Tsunami-devastated Tohoku gets a cute, viral mascot


Japan loves making mascots for things. The latest is Zunko Tohoku, whose purpose is to raise the spirits of those in the Tohoku region that was hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Zunko, named after the zunda mochi rice cakes in the region is a 17-year-old girl who is talented at archery. Maybe she can also be the captain of this rediscovered boat?

Zunko was created by illustrator Ninico Edomura specifically to spread on the internet. The character is copyright free, so he hopes that otaku will make fan art and make her go viral, increasing positive thoughts. Satomi Sato, the voice actress for Ritsu in K-On!, is voicing the character, since she hails from Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture in the Tohoku region. There are also Zunko apps available, and a Voiceroid program (think Vocaloid but for talking) is on its way.

It's a good idea, but I'd rather see the character used more constructively, such as promoting donations for rebuilding. I'm also inherently distrustful of anything designed to go viral. Zunko isn't as insidious as a forced meme, and she has a much more noble purpose, but from my experience they just don't spread or work as well as something that goes viral naturally. What I'm saying is I like my memes organic, free of harmful pesticides. Mmm, tasty.

[Via Kotaku]

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Bob Muir
Bob MuirContributor   gamer profile

Bob has been hanging around ModernMethod for years and and somehow writes almost everywhere, including Destructoid and Flixist. He was once lit on fire, but it's not as cool as you'd think. more + disclosures



Filed under... #charity #culture #japan #News #otaku culture



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