The Gods Of Kawaii Anoint The Most Inexplicable Animal Yet

 

At the time I bought these, I thought I'd better snap them up, because I'd never see another piece of tapir-themed goods as long as I lived. Haha, I thought. Seriously? Tapirs?

At the time I bought these, I thought I’d better snap them up, because I’d never see another piece of tapir-themed goods as long as I lived. Haha, I thought. Seriously? Tapirs?

If there was a vote on which animal is least likely to be described as “fluffy, “winsome” and “cuddly,” I think tapirs would pretty much win the internet.

Okay, to be fair: baby exemption. Tapir babies are pretty cute. Which makes it even more inexplicable that the merch makers ignored this fact?

Okay, to be fair: baby exemption. Tapir babies are pretty cute. Which makes it even more inexplicable that the merch makers steadfastly ignored this fact. Unless there’s some sort of secret Challenge Accepted award I don’t know about. (Thank you, Bristol Zoo, for clarifying)

So why are tapirs suddenly everywhere? Honestly, I’ve been trying to ignore this. How can tapirs be a THING? Of course, Japan has tasted the depths of cuteness desperation before, but this has to be a new low.

First inkling of the tapir takeover: beady tapir rice bowls 'n teacups at last year's Design Festa.

First inkling of the tapir takeover: beady tapir rice bowls ‘n teacups at last year’s Design Festa.

But when they started appearing outside Shibuya station, I realized resistance was futile

But when they started appearing outside Shibuya station, I realized resistance was futile

An appropriately anxious-looking tapir gracing a subway card sticker

An appropriately anxious-looking tapir gracing a subway card sticker

Tapirs + coniferous trees of the far north + chartreuse = let's design the WTFiest socks ever

Tapirs + coniferous trees of the far north + chartreuse = let’s design the WTFiest socks ever

Prehensile-nosed mammals snuffling about on a Shibuya Loft cosmetics bag

Prehensile-nosed mammals snuffling about on a cosmetics bag at Shibuya Loft.

Hiding among otherwise adorable chopstick rests

Hiding among otherwise adorable chopstick rests

The kimono obi most appropriate for tapir-viewing-in-the-rain season

The kimono obi most appropriate for tapir-viewing-in-the-rain season

And finally, my favorite: a box of what-the-whating-what animal crackers discovered by my friend Laurie Fellesz at DonKi. Bonus points for shape not even remotely resembling a tapir. Also, peafowl.

And finally, my favorite: a box of what-the-whating-what animal crackers discovered by my friend and fellow writer Laurie Fellezs at DonKi. Bonus points for shape not even remotely resembling a tapir. Also, peafowl.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

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