Interest
Sake Varieties Take on Human Form in Latest Anthropomorphization Project

posted on by Eric Stimson
Leiji Matsumoto, Haruhiko Mikimoto among artists involved

Social game developer Alt Plus, in collaboration with at least 30 sake brewers, turning to renowned anime, manga and video game character designers to help promote sake products by reworking them into attractive human characters. While this sort of anthropomorphization is now common and associated with moe, this project is unusual in that it encompasses many different character types, both genders, and a multitude of artists with the intent of appealing to as many demographics as possible.

The project, called ShuShu ("shu" is another reading of the character for sake), is planned to encompass a game and spread overseas eventually. It originated with the character Tae Takayama (see below), the mascot for Amakuchi Junmai sake, which sold out of its stock of 150 bottles at the Echigo Kenshin Sake Matsuri, a festival held in October 2015 to promote the sake of Niigata Prefecture.

Sake brewers are still soliciting character designs for their liquors. Below are some of the mascots who have been unveiled so far:

Senshin Tasaka
Sake: Denshu (tokubetsu junmaishu)
Artist: Leiji Matsumoto (Space Pirate Captain Harlock)
Favorite foods: scallop & red meat sashimi

Akari
Sake: Fukushōgun (tokubetsu honjōzō nama-chozōshu)
Artist: Haruhiko Mikimoto (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress)
Favorite foods: "I like or dislike nothing!"

Tae Takayama
Sake: Myōkō-san (tokubetsu junmai)
Artist: Suzuhito Yasuda (Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Durarara!)
Favorite foods: wild plants, Kurile bamboo, and noppe (a vegetable stew native to Niigata Prefecture)

Yuyu Kozakura
Sake: Gotensakura (junmai ginjō)
Artist: Luna Tsukigami (Audition!, Omae Nanzo ni Musume wa Yaren)
Favorite foods: boiled sweetfish, rolled-up eggs

Hakuei
Sake: Miyozakura (junkara junmaishu)
Artist: Yutaka Tōdō (S - Saigo no Keikan-)
Favorite foods: oden (boiled fish-based products), Japanese-style Salisbury steak, salty grilled sweetfish, margarita pizza

Yasaku
Sake: Tsukasabotan Senchūhassaku
Artist: jitari
Favorite foods: red meat sashimi like bonito

While long out of favor in its own home country, sake is increasingly making a comeback in Japan. This has led to efforts to market it with cute characters.

Source: Animate Times


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