In which the lunch definitely isn’t free, but it’s a hell of a meal nonetheless.
There’s something to say for all of the Sumikko and Minikko — there’s no favorite that surprises me. Love Neko’s sweet worried nature or Zassou’s positivity or Tokage’s love for his mom or Nisetsumuri’s shame over his identity the best? I get it. But from the very first time I saw him, Tonkatsu’s been my favorite. When the series first released, I thought he might have been a mole (I have a special love for moles — and yes, I do love Mogura too), and then when I was able to learn a bit more — well, he’s hard to resist. Add in Ebi Furai no Shippo and their cute, cuddly family-like relationship and I just can’t help it.
When the Tonkatsu-centric Age Age Agekko line launched, I was low on money, so I’m just now catching up a bit. I can’t believe I only now got this plush! My usual sources sold out, COVID made a bunch of people stop shipping overseas — I ended up getting one on Mercari finally out of desperation. And once it showed up, every single penny I spent was worth it!
It’s strange, because as a kid I always found it creepy when anthropomorphic food tried to get me to eat it. Take me to a barbecue place where some pig is salaciously offering me his butt or show me these types of nightmare fuel and I’m slightly horrified. I’m definitely not charmed, that’s for sure. But many of my favorite Japanese characters are food, even kind of weird food. Kogepan is burned bread that gets drunk on milk to forget his sorrows, Kirimi-chan asks you to please grill her; and, of course, these fried friends have emotional complexes about being left behind on someone’s plate.
The back shows the contents (although be careful — it shows tenori plush for Ebi Furai no Shippo and Tonkatsu, but they aren’t included). Everything else is, though.
And here are the inside contents:
Every single component is just so nice — as with all these Sumikko Gurashi collection goods. The plush are soft and lovely. I wasn’t expecting velcro to hold everything on the plate, but it really helps with display possibilities. And the plate itself feels like a mix of vinyl and leather (I wouldn’t have complained even if it had been flat plastic, but this is so much better) and is darling besides.
And of course a big draw is the included Aji Furai no Shippo plush. She looks so happy! (If you’re wondering what all this fried stuff has to do with cheerleading, these are agekko, where the age means fried — yet “age age” can also mean something like a cheer/excited sound in Japanese, too. (It also reminds me of a dumb but catchy song I used to listen to a lot.))
With the whole thing put together, I simply love it. I think this might be the current centerpiece of my Sumikko Gurashi collection!