Anime

Published on October 28th, 2015 | by Chantale Pard

Anime Club: Kawaii Box Program and Review

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Interested in getting your own Kawaii Box? Check out the end of my post for more information!

Any good Anime Club host knows how important it is to keep up to date on their Japanese pop culture knowledge, and I was doing just that on one of my lunch breaks last month when I had an idea that was too exciting to pass up. I was in the middle of binge watching Sharla’s Life videos on Youtube, when she introduced a Kawaii Box for review. Kawaii Box describes themselves as “the cutest monthly kawaii subscription box” where you can “receive cute items from Japan & Korea every month”.

 

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Sharla in Japan is Sharla’s main channel where she often talks about traditional as well as popular Japanese culture. Check it out if you’re looking for some fun, entertaining education on her life in Japan!

Following the lead of my imagination, I then reached out to speak with Kawaii Box directly, where they then offered to send me one of their September boxes for free! Much to my excitement, it landed on my work desk a couple of weeks later, and here I am! I’ll now take a moment to review these adorable items before explaining just how exactly I plan to use this product in my upcoming teen Anime Club meeting.

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Kawaii is the Japanese adjective that translates to “cute”, and it is often used in the context of Japanese popular culture.

 

Kawaii Box Review

 

  1. Kabaya Fish Gummies

I just noticed that not only are there fish-shaped gummies, but it’s meant to show you the fish-growing stages. There are also fish eggs and some sort of in-between looking stage that I personally find kind of creepy, haha. They look pretty yummy, though!

  1. Kawaii Foods Sticker Set

When somebody recently asked me what would be in something called a Kawaii Box, I literally said “You know, like … tiny food shaped stickers, and llama key chains?” I was misremembering the alpaca situation (see below), but the point is, I was right! My Anime Club loves their kawaii stickers! A sticker sheet is a great little treat for these clubs because they’re only a couple of dollars, and there’s usually enough to give one to everybody. Some of my regulars who have been coming to me for the past two years have a growing collection of our kawaii stickers that they proudly keep on the front of their Nintendo DS’s. I’m thinking of holding this prize back and dividing it up throughout the group. They’re also puffy! Nice!

  1. Moomin Mini Pouch

Had to do some internet research on the Moomin characters (they’re Swedish). This fuzzy pouch has Snufkin on the front, and it looks like it would hold a few coins or tiny treasures quite well!

  1. Fragrance Beans

This one confuses me – I’m guessing when we unwrap the plastic, the top will pop off and the yellow balls inside might smell like…bananas? There’s a cute monkey on the front and everything is yellow, so it’s my best guess! It also helpfully reminds us not to eat them. I’ll let you know what the deal is when the prize winner opens it up!

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Too many adorbs! Must have them all!

5. Cute Anime Greeting Card

A fun, cute, little Thank You card with a French puppy on it!

  1. Neck Stretching Bunny Pen

I’m not going to lie. I kind of want to pretend this one didn’t come in the box, so that I can keep it for myself! It’s just perfectly adorable. The twisty “bunny” head (looks more like a panda to me) also makes the pen look like a hockey stick. The coloring is pale beiges and greys, and it’s an all-around super cute pen. I’m not sure I get the “Let’s Wry Neck” saying on the side – perhaps it’s poorly-translated English? Which is also often sought after as a novelty, so I’m sure my teens won’t mind!

  1. Kawaii Toast Squishy Charm

GIVE ME ALL THE SQUISHY!! I’ve recently been toying with the idea of trying to find one of those Japanese make-your-own-squishy-charm kits, but they seem expensive and hard to find. We’re all in love with a squishy cupcake charm one of my Anime Club teens has on her bag, and I’m sure my group will love this cute little toast, too. Baked goods are one of the staples of kawaii culture!

  1. DIY Bracelet Kit

You had me at the adorable packaging! Is that a kitty, or a bear? Either way, I love him! This is basically like a mini version of a bead set I actually bought for my Anime Club teens last year when we were making our bottle cap jewelry. Can’t wait to see what our prize winners make out of this – it looks like there’s definitely enough for multiple bracelets, too!

