I’m feeling a bit ill today (urgh, summer colds) and the football has taken over the television, so I think I need a bit of cheering up! And what’s more cheering than edamame with faces and ¬†anthropomorphised bananas?

There’s more to life and Japan than Hello Kitty… I know that the little white cat with no mouth (what’s the deal with that?) has become fairly synonymous with Japan. But while Hello Kitty remains popular with pretty much everyone, other kawaii characters can be seen dangling from schoolgirl’s bags and middle-aged women’s phone straps.

(all images in this post courtesy of  Strapya)

Usavich has become obscenely popular of late, and can be seen everywhere from t-shirts to slippers to bottle openers. Running since 2006 on MTV Japan, the series follows two rabbits, Kirenenko and Putin, through their prison adventures. Each episode is only 90 seconds long and has no real dialogue – worth checking out to see what all the fuss is about!

Mameshiba is probably my favourite cute character around at the moment. Just one look at his little face and I’m reduced to girly goo. Awwww! Mameshiba is an edamame bean, and often products feature him popping out of his little bean case – the surprise being that you never know which facial expression he’ll have!

Banao is an elite banana, and I think he’s awesome. What can I say? I love a classy banana with a face. Banao can often be found lounging with a fine glass of wine, chatting to his cat or hanging out and playing a round of golf. Although he might have fallen from favour a little, I still regard him as a true pioneer for yellow fruit.

Finally, if you’re in the mood for something a little more risque, then take a gamble on Marimokkori. Yes, that little bulge is what you think it is!

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