The "Is this a pigeon?" meme

Character Name: Katori Yutaro
Series: The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird
Specifics: a badly done version of what he wears in a scene in episode 3 because I was making the meme
Cost: ~$25
Time: 1 week
Started: May 2018
Completed: May 2018
Debuted: Anime North 2018



Click the thumbnails to see the full-sized images!

Photo credits: Kris Byers Photography, maobaby, Straywind, DTJAAAAM, and genkiboyss

Costume Information

Why I made a pigeon meme costume:

So a few weeks before Anime North, I was lying in bed one night, sad about the fact I didn't have enough time to make a new costume when the though hit me: I could cosplay the "Is that a pigeon?" meme. Immediately, I started brainstorming how to make the costume. I got increasingly excited and giddy the more I thought about it, and that's always a sign of a good cosplay idea.

How I made my pigeon meme costume:

The meme is based on a screencap from episode 3 of the 1991 anime, The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird. So I started by looking up what this character, Yutaro Katori, looked like and then ignored most of what I learned because I wanted this to be a quick, fun costume.

I started by going a local second-hand clothing store, and lucked out completely by finding a long jacket in a similar style and the same color as the one Katori wears in the anime. It even had shoulder pads, which was perfect. However, the jacket was four sizes too big on me. It was HUGE. I ended up just sewing a seam down the back of it to make it look less baggy. I also folded up the sleeves. The jacket still looked over-sized but that worked for the broad shouldered look of the character. (I also originally planned to donate the jacket back to the second-hand store afterwards so I wanted any alterations to be super easy to remove.)

I had a red dress shirt in my closet. The light yellow shirt I also found at the second-hand clothing store.

The glasses were a pair of reading glasses I bought and popped the lens out of. The frames were originally grey and my friend, Adrien, spray painted them black for me.

As for the book, it's a hard-cover novel I made a dust cover for. I found the perfect shade of red paper in a paper bag in the basement, and cut it up to make the cover. Friends helped me translate the title of the book (it says "encyclopedia", if you're wondering) and I wrote the characters for it on a piece of cardboard I glued to the new dust cover.

I really wanted to make sure the "pigeon" looked great. I started by studying screencaps, but the butterfly's body honestly makes no sense in the anime, so I made my own interpretation of it.

The butterfly is mostly made from craft foam I cut out and carefully painted with black paint makers. I used white paper I colored in with pencil crayon for the little spots in its wings. My favorite part is the antenna I made out of two sewing pins I bent into shape, painted black, and glued on.

The butterfly is attached to the inside of the top of the back of the jacket using wire from a hanger. After experimenting with different lengths of wire at different angles, I hot glued the butterfly to one end of the hanger. The other end of the hanger I twisted into a flat loop I secured with duct tape and hand-sewed the loop to the inside of the back of the jacket.

The "caption" was fun to make. I blew up an image of the caption and printed it out. I rubbed pencil onto the back of this print out, and used it like carbon paper to transfer the image of caption to another piece of paper. I colored in this text with sharpie and cut it out.

Adrien used a table saw to cut a piece of plexiglass out for me the size I needed. It happed to come with holes, which worked out perfectly for me. I used packing table to attach the text to the plexiglass and used embroidery floss to turn the caption into an oversized necklace.

The wig is my old Van wig I hastily styled in two minutes as I was rushing to con.

As for the bottom of this costume... I honestly didn't care. I was planning to wear this costume at Anime North, where it was going to be very hot. I didn't even bother wearing pants, LOL.

And that's how I made my pigeon meme costume.

The unexpected reaction to my pigeon meme costume:

I was not expecting my costume to go over as well as it did! When people spotted me, they said things like, "OMG, it's the pigeon meme!" and "Holy shit! You win the con!"

Also, maobaby took a photo of my costume and posted it to their twitter account. At time of writing, that tweet has 40K likes and 117K retweets! (!!!!!!) Photos of this costume were also posted to many other websites, including imgur, and went viral there as well!

I was with friends at con when my costume went viral, and they made sure the whole experience was fun and hilarious. For example, while some of my friends were reading aloud and giggling at comments people were leaving on my photos (so many people were talking about my arms, LOL), another one of my friends handed me a "viral meme award" she hastily made me out of a napkin.

Needless to say, this pants-less costume was a ton of fun and I'm happy I made it. I love how it makes people laugh, and how it gives me an excuse to use my repertoire of silly facial expressions.

« Back to the Costume Gallery