If you love food (as we all do), then you’ll probably enjoy anthropomorphic versions of them. We’re not talking making funny faces on your pancake or dinner plate either – we’re talking about official character mascots inspired by, and look like, food. Well, the Japanese sure have a knack for coming up with the weirdest things after all, so here are some of the cutest – and creepiest – examples of Japanese food mascot characters:
Anyone who’s into Japanese culture will know this character, which represents one of Japan’s favourite desserts: the anpan (red bean bread). This character – with a round face and bright red nose atop a human-like body – is not only a mascot, but a beloved superhero who has his own TV series and movies! Best of all, his superhero buddies include other bakery items like plain sliced white bread, and curry-filled buns. This bakery squad has been fighting for justice since 1973!
A distant cousin of Hello Kitty (they’re both from Sanrio), Gudetama literally means ‘lazy egg’. Characterised by an anthropomorphic egg yolk with a butt (yep, you read that right), he’s popular simply by being lazy – too lazy to leave his egg shell, too lazy to hold onto chopsticks, etc. He even has his own series of hilarious anime shorts. Unlike other food mascots, Gudetama has many faces (since he’s an egg), so he can be an omelette, pudding, or egg roll, amongst other things. And we’re still waiting for a pop-up Gudetama cafe here.
Of all the food items to be made into a mascot, a piece of salmon fillet probably isn’t one that immediately jumps to mind. However, that didnt’ stop Sanrio from creating Kirimi-chan – a mascot with a human-like body and the head of a… piece of salmon steak with a face on it. She does have a masochistic personality: she only wants to be eaten. Her friends include a couple of other fish-faced individuals (a sea bream and a mackerel) and a kamaboko (fish cake). Cosplaying her should be fun.
Continuing the weirdness, meet Chaozu-kun, the official mascot for (get this) the Japan Gyoza Association. He sports a kawaii gyoza head with pink cheeks, which would’ve been enough to make us love gyoza. However, the body is anything BUT kawaii – pumped up and muscular, Chaozu-kun is a creepy bodybuilder who walks around in tiny Speedos. Do you feel like eating gyoza after seeing his character drizzle oil all over his body like he’s a sex god? Check out his range of LINE stickers…
We all know Colonel Sanders as the official mascot for the chicken chain, but in Japan they went one step further by introducing Momofu (the “thigh guy”), and the female counterpart, Muneko (the “breast girl”) who represents boneless chicken breast (what else?) nuggets. As if her name’s not suggestive enough, she’s depicted with overly suggestive large boobs in a low-cut dress. It’s got all shades of wrong – who’d put ‘sexy’ and ‘chicken’ in a character that kids eat? To add to weirdness, Momofu and Muneko are apparently a married couple.