Do you like penguins? Then you will probably love this cute penguin character from Japan. Koupen-chan the positive penguin is inspired by a baby emperor penguin and designed by illustrator Rurutea.
His is an abbreviation of Koutei Pengen (肯定ペンギン), where Koutei stands for affirmation. In illustrations, you will see Koupen-chan praising you for simple things like getting up or going to work.
The story of Koupen-chan started with a penguin illustration that the creator posted on Twitter in 2017. This tweet helped them to gather followers and Koupen-chan became an established character. Later Koupen-chan stickers would go on sale for the messenger app Line. As a result the character popular enough to start a whole franchise. The penguin character is especially popular among women in their 20s and 30s.
By now there is an online shop where you can find a large variety of merchandise with illustrations of the little penguin. The goods are also available in several LOFT and Kitty Land stores all over Japan. In the character street at Tokyo station there even is Koupen-chan exclusive store. At the beginning of 2020, there was a collaboration café in Tokyo. Currently, there also is a gallery with original paintings that is being held at changing locations in Japan.
You can even find Koupen-chan the positive penguin on cosmetic products in drugstores like this Koupen-chan hydrating face masks or sanitary napkins. There also are regular collaborations with popular food chain stores where you can get stickers or small figures for ordering certain meals. Additionally, a collaboration with the famous cosmetic and accessory store Its’ Demo is coming up in November 2020.
The first time I came upon Koupen-chan was at a gachapon machine. I got this figure that praises me for coming to work. I put that on my work desk and fell in love with the small penguin. By now I am a regular customer of the online store and hope that another collaboration café will take place next year. Unfortunately, I missed out on this year’s cafe.
If you have not yet found your love for Koupen-chan try watching this video. You will fall in love with the little penguin in no time.