The Doll Cosplay That’s Making an Impression on Japan
Back in the early days of J-List, I read a book called the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, which contained such gems as “it’s always best to be first in a product category” and “if you can’t be first in your category, invent a new category you can be first in.” It’s impossible to create the first taco shop in the world, but when Ralph Rubio (a senpai of mine from San Diego State) went to Baja California in Mexico and discovered fish tacos, he was able to create the first American fish taco shop, which became a chain of 200 restaurants built around the delicious food.
And so it might be with Hashimoto Lulu, the “ball-jointed doll cosplayer” who is taking Japan’s fashion world by storm. Animegao kigurumi — which entails a full-head mask so that you completely become the character you’re cosplaying — is not new, and there are many fans who practice it (including more than a few J-List customers). But Lulu-chan has taken it to the next level, creating a Dollfie style ball-jointed doll cosplay that looks so real, you want to perch her on your shoulder. She’s a model making waves in Tokyo’s fashion and cosplay world, and says she wears her doll cosplay regularly in public, even on the train. What would you do if you saw her riding the train with you? We have Lulu-chan’s doll cosplay photobook here, and her Japanese Twitter is here.
As a student of the anime industry, I do my best to observe the various trends, including changes in how anime is made and distributed. Back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon for series like Gundam to go on for 49 full-length episodes, essentially running all year long. Now that there are so many shows competing for fans’ time, series are usually 1-cour (12 weeks), and all too often run at a shortened length, 12 or even 3 minutes long. If you’ve wondered why so many anime movies keep being made, it’s because movie theatre releases are more profitable for studios, allowing them to create an “event” that will pull fans in while safeguarding against Internet piracy. The producers of Space Battleship Yamato 2202, the remake of the classic “Comet Empire” arc from 1979, made the decision to do exclusive movie theatre “event” releases in lieu of TV broadcasting, holding limited releases at 20 theaters in Japanese cities, then releasing the Blu-rays. While it might give the studios more income and keep Internet piracy away, the near-complete lack of memes and other online “buzz” about the episodes on the Internet has me concerned that the strategy might not have been a good one. We’ve got the first two discs on the site now, along with many other products, so check them out.
J-List has dozens of brand new doujinshi and Touhou products released at the recent Comiket 92, and to celebrate, we’re having a huge 5x points promotion, making this the best time to browse and buy our new products.