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Japan’s ‘Living Dolls’ are cute and creepy at the same time

There’s a very thin line between cute and creepy. And some people in Japan are really walking that line.

The new trend of Kigurumi is making waves online for its odd ability to bring anime characters to life. Think of it as a kind of extreme cosplay, wherein participants dress up as “living dolls”, complete with masks, allowing them to take on the appearance of their favourite iconic characters.

If you were Japan, you could very well walk down the street and see someone like Lulu Hashimoto, a living doll character created by a designer by the name of Hitomi Komaki.

Dressing up as Lulu, which Komaki insists is not fetish-related, requires more than just makeup and clothes – you need a full face mask to truly make it Kigurumi.

Some will find that footage oddly disturbing. Others may find it strangely arousing. It’s not hard to see why Hitomi Komaki feels the need to clarify that it’s not a fetish thing – it can be unsettling for many people seeing it for the first time.

But this isn’t a subculture confined to seedy red light districts and online chat rooms. In fact, the character of Lulu has become something of a mainstream celebrity, even doing televised talk show interviews like this one:

Not only that, Lulu also has more than 24,000 followers on social media. So this might really be breaking through into the mainstream, at least in Japan.

I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting to see this on the streets of Australian cities, though. Unless you want to be the brave pioneer who is the first to start the trend. I think I’ll pass.

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