Pear juice bushaa! Halloween version.
From the Funassyi Talk Show at Hikone.
During the Sekai Best of Eizo Show* episode with Funassyi in Mexico that aired a couple of weeks ago, Funassyi mentioned that he wanted to go see an aurora next. This was probably a teaser of sorts. During today’s Funassyi Talk Show at Hikone, he announced that he’s off to Iceland next week to try to capture some shots with an aurora. This time, his sidekick will be his buddy Chicchai Ossan. Funassyi and Chicchai Ossan are like a gotouchi chara comedy team, so it should be quite funny regardless of whether they manage to get a good shot of an aurora. It will also be interesting to see how well Chicchai Ossan can withstand the ultra-hard shooting schedule this show usually imposes.
*The full name of the show is 世界ベスト・オブ・映像ショー 頂上リサーチ - Sekai Best of Eizo Show Chojo Research. Translated, this unwieldy title is “Best Videos from the World Show Pinnacle Research”, which is even more awkward. I noticed that Funassyi called it Chojo Reseach.
Photo source (from the Hikone event today)
Nagoya is getting a double dose of Funassyi goodness. First up is the Funassyi Cafe, which will open on November 28th. Details as follows:
- Place: Parco Nagoya West Building 8th floor, Cats Garden Cafe
- Period: November 7 - December 28 (10:00 - 22:30, last order 22:00)
The Nagoya Funassyi Cafe is taking the same approach as the Shibuya one did in its initial month for November - you will need to purchase a reservation ticket in advance for a specific time. See the description here for how it works. Link to the Lawson e-ticket site for the Nagoya Funassyi Cafe. Tickets went on sale today at 10:00.
Next, the Funassyi Fantasy World exhibit will also open at Parco Nagoya, Details:
- Place: Parco Nagoya West Building 8th Floor, special exhibition hall
- Period: December 10 - January 5 (closed on January 1) (10:00 - 21:00
- Entrance: Adults 500 yen, students 400 yen, children elementary school age and younger get in free.
(The photo above is from Funassyiland Nagoya, with Funassyi dressed as Nagoya Castle. I don’t know if this will re-appear at either of the Funassyi events above, but it should. Funassyi looks adorable in anything, even a feudal era building. ^_^)
Although Funassyi wasn’t scheduled to appear at the main Gotouchi Chara Haku area today, he made a couple of unannounced appearances to support his friends. First up, he went on stage with fellow Chiba prefecture gotouchi chara Chiibakun (who represents the prefecture as a whole) and Unarikun (representing the city of Narita). Funassyi named the red, yellow and blue trio the Signals (traffic lights are called “shigunaru (signal)” in Japanglish). The yellow light…er, the Pear, was adorned with many Halloween mascots and wore a Halloween bat-cape. The weather was perfect in Hikone today, with clear blue skies.
A limited-period Funassyiland store will open in Sendai, at the Sendai Loft store. This is the first Funassyiland appearance in the Tohoku region. The store will operate from October 27th to November 16th. Exclusive items include the Funacolle Bunny Rabbit Funassyi shown above, as well as items based on local hero and city founder Date Masamune, the “One-Eyed Dragon” (独眼竜). The local-flavor Funassyi snack is beef tongue flavored. (I have no idea what that’s going to taste like. ^_^;)
Some photos from the Aitai 4 concert have emerged after all. They had a photo session at the end of the concert, which makes sense - after all, what’s a chara event without photos? (The top photo, posted by Funassyi, seems to be of the concert itself.) From various accounts it seems that Funassyi sang Funafuna Funassyi live (and messed up the lyrics a bit), and also sang a bit of Black Sabbath’s Crazy Train. He was sporting a little Halloween themed bat hat which was made by a fan, as are all the little accessories he wears at events. It looks like the concert was tons of fun.
Funassyi kicked off a very busy 3-day schedule in Shiga prefecture. First up: tonight’s Aitai 4 concert in Hikone. Funassyi and the other participating characters had a short meet-and-greet in front of the venue prior to the concert. There was also a short meet-and-shake-hands with some local kindergarten kids (4th photo). Unfortunately cameras are not allowed at the Aitai concert itself, so we probably won’t see any photos or video posted from fans.
