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Voting begins for 'moe' global warming prevention campaign characters

25 Comments

Voting has begun to choose the official "moe" (cute anime figure) character for a government global warming prevention campaign.

Through the campaign, the Environment Ministry said it aims to raise awareness toward global warming by appointing an official "moe" character in addition to their “Cool Choice” campaign, which calls for consumers to be environmentally-friendly and purchase energy-saving electric goods.

Members of the public have to choose from the 10 best illustrations submitted by the public for the two official characters. The characters are the lazy “Kimino Ima" (you at the current moment) and the environmentally aware doppleganger of Ima, “Kimino Mirai" (you in the future). Voting runs until Dec 18. The results will be announced in February, and the characters will be used for global warming prevention campaigns.

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25 Comments
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How about the character that calls for consumer to not purchase at all - to reduce, reuse and recycle - and find happiness somewhere else but in shopping?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Must there be a mascot for every single thing? It's like the whole populace is 5 years old the way they go on about this kind of stuff.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Moonraker: - and find happiness somewhere else but in shopping?

Make it look like a little Henry David Thoreau.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

An 'expert' on TV's Cool Japan once said that the Japanese use mascots to take the edge of issues that are difficult, uncomfortable, strict by nature, or, in this case, an inconvenient truth.

Let's take Moonraker's point by striving to reduce, reuse or recycle current mascots.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

How about a solar panel with eyes and cute ears, driving an electric car?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here we go again. I'm sure they've already chosen and the 'vote' is just a kind of front. Probably a teen with a giant bust and short skirt how's cheeks turn read as she bends over to get some water, talking about hot hot it is. Then they'll get in trouble for the controversial mascot and have to retract it, etc. John Oliver had a pretty funny bit on Japan and its millions of mascots not long ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iXOaUJyFB4

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Nippori Nick Was going to say the same.Why Japan needs a mascot for everything.It was the same for My Number they used that nonsense mascot too to help explaining a very serious topic. I should use mascots when doing presentations at my work, maybe it would. Help me!

@Moonracker Was going to say the same too Japan has always a very soft approach not to hurt the populace or business. Things have to be done not to hurt the daily life though to really have an impact , changing behaviors, reducing consumption and useless shopping would help a lot. Starting by turning off all the useless lights in offices and shops should be done as well as changing the behavior to do idling specially for trucks. On Highways parking areas all trucks are left with the engine on and the smell that goes with. Anyway, this call by the government is better than nothing if it can help. But Japan always want tackle the climate change with its technologies while the real impact is as said above by first reducing consumption To end, I should praise Japan on the fact it already do a lot in term of recycling products

4 ( +5 / -1 )

All the energy, effort, paperand plastic that will be 'wasted' on this campaign - the irony. This is a serious problem that needs serious effective policies - not tocken campaigns.

And the media in this country needs to get real to and start printing serious stories about what's really going on - arctic at the moment up to 20c warmer than average, 2016 to be the hottest year ever recorded, this century already - the hottest 15 years on record etc etc ....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Thanks, Smith, that link was funny.

Mascots seem to be taken so seriously and literally in Japan yet few can really take them seriously in the West (I dunno about other Asian countries). It is hard not to see the potential for satire and sarcasm.

Each ward in Kobe has its own mascot. Chuo Ward's is called Kamomen and you can rent the costume at the ward office along with a manual for use.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

long missing Cashola Mascot

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why bother with a mascot? The actual data had been "adjusted" to show this warming, anyhow. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/09/will-2016-be-the-hottest-year-on-record.php

It depends on how much you trust the US government to tell you the truth. Judging by statements made recently by our newest President-elect, I personally don't think you should trust them too much...

But let's get a cute new character to distract everyone from looking too closely. The Japanese government has to do their part to support the US line!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

But I thought Trump's line is that global warming is a ruse by the Chinese, not the US government, Jay Tee? Or has the US govt just stupidly fallen for the ploy? So, the Japanese and their mascots are ultimately doing the work of the Chinese? Good we have someone who can see through it all for us. What a tangled web of incredulity we all live in, eh?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Strangerland: "How are they doing that?"

You need to ask?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You need to ask?

Yep.

