Japanese cartoons, especially the kawaii characters, are a rage worldwide and the Japanese companies that’ve the best collection of these characters are Sanrio and San-X. However, turning these cartoons into puppets is a different ball game altogether. The honor for this goes to Wasu, a Japanese paper puppet creator.
Such is Wasu’s expertise in paper puppet making that he’s able to bring his kawaii characters to life. Sample one of his typical kawaii moving paper doll, she not only moves her hands, feet, neck, and waist but also winks! It’s certainly wondering how he’s able to create these puppets to move the way they do. His complex creations include moving eyelids and mouthparts.
This puppet creator certainly knows which body parts to animate that’ll make it appear like a living, feeling character. The end result of all of Wasu’s creations is immensely adorable. The surprising part is he has not received any formal training in creating these paper puppets but is entirely self-taught.
So, how does Wasu go about creating his paper puppets? He uses a stop-motion technique for animating with paper. And his tools are a pair of scissors, paper cutting knife, thread, and tape. His first step is to select the kawaii character to be turned into a puppet. He takes out a number of printouts of that character and cuts out the parts he intends his puppet to move. Precisely placing these parts on the character, he secures them with tape. He then attaches the thread to move the parts.
The end result is something worth viewing again and again. The moving parts certainly mesmerize the viewers making them see the paper doll move over and over again. One can get the full range of Wasu’s kawaii characters on his Instagram page in the form of short videos, where one can watch his puppets in motion.
It’s certainly not surprising that Wasu’s creations enjoy a sizeable fan following on Instagram. On the last count, the followers totaled over 34,000 and counting.