Let's Chill with Koupen Chan!
Japan never ceases to surprise and delight with its kawaii culture. One proof of that is Koupen Chan, the character that has captured hearts worldwide! This little penguin has been popping up all over Japan to spread good vibes. Let’s waddle into Koupen Chan’s world of positivity and absolute cuteness!
- Japanese name: コウペンちゃん (kō-pen-chan)
- Birthday: April 4
- Debut year: 2017
- Zodiac: Aries
- Species: Emperor penguin
- Favorite food: Miso soup
- Catchphrase: “Erai!” (It's great!)
- Hobby: Encouraging others and smelling flowers
- Fun fact: When Koupen Chan drinks strawberry milk or matcha, its body color changes!
WHO IS KOUPEN CHAN?
Koupen Chan isn't just your average penguin; it’s a super cute character created by an illustrator named Rurutea. This baby penguin started on Twitter (now X) and has since become super popular with digital stickers, books, and merchandise for everyone!
People really like Koupen Chan because it gives them positive vibes. Koupen Chan loves to encourage people with the small, everyday things they do. Like, if you wake up in the morning or ride the train to work, Koupen Chan would always say, “It’s great!” It also enjoys simple things in life, like sitting near pretty flowers or eating yummy food.
WHERE DOES KOUPEN CHAN COME FROM?
Koupen Chan began as a watercolor illustration posted on Twitter by Rurutea on April 4, 2017. It became popular for its positive message, and people started following Rurutea.
“Going to work is great!”
This is the first illustration that went viral. Rurutea drew it to spread happiness during a time when people might be feeling tired and uneasy.
WHAT IS KOUPEN CHAN?
If you’re going to look closely at Koupen Chan’s name, it’s actually a clever play on words that shows what the character is. Its name is an abbreviation of “kotei penguin (肯定ペンギン)” which means “affirmation penguin.”
But here’s the fun part – kotei also means emperor! Add “chan,” a Japanese term for young children or cute babies, and that completes the name that perfectly describes what Koupen Chan is – a cute and encouraging emperor penguin!
KOUPEN CHAN’S GENDER
Koupen Chan is a universal character that goes beyond age and gender boundaries! It has no specific gender. That’s why it’s popular among boys and girls of all ages. Even adults find comfort and joy in Koupen Chan’s simple yet heartfelt messages.
KOUPEN CHAN CHARACTERS
This cute baby penguin doesn't waddle alone! It’s a whole squad of baby penguins. You may think they’re siblings, but according to the artist Rurutea, they’re all different versions of Koupen Chan! But that’s not all – since its creation, other friends have been introduced. Let’s get to know them!
Pink Koupen Chan (ピンクのコウペンちゃん)
This cute penguin changed its color because it drank strawberry milk. It didn’t realize what happened, but it did turn back to its original color after a while.
Aqua Blue Koupen Chan (アクアブルーのコウペンちゃん)
This Koupen Chan turned light blue. What on earth did it drink? It’s still unknown up to this day.
Matcha Koupen Chan (抹茶コウペンちゃん)
This Koupen Chan is green because it drank matcha or powdered green tea! It first appeared at a Koupen Chan event in Kyoto.
Houjicha Koupen Chan (ほうじ茶コウペンちゃん)
Like Matcha Koupen Chan, this cute baby penguin drank green tea. But this time, it’s houjicha or roasted!
God Koupen Chan (神コウペンちゃん)
A rare Koupen Chan that rides on a fluffy cloud, this penguin watches over people like you and the other Koupen Chans.
Shooting Star Koupen Chan (流れ星コウペンちゃん)
This mysterious Koupen Chan seems to have a deep connection with Polar Bear-san. It debuted in the book, “Hanamaru! Koupen Chan.”
Buddha Koupen Chan (ブッダ・コウペンちゃん)
A Koupen Chan with a grateful personality, Buddha Koupen Chan frequently appears around temples. It rides atop a giant lotus flower.
Yokoshima Enaga-san (よこしまエナガさん)
Also known as Mr. Evil Enaga, this Shima Enaga bird likes evil and dreams of world domination! But deep inside, it has a very kind heart.