Next up for Funassyi is his mini-talk show tomorrow in Hikone, in conjunction with the annual Gotouchi Haku In Hikone. Then on Sunday he is scheduled to appear in Otsu to promote the Funassyi Fantasy World exhibit. With the weather cooling down, Funassyi is really cranking up his event appearances.
Gigazine has a long, detailed report on the Funabashi Market event with tons of great photos. It’s in Japanese of course, but just looking at the photos may give you a good idea of what goes on at a gotouchi chara event - and this is a relatively small one at that, with just 50 mascots in attendance.
The report is centered around the gotouchi chara “puroresu” or professional wrestling tournament, although only a couple of the matches were actually wrestling; the rest were a mix of dancing, quizes, and even a debate or two when there were talking characters involved.
I’ve found videos of a couple of the matches. This one is a 2nd round match between the tag-team of Fukkachan and Sanomaru, vs. Osaru no Kuu and Sanada Yukimaru. (If this is all new to you, Fukkachan and Sanomaru are the more professional looking pair.) The contest for this match is “imitating the gestures of famous people”. Fukkachan and Sanomaru win handily with their version of a crusty old Beat Takeshi gesture, the “Comaneci”.
The rain caused some havoc in the early going, but the article notes how hard the event volunteers - mainly people who work at the market every day as well as local high school students - were working. The gotouchi chara themselves were also doing their best to keep things postiive; several were observed roaming around both indoors and outside in the rain, to interact with people and keep them happy and entertained. Funassyi, the undeniable star of the event and the main attraction, also went out of his way to delight the fans, making an extra unscheduled appearance as well as running around in the crowd so that fans could get up close to him.
Some screenshots from Funassyi’s appearance on Ippunkan no Fukaii Hanashi, which aired on Monday October 12th, with a brief recap. (Read about his previous appearance on the same show.)
The show’s theme was celebrity sisters. Funassyi was there because he was the famous person that 8 year old Sara Honda, the younger sister of 11 year old actress/figure skater Miyu Honda, wanted to meet the most. Sara (who is a talented figure skater in her own right) seemed really surprised and excited to see The Pear. She hugged him and pronounced that in pearson, he was fluffy-soft and very kawaii. She asked him to jump with her, and he happily obliged. Funassyi always crouches down to the eye level of small fans, and he did that with Sara too.
Host Koji Imada tried to rib him with the same old comments about him being dusty and dirty, and asking if he was going to stretch up tall (i.e. implying he was interchangeable with the natto character Neba~rukun), but Funassyi squelched the first comment by appearing in an impeccably clean Suit no. 3, and literally blew off the second comment. At the end Imada observed that with Funassyi in the studio, it “really felt like a rich person’s living room” and hinted that he wanted Funassyi to come back again. I’m not exactly blaming Imada for his schtick; it’s the type of thing someone who’s not a Funassyi fan and just has a casual interest in his goings on might say. It still felt very tired and outdated already though.
Regardless, it was really nice to see how thrilled and happy little Sara was to see Funassyi, as was her sister. Watching kids interact with Funassyi is always lovely.
Funassyi - or rather, 90cm Funassyi - contemplating the playing cards that feature his famous and infamous quotes (details here). Seeing that many Funassyi faces at once is a bit overwhelming… ^_^; The cards are available now at Funassyiland stores, and will go into wider distribution after October 23rd. (Photo via Funassyiland Osaka).
Back in June, Funassyi was a guest on The Shonen Premium Club, a variety show hosted by boy group KAT-TUN. During the show Funassyi was asked to judge the yuru-chara designs for the show that the KAT-TUN boys had come up with. The winning design was Pero-o, created by Tatsuya Ueda. Funassyi is making a return visit to the same show next week on October 21st. Ueda and an NHK filming crew were spotted by several fans at the Funabashi Market event this past Sunday, and speculation is that they’ve gone ahead and made Pero-o come to life, and that Funassyi will be taking at a look at it. In any case the episode airs from 8 to 9pm on BS Premium on October 21.
A young cosplayer wearing the Funassyi Cosplay Kit. Via the Twitter account of the company that makes the Kit.
