- axolotl / Bubbles / Kawaii / Pet / wooper looper
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Unlike the fearsome Aztec god of fire and lightning Xolotl after which it was named, the axolotl, or Mexican salamander, is an adorable amphibian popular as an exotic pet.
In Japan, their "cute factor" was played up in various ways during their marketing in the mid-1980s, beginning with "Wooper Looper," a local name that stuck thanks to a series of Nissin Yakisoba U.F.O. instant noodle commercials portraying them as aliens visiting Earth. At first, they were going to be called Super Looper, in reference to loopers (geometer moth larvae), but "super" was already taken. The moniker was clearly preferable to "axolotl" アホロートル ahorōtoru, which contained the unfortuitous combination of アホ aho, or "idiot," and 労（を）取る rō (wo) toru, meaning "taking the trouble to do something," in Japanese.
Fast forward to 2022 and another cute axolotl is having its moment in the limelight, only this time on Instagram.
Chie꒰(˙◡･)꒱🇯🇵 is the proud owner of two pink axolotls, a female named るーちゃん Rū-chan who's been living with her since August 2021, and a male named きーちゃん Kī-chan who arrived one month later. On her Instagram account at (lukiu._.upa), Chie posts videos and some photos of her two pets.
The video people are talking about was of Kī-chan, posted at the beginning of this month. Many of Chie's videos have thousand and even tens of thousands of likes, but this video truly went viral.
And it's not hard to see why. Take a look:
Kī-chan is looking at the camera with a little smile on his face, with one leg resting on the bubbler. And then, he adorably gulps at the bubbles. It's just an instant, but the sequence is unbearable cute.
With over 1.2 million likes and 3.13 million plays at the time of writing, it would seem that this little axolotl is popular! Maybe Nissin should take notice and cast him in a new commercial series!
If you'd like to see more adorable videos of Rū-chan and Kī-chan, follow Chie꒰(˙◡･)꒱🇯🇵 on Instagram.