Korean culture

Kakao Friends: Meeting the characters

In 2012, Korean illustrator Kwon Sung Ho (권순호) released a trial version of sticker packs in Kakao Talk – Kakao Friends (카카오 프렌즈), which began to gain momentum from the fact that users liked the idea so much that they began to spread it. Thus, the company started to grow and cooperate with large companies, from cosmetics to clothing.

The man is also known by a pseudonym – Hozo (호조).

Now Kakao Friends is a large office with merch, which is constantly updating its range and often invites foreigners to their stores not only for shopping but also for photos.

Kakao Friends | Photo: Viktoriia Holovach

Lately, I’ve become even more convinced that the use of emojis among Koreans is also part of their mentality. Description of emotions, phrases with wishes, or the cutest pictures are used in each situation.

○ Ryan looks like a bear, but it’s a lion (appeared in 2016);

● Apeach (peach) escaped from the tree on which it grew. He is bisexual, as happened in the process of genetic modification;

○ Tube – is an awkward duckling with a pair of tiny legs. He wears bulky slippers and turns into a wild green duck in a fit of rage;

Screenshot Ryan and Tube in Kakao Talk | Photo: Viktoriia Holovach

● Con is a crocodile raised by Muzi. According to the illustrator, it is very mysterious;

○ Muzi. If you thought he was a yellow rabbit, you were wrong. It is a yellow marinated radish (단무지) in a rabbit costume. The idea of its creation was a Japanese snack takuan;

Screenshot Frodo and Neo in Kakao Talk | Photo: Viktoriia Holovach

● Frodo is a puppy from a wealthy urban family who considers himself a mongrel. He wears a red tie and is in love with Neo;

○ Neo (a cat) is a recognized fashionista by Kakao Friends. Neo loves shopping and dates Frodo;

Screenshot Frodo and Neo in Kakao Talk | Photo: Viktoriia Holovach

● Jay-G (a mole) is an agent that was sent to steal a rabbit’s liver. It was named after an American hip-hop artist Jay-Z.

Screenshot Frodo and Neo in Kakao Talk | Photo: Viktoriia Holovach

Which characters do you like the most? I am absolutely keen on a couple of Frodo and Neo.

Journalist Viktoriia Holovach, English translation by Anastasiia Malakhova

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