A doller is a cosplayer who performs a variant of kigurumi cosplay. The face is fully covered with a mask, usually meant to look like a human cartoon character, and the costume of the character is worn. In Japan, most cosplayers refer to this style as (アニメ顔 - animegao, or "anime face"). 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.
At the hobbyist level, the characters in question are almost all female, and commonly human, although kigurumi characters of other races and genders do exist, including male (such as Kenshin Himura from Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X), 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). Another cosplay motive may also be the desire to emulate a given anime character in exact appearance and personality. Other cosplayers have developed their own characters.
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. Nonprofessional animal kigurumi cosplayers (also known as "fursuiters" mostly by furries), painstakingly make detailed heads and bodies from foam, plastic, wire, artificial fur, and other materials. In animegao kigurumi, the performer playing a humanoid anime character wears a flesh-coloured body suit (known as a zentai) 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 such as Build Up Studio SIGMA or Dolphin Factory.
As with other kinds of cosplay, many hobbyists have costumes of established characters from games or animations. Though this term originated as a translation of アニメ顔, the original Japanese term is not used to describe masking based on anime characters. Instead, the term 着ぐるみ (きぐるみ, kigurumi) is used by most performers.
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- Kigurumi Online
- Kigurumi Cosplay Society
- Kiki Feegata, "A brief History of Western Kigurumi", Kigurumi Online, 10 August 2015.
- Mask Creators
- Japan: Ayame Stores (あやめ商店), Build Up Studio SIGMA, Karasuzu, Kyoto Alice Workshop, Iluca
- Canada: Justin Bailey's Kigurumi and Props
- Hong Kong: Kaga Ki
- Malaysia: Kwonder
- Russia: Doll's Kingdom AG
- Taiwan: Goukaou GKO
- United Kingdom: Charming Kitsune Kigurumi Studio
- United States: Ride the Pig Studio