Photo: YouTube/tsulunos

Gunma Prefecture’s mascot brought in an estimated ¥71.3 billion last year

By Shannon, SoraNews24

There seems to be a mascot for almost everything in Japan–including train gap monsters–and besides looking cute, some of them can be pretty profitable. Gunma Prefecture’s Gunma-chan, an adorable horse character, is one of these. In the last year alone, all things Gunma-chan related were estimated to bring in 71.3 billion yen in revenue.

Gunma Prefecture has amped up its PR in the last few years, developing the Gunma-chan brand even further. A few ways this has been done is through social media platforms like TikTok, as well as more traditional media, like the Gunma-chan anime that aired on Japanese TV.

▼ Some episodes are available on YouTube as well.

And of course, there are all sorts of physical Gunma-chan goods available for purchase at sightseeing locations across Gunma–and at the occasional non-Gunma location as well. You can find Gunma-chan keychains, plushies, and snacks galore. The character also appears in real life from time to time at places like prefectural events.

▼ Gunma-chan also stans PewDiePie.

Gunma-chan’s fame does not come without occasional controversy, though. Some episodes of the Gunma-chan anime were actually pulled from airing due to viewer complaints, including one about horse racing that some suspect was trying to promote gambling.

All in all, though, the Gunma-chan brand seems to be a profitable one for the prefecture, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. If you stop by Gunma Prefecture, keep an eye out for Gunma-chan–though we don’t think you’ll have a hard time finding it.

Sources: NHK via Golden TimesTwitter/@nhk_news

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Episode of Gunma-chan anime deemed not suitable for children and shelved

-- Gunma-chan candy is adorable, probably as sweet as the mascot’s national championship

-- Gunma Prefecture’s adorable mascot dances into our hearts and travel plans 【Video】

© SoraNews24

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Maybe other prefectures should take a page or two from Gunma's books on promotion, I was reading how people in Saga were for example expecting some benefit from the mini-boom of an animated series centered in the prefecture but I have seen nothing to justify that optimism, a well designed and promoted prefectural mascot can apparently do wonders instead.

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Very good for the Japanese brotherhood of mascots..

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Why would I want to go anywhere where "PewDiePie" goes ?

That poses a Reputational Risk issue to the prefecture...

It would be far better to promote the individual areas of interest, based upon interest, rather than who went there beforehand, and may have been paid to do so... in reality.

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