Otaku News Elfie - The Otaku News Mascot
Advanced Search
\ -


World Edition
UK Edition
US Edition
PSP Edition

Site Nav
Main Page
News Categories
DVD Reviews
Manga Reviews
Links We Like
Otaku News Shop

Site Info
About Otaku News
Link To Us
Contact Us

RSS Feed
RSS Feed Details


Advert Space

/ \
Sponsored Link: Tokyo Otaku Mode
Tokyo Otaku Mode - Figures
\ /

/ \
News Categories

> Culture
> Current Affairs
> Features
> Freaky Things
> Retail

Ambassadors of Cute

Date: 2014 July 6th Sunday [4:43] | Posted By: Lucy

What are these strange cute mascots, who are they, and what do they do?
Full Story
In Japan there is a serious emphasis on the commodity of cute. The Kawaii industry is big money, with Hello Kitty alone being valued at $5 Billion. You will find cute/kawaii characters & mascots (yuru-kyara) for everything I am sure you are familiar with Domo-kun the mascot for NHK. You will find them everywhere from your toiletries to even having mascots for the many of the prefectures (regions/territories) a particular favourite yuru-kyara of mine is Barii-san official mascot of Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture. Barii-san is the kind of chubby chick, I guess, with a crown and utility belt, I just want to give him a hug! And I would probably get a chance to if I visited any of the attractions in the Ehime Prefecture he represents.


So why do these mascots exist and what do they do? All good yuru-kyara require a background story, have birthdays, Facebook, Twitter, merchandise and so on and are used too boost public awareness and tourism for the many prefectures of Japan. It is an extremely competitive and lucrative business with hundreds of these mascots trying to win over the hearts of the public.


One of the most popular yuru-kyara at the moment is Kumamon, a black bear cub. Who 'has more than 300,000 followers on Twitter. He is all the more striking given the ferocious competition among mascots in just two years, Kumamon has generated 123 billion in economic benefits for his region, including tourism and product sales, and more than 9 billion worth of publicity, according to a recent Bank of Japan study."' 'This month a Tokyo jeweller unveiled a gold figurine of the bear worth 100m yen (580,000)!' Some officials believe the initial purpose of these mascots has been lost "Kumamon's true role is to be a medium for boosting Kumamoto's brand image," he said. "What we're trying to sell is not Kumamon, but Kumamoto prefecture."


However despite Kumamon's unprecedented popularity (he won the Yuru-Kyara Grand Prix 2011) after two weeks of voting the winner of Japan's Character Prize 2014 was Funassyi representing Funabashi City in Chiba Prefecture An adorable yellow dancing Japanese Pear, who can also be seen to be fond of jumping around & stage diving!

Imagine if we had these in England, would be absolutely amazing, a little puppy dog for Essex, a cute little royal looking cat for London, a fluffy sea lion for Cornwall, the cuter the better. There are so many mascots in fact that they could be facing a mascot cull, but I say SAVE THE MASCOTS, there isn't enough cute in this world as it is, the more the merrier!

Additional Sources:

The Guardian
Japan Times
Japan Today
MO-AM Network

Otaku News

\ /


Recent News
Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale Now on Netflix
Anime Limited to Release Mirai - Mamoru Hosoda's Latest Movie in Cinemas in the UK in 2018
Genki Gear New Year Sale 2018
Manga Entertainment UK Spring 2018 DVD and Blu-ray Release Line Up
BLAME! UK DVD and Blu-ray Release Details
Pluto: The Stage Play London Showing Details
Attack On Titan: The Roar of Awakening - UK Cinema Screening Details
Ichibuns - Japanese Burgers and more in London
Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms UK and International Premiere Details
Tokyo Ghoul Live Action Movie Review

Recent DVD Reviews

Shin Godzilla
Shin Godzilla
One Punch Man Collection 1
Digimon Adventure Tri
Nisekoi: False Love (Season 2 Complete)
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions - Heart Throb (Blu-ray)
When Marnie Was There
Sound Euphonium! (Streaming 1-14)
Golden Time Part 2 (Blu-ray)
Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie
Terror In Resonance (Blu-ray)

DVD Review Archive

Recent Manga Reviews

The Birth of Kitaro
The Birth of Kitaro
One-Punch Man - Volume 1
A Bride's Story - Volume 2
The Book of Human Insects
Tokyo Cycle Girl
Shiawase Restaurant - Volume 1
A Bride's Story - Volume 1
Breathe Deeply

Manga Review Archive

Links We Like
Helen McCarthy's Blog
Lego Howl's Moving Castle
Emma Vieceli's Workblog
Jet Arts
AnnaTheRed's Bento Factory
Tokyo Mango

Link Archive

Essential Reading
Anime News Network
Pirate Anime FAQ
Otaku Calendar

Johnny Wander
Three Panel Soul

UK Sites
Anime UK News

Dead Tree Magazines
Giant Robot
Neo Magazine UK
Otaku USA
Shonen Jump
Protoculture Addicts

Anime Companies
Bandai Entertainment
Manga Entertainment
Media Blasters
Urban Vision

UK Anime Companies
Anime Limited
Manga Entertainment UK

Manga Publishers
Dark Horse Comics
GEN Manga
Kodansha Comics
Yen Press

US DVD Retailers
Akadot Retail
DVD Empire
DVD Planet
Right Stuf
Tower Records

UK DVD Retailers

Import Retailers
CD Japan
Tokyo Otaku Mode

UK Focused Importers
United Publications
/ \
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Everything Else ©2002-2018 Otaku News