Japan’s ‘loose character’ overload

This GIF of manic-looking Loose Characters*/loose-character_yuruchara/Yuru-Chara invading Tokyo were sent in to us by the 3Yen correspondent, MARKed TRAIL.

loose character overload in japan

With some digging around, I discovered that the very animated GIF was from the KAWAii!! MATSURi—literally, the Cuteness Festival—held last April 20 and 21 (The Japan Times / 2013Apr30).

Of course all of this makes complete Japanese sense since everything here needs a cute Yuru-Chara, that is a yurui-character (lit. loose character)—the mascots that populate Japan the land of HAPPY (3Yen / 2010-10-20).

*Yuru-Chara is a Japanese abbreviation of yurui-characters
with yurui meaning “loose,” “B-list,” or “unsophisticated.”

Some of the many 3Yen reports of Japan’s loose character overload include:
   • Japan’s sets Guinness record for synchronized dork dancing
      (3Yen / 2013-01-31)
   • Panic disordered characters in the kitchen (3Yen / 2012-11-04)
   • Horny Buddha boy (3Yen / 2008-09-25) .

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5 thoughts on “Japan’s ‘loose character’ overload”

  1. Yikes, these yuru kyara (loose characters) are even gaining überfame ouside Japan!

    Kumamon leads Japan’s mascot craze, but don’t mention Pluto-kun (the nuclear mascot)
    The Guardian 2013/may/12
    Kumamon…named Japan’s most popular mascot two years ago. He is the undisputed king of the yuru kyara, or loose characters – a nationwide fraternity of about 1,000 different mascots who provide a touch of whimsy to the serious business of collecting taxes and saving the environment, to promoting tourist spots and regional cuisineJapan-mascot-pluto-kun
    Pluto-kun, or Little Mr Pluto, who appeared in the mid-1990s to soften the image of plutonium on behalf of Japan’s nuclear industry.
    With his cherubic face and green helmet bearing the chemical symbol for plutonium, Pluto-kun fell out of favour after an appearance in an animated educational film in which a boy who downs a glass of plutonium, with no apparent ill-effects. In post-Fukushima Japan, Pluto-kun and his fellow nuclear mascots have kept a low profile, although he can still be found on the website of the Japan Nuclear Fuel Cycle Development Institute.more...

  2. This was the mascot, “のるるん,” for the Shibuya to Yokohama extension to the JR Saikyo Line. When the extension was opened on March 16th, the mascot was “retired”. Sadly I never saw it because I don’t use that exit.

    This mascot was supposed to look like a subway train.

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