Thursday, March 1, 2012

This doesn't make sense, Japanese people! (ここが変だよ日本人) Cosplay edition

The title of this post is taken from a pretty old Japanese variety show that I used to watch when I was little (I was in 新潟 "Niigata" for elementary school). The show basically takes a group of foreigners and fire them up for a discussion about what they think is weird about the things Japanese people do.  My dad used to call the show the うるさいshow (annoying show) because the people on it always yell at each other for no apparent reason other than cultural differences.

Anyhow, I'd like to take that idea and discuss something that I thought was weird about Japan in terms of cosplay.  Many of you have probably seen this phenomenon if not heard about it.  It's called Anigao (アニ顔) literally translate to Anime Face.  Yes, it's the face masks that I'm talking about, the ones where (mainly) girls wear to make themselves look more like anime characters.  If you have somehow fallen off the face of earth and have never seen a picture of this, here it is.
Picture taken from Ascii.jp
Yes, that's a regular female wearing a mask that makes her look like an anime character.  I don't really know how this is perceived by my readers, but I think it is freaking creepy.  I understand that cosplay is about wearing costumes that will make you look like a certain character, so this idea of wearing an anigao mask is very....feasible (?).  However, something inside me finds anigaos repulsive.  Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, so I will respect it if you say that you enjoy seeing/wearing anigao.  

Anigao is usually worn with a fleshed colored bodysuit (kigurumi) that imitates perfect skin and the lack of...joints? XD
You can see from this picture that she/he is wearing a layer of...skin

Now, this is not even the weirdest part of this whole thing.  What really put this whole phenomenon on top of the others in terms of weirdness has to be the price one pays to obtain one of these masks.  How much would you spend on a mask for cosplay?  $10? $50? maybe even $100? Well, ladies and gentleman, these masks cost more than the 80GB PS3s, around $800.
they are made out of...silicon?
Even the blank ones that you could paint for yourself are around $500.  If you think I'm lying, go to this website to check it out yourself.

Now, why are they so expensive?  The only reason I can think of is that since they are all customized to fit each person's face, each time a new mask needs to be made, a new mold also needs to be made.  But a price around $1000 is still high.

There are very few anigao cosplayers outside of Japan, but I did find this one tutorial that teaches you how to make the masks and some other details behind the whole phenomenon.  Here it is!

The final thing I have to say about anigao is that it does embody the idea of perfectionism within cosplay.  Even though I think it is creepy, I do respect people who spend that kind of time and effort for cosplay and have to endure way more judgement from than the rest of us.

What's your opinion of anigao cosplay?

Until next time,
Mimi

6 comments:

  1. relevant: http://www.cracked.com/article_18867_5-creepy-ways-humans-are-plunging-into-uncanny-valley.html

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    1. whoever did this didn't do their research at all. The entire section about Ulzzangs are bullshit. It almost feels like this person is bashing Asians. "rage face"

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  2. Oh god not uncanny valley...

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  3. I wouldn't mind one of those bodysuits.. But the heads freak me out 0.o

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    Replies
    1. I totally agree. Actually saw one this weekend...it was pretty creepy looking.

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  4. It looks funny and attractive to me 0u0

    ReplyDelete

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