In which I’m delighted by plush quality, gender equality, and Halloween frivolity.
Japanese can make it both easy and hard to guess someone’s gender in something like a manga setting. On the one hand, there are stereotypically feminine/masculine personal pronouns and ways of speaking (but these change and are complicated by things like being so manly you can be stereotypically feminine and such).
On the other hand, when a character doesn’t speak as such, pronouns like he and her are often not present to help you figure out what’s going on. (If you happen to have a little Japanese background and are wondering how this relates to LGBT+ individuals, this is a cool read.) So while I know Kuromi is female and that Pom Pom Purin is male, I’m less sure with San-X characters sometimes. Jinbee-san is…male, maybe? Kogepan is male…but Mouton from Sentimental Circus? I’m not so sure.
I don’t think the Sumikko have a gender, but when I looked up some things in the English-speaking fandom I noticed many fans believe Neko and Shirokuma are female, at least. I’m not sure what that’s based on, but I wonder if it has something to do with the “adaptation” fansub I recently ran across of the Sumikko Gurashi movie, where names were changed and some “subs” just didn’t have anything to do with what was said.
I also wonder if it might be due to the Sumikko liking to wear, well, whatever they like, and their gender-neutral overall status is something I like quite a lot about Sumikko Gurashi. Honestly I wish they’d leave it all to us. And these great little mascot plush let the Sumikko dress up in a certain amount of glam regardless, because it’s Halloween, the most amazing holiday of all!
These are the four plushies in the Sumikko Gurashi set ボールチェーン付きプリマ風ハロウィンぬいぐるみ、which translates to basically “ballerina skirt Halloween plush with ball chain.” Each measures a bit more than four inches, depending on where you start measuring. I won all four of them on Tokyo Catch more or less one after the other. This came along with the previous order I’d mentioned in past entries, shipped well and quickly and everything like that.
Sometimes these smaller mascot plush aren’t the best in terms of feel, but these are as soft as a larger plush and overall great quality. Tokage and Neko are perhaps a bit unevenly stuffed, but that could have been from shipping, and they shape up after a bit of fluffing. Another really cute win, and another cute group of Sumikko for my room — though next time, please include Tonkatsu too!