The Far-East has a knack for making anything cute and quirky by adding human-like physical features. You have all seen anthropomorphic animal characters, such as Hello Kitty, Snoopy and Bugs Bunny, but half human half food characters are also popular in Korea. Adding a personality to an already adored snack is a recipe for instant success. These are 7 of the best human-food hybrid characters in Korea.
Dalki, (Korean for ‘strawberry’) is a female character from a Korean children’s cartoon franchise. Although she is a human girl, her face shape, freckles and red hat emulate the human incarnation of a strawberry. In fact, all the characters in this franchise are all children with fruit qualities. Her friends;Banana, Lemon, Subak (Korean for ‘watermelon’) all have their own unique look and personality.
Cocomong is a Korean children’s TV show franchise where all the characters are half animal and half food. The eponymous main character is a monkey-sausage called Cocomong who embarks on a space quest. His crew includes a rabbit-egg, donkey-carrot, crocodile-cucumber, and more.
Mr. Mu 무과장
This character is literally translated to ‘radish chief’ and is the mascot for a loan company. The radish is often stylised as wearing a necktie and carrying a briefcase; the classic Korean office-worker look. A radish was selected out of all the vegetables because the Korean word for radish, ‘mu’ (‘무’) also means ‘none or nothing’. The company’s slogan emphasises the ease of getting a loan, and highlight ‘no (this or that) necessary to get a loan’.
The latest hit character from Japanese studio Sanrio is Gudetama, the lazy egg who hates doing anything other than sleep. Gudetama’s popularity is mainly due to its negative and unmotivated personality, as most characters are bubbly and cheerful, which immediately makes him unique. Its drooping eyes and chubby sluggish facial expression makes it relatable and adorable.
You have probably seen this character if you use Kakao Talk, as Apeach is one of the free emoticons included in the app. Many people find it difficult to distinguish what it is at first glance, but it is a pink peach head with a small white human body. Her personality is described as sexy, playful and hilariously cute. Apeach was actually the result of a science experiment, by Con the small green crocodile, which is why she is a human-peach hybrid.
Hoppang Man 호빵맨
Originally ‘Anpanman’ in Japan, this super popular animated hero is a steamed sweet bun come to life. He fights for justice daily and even kindly offers pieces of his head as a snack.He was created by a baker called Uncle Jam, and he can be resurrected from death by getting a new freshly baked loaf affixed to his body.
Using Korean street food as inspiration, the Korean word for flavour ‘maat’ (맛) and the ‘material’ are combined to make this design franchise. The main characters are Dukkbokki, sweet potato and various fried veggies and kimbab.
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