Kumamon is coming
This just in, via AkihabaraNews: Kumamon is officially going international. The permanently-surprised anthropomorphic bear has gotten his work visas approved, and you will soon see his visage in its officially-licensed form.
Kumamon (くまモン) is the ursine representative for Kumamoto prefecture, whose weapons-grade cuteness has made him the most popular mascot in Japan.
He’s been mathematically, geometrically, and in all ways scientifically engineered to make you smile, and they sure did the math right.
Soon Kumamon will be loosed upon the world: a grinning, rosy-cheeked marketing rampage.
かわいい in Hawaii.
くま in Parma.
Bear in… Val d’Isere.
I featured Kumamon in my ProductYVR talk on the faces of cities and systems, and the value of generating goodwill by making something lovable.
Kumamon has existed outside Japan for a few years, but only as an out-of-context meme. Now Kumamon is coming for real: prepare for a cuddliness not seen since Hello Kitty.