A couple of photos of the actual Funassyi tableaux at the Funassyi Fantasy World exhibit. The lighting is considerably more dramatic than the pre-opening photos show, re-creating the rather dingy atmosphere of Funassyi’s early videos.
The Funassyi model in the bath tub (more like a plastic tub) scene is 90cm (3 feet) tall plush toy. Two limited edition 90cm Funassyi plushes have been produced so far; I believe this is the second version. (I have one in my home, where it commands a lot of attention. ^_^;)
The Funassyi Fantasy World exhibit at the Parco Museum in Shibuya, Tokyo opened on Friday April 24, 2015. Around 100 fans, most of whom where female, were waiting for the doors to open.
The exhibit includes a photo gallery tracing the history of Funassyi so far; interactive features; and many items from Funassyi’s personal collection such as the couture dress he wore at New York Fashion Week back in February, a Funassyi-colored guitar that Toshihiko Takamizawa of the rock group The Alfee had custom-made for Funassyi, the trophy he received as the winner of the 2013 Gotouchi Chara General Election, and more. There’s also a replica of the menu items served at Funa Cafe, a limited-period Funassyi-themed restaurant that appeared at Shibuya Parco last September, and is in Nagoya Parco now until April 29th. (I’m really hoping Funa Cafe will become a permanent thing somewhere - maybe in Lalaport Tokyo Bay? - in the way Funassyiland has.)
The highlight is a re-creation of the Pear Hut, with the real Pear Suit no. 2 in the middle of a tableau that looks like the video showing Funassyi strumming on his guitar, singing Funa Funa Funassyi, from April 2013. (The actual guitar is in the tableau too.) There’s a recreation of Funassyi’s bathing area too. There’s even a sofa, said to be actual one from the Pear Hut, where fans can sit and take photos. There’s also a condensed version of the Funassyiland store stocked with merchandise, including the special photo book.
The exhibit will run until May 17th at the Shibuya Parco Museum, and then travel to Sapporo. (Details here.)
See more photos here.
The evolution of Funassyi, part 21: Funanomics DVD
Back to the Evolution series tracing Funassyi’s history!
On July 26, 2013, Funassyi’s first DVD Funanomics was released by Pony Canyon. While the title Funanomics is a play on Abenomics, economic policies of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Funanomics itself is not a parody of Abenomics or anything of the sort, as has been erroneously stated in various places. As Funassyi explains in the promotional video above, Funanomics means trying to boost Funabashi’s economy by showing people the city’s charms - and that’s what the DVD is basically about. Filmed entirely in Funabashi, it features various Funabashi locations, and also shows Funassyi engaging in a series of outdoor activities in Funabashi parks and such, often with hilarious results.
The DVD is charmingly amateurish. Funassyi’s voice has more or less stabilized, although he talks a lot slower than he does now. There are some interview segments which reveal that Funassyi is a bit of an intellectual too. (Some of the details he reveals on the DVD are included on the About Funassyi page, such as the first album he bought (Metal Head by Deep Purple) and his favorite TV channel (Al Jazeera).
The DVD also has a version of Funa Funa Funassyi, which was later jazzed up and released as Funassyi’s first single - but sung by an ordinary pitch male voice rather than Funassyi’s high -pitched one.
The Funanomics DVD is available from Amazon US for a decent price, as well as from Amazon Japan. However, in all honesty I can only recommend it to diehard Funassyi fans, especially if you don’t understand Japanese (it’s not subtitled). It is fairly amateurish as I’ve mentioned, and drags a bit in some places. If you’re interested in early Funassyi history though, it’s quite fascinating to see the still raw, unfinished version of the pearsona on this DVD.
(I’m skipping ahead a bit in the Evolution/Origins series. Some other highlights that occured between May and July 2013 include Funassyi being recognized as an official mascot for Lalaport Tokyo Bay in June (which now has his Funassyiland store of course), and getting his first voice-acting role on an anime called Nyuru Nyuru Kakusei-kun.)
Although Funassyi made his debut in a real professional wrestling ring in Okinawa on Saturday, he has wrestled before. There was the brief sumo match on the Sukkiri! program of course. And there was the event in the video above, held on May 13, 2014 at the Funabashi Regional Wholesale Market, to commemorate the market’s 45th anniversary. 70 gotouchi chara gathered to wrestle (well, sort of wrestle in many cases…some matches were decided by jump-offs or rock paper scissors), dance, and so on. Funassyi acted as the host-mascot as well as a ringside commentator. He also entered the wrestling tournament in a tag-team with Funaemon and pinned Melon Kuma to the ground to win.
