The proliferation of anime and manga has resulted in the rise in demand of character goods. I’m a big fan of Ghibli films, Hello Kitty and basically anything cutesy. I don’t necessarily spend much money on character goods but the sight of them is enough to hyper-ventilate me. So imagine me speaking in an extremely high-pitched voice in Japan, grinning from ear to ear, excited by all the toys around me. Childhood dream come true!
As a kid, my stuffed toys were always kept in bags away from me because my parents thought they collected dust and was bad for my asthma. Whenever I was out, I would jump at every opportunity to hug cuddly soft toys on display, exclaiming how cute they were only to be told off by my mum. I can still hear her screaming aloud “Aiyo! Don’t touch! Dirty!!!!” Being the deprived kid I was, I go round grabbing stuffed toys whenever I see a cute one. No one to stop me now!
Although created by Sanrio, a Japanese company, did you know Hello Kitty is British? I reckon she’s one of the most successful character goods which appeals to both the young and old. Some people find her strange without a mouth. However, there are theories to explain that – without a mouth, people are able to project their feelings upon Kitty-chan. Well, at least that’s what Sanrio wants us to believe. I’m still dreaming of the Hello Kitty Swarovski Crystal Ring as they don’t sell it in Germany anymore.
Doraemon was one of my favourite cartoons when growing up. I love his tricks such as the dokodemo-door. It’s a magical door that allows you to travel anywhere simply by opening it. How imaginative is that? I love the series so much that I used it to complete one of my Japanese linguistics project at university. That’s how cool a Japanese Studies can be. Once, my ex-Japanese boss bought an entire collection of Doraemon character cakes for the department after his business trip. Guess what I did? I unpacked and created a display of Doraemon characters on the office table during office hours.
My favourite Totoro!!! I love the animation, the music and the storyline in My Neighbour Totoro. One of the best Ghibli films ever! At the Ghibli Museum in Japan, they have the Catbus on display but only for children. I do wish I had the guts to jump right on it. Afterall, there’s a child in each and every of us.
Kirby (the pink one) is a fictional video game character by HAL Laboratory and Nintendo. I love its cute, round, clumsy-looking physique. I do know better than to spend money on a UFO catcher trying to win a Kirby though…
Will I ever be TOO OLD for character goods? I highly doubt it.