He’s a man in wolf’s clothing — and proud of it.
Japanese engineer Toru Ueda likes to wind down from a busy week with a drink just like anyone else. But rather than heading down to the local watering hole, he likes to entertain at home — dressed up in a giant wolf in a suit worth 3 million yen [$23,000 USD].
According to the Tokyo-based professional, his obsession with animals stems from wanting to escape from the general hassle of being a person.
“When I wear my costume I feel I’m no longer human,” the 32-year-old told The UK Times. “I’m free of human relationships. All kinds of troubles, related to work and other things — I can forget about them.”
Ueda had his suit made last summer by Zeppet, a company that makes costumes for television and movies. Their costumes span from monsters and robots for sci-fi and horror films to animal suits for children’s television programs.
Ueda exchanged more than 40 emails with the team and they had over three face-to-face meetings, in which he showed them images of his dream suit and finer details, like the pattern of the coat and texture of the fur. Although he wanted the human-sized suit to be as realistic as possible, he also requested it allow him to walk normally, according to The Times.
The company that created the lifelike suit also made headlines in 2022 for a man-sized border collie suit, which is reportedly worth $15,400.
The company also produces lifelike replicas of people’s pets, with prices ranging depending on the size of the dog.
A smaller dog, like a Chihuahua, will set you back $2,300, while a larger dog — like Great Dane — would be closer to the $3,500 mark.
Although cosplay is incredibly popular in Japan, Ueda said none of his friends dress up and he generally doesn’t wear his furry frock to gatherings with other cosplayers.
For Ueda, the costume gives him a power that he doesn’t feel like he has in everyday life.
“When I look in the mirror, I see a wolf, and that is very moving,” he reflected. “I’m not a werewolf — that’s a kind of monster, and I am not a monster.”
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.