Last Friday, Year of the Snake 2013 Series Kiiroitori was leading in sales at the San-X net shop!
However! As of last night, Snake Korilakkuma has jumped two spots and is now at #1! Whoa! I always expected Rilakkuma to be the bestseller, but then again, I guess I do see the world with Rilakkuma goggles haha.
Anyway, I think this Snake Kiiroitori kind of looks like another San-X character, Sabokappa (サボカッパ) though:
Also known as Kappa Cactus, Sabokappa was released in September 2008. A lot of San-X characters are directly inspired by Japanese folklore; in this case, Sabokappa is a kappa, a legendary water entity, who’s just disguised as a cactus. Sabokappa lives in a flower shop with other real cacti.
True to kappa legend, Sabokappa creates a lot of mischief, and loves water and cucumbers. I’m not really sure how cucumbers became so prominent in kappa legend, but some folk legends say that offering a cucumber to a kappa will prevent it from kidnapping/eating your children – yikes! There’s even a popular sushi roll called kappamaki that just has cucumber inside haha.
I think it’s so cool that San-X references and reimagines old folklore stories into new kawaii characters!
Kiiro does look a bit like Sabo Kappa! I actually bought that exact Sabo Kappa plush not too long ago (for a REALLY low price, too). Kiiro is so cute, though. I really love him. I love Rila and Korila, and sometimes I also get caught up in Rila specifically, but I have to say Kiiro is really special. Sometimes I zero in on him, and realize that I sometimes actually like him best in some of the series designs.
Yeah, Kiiro has quite the fan following! He gets left out in the lot of designs though (like the store birthday designs) – I wish San-X would include him!!