In which I might be the laziest blogger ever, but hey! I bring corn!
I really will try to be better about writing, but I’m back today, with new Sumikko Gurashi content no less (and more on the way). And I’m extra stoked about today’s goods, because they’re from the collection I’m going to translate as Shirokuma’s Nice and Warm Corn Soup. (In Japanese, it’s しろくまのほかほかコーンスープ, Shirokuma no Hoka Hoka Koon Suupu.) And with this collection comes a whole gruop of new minikko — five little corn friends!!
As you can see on the official page, there are five little corn corningtons, identified by the food they, er, fell out of: Pizza, Miso Ramen, Corn Soup, Salad, and Steak Dinner. With my love of Tonkatsu, Ebi Furai no Shippo, Aji Furai no Shippo, etc, it’s no wonder I just fell in love with this lineup the minute I saw it.
Above you can see the first plush I got from this collection — let’s call this the Super Soft and Squiiishy Plushy (スーパーもーちもちぬいぐる, Supaa Mo-chi Mochi Nuigurumi). Literally the only criticism I could think to give this plush is that I wish it were bigger — a little more than four inches is nice, but it’s definitely not enough. (I do note there is a bigger Corn plush — though since it’s from a recent concluded Sumikko Kuji (lottery), I shudder at what price I’m going to end up shelling out to whoever’s willing to resell one. If you reading this happen to have one, leave a comment — I’m begging you.)
The best Sumikko Gurashi characters might look a little plain at first glance, like Corn here (which Corn is it? I guess that’s up to our interpretation). But they do an amazing job capturing not only what they are, but also their dorky, awkward, Sumikko-ness. And I really think Corn goes along with the very best of them.
So at a price under $9, still in stock at amiami, I have no regrets at all about this plush. Even the tag is cute enough to warrant keeping. Look at how the one corn is holding onto Shirokuma’s ear; they all get along just perfectly, and it’s making me really wish I had a can of my old study favorite, Jikkuri Koto-Koto Corn Potage (How would we say that in English, I wonder? The first part, じっくり jikkuri, means slowly, deliberately, or thoughtfully, and コトコトkoto-koto in this case is talking about something being simmered over low heat. I dunno, maybe something like Simmered Just Right Corn Potage? ^-^)
I hadn’t been quite sure what to make of these odekake (going out) pouches they sell for plush. I’m constantly aware that there is a fine line between me being a super cool adult with my quirky bags and Gengar hoodie and whatnot, on the one side, and being just, you know, a crazy weird moving-hard-into-middle-age dork on the other side. I’m also aware that me taking on a habit of walking around carrying a plush like some non-oddly-attractive Dr. Nii just adds to the crazy weird and dork side, not so much the super cool or quirky side.
So having a cute pouch to take things out in just seemed like it was tempting fate. But honestly, I had to give in for this Odekake Pouch — just look how cute it is. I feel like I just put some coins into a vending machine, only for a nice warm can of Sumikko Gurashi brand corn soup to appear!
The design’s just painfully cute from all angles, but I’m a little unsure with my translation of the ingredient list (below, on the left). It says the soup is 30% corn, 20% milk, and 50%…calm? It says おちつき ochitsuki, and calm is usually how I’d translate that. If I’m not missing anything, that doesn’t seem too far off course; corn soup is kind of an ultimate comfort food, capable of calming even my anxiety-riddled heart.
For about $15 (still available at amiami too), the pouch is made a much better deal by including a tenori plush of one of the Corn. It’s as soft and sweet and perfect as any of the other tenori plush; they never cease to amaze me. But I’ll hold off a bit on talking about that for now, since I’ve got functionally the same plush reappearing in the last set I’ll talk about today.
The tag was nothing to note, so I’m leaving it off here. But I think I’m kind of sold on the whole odekake pouch thing, even if I’m going to resist the slippery slope of carrying a plushy everywhere. The other agekko really seem to like this one, even if they’re utterly disregarding the recommendation that only one plush be put in there at a time:
I love corn, honestly—the food, I mean—and I find adding it to pretty much anything is an improvement. I’m one of those weird people who adds it to chili, even, though I know that makes me evil in the eyes of some, but I can use all the vegetables I can get, and corn is one of those that almost seems like cheating to even classify it as a vegetable.
I was a bit terrified of Japanese pizza at first. First of all, when I heard that it often uses mayonnaise as a sauce, I was picturing American mayonnaise (gross, though sometimes useful), not Japanese mayonnaise (a totally different taste — it’s sweeter and richer and kind of awesome. Nowadays you can get Kewpie mayonnaise at a lot of grocery chains and places like Target, so if you’ve never tried it, I recommend doing so! And while other Japanese pizza toppings like corn and potato didn’t seem off-putting, they did seem very different than what I was used to.
Yet somehow it all comes together and just works. I’ve liked a lot of Japanese pizza, and I certainly like our last two little tenori plush, featuring Pizza Corn and Steak Dinner Corn:
These have got to be some of my favorite of all of the many, many Sumikko tenori plush I’ve bought. I’m just so weak to food that’s been left behind!
Since these are identified with their little felt foods of origin, I’m just going to assume that the corn plush included in the odekake pouch above is from a different source. I’m just going to think of that one as Salad Corn, if no one tells me different, mostly because a nice and fresh salad sounds amazing right now (though not, you know, amazing enough for me to get up and make myself one).
I hope the Corn on this tag aren’t thinking of the pizza and steak dinner they came from with sadness — they’re not a part of a food like Ebi Furai no Shippo or Tonkatsu, they’re a little food all on their own like the Tapioca. So maybe they’re not quite as neurotic as my fried favorites, but then again, this is Sumikko Gurashi. At a price of about $9 for the two of them, these are an absolute must to buy — though they may be hard to find, since amiami is sold out of this one.
I’m not done yet with the Corn amazingness. This was just the plush I got from this collection, so there’s still some stationery stuff left (I sometimes have a little buyer’s remorse when I buy several things from the same design, especially in terms of stationery when I already have so much, but I actually regret turning a few things down here.) I’ll have that up sooner rather than later, I promise, and really intend to go back to more frequent updates. Wish me luck — and check back soon!