The final of the wrestling tournament was a jump-off between Funassyi and Inappy, the official gotouchi chara of Inazawa, Aichi prefecture. Funassyi jumped up 62cm and won handily.
Incidentally, Melon Kuma’s tag-team partner, the blue bear that looks in pretty bad shape, is Zombear, an unofficial character from Otaru, Hokkaido. (Melon Kuma is from Yubari, Hokkaido.) Zombear is a zombie teddy bear who has been looking for the boy who used to own him for 70 years, gradually falling apart in the process. It seems Hokkaido has a penchant for rather scary looking gotouchi chara.
Details on the event and a complete list of the gotouchi chara that were there are here.
Here’s a “Making of” video of the Fashion Center Shimamura commercial (previously). It includes footage of Funassyi posing for a photo shoot, communicating with the model in English, and strolling through the Shimamura store - where he does an impromptu sales spiel for a Funassyi hoodie, which makes me wonder if he has experience as a salespear…
Screenshots from episode 20 (week 4, episode 5) of Funassyi no Funafunafu na Biyori (Funassyi’s Funafunafu Days). Funassyi is scared!
On a dark and stormy night, Funassyi is reading a scary horror manga, in the dark with a flashlight - because when you’re reading a scary story it’s important to set the right mood of course. But then Funassyi hears a knock on the door…and is scared for real. He looks around for Nyaossyi, but it’s not there. Where’s a cat when you need it! The door opens! Funassyi thinks he sees a giant, monster cat and faints away! But it’s just Nyaossyi’s shadow. In the morning, a yawning Nyaossyi sits on Funassyi’s tummy as the pear fairy snores away.
This was an episode packed with great Funassyi expressions. He’s so scared, but those scared expressions are so adorable. It’s the end of another great week, with character development for Guressyi as well as Funassyi, more characters, and so on. The first DVD of the series should contain all the episodes up until now. Looking forward to Monday!
Sunburned Funassyi - the real one too, not a plushie - is in this new TV commercial for Fashion Center Shimamura’s Fiber Dry line of sun protective clothes. The big sun-head Funassyi shouts “UV rays bushaa!” and the tiny sunbeam-head Funassyis are chanting “UV rays nassyi!”
Whoa…Sunburned Funassyi plush toys! The one in the top photo and on the left in the bottom photo has a weird sunglassses-caused tan line. The one on the right has an even tan…although it looks a bit like a baked potato. They’re available at Fashion Center Shimamura stores; price unknown. Summer is coming!
Azul by Moussy, a Tokyo fashion label, is issuing a series of Funassyi-design t-shirts. The t-shirts are available for pre-order and retail for 2,149 to 3,224 yen each including tax. (They can also be pre-ordered on Rakuten although they already seem to be running out of stock on certain sizes.
(The model in the first two photos is TV personality and singer (and daughter of Sanma Akashiya and Shinobu Otake) Imalu.)
Here’s a video that was just posted yesterday by Bandai for the Kendama Cross Born From A Pear Funassyi (previously) which is coming out tomorrow (April 24, 2015). Funassyi proclaims that he’s going to show you his “274 kendama tricks!” at the start, then shows how to do the Pear Juice Bushaa trick and the Pear God Jesus trick. He says that the important thing is the ending pose. He concludes by saying “there may not actually be 274 tricks”. In any case you, too, can try to master the Pear God Jesus with this video.
Bikkuriman is a popular chocolate candy produced by Lotte, who also owns the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball team. Funassyi is from Chiba prefecture of course, and there are several Funassyi-Marines products like the one below. Funassyi has also thrown out the first pitch at a Marines home game.
So…why not a Bikkuriman-Marines-Funassyi collaboration? (It gets a bit confusing sometimes.) A series of products such as t-shirts and mini-towels featuring “Funassyi Zeus” (Super Zeus is a Bikkuriman character) and “Rococo Funassyi” wearing a Marines uniform will be available at Chiba Lotte Marines stores from May 1, and hopefully online somewhere down the line.
A new video promoting Funassyi Fantasy World, which opens in the Parco Museum in Shibuya, Tokyo tomorrow, April 24, 2015 (previously). The video shows Funassyi wondering where his bed, guitars, bathtub, Pear Suit no. 2 and other items have gone while he was away in Antarctica. The man behind the camera explains that they’s all been sent to the exhibit. Funassyi is taken aback at first, but says he’s happy to have his stuff taken away if it will make people happy. When asked how he’s going to bathe with his bathtub gone, Funassyi says he’ll shower himself with a hose.