Although Adelie-san is impatient and has a rough temper, it is also a caring adult emperor penguin. It’s good at cooking and sewing.
Adult Penguin-san (大人のペンギンさん)
A calm and kind penguin, Adult Penguin-san won’t give up on soaring the skies.
Polar Bear-san (シロクマさん)
This knowledgeable polar bear comes from space and teaches you what he knows. He has a mysterious pocket on his side where you can take out and put anything.
This baby horse with a star on his forehead is Koupen Chan’s friend. It dreams of becoming a racehorse.
This large crow is said to be the god of guidance. It’s good friends with God Koupen Chan.
LEARN HOW TO DRAW KOUPEN CHAN!
Drawing Koupen Chan is super easy and fun! With just a few simple steps, you can bring this adorable character to life on your own. Koupen Chan has many looks, but here's an easy-to-follow video tutorial of how to draw the simple Koupen Chan version!
KOUPEN CHAN: DIGITAL SENSATION
Ever since its Twitter popularity, Koupen Chan has become a digital superstar because it's everywhere in the online world! There’s now a Koupen Chan official website managed by SPIRALCUTE where you can find all things Koupen Chan. Plus, Koupen Chan is like a social media celebrity with its own pages and profiles that fans can follow!
But that's not all – Koupen Chan even has its stickers on LINE, the chatting app! So, when you're texting your friends, you can use these stickers to add extra cuteness to your messages. This Koupen Chan penguin is so popular that it even won the New Face Award in the LINE Creators Stamp Award in 2017!
KOUPEN CHAN ANIME
Not satisfied with just being a drawing, Koupen Chan comes to life in anime form! Even though Koupen Chan doesn’t have a storyline, you can catch short animated clips featuring this penguin on YouTube. They’re just a few seconds long, but they’re enough to leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling.
READING TIME WITH KOUPEN CHAN!
Koupen Chan doesn't just stay on screens – it has cool books too! There are manga, picture books, and children’s books that are all about Koupen Chan. And if you’re interested to know how this cute penguin was made, you can look at Rurutea’s “Koupen Chan’s World” art book!
KOUPEN CHAN IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
To further spread positive vibes, Koupen Chan also showed up in music videos! The artist Rurutea is a big fan of the Japanese rock band, Uchikubi Gokumon Club. That’s why it’s no surprise that she collaborated with the band in making the videos for their songs “I Don’t Want to Come Out of My Futon” (布団の中から出たくない) and “Summer Song” (なつのうた).
KOUPEN CHAN X PENGUIN HIGHWAY
Koupen Chan is ready to show love to its fellow penguins as it became appointed as the official promoter of the Penguin Highway movie! This is a collaboration where a Rurutea created four-panel comic strips of Koupen Chan talking about the cute Japanese animated movie.
LET’S PLAY WITH KOUPEN CHAN!
Get ready for some fun with Koupen Chan in these cool video games! First up, we have "Koupen-chan's Room" – it's a mobile app where you can collect stamps, play games like "Koupen-chan's Great to Collect!" and "Koupen-chan's 7-Line," and even learn about anniversaries with the polar bear friend!
Then, there's "Koupen-chan Hanamaru Weather" – an Android app where you can cook yummy food, hang out with Koupen-chan and friends in your room, and decorate with cool stuff. Plus, there’s the "Let's Play Together~♪ Koupen-chan" game for Nintendo Switch. You can enjoy mini-games with up to 4 friends to share the penguin fun!
ENJOY KOUPEN CHAN TREATS!
But wait, the penguin adventures don't stop in the digital or animated realm! Koupen Chan also hangs out at different fast-food chains in Japan. For a limited time, fans had Koupen Chan treats when they bought meals from Lotteria and NakaU!
And there’s more! Some cafes and restaurants like MG Cafe and Mo’s Burger even added a touch of penguin to their dining experience. There was a time when they filled the place with Koupen Chan-themed decor and tasty treats.
Even though Koupen Chan doesn’t have its own permanent cafe, this adorable baby penguin had a collaboration with The GUEST Cafe and Diner. This restaurant is known for featuring kawaii characters like Sanrio and San-X. Special Koupen Chan-themed food was served in the American-style Koupen Chan Diner.
