Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fuzz and Fur Japans Costumed Characters Impression

Fuzz & Fur: Japan’s Costumed Characters introduces readers to one fun and very interesting aspect of Japanese culture.

Edward and John Harrison have done a ton of leg work in compiling this very unique (first volume?) of the Japanese obsession with costumed characters known as kigurumi. This collection gives a bit of background as well as the focus of the book which is not on every costume out there but mostly ones with regional ties. So what’s this lovely hardbound collection offer fans of costumes, Japanese culture and yes, us anime and manga fans? Let’s look at the content.

Introduction – What great content and in so few pages. Readers get a quick background on the trend of kigurumi, some easy to understand relations (hello Mickey) and why it all began. Success breeds copy cats and when it can be done on the cheap, why not? The popularity is unique but not unlike any collectible … but in this case it’s large costumed characters. The outline of this rise in popularity and history is interesting and a great lead into the chapters to follow. Some basics are provided on creation so aspiring fans here in the States can take a few notes to get started.

Chapters – Seven chapters outlining nine regions. Length varies but each chapters shows off nice high quality pictures of characters with name (English and in kanji) as well as stats (age, likes, sex, etc) and a description, background. This is the meat of the book and great reading and will make readers want more. Every character has such a unique background, history that it’s amazing an idea like this has not caught on in other areas. Think, in the United States every high school, college, sports team has a mascot. Imagine if every historical building, setting, business and towns had mascots, ones that competed in annual competitions … yeah it would be epic and it’s a reality in the land of the rising sun. Great content.

Overall Fuzz & Fur is one enjoyable, amazing, vivid and detailed read that fans of Japan, all aspects, owe it to themselves to checkout. Kigurumi for goods, historical figures, regional birds and trees, everything. A unique book that’s only beginning to touch the surface of an unusual trend that should be duplicated.

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