San-x characters — kawaiiyo!
In Japan you would see different kinds of cute things. The Japanese word for cute is kawaii and even in other countries, Japan is known for the kawaii things. It is seen as a natural thing. In anime and manga there is the chibi or super deformed drawings of the characters. It is called super deformed in English because the characters are drawn as small and chubby. They are usually drawn like that when they are mad, or hyper or feeling emotions extremely.
Other kawaii things include Pokemon, Hello Kitty, Tokyo street fashion, San-X characters. There is actually a whole lot of cute things. Even the way they package their products, they seem to emanate cuteness.
But what is it about cuteness? An article on Mainichi shared the following answers:
1. Skeptics say that is “a sign of infantile mentality.”
2. Cute is a reflection of the Japanese desire to not grow up and that it breeds non-assertion. (According to Hiroto Murasawa.)
3. The author of “Cool Japan,” Tomoyuki Sugiyama, says that the country’s culture which loves harmony is the root of the cute culture. He says that even way back in the Edo period, people have collected tiny carved charms. He added that the Japanese seem to look for respite cute things.
In any case, it is undeniable that cute is cool in Japan. You could not help but see it everywhere. It might not exactly be understood by the non-Japanese but it is becoming prevalent. Could kawaii culture be coming to the rest of the world?