Anime is a style of animation that was originated and popularised in Japan, though the style and culture of the movies and television series are popular in America and other countries. Anime-style costumes that include a respirator or gas mask are common and simple to create, and leave you with a lot of options to pursue.
When most people think of a ninja, they think of a figure from the feudal Japanese era, dressed all in black. All you need to do with this basic archetype is update the technology being used. A respirator or gas mask serves the function of keeping anonymity as well as protecting the ninja from gas attacks. Update the other pieces of the costume, perhaps by including gun props along with a pair of modern boots and forearm bracers to give yourself the proper, modern espionage appearance.
Mecha, or mechs, refer to giant robots that are employed for fighting off invading armies or huge monsters in anime. If you have a respirator, combine it with a military-style uniform. An officer's jacket, leather gloves and combat boots will get the point across. If you want to get more deeply involved, give yourself a call sign and keep an image of your machine in your head so you can tell people who ask what it is you pilot and what its capabilities are.
The idea of a zombie apocalypse echoes the disease scares that have plagued Japan. As such, creating someone who has survived an outbreak of zombie plague is a great costume for a respirator. Wear the mask with a ragtag outfit that's made up of equal parts civilian clothes and military surplus, and make sure you include weapons props to bring home that this costume hearkens a dangerous place and time.
This costume concept can be done in a variety of ways, depending on your budget and resources. A regular respirator will suffice, but a full-head gas mask works better. Cover yourself from head to toe in a light, breathable layer of cloth and then add armour in the form of plastic plates (unless you have access to ballistic armour, which adds authenticity). Speak in a robotic tone, if you speak at all, or have a voice changer that will help your voice sound mechanical.
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