Ah yes, cat kigurumi.
In our last top list discussion, we came at a realization just how overwhelmingly prevalent they really are in every possible direction, nook, and cranny of the anime realm. Almost as if the whimsical feline form is showing us a near-perfect representation of the holy and revered deities of the internet.
In fact, we have just begun skimming the surface of its entire reality. In this article, I would like to present to you the five essentials of cat kigurumi that is almost (seemingly) universal in any anime that they randomly pop in.
1. Complementary Pairs
Why settle for one, when you can have both? If there is one type of animal kigurumi onesie that would feature a matching pair (barring any specific licensed stuff), it would almost always be a cat kigurumi. Sometimes one, at more opportunities both. Obviously, there would consistently be a design incentive, to keep the two kigurumi color schemes or basic design separate. But in certain occasions, the exact same kigurumi can be worn by the two characters on screen.
Situation-wise, the presentation of such cat kigurumi pairs would entirely depend on the context of the specific anime that they appear in. But there would always be a constant element of polar opposition. Not just for the aforementioned kigurumi color schemes or designs. But the actual state of mind or personality of the characters themselves.
The personality flipping quirk even extends to pairs where only one kigurumi is a cat kigurumi. For example, dog x cat kigurumi pairs would often show two indirect rivals, or two characters with wildly different "intellectual aptitudes" (hint: the dog usually gets the shorter end of the stick).
2. Disposition, Temperament, and Nature
The idea of matching the animal-theme of a kigurumi to a certain character is definitely not new or even surprising. But for the stereotypically aloof, moody, and lazy felines, the requirement to match a fictional individual's personality somewhat becomes more common.
The first and foremost rule, of course, is to match the character's laziness. The lack of "activity inertia" is, more often than not, the biggest determining factor whether the series would throw a kigurumi on a specific character or not. Second is fickleness. Unpredictability plays really well into these situations, with even more bonus points if the cat kigurumi wearer could maintain their lazy ass deadpan delivery with absolute sense and perfection.
Of course, it's not always just being moody and lazy. Sometimes, simply the wild and rowdy attributes of hyperactive cats can be used to amplify the impact of a character wearing a kigurumi.
Well, to some extent at least.
Then again, turning the personality dial way past acceptable levels would often result in cat kigurumi being skipped altogether, with a different kigurumi probably taking their place for a better match.
3. Black is Obligatory
But not everything about the popularity of cat kigurumi is about deep personality analysis, or even setting complementary backdrops. Sometimes, the series just wants a good ol' classic black cat kigurumi onesie into the mix. Why black? Black is cool and edgy, I guess.
But seriously, in the same manner that black can easily look more formal than white clothing elements, a black cat kigurumi would also be able to combine cool and cute elements in just one single package. Well okay, in that regard they're not always pure black, but you get the point.
Although I don't know, maybe the statistical popularity of black cat kigurumi really is just more of a coincidence. Because color-wise...
4. Wacky Colors are Eye Poppers
Real-life domestic animals are a colorful bunch, whether they are bred naturally, artificially... or even supernaturally. Famous cats in literature, such as the Cheshire Cat, might originally have a realistic fur color when first introduced. But in time, more and more updated representations show them in wackier and fancier colors, giving rise to the fantastical nature of their existence within their respective stories and legends.
In fact, even in our own humble shop, there is no shortage of whimsical themes that represent our cat kigurumi in colorfully alternative ways. The now-elusive Pastel Dream Cat, Rainbow Kitty, or even your friendly household Lucky Cat.
So yup, anime don't even need to present cat kigurumi with realistic colors. Almost any color will do, so long as the combination isn't too lame, or is essentially complementary. Either to each of the colors used, or to the characters wearing the kigurumi themselves.
Add extra points if the cat kigurumi also happens to be a licensed kigurumi, whether in-universe or here IRL!
BONUS: They Can Just Go Wild
Lastly, to end this list of cat kigurumi essentials, we shall briefly glance into the final element that is directly related to cats themselves: the wildness factor. Because, surprise, surprise, their larger carnivorous relatives can also be considered as cats, and thus cat kigurumi.
And so, we shall leave two simple examples here. The first specimen is none other than Jaguarman herself. Literally wild in more than just the sense of the word, maybe even beyond her mental capacity. The second is the lovable brother of Jiro, the honest and straightforward Koma himself. This time sporting a cheetah kigurumi, and accompanied by the actual real thing (a bit later).
That makes it one of the rare cat kigurumi pair to directly wear part of themselves, don't you think?