Japan is now in the midst of cherry blossom (sakura) viewing or hanami season. Here’s a lovely illustration by a fan of a group of Funacolle dolls looking wistfully out of a window at the cherry blossoms from afar. (Source)
Funassyi appeared on stage during the “Graduation* Concert” for Ayaka Umeda on March 31. Here is the Pear surrounded by lots of pink clad girls, dancing a bit more quietly than usual (probably due to lack of space, as well as the fact that he was there to support Umeda, who is known to be a big Funassyi fan, rather than be the center of attention). Umeda announced earlier in the year that she was leaving - or rather, “graduating from” - NMB48, a sister group of AKB48.
Funassyi continues to take on interesting projects. This time, he - or rather his alter ego - will star in an animated 3D holographic movie, or “Funassyi-G (Funa-C-G…get it?) called The Legend of Funassyi This is a 60 minute long movie starring one brave Pear and his cohorts, and will be playing exclusively at the DMM VR Theater in Yokohama, described at the “world’s first permanent theater exclusively for live holographic entertainment”, from June 30th to July 31st on Saturdays, Sundays and one Monday (check the schedule at the official site listed below). Ticket prices are: 2,000 yen for adults, 1,000 yen for children, or a special parent-child family combo ticket for 2,741. (There’s also a note that “1 drink is 500 yen - I’m not sure if you are required to purchase a drink, or if that’s just the price per drink at the theater.) Tickets will go on sale at 12 noon on April 12th from Lawson Tickets.
In addition, the real, non-virtual Funassyi will make an appearance on June 30th (time to be announced) to greet the audience.
The images of Funassyi dressed as a warrior alone make me want to see this ^_^
Ticket site (Lawson Tickets, Japanese)
Two limited-period Funassyiland stores will be opening in April, as follows:
April 9 - 24: Fukushima Race Track Ground level Apple Square, Saturdays and Sundays only from opening until 16:30
April 18 - May 8: Sapporo Loft store, JR Sapporo Esta building (which is connected directly to JR Sapporo station), 6th floor (ESTA page in iffy English)
Funassyi will also be making 3 live appearances at Fukushima Race Track on April 16th: a mini-talk show at 11:25; a main race presentation at 15:30, and a photo-op in the paddock at 16:10.
The Sapporo mini-Funassyiland will have some exclusive-design products, including a series of decorated cookies based on local animals (Funassyi dressed as those animals, of course). There will also be several Nashitomo (Friends of Funassyi) collectible cards that you can get when you make a purchase, with designs based on Hokkaido history and lore and more.
Funassyi relaxing at the LINE offices yesterday. (Via)
The website for Funassyi’s two big concerts in August, aka Nassyi Fes - Funassyi Summer Festival 2016, is now live. Here’s the information posted there so far:
- Dates and venues: Tokyo - August 23, Budokan; Osaka - August 29, Osaka-Jo Hall
- Times: Both venues open at 18:00, and the shows start at 19:00
- Ticket prices: 7,400 yen for adults; 2,740 yen for children (4 to 12 years old) - both prices include sales tax. Children will be seated in a special Kids’ Zone. Children must be accompanied by adults; smaller children are allowed in, but must sit on a guardian’s lap.
- To inquire about tickets: Tokyo - Tel. 03-3405-9999; Osaka - 0570-200-888 (Note: tickets haven’t gone on sale yet though!)
I’ll post more details when they become available. This is the very first time any gotouchi chara will hold a concert on their own at such a large venue.
To round off this day filled with both exciting real news and fiction, here’s an illustration posted by FC Schalke 04′s official Japanese Twitter account depicting a FC Schalke-blue Funassyi, next to their current mascot Erwin. (Funassyi quipped that he looked like a blueberry fairy.) It would be verboten of course for Funassyi to retain his current yellow color should he take the job of club mascot, given FC Schalke 04’s rivalry with Borussia Dortmund.
