Photo: JSDF Ibaraki Provincial Cooperation Office

Self-Defense Forces enlist anime boys to try to attract new human recruits

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Recently, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces have been using anime-style artwork, and in some cases preexisting anime characters, for their recruiting posters. In a way, it makes sense. Many of the most popular anime follow their main characters as they train themselves and/or utilize high-spec technology to protect the people and lands they love, which more-or-less aligns with the intended mission of the JSDF.

For example, in 2014 the JSDF recruiters in Ibaraki Prefecture debuted I☆P’s (pronounced “Ai Peace,” meaning “love and peace” in Japanese). The trio of cute anime-style girls consists of Hibari, Nobara, and Koume, who represent the air, maritime, and ground branches of the Self-Defense Forces.


▼ The characters’ names are also references to Ibaraki’s prefectural bird (hibari/lark), flower (bara/rose), and tree (ume/plum).


The I☆P’s girls have gotten annual art updates since their debut, but for 2019, the Ibaraki JSDF recruiters have decided to try a new tactic: handsome anime boys.

Screen Shot 2019-04-08 at 8.30.00.png

The three boys, who are currently unnamed, were drawn by illustrator Erikon, who also produced the 2018 I☆P’s poster. As with their female counterparts, each represents a different branch of the organization, with the fiery redhead symbolizing the Ground Self-Defense Forces, the stoic young man in white the Maritime SDF, and the flyboy with sky blue hair the Air SDF.

The JSDF Ibaraki Provincial Cooperation Office says it asked Erikon to design a trio with the aesthetics of popular shonen manga (boys’ comics) or mobile games, and indeed the characters look like they could change out of their JSDF uniforms and into sports ones and become the stars of a youth athletics anime, maybe as a volleyball or three-on-three basketball team.

Fans of I☆P’s don’t need to worry, though. While it’s not known whether or not the girls will be getting a new poster commissioned in 2019, the Ibaraki JSDF has said that they’re not retiring the female spokescharacters, and that they’ll be working alongside the boys from here on out.

Source: JSDF Ibaraki Provincial Cooperation Office via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- New anime Gate entertains, tries to recruit you to the Japan Self-Defense Forces at the same time

-- More JSDF recruitment posters get a moe makeover in Ibaraki

-- Japan’s Ministry of Defense unleashes the power of “Moe Marketing”

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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What a farce. And this is the same JDSF people around the world are raising a panic over for supposedly remilitarizing itself to a degree not seen since WW2?


-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I guess this might be one-upmanship on the police campaign for miniskirt police. Manga troops.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japanese anime boys are hardly the embodiment of masculine soldiers

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A far better advertisement for the JDSF has been Gate

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You'd get a better class of soldier if you brought back conscription...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Coming soon: New military recruit visa for foreign workers and interns to staff the JSDF.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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