cost is easy to control.    

Kigurumi mask material

Full-cast

FRP

  • Accuracy: low
  • Abrasion resistance: high
  • Accuracy: low
  • Elasticity: low
  • Weight: high
  • Cost: low

PU

  • Accuracy: low
  • Abrasion resistance: high
  • Accuracy: high
  • Elasticity: mid
  • Weight: high
  • Cost: low

3D print 

resin

  • Accuracy: high
  • Abrasion resistance: high
  • Accuracy: low
  • Elasticity: low
  • Weight: mid
  • Cost: mid

reinforced resin

  • Accuracy: high
  • Abrasion resistance: high
  • Accuracy: mid
  • Elasticity: low
  • Weight: mid
  • Cost: mid

PETG

  • Accuracy: high
  • Abrasion resistance: high
  • Accuracy: high
  • Elasticity: mid
  • Weight: mid
  • Cost: high

PLA

  • Accuracy: mid
  • Abrasion resistance: high
  • Accuracy: high
  • Elasticity: low
  • Weight: mid
  • Cost: low

resin-coated PLA

  • Accuracy: mid
  • Abrasion resistance: high
  • Accuracy: high
  • Elasticity: low
  • Weight: mid
  • Cost: low

TPU

  • Accuracy: low
  • Abrasion resistance: mid
  • Accuracy: high
  • Elasticity: high
  • Weight: mid
  • Cost:

ABS

  • Accuracy: mid
  • Abrasion resistance: high
  • Accuracy: high
  • Elasticity: low
  • Weight: mid
  • Cost: low

Nylon

  • Accuracy: high
  • Abrasion resistance: high
  • Accuracy: high
  • Elasticity: high
  • Weight: low
  • Cost: high

DIY

Here you will find helpful links related to the creation, maintenance, and storage of the various parts of a kig.

CHARACTER

Name Generator 

Design Creator

MASK

3D Printing 

Water Sanding 

Prevent and Fix Damage 

Faceup Sealing 

Backside Pattern

WIG

Creation (glued) 

Creation (detachable) 

Dyeing Ahoge 

Detangling 

Fix Static

EYES

Print Templates 

Sunglass-Type 

Glittering

HADATAI

Measuring 

Patterns 

Cleavage 

Tea Dye 

Corset Piercing 

Maintenance

PADDING

General 

Breasts 

Hips

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