Quadsuits, Fursuits, and Gijinkas—an Overview
Quadsuits, fursuits and gijinkas. All three are cosplays people like to do, and they also take lots of planning, crafting and sewing. After all the work that goes into making these types of costumes, they always look amazing and beautiful. I shall explain more about each of these costumes below.
I shall start out with the more complex of the three costumes, quadsuits. These are animal costumes, with just one person inside. The front legs are usually stilts that the costume maker puts their arms in to give the impression on longer legs. These quadsuits take so much time, from 2 months to about 8 months to complete and cost a lot of money to make. I am actually in the process of making my own quadsuit for the first time ever. The outcome is always totally worth the money and time spent to make them though. They are quite big as well, seeing as how there is a person inside. Also, be respectful to the cosplayers and do not ride a quadsuit. Doing so could damage the costume as well as injure the person inside. Its harder then it looks to be in a quadsuit.
Characters and Construction
Picking up with the quadsuits, I shall go more in depth as to how they are made and the characters that are usually portrayed. Lets start with animals/characters. I've seen tons of wolf quadsuits, some better then others but its still a wolf. There are more different ones out there though. Some people make Pokémon quadsuits. Some Pokémon I've seen are Rapidash, Arcanine, Entei, and Absol. Kirara from InuYasha is another I've seen. Someone even went as far as to make a quadsuit of the Forest Spirit from the movie Princess Mononoke, which I must say is very creative. There's also quadsuits of bears, dragons (Toothless), lions, sabre tooth tigers and more. If it has four legs, it can be made into a quadsuit. Now on to the construction. Of course one of the main materials is fur. Now from what I've learned, the best way to make your suit is to first make a ducktape dummy, which is when you put on old clothes you don't wear anymore and tape over them in the position you want, then you just cut yourself out of the dummy, stuff it with newspaper or rags and tape the cut. That will be a great base when you start the padding and furring. The padding is when you use foam to give shape to your suit, like making the legs look not so human. Depending on the animal or character, you may need to pad your shoulders, back and butt a bit to make the proper shape. The head is always fun to make. You have to figure out if your going to be seeing out the eyes, mouth or neck. The neck is for the animals with longer necks such as the Forest Spirit. Use foam to mold the face and decide if you want the mouth to move or not. As you can see, a lot of effort, time and sewing goes into making a quadsuit.
Now onto the next, fursuits. These are kinda like quadsuits, except the person inside is standing instead of on all fours. If you go to anime convenitons, you can usually spot a fur group, usually wolf like creatures. Some make Pokémon as well. Fursuits do not need the stilts like on the quadsuit. Unlike the quadsuit, fursuits arent as complicated to make, and are the most popular to see at cons. The people inside are also very friendly and love to have fun in their fursuits. There are also some that just make the head, paws and tail, then wear regular clothes. These are called partial suits.
Now before anyone says anything about the picture above being stolen, it is of me and my friend at a convention. Im the Rapidash and shes the Bellossom. Our friend did a mini photoshoot for us.
Now onward to the less complicated cosplay, gijinkas. Pokémon characters are the most seen as gijinka. Gijinka is pretty much taking a Pokémon, and thinking of how it would look as a human, and putting together the outfit. Gijinkas are very popular and quite comfortable. The clothes and outfits used vary, from body suits to shirts and shorts. People get quite creative when designing humanized Pokémon cosplays. The Pokémon with wings (Articuno, Lugia, Zapdos, etc.) are always great to see, since the wing design varies from cosplayer to cosplayer.
Do not judge someone who is in a quadsuit or fursuit as a furry. Not all of them are furries. Some people enjoy making the costumes, seeing the costumes out and about at cons, and appreciate the art of them. Respect fursuiters and quadsuiters. They put tons of time and work into making them. I will also repeat that it is best NOT to ride a quadsuit, as it could damage the cosplayer inside ot damge the costume itself. If you do want to pose by sitting on a quadsuit, get persmission from the cosplayer first. Gijinka also deserve respect, so do not pull on the tails, wigs or ears. Also, don't go up to a fursuiter and call them a furry without asking if they are one first, its just rude.
All in all, no matter the cosplay, cosplayers should respect one another and just have fun!