Redditgifts exchange! + A San-X Net Shop Server Problem! + More photos from the Rilakkuma Tower Records Cafe!

Redditgifts is an international Secret Santa gift exchange with different themes throughout the year. Recently, I participated in their “Rilakkuma and Friends” exchange, which was San-X themed!

My Secret Santa (G-Honey) sent me a shiny new Rilakkuma phone charm, and an adorably soft Tonkatsu plush coin purse!

Reddit Gifts - Rilakkuma charm

His bottom swings around when you move him!

Reddit Gifts - Tonkatsu coin purse

Look at this fluffy Tonkatsu plush coin purse with a Hokori zipper pull!

Reddit Gifts - full

What a lovely gift – I’m so grateful!

Oooh the Rilakkuma is really so cute and shiny – anyone know exactly what he’s holding in his paw? Looks a little like a jug of milk to me haha.

Also the Tonkatsu coin purse is so soft, dirty old coins don’t deserve him! Haha maybe I’ll put little Starbursts inside of him or something ;)

This is my first time participating in Redditgifts, so thank you so much, Santa! Check out the other San-X gifts people received at the Redditgifts “Rilakkuma and Friends” gallery!

In international Rilakkuma news, the San-X Net Shop server crashed during the Dr. Yellow / JAXA release – yikes!

I anticipated the server being slow because it’s a big and exciting release, but I’ve never seen the site quite like this before! I bookmarked the products I wanted ahead of time, and I refreshed my page exactly at 10:00AM JST (9:00PM EST on Friday for me)… the loading time was super slow which was expected, but what was the strangest was that I couldn’t get to the payment page.

The first time around, I was online waiting for pages to load for about an hour when I finally got to check out, logged in, and confirmed my address – when my cart would be mysteriously cleared! This happened about 5 more times over the course of several hours (I was adamant to get these bears haha) until 3AM my time, when San-X released an official statement that their site was unable to handle any orders.

The San-X Net Shop has informed the public and apologized via Facebook, email, Twitter, and their website:

San-X Net Shop Crash - screenshot

Screenshot of current San-X Net Shop webpage

Wow, the server must have been really overloaded from all the kuma fans!

I really appreciate their transparency, and I wish them luck to get their site back up and running soon – get well soon, San-X Net Shop!

Anyway, here were the three plushies I was planning on ordering:

San-X Net Shop Crash - order

JAXA Rilakkuma, Dr. Yellow Rilakkuma hugging pillow, and Dr. Yellow Rilakkuma plushie.

Hopefully I’ll get my hands on them soon! Another attempt will be made next week :)

The San-X Facebook page has been posting really cool photos of the JAXA / Dr. Yellow collaboration, which makes me extra excited! Can’t wait to finally place an order next week because they look great!

Dr. Yellow / Jaxa - 1

Wow, look at that mountain of JAXA kumas!

Dr. Yellow / JAXA - 2

I always love these Rilakkuma statues!

Also, be sure to check out Reddit Rilakkuma fan angelacarpediem’s personal photo album of the Rilakkuma Factory Tower Records Cafe in Shibuya! Wow!

According to angelacarpediem, each table there has a Rilakkuma plush – they are really lovely and high quality photos, so definitely check them out! I really want to go someday!

Rilakkuma Tower Records Cafe - angelacarpediem's photo album

Sneak peek! Lots more incredible photos from the cafe in angelacarpediem’s photo album!

I hope one day my kuma photography skills will be that good, too! Thanks so much for sharing these great photos with the Rilakkuma community, angelacarpediem!

In other news, I’m heading off to the Dominican Republic next Friday for medical service work, so might get a little quiet on this end. I might try to squeeze in another post before I go, but if not, see you in August!

Rilakkumarket & New Sumikko Gurashi Line!

No Rilakkuma plushies in this update, but check out the new Rilakkumarket line to be released in February!

Rilakkumarket - logo

Hey, with the shopping cart, it looks a little like the Lawson x Aloha Rilakkuma collab plushie!

Rilakkumarket - pencil pouches

Pencil pouches shaped like cartons! Love the cute Rilakkuma riff on Starbucks haha

Rilakkumarket - pencil sharpeners

Pencil sharpeners that look like soda bottles!

