Spriting away with Chihiro in Hayao Miyazaki's masterpiece Spirited Away, No-Face (also known as Kaonashi) is an iconic character from Studio Ghibli. As a complex character in Spirited Away, No-Face has intrigued me, and I sought to bring him to life in an approachable and relatable way.
The mysterious figure of No-Face is a signature character in the crowd of characters Hayao Miyazaki brought to life through Studio Ghibli. Bringing the ghostly figure to life as a gift to one of my best friends was an honor and a challenge. Working to create a cosplay for someone brought up new challenges for scaling, durability, and balance considerations.
Giving a Spirit Emotions
No-Face, being a complex character in Spirited Away, expresses several emotions during the course of the film. The goal with this cosplay was to give him an expression that allows him to express multiple emotions depending on how he is viewed. Depending on the viewing angle, No-Face can express emotions such as sadness, confusion, happiness, or fear.
To create the face portion of this cosplay, a custom piece of molded acrylic was made. This acrylic was made to specific dimensions to accommodate No-Face's facial elements, while providing space for the user to look out from behind the mask through the mouth. This acrylic was hand-trimmed and fitted on a hard hat for the final product.
Adjustable Mounting for Comfort
The face shield for this cosplay was mounted to a hard hat to allow for full customization of the costume fit. As the whole costume is mounted to the hat, it was imperative that comfort and weight distribution were of priority to prevent strain on the user's neck. By balancing out the load of the acrylic with the head dome, maximum comfort was achieved while maintaining a tall appearance.
Bath Tokens are a Must
No-Face is not complete without the iconic bath tokens that he gives to Chihiro. These tokens were made to scale to the ones seen in the movie and were hand cut and painted, giving an authentic appearance and feel. Each token is unique and is made using wood and acrylic paints.