Over 433k fans follow Azuki, pygmy hedgehog, and his daughter, Monaka, on Instagram to catch a glimpse of their fun, glamorous, and adventurous lifestyle.
Azuki, the pygmy hedgehog, is no ordinary pet. He's what you call an "internet staaaaar." Over 433k fans follow him and his daughter, Monaka, on Instagram to catch a glimpse of their fun, glamorous, and adventurous lifestyle through the incredible photographs taken by their human dad Shuichi Tsunoda. On some days, Azuki would be wearing a dapper hat and kicking his feet up in a field of flowers. On others, he would be posing on a hot pink hedgehog-sized flamingo float like a seasoned model. Even snuggling up in a warm blanket looks glamorous when it's Azuki's adorable head poking out.
Speaking to New York Magazine's Select All, Tsunoda said that the Capricorn/Taurus rising hedgehog first came into his family back in February 2016. Being a commercial photographer himself and recognizing Azuki's photogenic talents, Tsunoda almost immediately decided to set up an Instagram account for his new pet and the rest is history. Being the natural star that he is, Azuki quickly drew in followers. His human revealed that the first real surge in followers came after he posted a short video of the pygmy hedgehog eating an apple.
It didn't take long after that for the brand collaborations to start rolling in and Azuki was well on his way to becoming a social media influencer. His first collaboration, with camping-gear-maker Coleman Japan, really showed off his potential as a model and pretty much launched him to superstardom. "I take pictures of Azuki for about 15 minutes each morning after cleaning him," said Tsunoda. "[He’s] not self-conscious about being photographed. I just shoot the moment Azuki eats apples and mealworm."
Azuki's superstardom definitely helped make a case for hedgehogs in Japan—where he's from—as Tsunoda received six book offers from publishers after Azuki went viral. "In Japan, hedgehogs are thought to be a type of rat, and generally don’t have a good image," he explained. "By publishing a photo book, I aim to raise awareness."
How could you not fall in love with hedgehogs when Azuki flashes his adorable smile like this?
Even the most indoorsy person would venture out for a night in the woods if Azuki kept them company.
He'd definitely be an incredibly resourceful camping mate.
Look at him in his teeny tiny little chair!
Here are some more photos of Azuki because we know you could stare at him for hours: