In which we find a whole pile of Hime, and just when we can’t tell which one is which we get distracted by fun furoku.
These Hime publications seem to have no end! There are so many of them, all titles ending with ひめ (hime means princess). There’s Jewel Hime, Kisekae Hime (kisekae can mean a lot of things, but this is paper dolls, I think) and others. Some are recurrent magazines, if I’m understanding correctly, and some are mooks. Here we’ll look over the July issue of Oekaki Hime.
It’s called Oekaki Hime, but I take it it’s using oekaki in a very general sense, because this isn’t really a drawing magazine. You can see this reflected in the very first thing you see once you open it up: four nice sets of stickers, one of Licca-chan, one of Sumikko Gurashi with the camp/otter theme, and two that are clothes-changing stickers for paper dolls called Nakayoshi Princess Rara x Sara. (By the way, I don’t know if these are characters that appear in other media, but be careful if you google the title—it kept pulling up an x-rated film and my sleep-deprived self almost linked to it without checking.)
The only really art-focused parts are those related to the furoku, with some quick tutorials on drawing things like ice cream and watermelons—but also tic tac toe and to-do lists. There’s a little more drawing in a later activity about jewelry and accessories, but none of this content would be out of place in another Hime publication.
Other than that, this has the general type of fun stuff we saw in Gakkou Daisuki, like mazes, matching puzzles, connect-the-dots and an illustrated 小人とくつや (Kohito to Kutsuya, The Little People and the Shoe Shop, better known as The Elves and the Shoemaker). Compared to Pucchigumi, there are more American properties and characters American kids like beyond the usual “kawaii characters,” in case that might be a factor in your purchase. There’s a coloring page with Ariel from The Little Mermaid and appearances by Sylvanian Families (Calico Critters after 1993 in the USA and Canada), LOL Surprise, and Tamagochi.
There’s more emphasis on Sanrio than in Pucchigumi too. There are activities and features related to My Melody, Hello Kitty, and Mewkledreamy, as well as Pom Pom Purin, Cinnamoroll, Kero Kero Keroppi and more among the included cut-out postcards.
There were even some characters I hadn’t heard of before or barely knew, like Cocotama and Little Fairy Tale, who’s extra adorable. There’s also the Mell-chan doll you can see on the right below, whose sweet face reminds me of the Korean Ddung doll I have always been fond of.
This continues into the pages you see next. On the right, there’s a page on fluffy characters Hamipa (I love this little guy and his sagging pants — how do I not own any merchandise of him yet?), Shirotan. and Cogimyun. I was also glad to see Butt Detective, of all things, a book and anime series I’ve never read/watched and yet am ridiculously pleased to see next to all this pink and sparkle.
As I’ve written about before, the line between ads and other content is pretty blurry in these magazines compared to their American equivalents, but of course I find this delightful despite it teasing me yet again with the Licca-chan Shopping Park, which I’m seriously worried I’m going to have to buy when shipping isn’t so crazy. The reader giveaways in the picture below are great as usual, too, even if the Rapunzel guitar reminds me how much money I wasted winning what is pretty much the same exact toy with a Sumikko Gurashi theme on Toreba. That Sylvanian Families amusement park is sweet as well.
I got really fascinated by these things from a publishing and manufacturing perspective as I was looking this one over. As we’ve mentioned before, from the American mindset the furoku publishers give away are insane, and when they see a really nice piece they tend to wonder aloud how the cost can be afforded. One way is to use the same content in multiple publications: I wouldn’t be surprised if some things in Oekaki Hime were repeats from Kisekae Hime or others of its brethren—er, sistren.
And this is definitely the case with furoku. Compare the Castle Opened by a Magical Stick Sticker Case from Kisekae Hime vol. 7 with this magazine’s furoku. Or the Sumikko Gurashi game from Game Hime with this Hello Kitty game from Love Chara Vol. 31. Same items, different stickers! I love that kind of ingenuity.
Beyond that, this furoku really is just plain old cute. I liked that there was a certain amount of choice with sticker placement, and then quite a lot of stickers left over in addition to those inside the magazine. I would have been tickled pink by the fact that it locks if I had gotten this as a kid; I always found treasure chests and such really cool. And though it’s only a couple of inches tall, the chalkboard surface, eraser (the chimney) and the chalk pen (the top of which is the Tapioca pearl on the upper right) all worked better than I would have expected from a comparable kids product.
I got this from CD Japan, who are consistently top notch in terms of service, shipping, and so forth. As I’ve said before, these magazines are well worth their $10-ish list price, particularly as an addition to a larger order. Even among those magazines, this was my favorite among recent purchases. A recommendation for sure!