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Controversial Mascot Character Chiitan Gets TV Anime

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Otter character is known for reckless, dangerous stunt videos

The official website for TV Tokyo's children's programming block Kinder TV revealed on Friday that the mascot character Chiitan is getting its own television anime. The anime will premiere on Kinder TV and in other timeslots on April 3.

Natsuki Takemura (Hana Kappa conceptual designer) is credited as director and character designer. Isamu Sasagawa (PriPri Chii-chan!!, Grandpa Danger) is in charge of the scripts. Infinity Vision and East Fish Studio are producing the anime.

The Asian small-clawed otter "fairy baby" character debuted on December 15, 2017. The "eternally 0-year-old" character has no gender, and they wear the turtle character Kame-chan on their head.

The mascot character is based on a real-world female pet otter of the same name, who gained a social media following big enough to become the honorary tourism ambassador of the city of Susaki, Kochi. The same designers who created Shinjō-kun, the city's official mascot character, also designed the mascot character Chiitan, who also gained popularity on social media acting unofficially as tourism ambassador. However, Susaki received complaints about the apparently reckless and dangerous nature of some of the stunts in Chiitan's videos, such as those below. The city recently decided to revoke the real otter's status as a tourism ambassador.

Sources: Kinder TV's website, MoCa News, The New York Times (Mike Ives), Mainichi Shimbun

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