I am three years old in this memory. My favourite anime character is Anpanman. Not just me. All my friends are passionate about Anpanman. This anime character, who is made of a red bean paste bun and goes out to help people in need, is our hero and our dream.
Both boys and girls watch the anime episodes on TV and read picture books of Anpanman. When we sit to draw something on paper, Anpanman is one of the first things to appear.
Back in August, when I visited my grandmother, my distant cousin bought me an Anpanman balloon doll at the Bon odori festival. Ever since I came home, I carried it with me wherever I went, but after some time, the air started to escape and my Anpanman balloon doll deflated.
I wish I had an Anpanman doll that does not deflate, I think to myself. Because I want my Anpanman to stay with me all the time!
Then, one day, I find a plush doll of Anpanman at one of my friends’ place. It is a large plush doll, just as big as the balloon doll I have had until recently. This is the answer to my wish – an Anpanman doll that does not deflate!
As soon as I get back home, I tell my mother about my friend’s Anpanman plush doll. Not surprisingly, her response is cool and indifferent.
“Is that so?” She says innocently as if she did not realize the plea behind my words. “That sounds nice.”
She knows that I am not going to ask her to buy me one. She always makes it clear that new toys are only for my birthday and Christmas, and she also knows that I want to be a good girl. But I am not going to give up so easily either.
A few days later, when my mother and I visit my friend’s house together for a tea, I casually bring my friend’s Anpanman plush doll in front of my mother.
“See, Mommy? This is the one I told you about.” I make sure that she sees the doll from close-up. I also make sure that my friend’s mother is nearby to hear us and joins our conversation.
The strategy works well. My mother and my friend’s mother start talking about how we children are so into Anpanman and that we want to have everything that has anything to do with the character.
But I do not stop there. Once we are back home, I keep talking about the Anpanman plush doll that we both saw at my friend’s place. I tell my mother how I miss my Anpanman balloon doll that has deflated and is no more, and how a plush doll, on the other hand, can last forever.
Finally, my mother opens her mouth. “Sweetie, what I am hearing is,” she says carefully. “That you want an Anpanman plush doll like the one your friend has. Am I right?”
I become very still. After all my effort, the verdict is about to come out.
My mother looks at me, then sighs. “Alright, Sweetie,” her voice softens. “Because you want it so badly, we will get one for you. Even though it is not Christmas yet. But remember,” she quickly adds. “This is an exception. Don’t think that this will happen again!”
Thus, a brand-new Anpanman plush doll comes into my life. My very own Anpanman that will never deflate. I run to my friend’s house to show her my new treasure. From that day on, two Anpanman dolls accompany us whenever we play together.