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5 of the Most Terrifying Japanese Mascots
 Japan’s “yuru-chara” are designed to boost the popularity of towns and attractions but these eye-watering designs may have the opposite effect.

 Japan’s yuru-chara (lit. soft character) craze has been going strong for over a decade. The country’s thousands of cute, quirky mascots represent prefectures, towns, local attractions, and more. Their designs are usually based on the history, culture, or cuisine of the place they represent.

 Unlike sports mascots and commercial characters, yuru-chara are often intentionally unsophisticated and awkward, which boosts their lovable charm.

 But in an oversaturated market, sometimes desperate measures must be taken in order to stand out from the crowd.

“Yuru chara:” A PR lifeline

 Although regional mascots have been around for much longer, the current yuru-chara boom began in 2007 with the creation of Hikonyan, a cat in a samurai helmet, to commemorate 400 years since the founding of Hikone Castle in Shiga Prefecture. The mascot’s popularity earned the city of Hikone an extra 200,000 visitors, boosting its economy by an estimated ¥33.8 billion.

 Although creating a mascot doesn’t absolutely guarantee an increase in revenue, it’s not hard to imagine how a memorable yuru-chara could seem like a lifeline for struggling rural municipalities.

GaijinPot Blog

Japan's "yuru-chara" are designed to boost the popularity of…

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(*゚ー゚) Lin: 。。。

 なに、これ?

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(=゚ω゚) Lan: ん?

 ゆるキャラだよ。

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(*゚ー゚) Lin: いやいやいや、「ゆるい」って概念なんだっけ?

 ぜんぜん、ゆるくないじゃん!かわいくないし、気持ち悪いし、不気味じゃん!

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(=゚ω゚) Lan: そう?

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(*゚ー゚) Lin: おまえの目は節穴かー!

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(=゚ω゚) Lan: そーいえば、確かに、”eye-watering designs” “desperate measures” って書いてあるな。

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(*゚ー゚) Lin: そう!ちゃんと最初から読めっー!

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(=゚ω゚) Lan: ゆるキャラブームってもう、10年以上が経って流行にも陰りが見え始めてるからさ、だんだん奇抜で意味不明なのが増えてきて、これがふつーなのかなぁ。。。って。

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(*゚ー゚) Lin: これ↓ を見てから言えー!

ゆるキャラ
ゆるキャラ

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(=゚ω゚) Lan: あ”あ”ー!

 わかったっ!気持ち悪いからやめて!

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(*゚ー゚) Lin: あぁー、これでまた奇妙な国ヘンタイの国ニッポンって印象が海外に広がっていくんだろうな。。。