  1. Alpaca Pouch

My teens are going to lose their minds for this alpaca pouch! If you’re not in-the-know, alpacas are all the rage these days. If you’ve been to a con recently, you’ve likely seen them being sold in a soft, colorful stuffy form. They often come with little costumes and accessories, too! I’m seriously planning on finally buying one at our local sci-fi convention this month. When I was trying to explain what comes in a Kawaii Box to my Anime Club crew, one of the things I mentioned was “and Alpaca stuff!” and they were immediately sold! The pouch is actually pretty big – it could work as a pencil case or even a makeup bag.

  1. Cute Egg Mini Plush

GUDETAMA! So cute!!! I don’t think this is an official Sanrio Gudetama product, but it certainly looks like our adorable little lazy egg friend who is oh so popular these days. It’s also got a little ball chain on it so you can rock him on your purse or backpack! Sign me up! I’m confident my teens will be itching to get their hands on this one, too.

  1. Caplico Mini Ice Cream Candy

Shiny packaging and strawberry flavored! Glico is also the maker of the infamous Pocky, so I imagine this one should be yummy. I’ll report back on how the prize winner found it in my next post.

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We promise not to eat the smelly beans!

Now what?

Alright, so we know Kawaii Box will send us 10-12 adorable items from Japan and Korea each month if we sign up for their paid subscription service. But what does that have to do with a Library Anime Club? Let me explain!

The most obvious but most expensive idea is that you could use some of your programming budget to sign up for the service. If you can’t afford to have the boxes come in each month (I know we can’t, so don’t feel left out!), you could alternatively spend the just $20 for just one box and save it as a prize(s) for a special occasion.

Once you’ve got your Kawaii Box in hand, you’ll want to decide just how exactly you’re planning on doling out these cutsie little goodies. This stuff is too adorable just to toss at your excitable teens – let’s make them work for it! Here’s my plan for next week:

I’ve got 11 items from September’s box. At our last meeting, I told my group that our Kawaii Box was coming soon, and asked what they would prefer – should one person win the entire box for doing something amazing? Or should there be 11 chances to win single items? They interestingly chose to split up the box into 11 different prizes (I’m still not sure if this was done with the intention of sharing (awww) or if they’re playing the smarter odds by ensuring most of them at least get something, haha). My Anime Club meetings are 1.5 hours long so I have a couple of different options.

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I could divide my crew up into two teams (if there aren’t more than 22 in attendance). We could play one large game (Anime Jeopardy, Pokemon Pictionary, Anime Theme Song Trivia, etc.) and the winning team can divide the number of prizes per team members up between themselves. Wham, Bam! Thank you ma’am, we’re finished and on to our Crunchyroll episode! This might create a bit of drama though – what if everybody wants the Alpaca pouch (likely)? Should they be drawing numbers within their winning team for a picking order? It’s a possibility… But I’m more into a marathon gaming/prize winning session.

I’ve run our Anime Olympics program a few times now. It consists of a bunch of different Anime themed games and activities spread out over the 1.5 hours. We often play shorter versions of games I mentioned above, plus a few more. I’m thinking this is the way I’ll divvy up so many prizes. I’ll let you know which exact games we end up choosing in my next article (early November) when I tell you how the program went, and how inevitably stoked everyone was about their adorable goodies. I’ll also be providing a link in this November article where you will have a chance to win your own kawaii box for free! This contest will be open to anyone who wants to enter it, but it could also be a great way to try and get a box for your own Anime Club, especially if your budget won’t allow any purchases.

Are games not your thing? Other ways you could disseminate your Kawaii Box prizes could be:

  • A manga reading challenge
  • A manga art contest
  • Cosplay contest
  • Library Mini Con Door Prizes

Looking for more information about the games I mentioned above? I have a ton of future articles planned on Anime Club games coming up, so keep an eye on this site!


About the Author

Chantale is the Youth Services Librarian for Keshen Goodman Public Library in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She graduated with her MLIS from Western University in 2013, and has also worked as a Teen Librarian for Lethbridge Public Library and as a Reference Librarian for the Government of Canada. Her love affair with anime started in 1997 with Sailor Moon on YTV, and she is still an avid Moonie today. She also loves Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, World of Warcraft and many, many YouTubers. She can be found on GoodReads here.



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