Friday, May 12, 2006

And now for something Completely Different: Gloomy Bear

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This is the story of a little boy and a cute, cuddly, abandoned, pink bear cub. Captivated by his cuteness, the little boy decided to adopt his new pink pal. He took him home, took care of him, and the two became the best of friends...Until the cute little cub grew up.

The cuteness of stuffed animals, wild and feral in real life, seemed strange to Mori Chack (Chax). "It is only natural for a bear to attack humans. I wanted to express that in a cute manner."

And that's what he's been getting paid to do, since 2002, when he was discovered selling hand-made postcards on the streets of Osaka. Almost overnight, Gloomy Bear, in all his pink, kawaii-style gruesomeness, had clawed his bloody way into the hearts of Japanese youth.

Gloomy, pronounced "gurumi" in Japanese, actually means stuffed, and is the suffix of the word "nuigurumi" (sewed and stuffed) meaning "stuffed animal" in Japanese. Unlike his Disney cousin, Pooh-san, who also enjoys great popularity among kawaii kid consumers, Gloomy can not be tamed by the society he's caged in.

Today, Gloomy Bear can be found sitting pretty, stuffed and fluffed on shelves all over Japan. Bloody key chains, ketai straps, stationary, and almost any other product plastered with this strawberry-sweet killing machine are never hard to find. Come on! You gotta admit -- he is kind of cute -- once you become desensitized to the disturbing, blood-drenched claws and mauling mouth... So let me know if you're in the market! (^-^)/


Sera said...

I remember seeing Gloomy Bear in Claw Machines all over Japan when I was over there. I was so confused about this "evil" cute bear, but I loved him!! I have several memento plushies of him I brough back to the states with me. Thanks so much for writing about him, it's great to learn of him "concept" and creator. :)

Anonymous said...

hahaha it is weirdly cute.

Christopher said...
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Christopher said...

I remember seeing this all over Japan as well. Excellent find. The US had a touch of this with Happy Tree Friends. I wonder if there is an animated Gloomy Bear out there?

Melissa said...
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Melissa said...

HeavyLIft! Hisashiburi! (^-^)/

I've never heard of Happy Tree Friends. I checked and found a link for some good ol' Gloomy Bear anime called "Chax Clips" if your're interested :)

Lindizzy said...

hahaha OMG, crazy character. And whattabout his creator's crazy afro?!! Dude, I hadn't heard from u in awhile so I thought I'd check your blog. Glad to see you're still connected! I talked to my friend Angela today and she is going to Vietnam on missions in June so I wanna hook you up with her 'cuz I'm sure she has lots of I thought you might be interested in taking another trip back? I'm gonna try to be on Yahoo! IM more often this week, try to catch me on!

Megan said...

Oh, how I love Gloomy bear! My Gloomy bear wallet just reached the point where I had to retire it. So sad! I live in the inaka and have yet to run across Gloomy goods in stores here- perhaps I can find something online!
By the way, I just discovered your blog, and I love it!