Yup, you read that question correctly.
As we all know, fauna or animal-themed kigurumi is the typical and universal type of kigurumi. If it's a creature that exists on Earth, there probably is some twisted way to turn their designs into kigurumi. This also applies to fictional ones, such as Pokémon, other licensed characters like Yoshi and Rilakkuma, or even imagined ones, such as one very popular interdimensional horror entity.
As such, it is quite natural to think that its opposite counterpart, flora or plant-based kigurumi, should also be quite possible. In fact, as we have seen through our blog entries (refer to our legendary image above), the theme could be just as consistent as the onesie design that we are all familiar with.
Unfortunately, plant-based kigurumi, at least the ones bearing that look and feel of a standard onesie (since you know, these exist), is virtually non-existent. But why exactly is that, though? I mean, variety-wise, plant-based costume themes can be just as versatile as animal-based ones. Since you know, it's not like plant-based characters in popular fiction are lacking in signature physical features.
1. Inconsistent Section Emphasis
Normally, a kigurumi theme is designed with the entire body of the motif in mind. In other words, all body parts are typically included. This is pretty consistent as well as intuitive for most vertebrate-based builds, be it a bird, a fish, a reptile, or even something very close, like a mammal or a monkey.
But this actually goes even beyond what is technically considered as anthropomorphic. For example, Gudetama kigurumi will still have the entire design of the egg incorporated from top to bottom, which will be recognizable immediately to those who know the character.
For plants though, the situation is different. When you think of "banana" kigurumi, do you imagine the tree herb body, or the edible fruit berry part? Perhaps both? Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind, is the banana itself. So the kigurumi will adopt its motif.
But how about something a bit more distinctive, like grapes? Are you more likely to think of its viny structure than just the small round edible bits? Do you use a single grape, or pull an entire bunch? What about other types of grapes? Are you going to combine the support structure as well?
So as you see, there is a disconnect between trying to take the entire motif of the plant, instead of just picking and taking the most prominent parts. And this, we believe, is part of the reason why plant kigurumi aren't as prevalently designed with the signature onesie build in mind. Either the entire fruit (design) covers the person whole, or your appendages are sticking out like some sort of creepy stick figure or vegetable PSA character.
2. Anatomical Incompatibility?
Closely related to the subject of thematic inconsistency is the fact that... fruits and vegetables just aren't anatomically made for a kigurumi onesie. At least when we compare them to pretty much all the kigurumi we had available in the store at this point.
For one thing, there is always this odd focus on keeping the fruit's shape as constant as possible. For example, the big round body of an eggplant won't be compressed, or a purple kigurumi onesie (with some green, leafy design up top) wouldn't just pass up as an "eggplant" kigurumi. The entire thing has to be seen as a whole, or else it wouldn't be considered as an "eggplant" costume.
This then puts us to the aforementioned situation of exposed appendages, where they usually just stick out of the costume. While it is indeed thematic, we highly doubt that it's going to be anything that's practical for a kigurumi home party, let alone something that you can comfortably sleep with.
I mean, sure it's possible. But Kyouko's tomato kigurumi exists, so why the hell don't we just go with that?
Okay, okay, we did almost forget to mention the elephant in the room. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this even in the animal kingdom, the octopus being the one that sticks out the most. Even though it's not a vertebrate, it still has its share of different kigurumi onesie designs and configurations that definitely puts it snugly into that category.
But indeed, why? If an octopus kigurumi is always designed with a onesie motif, why not do the same for a cabbage? Or an orange? or a dragon fruit?
And just to reconfirm, fish and aquatic mammalians don't count as they are also vertebrates. They still form the basic foundation of torso-plus-four-limbs that makes a kigurumi onesie design inherently compatible.
Even... if some depictions of these kigurumi do tend to keep the fins/flippers proportionally consistent to the main body.
3. Not Cute or Cool Enough
Okay, this one is somewhat subjective, since any kigurumi design can be sufficiently cute or cool depending on your preferences. But generally speaking, fruits, vegetables, and all other plants in general don't really evoke any default sense of coolness or cuteness...
... in my opinion.
Rabbits and wolves, for example, are stereotypically accepted within the cute and cool categories respectively. You may have alternative designs that tweak the cool n' cute meters a bit. But for the most part, it would land on either side of the intensity scale.
Most flora, on the other hand, are hard-pressed to evoke the same sensation to potential kigurumi wearers. Likely seriously, if completely on their own and without any modifications whatsoever, are carrots cool, or cute? How about squash? Watermelons? Can we even evaluate the likes of roses, mangroves, or birch trees in such manner?
4. Not Enough Licensed Characters?
And as a consequence to all of the issues listed above, the number of licensed plant-based characters that can be efficiently reconfigured into a kigurumi onesie becomes very limited. Conceptually, Piranha Plants are good candidates to perfectly represent Venus flytraps, but so far no official licensing from legitimate franchise sources are available at the moment (we're usually left with the unofficial, unlicensed ones floating online).
Even if there was anything official, there is a high probability that there would be a strict requirement for the body structure to be easily "anthropomorphable". This is for easy identification and configuration with the rest of the body parts to the onesie design. I mean, even the Pokémon kigurumi extraordinaire himself chose a Bellossom for his plant-based (grass-type based!) kigurumi, which still had distinct, human-like qualities.
Should there be more licensed character-based plant kigurumi onesies? Definitely. The ideas are actually kind of awesome. There probably only needs to be some sort of popularity threshold that needs to be broken, before the authorities that be finally approve its mass production.
Oh yes, and before some can even ask... no.
Bulbasaur-themed kigurumi does NOT count as a plant kigurumi.
Mean, Green... but Yet Unseen
So as wild as the potential may be for plant kigurumi onesies to flourish (pun intended) in the near future, they're just not there yet. It may be a corporate mystery, but at least we still have the likes of Kyouko, and other fictional characters hinting at the idea. For now, we'll have to "settle" for the myriad of kigurumi choices that we already have. We'll let the anime realm cook up a few more ideas before we can try to physically harvest them all up.
... Though we'll still need to carefully filter our potential choices, of course.