Featured image credit by ごじゃるん (Gojarun) via Pixiv
There is a rather common (and understandable) trend of kigurumi always being of the licensed variety whenever they showcase really bizarre and unusual designs. After all, the uniqueness of these onesies is naturally inherent, at least compared to the average ones we already know.
But, that's not always the case. As everyone can already logically expect, weird and wacky kigurumi is simply all about making them as eye popping as possible. Even if it is a typical animal-themed one, if the animal itself is rare enough, or the design is distinct enough, it will be able to stand on its own.
In fact, they might look so distinct, that some of them might actually be mistaken for licensed kigurumi.
Monsters and dinosaurs are apparently the same
Image credit by ksk (かそく) via Pixiv
The age old confusion that many illustrations seem to still do from time to time. The more frustrating part of this? Artists seem to just universally agree that if it is a green reptile-like thing standing on two legs, it is a monster, no questions asked. Not even an official item listing from the sellers themselves would convince them otherwise.
The obvious culprit to this, of course, is none other than Godzilla. The radiation-mutated Japanese Jolly Green ingrained into the minds of the older public that standard kaiju are reptiles and insects by default, only at an incomprehensible scale than measly humans. Green dinosaur standing upright? Nah, it's a monster. A literal monster in the form of an ogre? Nah man, that's just a movie licensed kigurumi.
Image credit by KOUGI via Pixiv
Yep, monsters. Absolutely not dinosaurs at all.
Designs of creatures (things?) that don't even exist
Image credit by comaco via Twitter
Unsurprisingly, mythical kigurumi forming a good portion of the number of available onesie products today is a trend that is completely inevitable. Especially if these animal-themes are just one or two steps away from their real-life counterparts. In fact, we can simply treat every one of these technically as a color variant, albeit occasionally sporting really crazy patterns.
What is quite peculiar though, is that unicorns, common as they may be for real-life kigurumi... is actually pretty absent in Akiba-kei artistic depictions. Like, they never even appeared once at all. And that is despite horse and other equine-themed kigurumi having appeared numerous times on other primary sources. As for what the reason is, we really don't know. Unicorns are basically the giveaway equivalent for "creatures that don't exist" as far as literal descriptions are concerned.
Image credit by 燕 / ən via Pixiv
Then again, mythical is but a metric of plausibility. Some artists may have simply taken their fantastic ideas towards a different direction. And for us, kigurumi peons at least, we kind of already know that there are lines which probably should not be crossed.
Licensed-like, but-not-actually-licensed kigurumi
For a more balanced level of wackiness in a kigurumi, there are also those designs that are so unique, they kind of seem like licensed somehow.
Okay that was confusing.
What I meant to say, is that the design has this weird divide between licensed and not-licensed. Yet, the initial impression of it still leaves you with a lingering thought that it might be licensed after all. For example, a certain tiger(?) kigurumi that is built like a sports jersey. Or worse, a kigurumi product that literally has the name of a specific dragon on it.
To be fair, the sample shown above is actually licensed (if it would ever appear as an actual kigurumi product). But within the wearer internal lore at least, the design is as generic as it gets, only meant to reference the nickname of the (original) character.
Thankfully, for other seemingly licensed kigurumi designs, there really is nothing to lose. The uniqueness sets them apart instantly, and they're usually not restricted to the rules and time limitations of typical licensed kigurumi.
Kigurumi with non-hand, non-paw special appendage sleeves
Yes, we finally end the initial discussion on weird, but not licensed kigurumi with the obligatory special sleeved kigurumi. I know, I know. It's essentially a cheat. But, what can I say? The cheapest, simplest way possible to make a kigurumi almost instantly unique (to the point of looking licensed) is to just choose an animal-theme that would make the sleeves be different.
Birds are the default idea in mind when it comes to these. But, visually speaking, sleeves shaped like wings are just... over-extended sleeves, to be honest. That's definitely nothing compared to any of our deep sea buddies who truly enforce unique sleeve designs on kigurumi onesies.
Image credit by 神岡ちろる (Kamioka Chiroru) and ながユー (Nagayuu) via Twitter and Pixiv
Of course, this is never really limited to just non-vertebrates. So long as the anatomy is crazy enough to forego open sleeves, then it's always a welcome addition to this list.
... do external hand things count, though?