Kiratto Pri-Chan's four-year stint as the sixth-generation title for the Pretty series certainly was an entire rollercoaster of events for its fans. In case you have forgotten, we already featured the series at least once, in perhaps one of the fluffiest blog posts that we have featured yet on this website.
Now, I won't profess to be knowledgeable in the intricate workings of this long-running idol anime series. In fact, just me mentioning them so casually and in a very limited perspective may already be blasphemous for most of its avid viewers. But there is one thing that I at least want to show that is directly related to the topics that we mainly feature in this blog: its numerous kigurumi references throughout the years.
Well, the title already spoils it away anyway, so come with me and take a short road trip along this series' atypical affinity towards kigurumi. Inherited, from none other than the first Pretty series' of course!
It all started with an idea. No really. The first appearance of something resembling a kigurumi was during the eighth episode of Kiratto, within the creative imagination of Emo (eh-moh) and Mirai. Nothing stands out here too much, as it is just your average rabbit-themed kigurumi, very similar to what our previous Usagiyama lady had been wearing during a promotion for a certain amorous occasion.
No important context in here either, it was just random idea slapped into the head of the hapless, and understandably irritated Rinka when they were brainstorming for new trending show concepts.
Our next encounter after that, would be with a kigurumi type-A (mascot style) outfit at the latter half of the first season. Yes, type-A, and not really the casual onesie, but at least the broad definition still counts. The costumes were intended to be used as material for a show concept when Miracle Kiratts members were helping out Arrows member Ayumi Hanakura.
We'll just leave this one as a short mention for this blog, as it is outside the bounds of the kigurumi that we regularly feature.
But perhaps the biggest, and most influential appearance of a kigurumi in the entire show was Mel Shido's signature penguin kigurumi. That's right, this rather eccentric member of the Meltic StAr channel has the most number of appearances wearing such an outfit. In fact, we should probably make an exclusive scoop just for her, don't you think?
Mel's legendary penguin first appeared in episode forty-five. This was when the huge announcement of Anju's apparent retirement was revealed, setting the entire world into chaos as to what she was planning to do next.
Even though Mel was just perplexed as the other Pri-channel idols, our purple-haired dork seem to have kept her cool (figuratively and physically?) wearing the penguin kigurumi. She even managed to blabber several ideas in an attempt solve their predicament throughout the episode. This then culminated into a hug from Anju herself during the episode's climax while still wearing the exact same suit!
The next appearance after that was further back during episode sixty-two. It... wasn't exactly a proper appearance, more like a momentary cameo. The context was for a chronicle-type presentation showing Meltic StAr members in an "around-the-world" segment . Yup, this time Anna and Sara are also donning the penguin kigurumi for a shot in their Antarctica scene.
Lastly, it was during episode eighty-one that we saw the final appearance of Mel's signature kigurumi. Again, this was only a brief cameo though, appearing inside the Halloween-themed obstacle course that pitted Ring Marry against Oshama Tricks. From the looks of it, it seemed that she was able to perform her duties as a distraction quite well.
We also have the addition of Rinka in another part of the course wearing some sort of marine animal (merman?) kigurumi so, I guess that's a double reference for us.
As for the previously featured fluffiest kigurumi episode, it was one of the rarer instances that the real-world standard mouse (not hamster!) kigurumi was seen in its brightest and most prominent appearance. That, and counting all the other sheep kigurumi littered throughout its entire scenes.
Looking back at this oddly hefty-ish reference list, I can't help but think if the idol genre (as a whole) is a magnet for kigurumi appearances. After all, this series is hardly the first one that featured them throughout multiple episodes. We've seen quite a number of characters within other idol series become eventually associated with a kigurumi one way or another. Some even extending well outside the boundaries of animation and into other types of media.
The way these kigurumi pop up also didn't seem to always be associated with performances and show appearances. Even the first Pretty series merely presented kigurumi onesies as a casual thing for a pajama party. Well... with the obvious exception of team Green Leaves, of course, where the idols themselves are directly associated with their signature representative animal (theme).
Then again, other appearances did not exactly recreate the same level of detail and thematic consistency as with most of the iconic kigurumi moments we've already come to expect. In fact, the bigger mascot-type ones featured Kiratto are technically far closer to the onesie design we all know and love, at least compared to this particular weird image above.
Ah well, case in point the kigurumi adventures in this latest Pretty series was delightfully tasteful, something to definitely take note of, if not remembered in its entirely.
And hey, Melmel's penguin kigurumi is colored black!