Oshi no Ko, despite its dark undertones, manages to infuse moments of levity within its narrative. Some of these instances have transcended the anime fandom, becoming popular memes. One such meme revolves around Kana Arima, a child star alongside Ruby and Aquamarine Hoshino.
The Origin of Baking Soda-chan: Kana Arima has unwittingly become synonymous with the nickname Baking Soda-chan (重曹ちゃん, Jūsō chan), all thanks to a mistake made by Ruby. The anime's popularity has significantly amplified this joke, leading to its evolution in various ways. While foreign fans also embrace the humor, it is in Japan that Baking Soda-chan has truly flourished as a meme.
Why Is Kana Arima Known As Baking Soda-Chan?
In the world of Oshi no Ko, Kana initially gained recognition as a genius child actress capable of shedding tears within 10 seconds (10秒で泣ける天才子役, Jūbyō de nakeru tensai koyaku). Unfortunately for Kana, Ruby mistakenly remembers her as a genius child actress who licks baking soda (重曹を舐める天才子役, Jūsō o nameru tensai koyaku). In Ruby's defense, the two phrases sound remarkably similar in Japanese. However, Ruby's repeated mistake further solidifies Kana's reputation as an eccentric genius child actress who licks baking soda, much to the amusement of the fandom. Consequently, Japanese fans affectionately refer to her as "Baking Soda-chan."
Animation Accentuating the Joke: The anime adaptation exacerbates Kana's predicament through imaginative scenes not depicted in the original manga. One such scene portrays a young Kana licking a spoonful of baking soda while standing beside a bucket of it, lending an air of unorthodoxy and peculiarity. Her mischievous expression peeking from behind a corner accentuates the bizarre concept.
The Iconic Floor Licking Scene: Among the fans, Ruby's second mistake, envisioning a young Kana licking baking soda off the floor like a Roomba or an akaname, has gained significant traction. This particular scene has become the subject of numerous video edits, further diminishing any remnants of Kana's dignity within the narrative.
Reputation Ruined Before the Anime's Release: What compounds the situation for Kana is that her reputation was tarnished even before the anime premiered. On April Fools' Day, an official tweet featured Kana as the spokesperson for the Kaneyo Baking Soda brand. This early endorsement showcased how well-established Kana had become as Baking Soda-chan in the eyes of her fans.
Embracing Lighter Moments: Despite the darker aspects of Oshi no Ko's narrative, fans can find solace in the lighter moments, including those brought about by Baking Soda-chan. While the notion of Kana's willingness to consume dangerous amounts of baking soda off the floor is purely comical, it manages to brighten anyone's day. However, it is crucial to note that these memes should not promote the emulation of hazardous habits. Instead, they offer entertainment value within the context of the story.
Conclusion: The emergence of Baking Soda-chan as a meme in Oshi no Ko demonstrates the fandom's ability to find humor and amusement even in darker narratives. Kana Arima's accidental association with licking baking soda has captured the imagination of fans, both in Japan and beyond. As long as the meme is appreciated responsibly, it continues to provide a source of entertainment within the broader anime community.