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Meet Pengsoo, the Large Penguin from South Korea Going Viral

It’s solely two months into 2020, however it seems that the Web has already discovered its hero of the second: a big penguin with an angle named Pengsoo.

The 7-foot mascot was initially created by South Korea’s Schooling Broadcasting System (or EBS) as a kids’s character, however discovered a big and enthusiastic fanbase amongst millennials, who appeared to strongly establish with Pengsoo’s seemingly apathetic lifestyle and blunt to the purpose of being impolite responses.

Pengsoo’s attraction will be attributed to many components; the character, who was named South Korea’s “Individual of the 12 months,” beating out the likes of BTS, is deliberately genderless and was conceptualized as being the mascot that individuals of all ages may like. Based on an interview with BBC Information Korean, EBS producer Lee Seulyena mentioned that the corporate was desirous about shifting away from typical “cute and cuddly” characters for youths — which was fairly aptly illustrated by the truth that Pengsoo has the voice of a middle-aged man regardless of being a 10-year-old.

“I needed to [make the character] three-dimensional,” she mentioned. “Cute and cuddly characters are simply what adults [expect of a kid’s character]. In truth, kids even have a want to precise themselves actually.”

It’s Pengsoo’s unpretentious and irreverent angle, nevertheless, that is perhaps probably the most compelling function in regards to the large penguin. On its EBS video channel, the place it’s garnered over 1.2 million subscribers, viewers can watch Pengsoo deal with the chief of EBS, Kim Myung-joong, with out honorifics, and in some circumstances, even blames Kim for when one thing goes improper.

Pengsoo’s disregard for sophistication and rank will be refreshing in a status-obsessed society, as is its bracing honesty. When advised to be happier, the big penguin has responded: “Don’t inform me to cheer up after I can’t.”

Retaining it actual and sticking it to the system? It’s no surprise that Pengsoo has grow to be the toast of the Web.

Extra Should-Learn Tales From TIME


Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com.

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