Lots of prefectures and cities around Japan have mascots, called yuru-kyara, to promote tourism and local products. Sometimes they get together to break world records in synchronized dancing. Sometimes they appear in commercials. Sometimes they are forced to sumo wrestle each other. But mostly they attend regional events for endless photo ops and to be poked by children.
One might assume that the hardworking people inside those mascot suits are being paid a fair wage to put up with such grueling work, but one of the most popular yuru-kyara to come along lately not only performs his superhuman acts of mascot buffoonery for free, but he isn’t even the official mascot of his hometown!
Meet Funassyi, unofficial mascot for Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, and just try not to laugh at his jiggly antics.
Funassyi’s claim to fame is the soft, jiggly nature of his costume and his incredible jumping power. From the time his first video hit the Net, it was clear from the speed of his movement, the undulation of his skin and the way he launched his body into space as he danced that Funassyi was no ordinary yuru-kyara.
Watch and marvel as he jiggles and flops through Call Me Maybe:
Due to this physical prowess, especially in comparison to the often lumbering and clumsy movements of his cohorts, Funassyi is enjoying a huge swell of popularity. Riding this wave, he recently made a much-talked-about appearance on the popular TV show Sukkiri!
Net users, clearly in the grips of Funassyi Fever, left these comments on the show:
“Oh my god, those weird undulations! I LOLed and shuddered at the same time.”
“Good gracious! Funassyi, you’ve become a star in just a week’s time. This year is going to be your big break!”
“I checked out this video because someone told me Funassyi’s dancing was insane, but this was beyond anything I imagined. I laughed so hard!”
“My mom watched Funassyi on Sukkiri! yesterday and now she’s his biggest fan. :)”
“Those out-of-control jiggles and that voice! My stomach hurts from laughing. LOL!”
With that kind of vigorous energy and popularity, perhaps this unofficial mascot will soon be promoted to Funabashi’s official mascot… Nah, we love him because he’s doing for the pure joy of it! Go, Funassyi!
Some more videos for your enjoyment:
Funassyi takes on one of the hosts of Sukkiri! in a very short sumo battle.
Funassyi’s uncut Sukkiri! appearance.
Funassyi visits Akihabara.
Funassyi promotes tea.
[ Read in Japanese ]