Aggretsuko is all of us

Move aside anamorphic nude anxiety-filled egg yolk, Sanrio’s newest character is bound to steal all our hearts in 2017. Why? Because she is all of us at some point in our lives.


Image Source: Sanrio. Aggretsuko ©2015 SANRIO CO. LTD. I am in no way affiliated with or claiming any ownership of Sanrio or any of its characters.

Aggretsuko is a cute, seemingly shy, single 25-year old red panda who works as an office associate in the big city of Tokyo, Japan. She’s always dreamt of working in such a highly respected office but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. She works long hours and is constantly being taken advantage of by her apathetic bosses while being bothered by her talkative colleagues (primarily portrayed by a gluttonous, can’t take a hint, hippo). After work she lets loose by downing pints of beer and screaming all her  frustration, anger, and ever so familiar feelings of early 20s disenchantment into a microphone in a karaoke room. We are told to not be fooled by her cute appearance, because on the inside she is a wild animal who knows she’s worth more.

At the end of her introduction trailer, she is seen hobbling down the dark streets of Tokyo, supposedly after a night of drinking with her two office cohorts, declaring, “Tomorrow is a new day!”

aggretsuko 2.png

Image Source: Sanrio.

Her story is definitely not a new one, but certainly new in the world of super cute Sanrio. Historically, Hello Kitty and all her friends all have personalities and character traits but never ones that seemed so damn relatable. It’s almost as if Sanrio’s marketing team sat down and said, “Hey, let’s analyze where our initial audience is in this point and time in their lives now and make a character that will appeal to them now.” I’m actually almost certain that’s what they did because how else would they have developed a character that hit us so much in the feels?!


Hello Kitty, Hello Art! by Sanrio & Roger Gastman

I mean, I absolutely love Hello Kitty, My Melody and their friends but never once did I think, “Wow I’m just like Hello Kitty. I also perpetually eat apples, bake pastries, and live in a small house in a 2D forest/small town and ambiguously go to grade school?…” Although, Hello Kitty’s simple design and lack of mouth may be Sanrio’s largest statement, as her character is open to interpretation and can be different symbols to different people. There is something about her plain and clean design that leaves much to the imagination that allows for her to be a muse to many artists and her audience alike.


Image Source: Sanrio



Image Source: Emilys Diary

Sanrio’s previous new addition, Gudetama, is arguably another attempt at targeting a niche audience. Gudetama is literally an egg yolk, who is so lazy to the point it would seem he is suffering from crippling anxiety. He likes retreating into his egg whites and hiding from the world. I would say that he was the product of a generation of Tumblr “sad girls” and “sad boys” whom unite via Internet and face enormous social anxiety. His plain and pained appearance is reminiscent to the self-depcracating trend of comparing yourself to a potato. Gudetama never appealed to me personally because of his unattractive appearance. I definitely sympathize with his character, but I wouldn’t want to own items with him on it because of his very pained, slightly constipated looking, appearance. I’m thinking Sanrio realized this and decided to go back to the drawing board with Aggretsuko.

The main reason I think Aggretsuko will steal our hearts is that she’s relatable. She faces real life problems, one that plights many post-college graduates who have no idea what they’re doing. She also faces the harsh reality of realizing our dreams aren’t always what we thought. Many times, we are told to shoot for the stars and we romanticize the images we see on social media of trust fund babies relaxing at beach resorts wearing Gucci flip-flops. In reality, when we graduate and actually land an entry-level job or internship we find ourselves paying off student loans and therefore making re-introduction to cup noodles. Besides being relatable, Aggretsuko actually has a solid personality as well as being attractive, indulges in adult vices such as alcohol and staying out late. In conclusion, I’m excited to see more of Aggretsuko and her character development this upcoming year. Sanrio, you’ve done it again.

aggretsuko rage.jpg

Image Source: Sanrio


I Don’t Have a New Year’s Resolution

Originally published on my medium.

I thought I did and I threw some around, but then I realized I didn’t want to only resolve to improve myself once a year.

I want to make goals and challenge myself all year-round. Although I am completely and utterly guilty of this, I don’t want to have to wait to make change. I want to muster up the courage and face difficulties when it is needed.

I don’t want to have an excuse to wait.

The image above, was taken on New Year’s Jan 1, 2016, about a year ago. I wanted to stand above an LA freeway with the wind blowing my red hair throwing up peace signs like, “Damnnnn 2016 don’t got nothing on me! Anotha year of self-love and confidence!”

