The furry fandom blends creativity, self-expression, and stellar imagination. One of the ways members of this fandom showcase these attributes is through fursuits.
A fursuit is a furry costume to represent an anthropomorphic animal character. The animal may be real or taken from folklore (i.e dragons, protogen etc.). While some fursuits cover the whole body, others only cover some parts, such as the head or arms.
Many furries wear fursuits to social events within their community. These costumes are a way for the community members to express themselves. Fursuits may be handmade or bought, with some costing as high as thousands of dollars – more on this below.
Here’s where things get even more interesting. There are many types of fursuits, some more realistic than others. The Kemono fursuit is a common type, catering to anime-inspired furries.
Does the mention of anime pique your interest? We’ve got more for you below.
What Is A Kemono Fursuit? Characteristics and Styles
To understand what a Kemono fursuit is, you should first know what ‘Kemono’ means. It’s a Japanese word that translates to ‘beast.’ Kemono fans are called Kemoners and wear Kemono fursuits. Think of Kemonors as the Japanese equivalents of Western furries.
In many ways, these fursuits resemble Western furries’ costumes. But there are a few differences.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Kemono fursuits, inspired by Japanese lore, have anime-style eyes. They also have shorter muzzles than Western fursuits. The Kemono fursuits are inspired by moe and kawaii styles, unlike Western fursuits that take inspiration from American cartoon characters and have longer eyes and noses.
Most Western fursuits have claws, hooves, or claws instead of human-like hands, depending on the animal the fursuit is portraying. Meanwhile, Kemono fursuits have human-shaped feet and hands.
Many Western fursuit makers have also been influenced by this style. That’s why you’ll find some Japanese-style fursuits in Western stores too.
Rounded Head Contour
Another notable characteristic of the Kemono fursuit is the rounded head contour. It doesn’t matter which animal you’re portraying; the head contour is rounder than Western-style fursuits.
Plain Facial Features
Kemono fursuits are designed to give smooth and plain facial features. The eye-to-head ratio is also large, with spherical acrylic in scleras. These give the eyes a glossy appearance, helping make the impressions delicate.
Most Kemono fursuits have a reserved impression. Many of them are made in a way that they look clumsy, innocent, or cute.
Finding plantigrade (flat feet) legs in a Kemono fursuit is rare. The majority of these costumes are digitigrade (walking on toes) fursuits.
Since the legs have a lot of padding, moving around with the fursuit can be hard. The wearers also have less control and precision over their movement. They also have to wear larger accessories and clothing when dressing up.
Kemono Fursuit Head
Image via SkyeHigh Studios
How Much Is A Kemono Fursuit?
Kemono fursuits come at a hefty price point. For one, they have a ton of padding that adds to the material cost. Two, they require a certain level of accuracy that only skillful makers can master.
Keeping this in mind, the high price point is justified. On average, Kemono fursuits range in price from $500 to $2000, and even higher if you choose a custom design. Amazon has quite a few options starting at $700.
AliExpress also has Kemono fursuits in this range. The plus point is that you’ll most likely get free shipping, regardless of your location.
But if you have a few extra thousand bucks to spend, you can get custom fursuits made. Kemono Kapi makes custom fursuits starting at $8,000. Partials, such as tails, paws, and heads, begin at $3,600. Meanwhile, if you only need the head, it will cost $2,600.
They also make pinata specialty suits and complicated asymmetrical fursuits. Both types start at $10,000.
What’s The Difference Between Kemonomimi and Kemono?
If you keep up with the news in the furry community, you must have heard about how angry the Kemoners got at the release of Kemono Friends. It was a Japanese anime that showed Kemoners with human-like features – something the Kemoners abhorred.
They argued that the characters in the show were Kemonomimi rather than Kimoners. That brings us to the question: how do the two differ?
Kemonomimi is a term for characters with animal-like features, such as a tail or ears, but with an otherwise human appearance. The word translates to ‘animal ears’ in Japanese. Kemonomimi characters are common in manga, cosplay, anime, and video games.
These characters are depicted to be charming and cute – sometimes even seductive. They can be based on many animals, including rabbits, foxes, cats, and dogs.
The main difference between them and the Kimoners is that the latter dress in full animal costumes and focus more on accuracy rather than cuteness. They do not have a human-like appearance as the Kemonomimi do.
Where Can I Buy A Kemono Fursuit?
There are several online places to buy Kemono fursuits. You can either buy a ready-made fursuit or commission a custom one. The former doesn’t give you much personal style liberty, but it is cheaper.
Meanwhile, customer Kemono fursuits are more expensive but let you choose everything from the fabric to the style and details. Some popular websites where you can buy Kemono fursuits include the following.
Koshka Fursuits is an excellent place to commission a Kemono fursuit if you’re on a budget. Mini partials start at $1500, partials at $1700, and full partials at $1900.
A full-body plantigrade costs you $2700 or higher, while a full-body digitigrade costs $3000. Koshkafursuits also commissions parts, such as heads at $1000, tails at $250, hand paws at $250, and feet paws at $300.
The prices increase with the complexity of the style. You can choose from realistic, cartoonish, or anime-like designs and get the suit delivered to your doorstep.
