It’s been another difficult year for everyone but there’s always kawaii to keep us going! Here’s some of the things that helped the SCK Team get through the year.
It’s been a really weird year for me and a lot of things I usually love stopped being fun for a while, including crafts, art and social media. The manager bears of the Rilakkuma Stores in Japan have been a constant delight though! There’s a unique one working at each store and I’m going to miss them so much when their time is up. I also love HAPiNS’ new bunny/chick character Usapi and discovering the cute art of Will Quinn, strawbabery and Peach Pink Art.
I’ve been continuing my slow read of Witch Hat Atelier, a Ghibli-esque manga about girl apprentice witches with a magic system that involves drawing your spells, but gaming took up most of my free time this year. I finally got bored of Animal Crossing in the summer but the new update hauled me right back in and I am loving all the new stuff, and Happy Home Paradise too. During my AC break I finally picked up Zelda: Breath of the Wild and over 6 months I went from being terrified of everything to 100%-ing the game + DLC and now playing in Master Mode. Obsessed.
There’s soooo much new stuff to do with the recent Animal Crossing update that I’m playing it (nearly) every day again! I am obsessed with collecting gyroids and need my relaxing daily coffee with Brewster.
Noodoll have always been one of my favourite kawaii brands and I love seeing all their new characters and ideas. Their advent calendar is amazing with so many interactive elements and the new gingerbread man character is adorable! I’m hoping these stickers will make their way into my Christmas stocking.
My favourite part of 2021 was definitely fostering kittens for the first time in years. Dolly, Fury, Havoc and Chaos have brought me so much joy. They’ve all been adopted now, so I really hope they live happy little cat lives.
It was also amazing going to MCM Comic Con back in November, I was so happy to be back at a con! I found lots of very cute small businesses there, including bags and blep, who have some awesome pin badges in their Etsy shop.
Social media has helped me in the pandemic, and I’ve followed so many new Instagram accounts, like @sirpurlgrey, who has some very adorable amigurumi- including characters like Sylveon from Pokémon and Celeste from Animal Crossing.
And, while I somehow still have not actually bought one, the Build A Bear collaboration with Animal Crossing is very exciting!
I hope next year will be better for everyone.
I absolutely adore the artist Justin Hillgrove. He does amazing original artwork, but my favorites are his tribute paintings. We have a print of And Made Her Princess of All Wild Things hanging in our daughter’s bedroom. He also offers free downloads and coloring pages on his site, which my students love.
Also, nothing has brightened up my Instagram feed more than Litterbox Comics. I adore her drawing style and her sense of humor perfectly captures parenting. Oh, and they’re cats, which makes everything better. (Copy Cats is my favorite strip and you can buy a signed copy in her store.)
I finally just watched Over the Garden Wall on Hulu. If you’re late to the party like me, take the time to watch, it’s truly fantastic. (I might be slightly obsessed now.) And it’s only 10 episodes, so it’s easy to binge.
Chibird is an artist who draws short, inspirational cartoons in adorable chibi-style. It’s a sweet pick-me-up and always makes me feel good after reading.
Rainbowholic is always such a huge inspiration, and I’ve always admired how honest and transparent Kaila is with the challenges of managing her stationery business and content creation while still giving her very best every time. I definitely lived my 2021 with more kawaii and positivity thanks to her!
Even if I occasionally take breaks from playing the game, being able to play co-op on Genshin Impact with my friends back in the Philippines as well as getting excited about new characters and pulls with my students helped make some days less stressful.
While my island still has a lot of changes to go through, Animal Crossing New Horizons remains to be one of my favorite games, and I always look forward to new updates and hanging out with my villagers.
I know that the Animal Crossing craze was more of a 2020 thing, but I still love playing Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. With updates every month, you never get bored of all the new themes, furniture to craft and items to win. Christmas time and sakura season are always my most anticipated updates.
I should be travelling to Walt Disney World in 2022 (fingers crossed!), so I’ve been looking for some cute new Disney bits to take with me. I picked up some lovely Winnie-the-Pooh themed Minnie ears from Ears Ever After and a Tangled ‘lantern scene’ T-shirt from @tritonstreasures that I can’t wait to wear.
While living in Italy this year, I managed to watch all of the original series of Cardcaptor Sakura on Italian Netflix. While I remember having watched it before, it was so fun to watch it all from beginning to end. Kero-chan is obviously the best character, especially with his love of desserts and all things sweet!
I’ve also spent my year visiting lots of London bakeries and eating their delicious creations, like @meringuegirls, @wacafelondon, and @crumbsanddoilies. Plus, lockdown earlier in the year gave me extra time to bake some more, which I really loved.
Not everyone was able to take part in this year’s posts so we’d love to hear from you lot in the comments. What cute things made your 2021 better?
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.