The Disappearance of Funassyi: Weird Mascot Goes from 102 TV Appearances to 4 in 5 Years
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
The unofficial pear fairy mascot of of Funabashi City's star has quietly darkened after peaking in 2014. Funassyi is a regional mascot that garnered attention for its wacky personality and antics. CNN newscasters were practically rolling on the floor with laughter after interviewing the character in 2014. Its popularity landed it a manga series, tie-in merchandise, anime-related PR stunts, a chart-topping single, an appearance on American television, a concert at Budōkan, its own anime anime shorts, and a role in a Precure film.
Overall, Funassyi appeared on 102 television programs and in commercials for 18 companies in 2014. The character's merchandise sales exceeded 800 million yen (US$7.2 million). Yet, things have been quiet on the Funassyi front for the last few years. What happened?
Sponichi Annex reported on the mascots career status on Monday after the character appeared on Nippon TV's Shabekuri 007×Jinsei ga Kawaru 1-funkan no Fukaii Hanashi Gattai special that same day. The character appeared in only four television programs in 2018, but Funassyi said on Monday that it's in part due to narrowing down its focus and watching out for its health.
The mascot is part of the "world's first" character band with fellow yuru chara ("loose characters"). Funassyi is joined by Shiki City's Kapal the Kappa on bass, Sapporo City's Akkuma on guitar, and Kuroishi City's Nyangostar on drums. Funassyi is the group's vocalist.
The band is preparing for concerts Hong Kong. When asked why Funassyi has disappeared off the airwaves, the character admitted it turned down appearances due to how physically demanding the schedule was and concerns about "high pear cholesterol." Funassyi decided to reduce its working hours and its weekly YouTube updates now center around yuru chara projects.
"If I'm honest, I want to live a peacefully but I feel bad for my supporters who cheered me on," Funassyi said. The character still lives in Funabashi City.