Lemon Brat is another website where you can commission all kinds of fursuits, including Kemono fursuits. The price of a full fursuit starts at $5,000. So, it’s a tad bit more expensive than Koshka Fursuits.
But there’s a lot to choose from in terms of variety. Lemon Brat can make the following details for you:
- Crests, bangs, full hair, or mohawks
- Horns, spikes, and scutes
- Minor gradients and airbrushing
- Expression variations, such as removable grump brows and eyelids
Do note that Lemon Brat does not make duplicates of characters other individuals own. They also do not make realistic fursuit designs or use extensive airbrushing.
If you only want to buy heads, they average between $2145 and $2645. Feeling a bit nerdy? You can even add glasses – removable or static – to the heads.
But if you’re on a tight budget, you can get only tails from Lemon Brat. Tails start at $165 for tuft to knee-length designs. Knee to ankle length tails cost a little more at $300 or higher.
Do you want to go all out? Opt for a dragging tail at $400.
Kemono Kapi is fursuit heaven for Kemoners, but their fursuits can break the bank as they cost $8000 to $10000 or higher.
The best part about Kemono Kapi is that they can design a Kemono character for you if you do not already have one. The artistic liberty fursuits are of the following types:
- Guided Artistic Liberty: You can suggest a species, personality traits, color palette, and characteristics, like hooves or wings. Kemono Kapi then designs the character based on your suggestions.
- Full Artistic Liberty: You do not have to give any suggestions. Kemono Kapi will make the character themselves. You get to see the character after you pay your deposit.
- Blind Artistic Liberty: It’s like full artistic liberty, but you do not get to see the fursuit after paying your deposit. Instead, you only see it when it’s delivered to your door.
Kemono Kapi also sells air tags and fursuit head travel bags for Kemono fursuits. If you already have a Kemono fursuit, you can also get updated parts for it.
For instance, a padding update will cost you $500, while adding suspenders will cost $100. Similarly, eye dome replacement, eye replacement, and shoe addition cost around $100 each.
If you’re interested in buying ready-made Kemono fursuits, Etsy is a reliable place. Many talented furry and non-furry artists sell their creations on the platform. Some creators also sell parts like tails and hand paws.
The Dealer’s Den
The Dealer’s Den is a fursuit marketplace where you can buy pre-owned fursuits. While you may not be able to find the exact fursuit you need, you can save a lot of money by buying second-hand. If you’re a bit creative, you can get parts from different fursuits and make your own.
Full Kemono Fursuit
Image via Amino Apps
What Other Types Of Fursuits Are There? How Do They Compare to Kemono Fursuits?
There are many fursuits, such as plush, toony, and realistic fursuits. Toony, plush, and Kemono fursuits fall in the abstract category, while realistic fursuits are closest to how animals look in nature.
Here are some common fursuits and their comparison with Kemono suits.
As the name implies, toony fursuits resemble cartoons. They have exaggerated body features and heads with colorful patterns that you wouldn’t see on real-life animals. Some common traits of these fursuits include:
- Exaggerated Body Parts: Besides the heads, the noses, snouts, limbs, oral structures, ears, and eyes are also exaggerated.
- Padding: There’s a lot of head padding, which helps enhance these fursuits’ facial expressions and features.
- Soft Materials: Toony fursuits are made of soft materials, like cotton and foam. While they look bulky, they’re lighter than Kemono fursuits.
- Leg Styles: You can find both digitigrade and plantigrade styles of toony fursuits.
They differ from Kemono fursuits in their appearance. While Kemono is influenced by Japanese anime, the toony style takes after Western cartoon characters.
Plush suits are human-sized animals made from soft materials, like polar fleece and mink. They also have a great deal of padding and filler, so they appear chubby and stubby. The wearer cannot grab objects since the finger and toe digits are joined in these fursuits.
Plush suits often have Kemono head styles with big and round eyes. They also have a lot of fur, which makes them look cuddly and adorable.
Realistic fursuits look closest to how real-life animals look. These fursuits follow natural physiological appearances even when made for fictional animal species. Their common traits include the following:
- A small eye-to-head ratio
- Adequate size of body components
- Usable claws and hands
- Padding resembling actual muscle structure
- Plan and neutral colors
Most of these fursuits have non-plantigrade legs. The wearer can walk around easily. People who make realistic fursuits are knowledgeable in animal anatomy, advanced materials, and natural scale/fur patterns.
Since these fursuits require higher accuracy, you’ll notice that the commission periods for them can be pretty long. They also cost more than the other types of fursuits.
But they’re the ideal pick if you want to combine fursuits with human fashion. Since these fursuits have a smaller head proportion, you can fit human attire in them. They also have plain facial expressions that are easier to maintain.
Another Full Kemono Fursuit
Image via Twitter
If you’re an anime fan, you can also enjoy the same artistic vision in your furry lifestyle. The Kemono fursuit combines the kawaii and anime characteristics, allowing a blend of cuteness and realism.
The Dealer’s Den, Lemon Brat, Etsy, and FursuitCostume Store are the go-to places for Kemono fursuits. However, these fursuits tend to be expensive and can range up to $10000 if you prefer custom designs.
But there’s no limit to self-expression when it comes to Kemono fursuits. From colorful patterns and intricate expressions to humanistic features like glasses and sick-pack abs, there’s a lot you can do to stand out.