Cute Kawaii anime girl characters are a popular choice for costume parties and conventions. Still, with so many different series and movies out there, it can be next to impossible to decide which character to choose. Japanese “cute” fashion has evolved into various forms: Yami-kawaii (sick-cute), Guro-kawaii (grotesque-cute), Ero-kawaii(sexy-cute), and many more. Once you decide which niche of cute you’re going for, it may be a little easier to decide on a character. Do you prefer the classic cute look, or are you looking for something with a little more edge? You can mix cute with sex appeal, pain, even the things in our nightmares.
“Cute” Japanese fashion is a very complex cultural phenomenon that likely traded a plethora of inspiration with anime artists throughout the years. Yami-kawaii is an exciting and increasingly popular sub-genre of kawaii amongst Gen-Z youth. The appropriation of pain and suffering within kawaii fashion creates a visual representation of “sugar-coating” things, as we would say. Gen-Z has become increasingly aware of mental health issues, and Japanese culture is at odds with this. It’s impressive to see such a large group express themselves through fashion in such a direct way. It is essential to know where your fashion inspiration comes from when it’s from a different culture. These are our top 5 cute cosplay ideas right now.
5. Enma Ai
Creepy can be cute too; Guro-kawaii fuses cute style with scary and gross motifs. Enma Ai from Hell Girl appears a pretty young schoolgirl, but she is well over four hundred years old. She also burned her entire village to the ground after returning as a vengeful spirit. Her appearance reflects the age that she died. She is in charge of taking people to Hell in the show, which is pretty scary, but her red eyes give that extra spook-factor. Red-colored contacts would be the perfect accessory for this costume, but if that’s not your thing, red eyeshadow looks very spooky under the eyes and has a similar effect. If you already have long, dark hair but don’t want to commit to cutting bangs just for the fit, you can get a clip in bang piece! A black hairspray is also an option if your hair isn’t dark. Enma Ai is the cosplay for you if you want a little more edge with your cute aesthetics.
For those of you who may prefer more sex appeal, Erza is very Ero-kawaii in her signature bunny costume. Erza from Fairy Tail is very confident in her body and comfortable with being sexy, making her a super hot costume choice! However, Erza, in her usual attire, is a little too sultry to be considered cute; she has very revealing clothing with tight, feminine silhouettes. Her bunny suit gives her the cutesy contrast needed to make her a little sweeter. The shiny faux leather creates a plastic, toy-like look. The plush tail would pair well with fluffy bunny ears. A red wig that goes past your hips would pull the look together entirely, and extra blush on the cheeks and nose will accentuate the Yami-kawaii aesthetic she already exudes. If you get cold quickly, however, this may not be the most practical choice. This cosplay doesn’t exactly cover much skin. Our next selection has some layering for those of you that live up North.
If you find yourself drawn to the concept of Yami-kawaii, Kanna Kizuchi might be your character. She is a character in Your Turn to Die, an interactive story game. Yami-kawaii focuses on mental illness and depression. These topics are taboo in Japan, and Yami-kawaii came out of that suppression. It juxtaposes sadness and pain with cute motifs. Kanna Kizuchi’s cute school girl attire contrasts with the strange metal bucket and screw clips on her head. She also has a strange metal collar device. “…I was coming home… with my big sister… We were eating ice cream… We were just walking along and talking… about what to have for dinner… …Suddenly… some scary people came out from a black car parked on the road…” This quote is her monologue when you meet her. She is outwardly frightened and timid, and her personality is very passive and fearful. If you want to add some extra accessories, a bandaid across the nose is a classic Yami-kawaii motif. Her hair is disheveled and a strange, lemon yellow color. The green paired with yellow gives her a sickly, vulnerable appearance, and that may not be your thing! That’s okay; there’s three left on the list.
Aries from Fairy Tail has a classic cute aesthetic, also known as Yume-kawaii. This style is based on all things girly. Soft pastel colors and fluffy fabrics are a staple, and plush animals are a classic accessory. Aries has all of these elements in one. Her fluffy collar is not only cute; it doubles as a scarf on a chilly evening. Soft cotton material makes up the entire dress and collar. Her horns aren’t necessary and would look so cute as mini pigtails instead! Pink hairspray is a great alternative to wigs if you have short hair. The thigh-high socks included would look amazing with white platform shoes. The cosplay is more simplistic than most, but some people prefer that anyway. Our next choice is a little more complex.
1. Chibiusa Tsukino – Our Top Choice!
From her fluffy pink pigtails to her knee-high pink boots, Chibiusa radiates cute. Her attire has graphic heart detailing, ruffles, and pleats. This costume is our top choice because Chibiusa embodies all that is girly and cute. Her nickname means “little rabbit,” and her interests include pudding, pancakes, and the color pink. Pink hairspray is an excellent alternative to a wig if your hair is long! It will also keep your hair stiff so that you can recreate her intricate styles. It also wouldn’t hurt to throw some hearts on your cheeks for that extra kawaii vibe. A fun way to make your costume pop is with a crinoline under-skirt to achieve that cupcake silhouette. You can find these at your local Halloween store, and they can also be DIY’ed at home with a quick trip to your local craft store. Throw one of these on under your costume, cut to the desired length, and you’re good to go!
Cute fashion and anime are both such exciting artforms in Japanese culture. Infusing the two into a cosplay can be done in a million different ways. With endless amounts of characters and many “cute” aesthetics, the possibilities are simply endless. Our top choices are just the tip of the iceberg.
Otaku USA may earn a small commission on purchases made through links on this article.