Okay, I thought the stuffed animal wizards were pretty much scraping the bottom of the vertebrate barrel when they came up with Kapybara-san a few years ago. I mean, how many of your childhood friends were really dying to invite the world’s largest rodent into bed with them? I rest my case.
And I thought they’d outdone themselves when they turned to the vegetable bins for Ao-kubi Daikon. (Yes, Blue-Necked Radish was a somewhat disgruntled, giant, white vegetable character. But endearing, in a surly kind of way.)
But what could they possibly do after exhausting the entire universe of living things? The only thing left was: meat. Yes, meat. Raw meat. Meet “Kirimi-chan,” a slice of raw salmon. (You can tell he’s cuter and more snuggly than a piece of raw meat though, because he has little pink arms and legs.)
And of course he has friends! Mackerel Dude, Mr. Cod Man, Red Snapper Boy, Teenage Tuna Kid, Fishcake Girl, and Other Kind Of Fishcake Girl. Oh yeah, and not to be xenophobic, the foreign friend: Roast Boy. (Yes, there’s actually a stuffed toy in this series that looks like a beef roast.)
Thank you to 3yen.com for the Aokubi Daikon photo – my own extensive collection of stuffed radish characters is back in San Francisco, and they refused to take selfies for me.
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon
“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist