The Japanese man who took the internet by storm with a video showcasing himself wearing an incredibly lifelike rough collie costume in public has spoken out to set the record straight about his unusual choice and address the media’s misconceptions.
In an exclusive interview with The Post, the man, known as Toco, expressed that people and news outlets have been “misinformed” about his intentions.
He wants to dispel the notion that he aims to live his life as a dog. “My desire to be an animal is like a desire to transform … a desire to be something that I am not,” Toco explained.
He clarified that he only wears the hyper-realistic costume around once a week, mostly within the comfort of his home.
Toco, who gained global fame last month after sharing a video of himself walking around Tokyo in the $14,000 canine suit, expressed his astonishment at the overwhelming response his video garnered. “I did not expect such a big response,” he admitted.
However, he maintained that his family’s reaction was surprisingly supportive. “The family was surprised, but received it favorably,” Toco said. “I am very happy that they accepted it.”
His YouTube channel, aptly named “I Want To Be an Animal,” has amassed a substantial following of 51,000 subscribers and an impressive 19.5 million views.
On this platform, Toco offers glimpses into his dog-themed adventures, including pretend dog treat consumption, playful interactions with wire cages, and even rollovers.
Defying Misconceptions and Finding Joy in a Hyper-Realistic Dog Costume
While he declined to reveal his earnings from his YouTube endeavors, Toco did discuss his costume’s origin.
The hyper-realistic outfit was a product of Zeppet, a company specializing in crafting costumes for television commercials and shows.
This meticulous creation cost a staggering 2 million yen ($14,099).
Despite his viral fame, Toco hasn’t been immune to online trolls who labeled his unique hobby as a bizarre fetish.
He expressed sadness at such misconceptions and emphasized his genuine love for animals. “I’m just sad that people can think that,” he said. “I love animals and enjoy play-acting like a collie.”
Undeterred by the criticism, Toco remains steadfast in his passion. “This is my hobby, so I will carry on,” he asserted. “It makes me happy and other people happy, too.”
As Toco continues to embrace his distinctive pastime and entertain his growing online community, his story serves as a reminder of the diverse ways people find joy and self-expression in today’s interconnected world.