Screenshots from episode 19 (week 4, episode 4) of Funassyi no Funafunafu na Biyori (Funassyi’s Funafunafu Days). Funassyi goes to the seaside!
Funassyi just loves how blue and big the ocean is. He wants to tell Nashi Gami Sama, the Pear God, about the ocean and how blue it is, and starts writing a letter with a stick in the sand - but his words are washed away by the waves. A young couple ask him what he’s doing and Funassyi tells them. At first they are puzzled that he wants to writer a letter “in this day and age?” Plus, Funassyi doesn’t know the Pear God’s mailing address - it’s just “very far away”. Then the guy hits on the idea of sending a letter in a bottle, and hands Funassyi an empty bottle and a writing pad. Funassyi writes the letter, puts it in the bottle and throws it in the ocean. The couple ask Funassyi if he wants to go play with them, and they all run off happily together.
The episode ends with a picture of the bottle floating off, and Funassyi’s voiceover reading from his letter to the Pear God… “The sea in the human world is so blue, and Funassyi is loved here.”
The seaside in this episode looks like a typical off-season beach - the surf shop is shuttered, and people are walking around with jackets on. And yes, Funassyi, we love you very much in the human world. ^_^
We Love Funassyi — Funassyi on soft drink bottles! The top photo...
Funassyi on soft drink bottles! The top photo shows Funassyi featured on ramune bottle labels, along with some popular anime characters. (Ramune is a type of soft drink that comes in glass bottles...
Funassyi on soft drink bottles! The top photo shows Funassyi featured on ramune bottle labels, along with some popular anime characters. (Ramune is a type of soft drink that comes in glass bottles stoppered with a marble.) From left to right the labels are: PriPara (Princess Paradise); Go! Princess PreCure; One Piece; and Funassyi. This Character Ramune series is available now from Saito Inryo (Saito Beverage), in stores around Japan.
The bottom row shows a series of actual pear juice bottles that were available for a limited time last year. These are the last of the bottles I bought. The bottle designs were very cute…the pear juice, which had bits of real crushed Asian pear (nashi) in it, was not too bad.
Follow the Twitter hashtag #ふなっしーで富嶽三十六景 to see the art some Funassyi fans are creating, placing Funassyi in various scenes from the 36 Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku Sanjuu-Rokkei, 富嶽三十六景) woodblock landscape prints by Hokusai.
The most famous of these prints is The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, probably the most famous Japanese art work. The first drawing is how illustrator Yamakayo (previously) incorporated Funassyi into the scene. Yamakayo (@guchizhoh) is the instigator of this art hashtag. The 2nd drawing is based on this scene- can you spot Funassyi and Funagoro? The 3rd one is based on this scene, and even includes Kapal.
There are some talented artists participating, so check it out! And if you’re up to it, why not contribute your own version too? ^_^
A couple of photos from the press event held on Monday (previously). Funassyi is dancing next to a very happy looking Mayor Matsudo of Funabashi in the top photo.
The character in glasses in the bottom photo (next to frequent Funassyi-event MC Aicchi) is Funaemon. Funaemon is actually the main official gotouchi chara of Funabashi (there are a few others), not Funassyi. His rather cumbersome full name is Mekiki Banto Funamon (目利き番頭船えもん） and he’s supposed to represent a young merchant from Edo period (18th-19th century or so) Funabashi, so he wears traditional garb and a wad of paper on his belt at all times to take notes and such.
Ironically, Funaemon was conceived when Mayor Matsudo was in charge of Funabashi’s publicity department, before he became the mayor. Funaemon hasn’t managed to achieve even a fraction of Funassyi’s fame and popularity, but he performs the role that most official gotouchi chara perform, appearing when needed at various sanctioned events and such. In a way it’s rather big of Mayor Matsudo to give so much credit to Funassyi, who came out of left field as far as the mayor is concerned - although it’s quite impossible to ignore the pear fairy’s impact. Plus, a city of the size of Funabashi probably needs a mascot they can pull out at any time rather than a maverick rock-star chara with a packed schedule that they have no control over.
On the other hand, Funaemon has benefitted from Funassyi’s popularity by appearing together at Funabashi events, and publicly calling Funassyi “my best friend”. (In other words Funabashi’s PR department, not to mention the city of Funabashi, have profited greatly from Funassyi’s popularity.)