KOUPEN CHAN AND NEW GINGER
Speaking of treats, Iwashita Foods used Koupen Chan as its character image for the Iwashita New Ginger product. Fans can grab a rare Koupen Chan plushie that’s wearing the iconic Iwashita’s New Ginger Headpiece. This collaboration started because Koupen Chan’s creator Rurutea is a big fan of Uchikubi Gokumon Club, who loves Iwashita’s New Ginger.
ALL ABOARD THE KOUPEN CHAN EXPRESS
Imagine hopping on a train that’s all about Koupen Chan – yes, that’s a real thing in Japan! Various railway networks like Seibu and Hankyu have this super cool project where Koupen Chan and its buddies take over the trains! The trains were decorated with Koupen Chan for a limited time. What a way to spread kawaii vibes!
KOUPEN CHAN’S COLORFUL WORLD
In celebration of Koupen Chan’s 4th anniversary in 2021, Rurutea teamed up with PARCO. This arts and design company is famous in Japan for its galleries and exhibitions. They helped set up a special Koupen Chan Rainbow Museum at Sapporo PARCO Mall.
In this museum, visitors had a chance to take photos at special spots and look at around 150 original drawings featuring the cute and colorful baby penguin. There’s also a shop with awesome things to buy, like exclusive Koupen Chan goodies and limited-edition items. It’s like stepping into a rainbow-filled dream!
KOUPEN CHAN IN THE SKY
It seems PARCO couldn’t get enough of Koupen Chan’s cuteness because the following year, they featured the baby penguin again for one of their exhibits! The month-long exhibition in Ikebukuro showed Koupen Chan in a starry sky-themed space. Exclusive drawings were displayed and lots of special edition Koupen Chan plushies were sold!
RELAX WITH KOUPEN CHAN
Koupen Chan has become so popular that it also teamed up with leisure parks and resorts. One of those is Yukai Resort with over 27 hot spring areas in Japan! Koupen Chan is the perfect character to promote a relaxing and healing vacation. When guests arrived, they were greeted by Koupen Chan and its friends!
KOUPEN CHAN AT ADVENTURE WORLD
In 2022, the nature and animal park Adventure World in Wakayama Prefecture hosted the “Always Smile in Your Heart! Koupen Chan Collaboration Campaign.” It’s like a celebration of happiness with Koupen Chan who always finds joy in the little things. Koupen Chan plushies dressed in panda costumes and other Koupen Chan merchandise were sold. Visitors also enjoyed special events like photo spots and art exhibitions.
KOUPEN CHAN’S KAWAII COLLABORATIONS
Can you imagine the cute baby penguins dressed as your favorite kawaii character? Well, imagine no more because manufacturers like Sanrio and KC Store created plushies featuring Koupen Chan! You’ll see the baby penguin looking like Sanrio Characters or fused with the Blue Eyes White Dragon monster from the anime Yu-Gi-Oh.
KOUPEN CHAN IN EVERYDAY ITEMS
The fun doesn’t stop for Koupen Chan! The cute penguin joined forces with famous Japanese brands like It’s Demo, Shimamurato, and Ciaopanic TYPY. From stationery to stylish clothing, you can add a touch of penguin cuteness to your everyday essentials!
WHERE TO BUY KOUPEN CHAN GOODIES
Wondering where to get your hands on Koupen Chan? Good news! There’s an official online Koupen Chan store in Japan! The Koupen Chan Hanamaru Store offers online membership shopping where you can buy original Koupen Chan merchandise. You can also find Koupen Chan products in Koupen Chan Hanamaru Station in Tokyo and Don Quijote malls!
If you’re not in Japan but still want to have your Koupen Chan goodies, don’t worry! You can find websites that specialize in Japanese merchandise like Blippo! They have a wide selection of cute stuff featuring Koupen Chan.
That was an epic journey through the cute and positive world of Koupen Chan! From cute social media drawings to kawaii collectibles and collaborations, this baby penguin is everywhere. It’s good to know that in a world that can often be overwhelming, we have Koupen Chan to remind us to be kind to ourselves.
So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the world of Koupen Chan and spread joy! Just like this adorable penguin, why not leave an encouraging message for everyone in the comments?