Japanese designers have come up with some creative ways to stretch the boundaries of cuteness, but Kan-chan has wrecked ‘em all.

Japanese companies are famously fond of using adorable mascot characters in their marketing. The strategy isn’t employed just for fun products like snack foods, either, as you’ll find illustrated mascots endorsing such serious, grown-up things as daily newspapers and banking services.

With that background, initially it might not seem so shocking that Tokyo-based Ichijiku Pharmaceutical Co. rolled out a new mascot named Kan-chan this week. Kan-chan even made her Twitter debut, posing in front of the Tokyo Skytree.

But the thing is, Ichijiku Pharmaceutical specializes in a specific sector of the medical supply industry. They make enemas, and Kan-chan is, unmistakably, shaped like their product.

▼ Kan-chan even gets her name from kancho, the Japanese word for enema.

Last year, Ichijiku Pharmaceutical held a contest to create a new mascot for the company, and Kan-chan was the winning entry, thanks to a combination of an admittedly cute face and uncanny resemblance to the company’s wares.

This isn’t the first time Ichijiku Pharmaceutical has employed a little cuteness in their branding efforts, as they’ve also got a mascot for their children’s enema line, Ichijikujira (a mash-up of Ichijiku and kujira, or “whale”),

▼ Shown here happily splashing liquid from the blowhole.

However, while our eyes tell us that Kan-chan is obviously an anthropomorphized enema, the company insists she’s actually a penguin, and that what looks like an enema cap on the top of her head is actually a hair accessory. It’s a pretty flimsy denial, though, seeing as how Kan-chan isn’t shaped anything at all like a penguin above her eyes.

▼ You’re not fooling anyone, Ichijiku Pharmaceutical.

The arrival of Kan-chan on the scene means Japan now has characters representing both things that are inserted into and fall from the anus. In her self-introduction tweet, Kan-chan says “I’m planning to go to many places in the future,” so odds are we’ll be seeing new snapshots of her very regularly, which seems like an appropriate frequency for a walking enema.

Source: IT Media
Featured image: Twitter/@ichijikuseiyaku
Insert images: Ichijiku Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (1, 2)