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Share all tips to share: How Gudetama, a lazy egg yolk with cigarette residue, became an irresistible cultural phenomenon.
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From Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care, Alex Abad-Santos is a seasoned journalist explaining what’s wrong with society. He came into his own in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at Atlantic.
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It’s hard to tell at first glance, but Gudetama is an egg yolk with a cracked ass. He is a fictional character with no limbs but no fingers. It has a mouth but no obvious teeth. It has hips but no visible joints, and a head but no neck. His eyes are like moles. He has no gender.
In the blink of an eye, it’s easy to mistake it for golden beans, corn, or a bee. But Gudetama is neither of these, as it focuses too much on a success story that makes no sense on its face.
Gudetama is a relatively recent addition to the Sanrio universe, and until recently revolved around a small-eyed, red-haired, bow-tied creature known as Hello Kitty. It’s the company’s most popular character in recent memory, though its teardrop-like appearance contrasts with Sanrio’s historical focus on cuteness.
Hello Kitty and her compatriots like Keropi (the frog looks a lot like an amphipod like an old-fashioned ice cream shop owner) are known for their magical charms on items like lunch boxes, luggage, T-shirts and toothbrushes. Warmth from the cold of the heart, Gudetama was born in 2013 into a world that wants to escape.
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Gudetama seems like a character that someone has given up on, yet people can’t reach him. But Gudetama’s presence is part of its appeal. His main attraction is his carefree personality.
Gudetama can speak (in short sentences), move (maybe not dance), feel emotions (only pain), and breathe (especially while sleeping). He can do these things and has more potential, but he can’t be good. Each new day is another opportunity to experience Gudetama’s life at its lowest level, where his chief joy is doing nothing.
It seems amazing that an abnormal egg can achieve such endurance. But the answer lies in the character’s relatability, the need to care about her, and how she challenges us to rethink what we consider beautiful. Gudetama and its popularity are part of a larger cultural movement – a response to a life of uncertainty, turmoil and anger.
In 2013, Sanrio held a competition in Japan to create a food-based character. Such competitions serve two purposes: to help the company’s designers find a creative spark and to test potential new characters before Sanrio invests in its own products. Fans voted and a funny salmon named Gudetama came in second.
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“We actually started with products based on salmon and their friends,” Dave Marchi, Sanrio’s vice president of marketing and brand management, told me. “Gudetama’s Lazy Eggs actually took second place, but we still introduced Gudetama-based products and they really took off. “It’s really expanded and exploded in the past year.”
A look at the sad pocket of Sanrio’s website, where Sanrio and its eternal smile stand alone, reveals that there are only two profitable items for sale. Gudetama has 115 styles, including skateboards, table fans and chat fabric box covers, in addition to more basic clothing and gloves. Hello Kitty, the main character of Sanrio 226.
Gudetama-themed merchandise is also sold at other stores, including Tin Cleanser Hot Topic. The Wall Street Journal reported in January: “Since hatching two years ago, Sanrio has shipped 1,700 copies of Gudatama-themed items to Japan, from socks to bean bags to suitcases.
Although Sanrio didn’t release exact sales numbers, Marchi also noted that customers interested in Gudetama are “slightly skewed toward the older demographic,” but I know people as young as 7 who have the Gudetama plug-in because they think it’s cute and fun. egg”
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This makes sense when you consider the nature of Goodette’s slow wins and old fans. In a contest based solely on cuteness, the mascot wins (as in the 2013 Sanrio Character Contest) because it’s all about the mascot, the intelligent, smiling salmon and self-proclaimed “celebrity in the world of food.”
What sets Gudetama apart from Sanrio’s other rosters is the personal connection many fans have with the character. If someone shows you a picture of an egg, you probably won’t understand or understand it. The link is from Gudet’s video, it does nothing. Sanrio has also produced a series of videos, which can be found on YouTube, featuring short stories about the hard lives of the Goodettes. This video shows Goodette’s lack of enthusiasm in a way that pictures don’t fully understand
“I think Gudetama and the attitude we’re seeing from him, it’s a little bit different,” Marchi said. “A little lazy, a little sad, a little
And there’s an attitude that can be shared by many people, whether they’re tired, sleep-deprived, lazy, whether they’re 14 or 34 or 50.”
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The name Gudetama is a combination of the Japanese phrase gude gude, laziness, and tama, an abbreviation of tamago, the Japanese word for egg. “Lazy” lowers Goodette a bit, just as “rain” lowers “tide”.
Gudetama is constantly tired. He. He uses a strip of cloth as a blanket and a rag as a pillow. He always talks about going home, but never specifies where.
Any effort equals pain. The only thing worse than trying is trying to complain about it. Gudetama Tony Robbins does nothing. You can do anything if you put your mind to it.
Not wanting to do anything, Gudattama composed himself in weary inactivity. This innocent attitude has earned him various names, from “Hello Kitty to the Millennials” to the more liberal “Hero”, and humanity has paid homage to the character in the form of cafes and themed flights from Tokyo to Taipei.
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To understand Gudetama, one must understand that the concept of American intelligence is flat. What you see in America is what you get.
“Character culture in American and Western culture is still very black and white,” Aya Kakeda, a cartoonist and teacher at the New York School of Visual Arts, told me. “A villain is a villain and a hero is a hero. Cute characters symbolize sweetness or goodness. It shows in their faces. It’s the same with “bad” characters.
Classic example: most vintage Disney movies. Villages are easily identified because they are usually ugly (
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(as an American example of a property that combines sophistication and potential), but Japan has a gray area and took years to build. According to Sharon Kinsell of the University of Manchester, the term “kawaii” originated in the 1970s and is widely used in Japan when referring to cuteness. Kawaii’s main principle is that it feels like a child.
“Kawaii isn’t just cute,” Alisa Friedman, a professor of Japanese literature and film at the University of Oregon, told me. “It’s a very fragile piece. You’re so sweet that people want to take care of you. “We’re inspired by their care.”
Recently, according to Kakeda, the concept of kawaii has become more fragmented, leading to the emergence of various subgroups of kawaii.
“For example, there’s kimo-kawaii (sometimes called gro-kawaii) — kimo means weird,” Kakeda told me. “There’s something creepy and scary about [kimo-kawaii characters], but there’s also something beautiful about it.”
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An American example he cites is SpongeBob SquarePants, who has large eyes and trypophobic skin. Kakada also mentions Japanese characters called “kobito jukan,” which look like little teeth or fangs — some even have weird ass, like Gudetama. According to the official Cobitos website, it likes to soak peaches in sugar: