It’s not often that a piece of clothing makes you feel sick to your stomach, but this one does, and not just because it’s creepy as hell. The bizarre suit has become a topic of conversation on the net in Japan and abroad, and if you look at the response, it seems readers are not enjoying the visual effect whatsoever, calling the body sock “a nightmare,” “too scary” and “an offense to Ghibli.”
This reporter came across it while surfing the Web and I was just going to surf right on by, but with some strange power, it pulls you in, forcing you with some incomprehensible magnetism to look at it. It’s hard to say what the attraction is, but it’s definitely creepy.
The body sock covers you completely, even your face. Two ovoid ears are stuck to the top and a face comprised of, yes, a nose, and three whiskers on each side are painted on. Is it a mouse? Yes, I thought it must be some kind of mouse-man. But wait… those triangular, boomerang-shaped marks on the chest look awfully familiar.
What the-! It’s Totoro, the character from Studio Ghibli’s famous movie! Is this some kind of cheap knock-off?
“What monster would turn our nation’s plump and lovable Totoro into this deeply creepy abomination?” I thought. Upon closer investigation, I was shocked to find that the suit is actually made by a Japanese manufacturer. Oi!
The suit is available for purchase on the fashion site Milanoo.com, where it is advertised as “a multicolored Lycra spandex body sock of the manga character Totoro.” At 3,525 yen (US$40), I’m not sure whether to call it cheap or expensive, but as it’s unisex, I suppose you could consider it for a sexy Valentine’s Day gift. (shudders)
But the weirdness doesn’t end there. Along with a bunch of pictures to the left of the item description, the sales page features a Flash video of the suit in action. With trepidation, I wondered what kind of action could possibly be presented in the video, but in the interest of journalism, I clicked on it…
What. The. Hell.
For those who are interested, please take a look for yourselves. But we can’t be held responsible if the image haunts your dreams.
And there’s one more inexplicable thing. The body sock is called “Totoro-esque”, but it’s listed in the category for mice. Totoro was said to be some kind of forest spirit, not a rodent! Get your facts straight.
The site offers a wide array of other body socks, including a “sweet anime bear” that looks suspiciously like Rilakkuma and an “interesting Mario” that you might agree vaguely resembles the famous video game character. I suppose there is some humorous appeal to these weird suits, but let’s just say that I wouldn’t want to meet someone wearing one while walking alone in a dark alley. Hell, I wouldn’t want to meet one even if I was with a group of people at high noon.
[ Read in Japanese ]