But that would have been a lie. I was completely miserable at the time. I had been depressed for countless months and I wanted so badly to love myself and to encourage others to do the same but I really didn’t like who I was. I was breathing but I wasn’t alive. Rather than living my life, I was trapped in my own existence. Only sparsely would I feel engaged with my species-being when I was lost in a flurry of music, bright lights, booze or the pages of a good book.

This is sorta more my attitude.

With that being said, I am so much happier now. I made a lot of life changes, some of which were very hard and left me lost for months. But there’s always a a teeny tiny spark of light at the end of the tunnel that we can never see when we’re looking every other way, trying to dig away at cave walls. I’ve come to appreciate my skills and my curves and my features that make me myself.

I’m far from what I want to be and there are so many things I’m looking forward to working on this year — I’m just saying it’s not one “resolution.” 😉

Here are a few things up my sleeve…

  • Creative work! I’m going to try to do a lot more writing and design. I’m going to have a big surprise project done by the time of Coachella!
  • Health. Cliché yes, but I’m going to get back in shape focusing more on my health than that ideal figure.
  • Organization. I’m a pretty organized person but for fuck’s sake I can never finish a damn planner and get things written in stone so I end up forgetting things.
  • Patience. As a deeply passionate person, let me tell you sometimes we are so blinded by our strong will and feelings that we lose our patience.
  • READ. Oh my god, I need to read more books. My professor told me before that to become a better writer, you need to become a better reader. Let me holla at some works from fellow Asian American writers!

P.S. Change never comes from being comfortable.

How to Make Your Own Ramen Burgers


Whether you’re a nine-tailed fox or a college student cramming before midterms, ramen has always been your delicious dependable friend. This savory noodle soup has transcended beyond any ordinary bowl of noodles to a Japanese cultural icon. There are festivals, even a museum located in Yokohama devoted to the dish. Nowadays ramen is so popular there are endless configurations to the noodles: bold shoyu, rich tonkatsu, spicy miso, all garnished with delectable toppings such as sweet tender pork. In Japan, it is customary to slurp your noodles and considered rude if you don’t. However, there’s a new tasty craze that’s taken ramen to a whole new level—ramen burgers. That’s right, now you can enjoy ramen without a bowl, broth, or chopsticks by transforming it into a classic American staple. Chef Keizo Shimamoto took these two beloved national treasures and made a hapa burger baby. Ramen burgers are delicacies that aren’t listed under every burger joint’s menu, but fear not for you can make them yourself at home.

Time: 1 Hour


First of all you’ll need your ingredients. We made a ramen cheeseburger, but as I said about ramen earlier: there are endless options. Substitute the beef patty with pork, switch up lettuce with bok choy, add some kimchi for a spicier sandwich. Here’s what we had:


  • Pack of Ramen
  • 1 Egg
  • Ground Beef
  • Lettuce
  • Cheese
  • Mushrooms
  • Spicy Mayonnaise
  • Soy Sauce

Step One:

Open up that pack of ramen and boil the noodles in hot water. You’ll need to let the noodles cool for about 15 minutes.

Step Two:

Crack an egg yolk into the noodles or a bowl and mix well. You may add soy sauce or the flavor packet that came with the ramen.

Step Three:

Forming the buns is probably the trickiest step. We had ramekins which are little soufflé and dessert bowls but anything circular would work—smaller bowls, mugs, tins. Mold the buns evenly against the bowls and place a layer of plastic wrap above them. Weigh the buns down with something heavy such as a can of soup or a jar of pasta sauce. Place the forming buns into the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Step Four:

Now that your ramen is shaped, it’s time to fry them up into nice buns. Sprinkle some oil onto a pan on high. Plop the buns on and cook them into a golden brown. Make sure you flip the buns and let them cook on both sides. The time may vary on how thick you shaped your buns. Thinner buns are better because it can be hard to fully cook the inside of larger ramen buns.

Step Five:

It’s burger time! Cook your ingredients: sizzle a juicy patty, sauté some mushrooms, melt that cheese into a gooey blanket.  Instead of ketchup, we made a spicy mayo by mixing mayonnaise and sriracha. You are the chef and artist, unleash your inner Remy. Like any other burger, things can get a bit messy but you won’t regret this American Japanese fusion.

Note: Don’t feel discouraged if your first batch of buns didn’t come out perfectly. It may take a few tries to get it just right.