Otaku USA Magazine
Closet Cosplay: Japan Rules Halloween Again with Mundane Costumes

Japan's Jimi Halloween tradition lives on in 2020

Picking a Halloween costume is an important decision. Should it be something you personally enjoy, or something other people will get? Should it be current or classic? Funny or impressive? Back in 2014, partygoers in Japan offered up another option, in the form of Jimi Halloween.


An Understated Celebration

Rather than monsters and movie characters, “jimi” (“mundane” or “sober”) costumes feature people you see in everyday life. The tradition takes the form of a live event, hosted by quirky news site Daily Portal Z. With proper attention given to health and safety, the event went on for 2020.


A shopper doing the best he can with a cheap shopping bag

A shopper doing the best he can with a cheap shopping bag (from @dailyportalz)


The “mundane Halloween” concept is fairly straightforward. You’re looking for the tiny quirks of daily life. Maybe it’s a type of person you see every day on your errands. Or maybe it’s an experience you’ve personally had. The clincher — what makes these ideas work — is that they’re something personally relatable. Costumes from previous years include managers in training and sleepy people receiving Amazon deliveries.


Everyday Life

There also seems to be a lot of focus on shopping. Bad shopping bags or forgetting shopping bags. A basket being too big, too small, or absent altogether. A lot of these involve regret… again, pretty relatable.

Guy who showed up for the wrong Daily Portal Z event

“Wait, I thought today was HEBOCON” — a different Daily Portal Z event (from @dailyportalz)


And for Halloween 2020, there are a lot of timely costumes, as well as people cosplaying from home. We love this “weird Zoom glitch” one:


Man who cut himself shaving

A man who cut himself shaving, but it’s all right because his mask covers it. (from @dailyportalz)



Why We Love It

The appeal is in the concepts. Many, like the perennial favorite “person whose ID badge is backwards,” wouldn’t even appear to be costumes. It’s the explanation that drives them home. In that respect, Mundane Halloween is a little bit about connecting with people through humor. Costumers highlight the things we know, see, and relate with. And even if you’re not caught up on this year’s films, you can still understand what you’re seeing — on a much more personal level.

So we’re closing out on a personal favorite, and one that will resonate with a lot of anime fans. Last but not least, here is “Man Who Can No Longer Wear His Favorite Shirt Because of Demon Slayer”:

Man who can no longer wear his favorite shirt because of Demon Slayer

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.