Donki, Don Quijote, Donkey Hotel—whatever you want to call it—is a place of wonder; a magical retail labyrinth overflowing with everything you’ve ever needed. And plenty of stuff you definitely don’t.
Donki is not just a place to buy your groceries, pick up strange beauty inventions, exchange your cash, chat with robots and ride Ferris wheels. It’s also an excellent place to pick up a last-minute Halloween costume. While Donki shines bright all year round in its garish yellow blue and red glory, the fact is especially true during Japan’s spookiest season: Halloween.
If you’re reading this now in preparation for Thursday’s antics, to be honest, you’re pushing your luck if you think you’re going to nail an excellent Hollywood-grade costume.
But if you’re going to fail, you might as well do it spectacularly, because a “so bad it’s good” costume is always better than an “OK” one.
We assumed that Donki’s shelves would be jam-packed with terrible costumes, so to test out the theory we went to Mega Donki in Shibuya, one of the most hectic outlets in the country. This is what we found formatted in a very subjective list which goes from bad (number 13) to worst (number 1).
We’ll keep the analysis short and sweet because with these choices there’s somehow both too much and nothing to be said.
13. Giant poo man/emoji poop
This costume stinks. If you wanted to become the (questionably), popular Unko (poo) Museum personified, this is the get-up for you. If you do want to wear it, be sure to prepare for the “your costume is shit” jokes. The only person who’d choose to wear this and think it’s going to be funny is the guy who says the same one line about getting shitfaced all night. At least you’ll be warning people to keep a clear distance by wearing your personality as a costume.
12. Scared radish
This one is bad but actually so good because it hits the peak Japan trifecta: (1) It’s food-related. (2) There are cute illustrations. (3) It makes no sense. This costume is ready for prime-time panel TV.
11. Club Queen but also Police
When you love to party, but also love being a law-abiding citizen and low-key want to be a ballerina.
10. Pocket Shiet
Yeah, ok this was probably just an unfortunate spelling mistake, but man, it’s impossible to read without thinking of Clay Davis from HBO’s The Wire. If you’ve never seen The Wire, then you can ignore this admission because you probably think it’s shieeeeeeeeeet.
9. Not quite Mike
These off-brand costumes are the best thing about Donki Halloween. Especially when they make innocent Disney characters a little bit sexy, and more especially when they’re a not-at-all sexy James P. Sullivan (better known as Sulley) from Monsters Inc. At least if they went with Mike Wazowski, the costume could have drawn attention to his long sexy legs. Ah well, maybe next year.
8. Bad Lady
Designer: “Let’s make a low-rent Batwoman costume, but we can’t use the term Batwoman, because it’s copyrighted. What’s close enough, but not close at all?”
Intern: “How about Bad Lady?”
7. Save me
This one mainly gets points for the photo on the front. The story behind the folks who get the gig of becoming Donki costume models has to be pretty fascinating. Are they failed models? There’s something behind this guy’s expression. What’s he begging for—a new job? That nobody he knows in real life sees this?
If it’s all an act, then what did this priest do to warrant this type of expression? Maybe he’s just praying that the people who see this don’t notice that Christian is not spelled “Christon.”
6. Pink School Witch
This is the definition of too extra. Do you want to be a witch or a schoolgirl? Both, plus you love pink and want to allude to your love of Oktoberfest’s traditional Bavarian dress? Ok, we have the perfect costume! Double double, toil and trouble “pink school witch” is now a thing.
5. Wizard of Oz tree on crack
What is this from? It looks both so familiar but also out of place. It’s from The Wizard of Oz, right? There were spooky trees in that, yeah?
This costume has to be a lead-in for an awkward party conversation.
“What are you?”
“A scary tree, from The Wizard of Oz. I think.”
“Ok, I’m gonna go get a drink…”
*Slinks off into the darkness never to be seen by tree man again*
4. Fishnet bodysuit
On what occasion would you wear this? Probably not Halloween. Donki, I don’t think this is a Halloween costume. Is it worn over something or underneath? Also what’s sexy about it? Flashing the back and the crack? How do these costumes get designed? What process does the design team go through? Is it a round table discussion, or an email thread? We demand to know the process!
3. The crossdress “joke”
This is such a universally loved costume theme, it’s weird it doesn’t have a name yet. Let’s just call this selection: “For guys who secretly want a reason to wear women’s clothing but are too repressed to embrace it so they wait for Halloween to dress up as a “joke” when there’s actually nothing that funny about it. It’s just funny for other repressed guys because somehow it’s still the 1950s and the idea of being a woman is soooo funny.”
Whenever you see someone in one of these, you can always defer to the great punk scholar Iggy Pop who said “I’m not ashamed to dress ‘like a woman’ because I don’t think it’s shameful to be a woman.” Preach.
2. Look at my junk
These two just scream, “Hey look! My penis is here,” and that’s really about it. If only there were more to say, but there isn’t. There’s a tap, and your penis is there. Oh, you’re a swan, cool. Oh, and your penis is the neck. Right.
1. Costume for one
Points for creativity. This one begs some type of scathing commentary, but also the tagline is a more brutal burn for whoever wears this than anyone could every dish out; “Be your own date.” Bleak.