This is part of a series of posts where we’ll (re-) introduce you to a themed set of cute characters and where to buy products that feature them. We’ve only featured animals so far and it’s time for one of my favourite types of kawaii – food!
Gudetama’s name comes from the Japanese words gudegude (lazy and lacking energy) and tamago (egg) and it is very much a lazy, depressed egg with no motivation. Gudetama is often turned into other egg-related foods and has a human friend Satoru.
You can buy Gudetama pretty much everywhere now but Sanrio’s online shops in Japan, Europe and the USA (all with local shipping only) are good places to find out about new products + ARTBOX (UK) and VeryGoods (JP) for worldwide shipping. Sanrio USA also have some free wallpapers & paper crafts.
Tonkatsu & Friends
One of the first Sumikko Gurashi characters, Tonkatsu is the end piece of a fried pork cutlet that was left behind for being too oily. They also have two minikko friends – Ebifurai No Shippo and Aji Furai No Shippo, a leftover shrimp tail and horse mackerel tail.
You can buy Tonkatsu & Sumikko Gurashi at lots of stores worldwide including San-X (JP – requires forwarding service),VeryGoods (JP), ARTBOX (UK), Cuteness (EU), Jellybeet (US) and Mary Bear (US). San-X also have a few free wallpapers to choose from.
Apeach is one of the first Kakao Friends, a group of characters originally created for a messaging app by Korean illustrator Kwon Soon-ho. Apeach is the fun, flirty one in the group, who left the garden where it was born in search of excitement.
Since the EU store closed recently, it’s a little harder to buy Kakao Friends merch. The official Korean shop does offer international shipping but no products are currently eligible (this may be temporary due to the pandemic). Otherwise, you can find a selection of items at the official Amazon stores (US / UK) and on Ebay.
One of our favourites during the early days of SCK, Hannari Tofu translates as ‘elegant tofu’ in the Kansai dialect of Japanese and these happy blocks come in so many different flavours and seasonal designs. There’s not much information about their origins but they’re owned by Passport / HAPiNS, a chain of shops in Japan.
HAPiNS have an online shop (JP – requires forwarding service) where you’ll find new flavours and designs as plush, figures and even a giant cushion! You can also find older Hannari Tofu at Amazon Japan and Ebay.
Who’s your favourite of these kawaii food characters? We’ll have a poll on Twitter & Instagram later today. If you voted in the sea creature polls, Jinbe San won both!
Marceline is the co-founder and editor of Super Cute Kawaii and author of The Super Cute Book of Kawaii. She also designs cute character goods as Asking For Trouble. Having visited Japan five times, Marceline is enormously inspired by all things Japanese and especially loves bunnies, space and any kind of food object with a happy face.