Saturday, April 25, 2009

cute characters

Sanrio and San-X do some amazing marketing here in Japan.  I was familiar with characters like Hello Kitty, but there are so many more of them now!  Have you ever heard of kogepan?  He is a burnt red bean bun who tries to find acceptance in the bakery filled with normal red bean buns. He drinks milk as beer and gets drunk often!  

Another funny bunch of popular characters now are beans: red beans, green beans, black beans. (Sorry, I can't find their names anywhere online.)  Beans!  Whoever thought to popularize beans into stuffed animals has a pretty good imagination. 

My own person favorite is Rilakkuma!  I didn't know this, but Rilakkuma means "relax" + "bear" in he is a very lazy bear.  He's always depicted as sleeping or laying down.  If not relaxing, he is eating his favorite foods: mochi, doughnuts, and pancakes!  He is truly a bear after my heart!

Apparently, San-X comes out with a new character every month.  Do all these characters come with a book or TV show or something?  Or are they just characters?  

Also, can someone explain Sanrio vs. San-X?  Are they different brands?  I can't seem to locate anything definitive online.

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