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!