'Gum Kare!' Handsome Chewing Gum Boyfriends Want You to Bite Them

posted on by Sarah Nelkin
Kazuya Nakai, Yuuki Kaji, Kenichi Suzumura, more voice Lotte's brands of gum

Sources like Sankei Biz reported in September that Japanese youths have begun distancing themselves from chewing gum. Since 2004 at its peak with sales of 188.1 billion yen (about US$1.586 billion), the gum market in Japan has increasingly fallen, with sales being cut by two-thirds as of 2013. The companies blame the use of smartphones by youth for the decrease of dependency on gum.

It appears that gum companies have begun to take new, desperate measures in order to draw back youngsters into their gum-buying and chewing habits. On Thursday, sweets-maker Lotte unveiled its new website titled “Crazy Gum Broadcasting System,” which houses five personifications of its various gum brands. The boys are part of a project called, “Gum Kare!,” which literally means, “Gum Boyfriend.” The website boasts that the boys are “lovers for your mouth,” and a quote on the webpage reads, “You should be biting only me.”

The gum boys are also voiced by famous male voice talents, who are previewed in the promotional videos streamed for each character:

Yuuki Kaji as Acuo Seiryo (Acuo)

Acuo: Gum Kare!
Acuo: Is math class that boring? Heh... I guess seeing your spaced-out face from the seat next to you in class is my special privilege.
Text: Age: 17
Likes: The coolness of a department store in summer, cold water baths
Dislikes: Oppressive things, things that are a pain to do
Acuo: I'm thankful to whatever god out there that gave me this seat.
Acuo: A refreshing present for you. If we're at this distance, then even in class, you... Can feel my breath, right?
Tooth: Oh, A-Acuo-kun... I'm so embarrassed...
Sound Effect: Ba-bump!
All: Gum Kare! Who do you want to bite?

Kazuya Nakai as Black Shigeki (Black Black)

Black: Gum Kare!
Black: You sure had a comfortable-looking sleeping face, you know that? You OK? Lunch break is already over. Oh... Or are you going to skip?
Text: Age: 18
Likes: Small animals, the kind of person who is not wishy-washy
Dislikes: People who bully those weaker than themselves, people who sleep in class
Black: Huh? I'm... Well, I'm the kind of guy who isn't tied down by time.
Black: Stay here just a little more. ...Dummy. You're a woman who can't feel refreshed with anything else but my harsh mouth (a pun on 'harsh taste'), right?
Tooth: I really can't win against you, Black-senpai...
Sound Effect: Ba-bump!
All: Gum Kare! Who do you want to bite?

Tomokazu Sugita as Xylit Shirakaba (Xylitol)

Xylit: Gum Kare!
Xylit: Hey you! Yeah, you, yes, I mean you! Geez, that's mean of you to just keep on walking even though I'm calling your name!
Text: Age: 18
Likes: Everything beautiful, himself in the mirror
Dislikes: Cavities, people who aren't beautiful
Xylit: Oh, I get it! I was surrounded in girls, so you couldn't see me, huh? Hahaha! I am such a sinful guy...
Xylit: I came to invite you on an after-school date. Won't you dye your daily routine in me?
Xylit: Oh, Xylit-senpai! You are sooooo bold!
Sound Effect: Ba-bump!
All: Gum Kare! Who do you want to bite?

Kenichi Suzumura as Gren Shinryoku (Greengum)

Gren: Gum Kare!
Gren: I've found one tardy student... You again?
Text: Age: 17
Likes: Organized bookshelves, peaceful walks through the woods
Dislikes: Fingerprints on glasses, people with untucked shirts
Gren: How many times do I need to warn you about this until you're satisfied? I hope you don't think you can fool me.
Gren: Honestly... The me of late has been rather strange... As I continue to meet you... My mint... Begins to gain fragrance.
Tooth: Gren-kun... Could that mean that... You feel that way about me...?
Sound Effect: Ba-bump!
All: Gum Kare! Who do you want to bite?

Hiro Shimono as Fits Yawaraka (Fit's)

Fits: Gum Kare!
Fits: Hey lady, watch out! Phew... Crisis averted.
Text: Age: 16
Likes: Dancing while chewing gum, nice upperclassmen
Dislikes: Scary upperclassmen, being treated like a child
Fits: Geez. If I hadn't caught this ball, it would have gone BANG! Right into your head.
Fits: How was I? Did you think that I was a little manly? I'm not all fun and games, you know. ...So be ready.
Tooth: Geez...! You're saying that again, Fits-kun...?
Sound Effect: Ba-bump!
All: Gum Kare! Who do you want to bite?

The website is also having a contest to see who fans most want to bite. Currently, Fits is in first place, with Black in a close second, Xylit in third, Acuo in fourth, and finally, Gren in last place. Voters will be entered into a lottery to possibly receive a special voice recording of your chosen boy to say your name, or gum with original “Gum Kare!” packaging. The winner of the popularity vote will also get “reward contents” when the votes are tallied.

The characters were designed by illustrator Kanata Koko. The website also has plans for various online novels featuring the characters to begin to be published on November 24, and the website will also post character voice clips beginning on December 1.

Source: via Hachima Kikō, 0takomu

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