Baffling Cuteness

Exploring, and respectfully interpreting, the artifacts of another culture

Following a link, I came to the San-X Web site. The site's in Japanese, so I'm not sure what's going on, but it seems that San-X develops “Hello Kitty”-style characters, with the irony already built-in, and then markets zillions of products based on those characters.

Despite the language barrier, I decided to borrow some images from their site and take my best guess at the identities of the members of the San-X family. Results follow.

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Introducing a Fun Family of Good Friends

From our corporation, meeting our friends is a good time for everyone. Enjoy our fine family here! It is fun and so many friends. Right here, you will enjoy it. Here they are, just look!

The Tasty Kittens
They love to sit in bread and be eaten. Oh no! In the sandwich! It is the tasty kittens! Shoo, little kittens. I will not eat you today.
Gingerbread Elephant Man
He was raised by his family, a mother who is being a cook who made him. She was going to eat him, then he caught the elephant man disease. He ran away from everybody. He says, “I am not an animal! I am an gingerbread man!”
Sad Abused Lamb
Something terrible has happened to the little lamb. Has someone hurt him? He will not say. He never trusts anyone. He has no friends. Poor lamb! He cries and cries and shakes and shakes. No one ever licked him clean when he was born. He is so scared. He says, “Go away!”
Wry Homosexual Party Dog
He has a crazy wig which is the rainbow wig. It is a so fresh wig. He does not scratch for bones, he only likes a party! He will dance with his tail. Watch him dance! But you can only ask him. I love you, Party Dog.
Angry Face Pimple
The Angry Face Pimple jumped off your face and is running around everywhere. Crazy! You will want to squeeze him. “Squeeze and squeeze and I will not pop!” he says. Stop the Angry Face Pimple! He will not let you squeeze him.
Lazy Panda Zombie
The zombie is a panda. But it will not eat brains because he is too lazy. Get up, lazy panda, and eat brains! You are so lazy! But he is too lazy. All right, no brains today!
Butt Turnip
He is the turnip that lives in your anus. Look out! He will try to get in the soup. He has a big bag of the droppings. His best friend is the Tasty Kittens.

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All images completely © San-X Corp, Japan, and used without permission. Address all cease-and-desist letters to ford@ftrain.com.

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Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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