Man by day, wolf by night (and weekends). Japanese engineer, Toru Ueba, 32, has a very particular hobby and a very specific way of escaping from everyday life. For the young man, nothing better to have fun than putting on his giant wolf costume.
An impressive transformation allowing Toru to feel “other”. For this, the man did not hesitate to spend a small fortune in the design of his most realistic costume.
Free to forget everything
His obsession with animals stems, according to Toru, from his desire to free himself from the general problems that humans have. “When I wear my suit, I feel like I’m no longer a man,” he told the New York Post. “I am free from human relations. All kinds of problems related to work and other things, I can forget about them,” he continued. His giant wolf costume, Toru had it made during the summer of 2022, by Zeppet, a company specializing in the manufacture of costumes for television and cinema.
To arrive at the final result, Toru exchanged more than forty emails with the team and also had three face-to-face meetings during which he showed them images of his “dream costume”, including details of the design and fur texture. Another request from Toru, if the costume should be as realistic as possible, it should also allow him to walk normally.
If the company usually develops costumes for watches, robots for science fiction and horror films, or animal costumes for children’s television programs, it was not surprised by this most original request. Indeed, in 2022, she had already made a human-sized border collie costume worth $15,000. Having also specialized in realistic replicas of pets, prices vary according to the size of the dog. For example, a Chihuahua costume will cost around $2,300 while a Great Dane will cost around $3,500.
The power of a suit
Although cosplay is extremely popular in Japan, Toru claimed that none of his friends were into it and that he himself never wore his costume to cosplay gatherings. According to him, this outfit gives him a power, that of leaving his daily life. “When I look in the mirror, I see a wolf and it’s very moving,” he explained. “I am not a werewolf. He’s some kind of monster and I’m not a monster.