Incidentally, when asked what he’s going to dress up as for Halloween, Funassyi said “an eggplant”. ^_^;
(Note: I normally don’t post photos of other people’s kids, but since this was posted by the company who sells the product, and retweeted by Funassyi too, I figured it’s OK.)
The Shimousamiyama no Shichinen Matsuri (Shimousamiyama Seven Year Festival) is a major Shinto festival with a 550-plus year old history, held in the Year of the Cow (or Bull) and the Year of the Sheep (or Ram) in Funabashi. Ninomiya Shrine in the Miyama district of Funabashi is the lead shrine for the festival, in which a total of 9 Funabashi shrines participate. Ninomiya Shrine, is where it’s possible to get Funassyi designed omamori or good luck talisman. It also had a special ceremony to bless an ofuda in Funassyi’s name earlier this year.
This is the Year of the Sheep, so the festival is scheduled to take place, so the organizers have asked for Funassyi’s help to raise funds for the festival. Special Funassyi-design tenugui (a long, narrow towel or napkin that’s made of cotton) will be given out to all donors who give more than 3,000 yen to support the festival. The one in the photo above is one of the designs - the men holding it are from the local shop owners’ association. Traditionally money for local festivals like this were raised from local small businesses, but Funabashi, like most cities around Japan and many other countries, is seeing the growth of “big box” stores in the suburbs while “downtown” small stores are struggling. So this year they’re trying something new to raise the needed money.
As is his usual procedure when lending his image to a local business or organization, Funassyi does not charge anything, but instead asks that a portion of the proceeds be donated to the Michinoku Mirai Kikin, a non-profit organization that helps orphans of the Great East Japan Earthquake pay for their school fees.
You can read about the Shimousamiyama no Shichinen Matsuri here in English.
News source (in Japanese).
Update: Apparently the Funassyi tenugui project had to be cancelled, although no reason is given.
Update 2: It seems the local business owners who organized this fundraiser didn’t get Ninomiya Shrine’s OK first. Oops. The festival will go on regardless though.
What a photogenic Pear. From the Funabashi Market event.
I love this shot of Iisa King quietly observing the stage. From the Funabashi Market event.
Via Iisa King’s Twitter account.
You may remember that great shot of Funassyi on a white horse on a beach. Funassyi revealed that it was a location shoot (shot on the shore of south Chiba, in the Boso area) for a Fuji TV show called Kakuzuke Nippon, that will air on October 25th. I’ve never seen this show so I’m not sure what kind of segment it might be, but the photos of equestrian Funassyi look pretty good.
If you use the LINE app on your smartphone, a new Funassyi theme was released today. And good news - there’s a proper international/English version! It transforms your LINE screens as shown above with Funassyi colors and Funassyi everywhere (contacts without a profile pic set will default to Funassyi’s face). It costs 150 LINE coins, whatever the actual price in real money that is in your local currency.
I love the theme’s description too. Unlike so many Japanese apps and the like, it is in real English, not just a translation:
He’s here, he’s a pear, get used to it! The pear-y fairy from the city of Funabashi is here for his fabled once in 2,000 years visit! This theme will make your LINE app burst with the perfect cocktail of fruit juice and excitement. Try it out for some fruity fun!
You can also get Funassyi LINE stickers from the same developers (UPRIGHT co., Ltd.) 3 sets are available, one of which is animated. (There’s another series of Funassyi LINE stickers based on the Funabiyori anime series, but that’s issued by Nichitele Service and is not available outside Japan.)
Mirror, mirror shining bright
Who’s the Pear with all the might?
(photo via Funassyi)
As an antidote to all the wrasslin’ posts today: Cabin Attendant Funassyi is a new Funassyi doll that will be sold exclusively in Narita, Chiba prefecture, home to the biggest airport in Japan. Funassyi is dressed in a stylish pink uniform, and his red ribbon has been transformed into a scarf. The smart hat features a nashi pear emblem.
Fortunately Wakin, one of the major sellers of Funassyi merchandise on Rakuten, is located in Narita, so Cabin Attendant Funassyi is available for preorder from them. The doll is 14cm tall and has a ballchain for hanging. Price: 1,296 yen including tax.