The brainchild of Japanese toy company Sanrio, which also created Hello Kitty and a whole host of beloved anthropomorphized creatures, the lazy cartoon yolk Gudetama has attracted legions of fans around the world. And when a Gudetama-themed cafe opens in Singapore next month, the “depressed egg inside all of us,” will be one step closer to taking over the planet. Gudetama fans can already enjoy his sighing, sleeping image on an array of collectible items including bathrobes, backpacks, and laundry baskets. But the truest sign of Gudetama fandom, apparently, is actually eating the little guy, and devotees in Singapore are already licking their lips in anticipation.
This isn’t the first eatery to feed Gudetama mania. At a temporary (and, frankly, disturbing) Gudetama Cafe in Hong Kong last year, visitors made custard buns in the character’s image barf by squeezing his face, or poop by squeezing his rear. In a shopping mall in Osaka, Japan, diners sipped on a Gudetama-adorned chai latte, chowed down on little Gudetamas in a fried egg sandwich, and devoured a curry featuring a Gudetama made of rice. In Los Angeles, Sanrio teamed up with LA burger chain Plan Check to offer a Gudetama-inspired menu, including a $39 three-course meal, in three neighborhoods for a month. Gudetama even briefly got the McDonald’s treatment in Hong Kong.
Details about the menu for Singapore cafe, which will arrive at the Suntec City Mall by the end of November, are under wraps for now. But we know that food blogger Shirley Wong, who goes by Little Miss Bento, will be involved with creating the menu and styling the food.
“As a bento artist and food stylist, I work a lot with food, so the fact that Gudetama is an egg (and edible), makes him a super intriguing character. And it’s pretty hilarious because his character can take on many egg-forms—for example boiled egg, fried egg, omelette, and egg sushi and egg pudding,” Wong told Singapore newspaper Today.
Gudetama’s image may be culinarily malleable, but his personality is pretty consistently dreary. Gudetama’s demeanor “ranges from lethargy to despair” and he spends most of his time trying not to get out of bed. His catchphrases, meanwhile, are short and depressing one-liners like, “I can’t,” “Not today,” and “Meh.” So what’s the appeal? According to Today writer May Seah, the unapologetic sad sack is a universal representation of what most of us are like first thing in the morning.
“If Sanrio’s old guard Hello Kitty is ‘ego,’ then its new superstar Gudetama is ‘id,’” Seah wrote, “if we weren’t so afraid to let it all hang out, we would be spending our days lying comatose on a bed of fluffy carbohydrates, too. The prevailing sentiment of our times is ennui, and a lazy egg has become its perfect symbol.”