Pretty cool! I love how innovative this line is, and I really hope to see these actual Rilakkuma food/drink products on the market someday! I would definitely love to sip a bottle of Rilakkuma cola by the pool hahaha

A little known fact about this blog is that my most popular post is the one on Sumikko Gurashi/Tonkatsu that I made over a year ago! I know this isn’t a Sumikko Gurashi blog, but I do think it’s a great San-X series!

Sumikko Gurashi has a new line where the characters are taking a walk wearing some new stylish gear also coming out in February, check it out!

Sumikko Gurashi Walk - logo

I think my favorite is Nisetsumuri and the backpack around its (fake) shell haha. Is Penguin reading a book on… pickles?

Sumikko Gurashi Walk - Plushies

Some new faces!

Sumikko Gurashi Walk - playset

A Sumikko Gurashi playset! Spot the Tapioca in the tree!

I haven’t been following Sumikko Gurashi that closely since I made that first post over a year ago, but there are a few characters I haven’t seen before!

  • Suzume (すずめ): a brown sparrow
  • Ebi furai no shippo (えびふらいのしっぽ): the tail of a fried shrimp (えびふらい, ebi furai). Ha! He makes good company with the other discarded foods, Tapioca and Tonkatsu.
  • Tokage (とかげ): a blue lizard – hey, looks a little like Quagsire, right?

Adorable! Looks like a really Penguin-centric release haha. It’s so interesting to see how much longevity Sumikko Gurashi’s had with San-X – I love that this line’s been developed because I know a lot of the newer character lines tend to stagnate. Glad to see Sumikko Gurashi’s success progress – they’re even the featured background on the main San-X page right now for the new year!

Well in other news, I’ve just finished my first week of school in 2014, and it went by without a hitch! Hopefully the rest of the year will be just like this too!

Year of the Snake 2013 Kiiroitori & Sabokappa?

Last Friday, Year of the Snake 2013 Series Kiiroitori was leading in sales at the San-X net shop!

Year of the Snake 2013 - Kiiroitori ranked

A pretty round snake, imo.

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:

Sabokappa - plushie

Similar beak, color, pose, and position!

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.

Sabokappa - friends

Sabokappa and cactus pals! Also, Sabokappa doing random things on the bottom row.

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!

Sumikko Gurashi – Tonkatsu!

Sometimes I get really one-tracked minded when it comes to Rilakkuma, and I forget San-X has a boatload of other characters they promote.

Recently, my sister and I discovered this character while cruising the San-X Net Shop blog:

Sumikko Gurashi - Tonkatsu

Kinda looks like a Diglett, right?

This character is Tonkatsu (とんかつ) – the fried pork cutlet. His character description states that he’s that last leftover piece of tonkatsu; he’s 1% meat, 99% fat – and is always left behind because of his fat content.

Sumikko Gurashi - Tonkatsu backstory

Apparently, his pink nose is the 1% meat – the rest is breaded fat and grease!

In September 2012, this guy was introduced as part of a whole series of amorphous characters called Sumikko Gurashi (すみっこぐらし), which (very) roughly translates to “beings living in corners” (like of a house). I suppose I can imagine leftover crumbs of tonkatsu making their way into corners of a room.

In Sumikko Gurashi, Tonkatsu is joined by:

  • Shirokuma (しろくま): a runaway polar bear who doesn’t like the cold
  • Penguin? (“ぺんぎん?): an insecure green penguin (but maybe a kappa who lost its bowl?) questioning his identity
  • Neko (ねこ): a shy cat who likes to scratch
  • Tapioca (たぴおか): pearls of leftover boba
  • Zassou (ざっそう): an ambitious weed who dreams of being a bouquet
  • Hokori (ほこり): a happy corner-inhabiting dust particle
  • Furoshiki (ふろしき): Shirokuma’s luggage cloth
  • Nisetsumuri (にせつむり): a slug who pretends to be a snail by wearing a shell
Sumikko Gurashi - set

The whole Sumikko Gurashi team!
Top row: Shirokuma, Penguin?, Tonkatsu, Neko, Tapioca, and Zassou
Bottom row: Hokori, Furoshiki, & Nisetsumuri

What a team! I wonder how they came to be friends…