The next doll in the Funacolle series is this adorable Kindergarten Funassyi. Funassyi is dressed as a typical Japanese kindergartener - a bright yellow hat and satchel (so the kids stand out in traffic), and blue smock. The name tag is nashi pear-shaped and says “Nashi Kindergarten” on it, and indicates that Funassyi is in the Nashi-gumi (Nashi class). There’s a little nashi pear on the satchel too. A similar kindergarten outfit was available a couple of years ago as a dressup set for the 40cm tall Funassyi hug toy that is no longer produced. It’s nice to see it back in this smaller format in any case.
Kindergarten Funassyi is 16cm tall, and will retail for 1800 yen plus tax. It’s available now at the Funassyiland Nagoya pre-opening, and will be available later in April at the other Funassyiland stores including the online shop.
A live LINE conference webcast is scheduled at 19:00 today, where Funassyi will discuss recent rumors about him performing live at Budokan.
(Note that the tweet is tagged with an “April Fool’s” hashtag. However, some fans are hoping it’s true, or something. ^_^)
FC Schalke 04 announced the appointment of a new mascot for the club. The first requirement for the new hire is to adopt Schalke blue, instead of his usual yellow and pale blue. It remains to be seen if there will be a conflict between FC Schalke fans and Pear Fairy fans over this matter. Defender Atsuto Uchida will act as the new mascot’s interpreter.
Posted by the official FC Schalke 04 Japanese Twitter account.
The movie portal site Eiga.com has uploaded a series of April Fool’s posters* parodying the catch phrase used to promote the movie The Martian starring Matt Damon, which has been released in Japan with the title Odyssey. The original catch phrase is “7 billion people are waiting for his return”. The Funassyi version above says, “7 billion people are waiting for his Pear Juice. Funassyi: Odyssey”.
* (ETA: they’ve already taken the images offline, unfortunately, with an apology posted for ‘going too far’. That was probably referring to the other poster images they had up there, not the Funassyi version, so I’m leaving it up here unless someone complains.)
Funassyiland Nagoya is being readied for its pre-opening later today. The pre-opening is from April 1 - 7, then the grand opening of the permanent store will be on April 29th (details here). Funassyiland Nagoya is the 4th Funassyiland store, after Funabashi, Umeda, Osaka and Harajuku, Tokyo.
If you want to attend the live Funassyi show on May 6th (details to follow shortly) to commemorate the opening, you will need to make a purchase of at least 1,000 yen to receive a ticket to enter the drawing for one of 800 seats during the April 1-7 pre-opening period. So if you’re in the Nagoya area, best get over there!
Photo via the brand new Funassyiland Nagoya Twitter account
The glazed yellow Funassyi donuts that were available for a very limited time in the summer at Funassyiland Osaka and Kiddy Land Harajuku are back, again for a very limited period. This time they are available from now until April 3rd at the HANDS EXPO (a kind of fashion-conscious version of Tokyu Hands), on the 7th floor of the brand new Tokyu Plaza Ginza shopping complex, which opened today, March 31st. The donuts are made by a speciality baker who called herself Ikumi Mama.
The winners of the 90cm Funassyi Version 3 photo contest have been announced by Grey Parka Service, the manufacturers of the giant Funassyi alter ego. The photo above by Meipururun, which was probably my favorite entry, was a winner, as were several other great images. Winners will receive one of two special outfits (a sailor suit and pyjamas) created for 90 cm Funassyi. You can see all or most of the entries posted on Twitter with the 90cmのふなっしー3CP hashtag.
90cm Funassyi can still be ordered from the Wakin Rakuten shop, or directly from the Grey Parka Service online store (you will need to use a shopping service for the latter if you’re outside the US). It’s the same price from both - 29.592 yen including sales tax. (Do watch out for cheap knockoffs by the way, which have been spotted on Ebay.)
One of the nice things about following all the Funassyi-related Twitter accounts is the fun the various stores have creating adorable Funassyi tableaux. This one shows “Funassyi” reading a Funassyi picture book while enjoying some Funassyi ice cream, at the Funassyi Cafe in Tenjin, Fukuoka. It was set up by the Funassyi Cafe staff.