I'm assuming the poster was referring to mascots being for children in their own country, and deciding that Japan should be evaluated under that standard. Also known as cultural superiority.

Japan is Japan. Mascots are not only for children here. What makes another culture's opinion of mascots superior to Japan's?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Strangerland: "I'm assuming the poster was referring to mascots being for children in their own country, and deciding that Japan should be evaluated under that standard"

Not just in their own country -- in the world, which Japan is a part of as much as it tries to fight it. If you can't see how it makes serious issues childish or not serious, why not make a mascot to commemorate the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? or a mascot for the Imperial Family? It might make it easier for a Japanese person to understand and relate to, same as with global warming or prison, no?

Besides the obvious childishness of mascots -- and it IS obvious -- there are impracticalities to this as well. How much money, time, and energy (literal and figurative) do you think will be wasted on a MASCOT meant to send the message of environmental conservation?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strangerland: "I'm assuming the poster was referring to mascots being for children in their own country"

They're considered for children in all countries, and hence the laughter when this kind of thing is presented on the world stage, or the fact that there are no mascots for certain elements of Japanese culture because it would be considered sacrilegious.

"Japan is Japan"

Which is part of the world, and this is an international issue despite it being a local campaign. And seriously, how much time, effort, and energy on being used on this campaign to promote their "energy saving" campaign?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They're considered for children in all countries

Obviously not, or we wouldn't be having this discussion. And what about the fact that characters are for adults in China as well - which is about 1/5 of the world population.

hence the laughter when this kind of thing is presented on the world stage

What world stage:

Voting has begun to choose the official “moe” (cute anime figure) character for a government global warming prevention campaign.

This is a Japanese government campaign. It's not being presented for the world stage.

And for that matter, where is your contempt for olympic mascots - is that not the world stage? Or are the Olympics only for children?

Which is part of the world, and this is an international issue despite it being a local campaign.

You said it - a local campaign.

All I see here is a bunch of attempt at justifying cultural superiority, in trying to claim Japan is inferior for their treatment of characters compared to your home country. The fact is, there is no baseline. If someone was putting together characters for a campaign for adults in your country, it probably would be infantile. When someone is putting together a campaign for adults in Japan it's not. Neither is correct, neither is wrong. They are simply difference in culture. Trying to evaluate one culture under the lens of another however is simply cultural superiority.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Well said Strangerland, you're bang on the money.

It's absolutely laughable you got thumbs down for bringing up the topic, seemingly because you made too much sense. Just goes to show the morbidly immature and over the top anti-Japan sentiment on this website.

Feel free anyone to thumbs down this comment too, it'll only confirm the above.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

They're considered for children in all countries

Lot's of professional teams all over the world have mascots and lots of people above the age of consent purchase goods with those mascots on them. I would argue that many purchase the goods solely because they like the mascots on them.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Strangerland: "Obviously not, or we wouldn't be having this discussion."

Yeah... or it's "obviously" something else. Clearly you can't see it, though.

"You said it - a local campaign."

Correct, on a matter that affects the world, on a forum open to all discussion.

"All I see here is a bunch of attempt at justifying cultural superiority"

A knee-jerk reaction of defensiveness because you know what's said -- what is ALWAYS said on this issue -- is correct.

" in trying to claim Japan is inferior for their treatment of characters compared to your home country"

You used the word "inferior", no one else has. That's called a complex. You seem to think this is a one-time deal and it has not been done to APPEAL to everyone, and once again when some of those everyone oppose there is defensiveness and accusations stemming from insecurity and the realization that the idea, not the people opposing it, are perhaps just as the latter have suggested. I've already seen some stuff they are promoting through manga and mascots for Olympics and asking people for opinion on, and oh my gosh you should see what a joke they make of serious issues! When given feedback on it that is not strictly praise they, as you are, get extremely defensive and suggest no opinion was wanted. Happens time and again. They'll go through with it anyway, then be embarrassed (as with the Ama mascot, among heaps of others), and ask "how could we have known?"

