In a few previous blog posts, we have dedicated ourselves to introducing a few notable guest fictional characters, which observably have a better "affinity" for kigurumi than most ordinarily featured ones.
And we're not just talking about those who wear just one kigurumi as a signature costume like Yuna and Kaede. We're talking about characters that seem to have an entire wardrobe of kigurumi to themselves. They might have one kigurumi that they wear the most, but still appear with different others as the game progresses, or as the series episodes go by.
In other words, a "kigurumi meister" (as I often personally refer to).
Well, here's another one. In terms of the variety of occasions that she wore a kigurumi, she might just be the most eccentric just yet.
Ichihara Nina is one of the youngest aspiring talents of the Cinderella Girls team. While the primary team members of the agency focuses more on performances, she and her other young talents are often assigned to various entertainment genres (at least in the anime adaptation). You might often see them in variety and talk shows, for example, or do exclusive stage performances on primetime entertainment spots.
Putting her main career aside, though, her obsession in kigurumi is quite unlike any character in the series that may have comparable character quirks. So, despite her rather standard design, she immediately stands out from the crowd even for people unfamiliar with The iDOLM@STER series. In fact, her love for full-body animal costumes is very much her signature debut style, and would consistently be incorporated into her public appearances and performances.
Some of her most recognizable kigurumi variations include:
Rabbit kigurumi - Huh. That's strange. The other kigurumi fanatic we featured before also had a rabbit-theme for her most recognizable kigurumi. Anyway, when introducing Nina's kigurumi hobby, this is the one that is shown the most often. I guess in this regard rabbits do provide a more distinct impression than the more prevalent cat and bear-themed stuff.
Wolf/Dog kigurumi - oddly enough, Nina seems to prefer more canine than feline themes for her kigurumi. This goes beyond kigurumi actually, as you can also see some of her hooded costumes themed similarly as well. Hmm, can we refer to this as "sheep in wolf's clothing?"
Blue Panda(?) kigurumi - a weirdly designed kigurumi that doesn't exactly resemble a panda in its entirety, but merely the hood. It may as well be an in-universe franchise character due to just how distinct its design is when you compare it to a standard kigurumi onesie.
Image credit by レギュラ～ via Pixiv
Cow kigurumi - not actually an official staple for her lineup, at least according to what can be shown by her character CGs. Somehow, though, fanart of her wearing one keeps popping up on various image archive sources.
Image credit by 日下氏 (ゆっきー) via Twitter
Of course, there are also various other themes and combinations, though not as popular or as signature as any of the aforementioned themes. Or, it would only be seen once, and often the artwork would be conceptualized and drawn by her fans instead.
Okay, now back to Nina's character. Despite her relatively young age compared to other talents within the same agency, she is often shown to be quite steadfast and determined. At the very least, she does not seem to mind external opinion, so long as she can deliver the best performance than she can.
This might help explain why she can frequently wear kigurumi even during the most serious occasions that makes them potentially inappropriate. I mean, if she can wear her favorite fluffy kigurumi at a freaking board of directors meeting, then she can pretty much wear kigurumi anywhere and anytime.
As for the other talents within the Cinderella Girls team... perhaps we can discuss their existence with regards to our love of kigurumi some other time.