And again you have completely avoided the issue of how much paper and energy this process will take up in the childish process to begin with. It's not even ironic because it's so easy to see.

backstratcher: Sorry... and what team is this for again? What sport? Mascots for sports teams were created for a purpose. When that purpose is borrowed by another nation and then applied to everything under the sun, it loses any credibility it had, not to mention making the purpose questionable. Remember "Ladies Day"? a practice introduced at bars and nightclubs in the West allowing ladies in for free or at a discount because it's proven that having more women in a bar will bring in more men, who will drink, and more business. In Japan at peak there was Ladies' Day even at gas stations, and still is at movie theaters and gyoza shops, and even bakeries; it has no meaning. Same with the more than 1500 mascots for every single thing under the sun -- unless of course it's considered sacred by Japan, then suddenly they've graduated into adulthood.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

it loses any credibility it had

You do not seem to understand what mascots are for then. They are used so that teams, groups or companies can be more easily identified. There is no reason to overthink it as you seem to be doing. Japan certainly has plenty of credibility around the world for that matter.

it has no meaning.

If it brings more customers, it has meaning. It seems to bring more customers that would otherwise not be there. That is meaning enough for the people concerned.

Relax. Take a breath. Have a cup of tea. You are taking things much too seriously.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

backscratcher: "Japan certainly has plenty of credibility around the world for that matter."

Not on this issue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iXOaUJyFB4

"That is meaning enough for the people concerned."

Not if they're true intention is concern for the environment and saving resources; especially when using MORE to create this mascot and the process.

But okay, fine, if you guys think that mascots are not childish or take away from the seriousness of issues and make light of them, answer me this: where was Kumamon during the earthquakes and aftershocks in Kumamoto and the region in April? Forget about the fact that people were tweeting concern over a fictional character possibly having been hurt in the quakes and not expressing concern over the victims for a moment, why was his cute face and bouncing around not seen about the area? Could it maybe just be that, as some suggested at the time, it might not be appropriate given the gravity of the situation, to have something take away from that? And what's more, failing to update "his account" with information for people that ACTUALLY could have helped the people of the prefecture and the region, the mascot failed in its ultimate goal in existing.

So, yeah, if it's commercial gain that is the only goal -- fine. But don't say it's acceptable and adult, and that it's to bring attention to serious issues and sports alike.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A knee-jerk reaction of defensiveness because you know what's said -- what is ALWAYS said on this issue -- is correct.

What, that Japan is infantile for using mascots/characters? No, it's not correct. The only way to come to that conclusion is to evaluate Japan through the cultural lens of a country where using characters is considered infantile. In Japan however, it's not considered infantile.

You used the word "inferior", no one else has.

It's criticism of Japan for using mascots/characters for adult issues. Criticism implies inferiority. But I know you're going to get hung up on this word, which is beside the point. So lets use the word 'infantile', since the original reference was that Japan is like a nation of 5 year olds. Coming to this conclusion shows that the person making that evaluation considers their culture to be superior to the Japanese, since they are looking down on Japan for doing something that is entirely normal and appropriate in Japan, simply because it's not normal in their own country.

It's disgusting cultural superiority.

And again you have completely avoided the issue of how much paper and energy this process will take up in the childish process to begin with.

That's your issue. Mine is with the attitude of cultural superiority by people who get all pissy about the 'childish process'.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not on this issue.

It is a matter of taste. John Oliver is not from here. The mascots here are not created for him, nor are they created for the majority of his audience.

where was Kumamon during the earthquakes and aftershocks in Kumamoto and the region in April? Forget about the fact that people were tweeting concern over a fictional character possibly having been hurt in the quakes and not expressing concern over the victims for a moment, why was his cute face and bouncing around not seen about the area

It was used for charity work after the earthquake. It helped people feel even closer to their stricken communities. Perhaps you should learn more about things before you talk about them.

現在、平成28年熊本地震支援のための、募金活動、チャリティーイベントを実施するにあたり、くまモンのイラストを利用したいとの申し出を多数いただいております。利用対象 熊本地震支援のための募金活動、チャリティーイベント等で使用するポスター、のぼり、チラシ、募金箱等 ※チャリティー目的であっても、商品・グッズ(非売品のもの含む)等への利用については、通常の利用許諾手続きが必要になります。

https://kumamon-official.jp/information

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why does it have to be moe

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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