The List
7 Bizarre Anime Mascots

by Lynzee Loveridge,

We're in the middle of convention season! I'm recovering from what was my first Anime Expo ever just in time to gear up for Seattle's Penny Arcade Expo next month. There might be a few more in between. Now that The List is back, I've decided to countdown seven of anime's most bizarre mascot characters. Other than selling merchandise for the series, mascots typically hitch a ride with the protagonist and offer advice, powers, or some other needed assistance. The following seven characters offer nothing except weird comedy and, in one case, a questionable food source.

7. Q-chan (Pet Shop of Horrors) This weird little bat-rabbit thing is Count D's companion and unofficial mascot for the shop. He serves no real purpose other than being cute and eating. Later in the series, the character earns his weirdo points by actually being Count D's grandfather and the real proprietor of the store.

6. Mokona Madoki/Larg (xxxHolic) I'm not going to get into all the weird cross-dimensional storyline involving both Mokona (one white named Soel, the other black named Lang) and their universe creating exploits. Suffice to say, that of the two, Larg is the odder one. The character is routinely drinking, making weird facial expressions, and being a jerk to Watanuki (in Larg's defense, Watanuki has a stick up his butt). He has the power to drop objects from alternate dimensions from his mouth, which is kind of gross.

5. Ecchan (Detective Loki Ragnarok) Ecchan's origins vary, but either way he is the result of a botched summoning by Loki. He's technically a shikigami (a type of ghost or spirit) and possesses some shape-shifting powers and cannot be seen by the average passerby. But, hey! He's cute, right?

4. Digiko (Di Gi Charat) The main character of a television show is rarely the show's mascot, but in Digiko's case, she was a mascot first and an anime character second. Digiko's roots are tied to the retail store chain Gamers, where she first served as a mascot. Gamers is, in turn, owned by Broccoli. Broccoli took the character and adapted her into the multi-media franchise that spawned a manga, video games, movies, anime, and some crossovers with other Broccoli series like Galaxy Angel. As a character, Digiko is a cat-girl alien with violent tendencies who fights Godzilla with eye beams as well as taking on other absurd challenges. Super adorable, though.

3. Aspergillus oryzae (Moyasimon) This cute little organism is the lead bacteria in Moyasimon, a series about a character that can see microbes. It's technical name is Aspergillus oryzae, but you can call it Kōji. Kōji is a mold used to ferment soybeans (like for sake and miso) and has the distinction of being Japan's "national fungus." As a character, Aspergillus oryzae is one of the first that Tadayasu encounters as a child.

2. Puchu (Excel Saga) The Puchu are an invading alien race relying on their adorableness as a primary defense against Earthlings. Excel is inexplicably immune to it and thus able to attack without issue and reveal Puchu's true form: a face resembling Golgo 13. The Puchus' primary weapon looks like a wand but is modeled after a stick used to beat mattresses. Ultimately, the Puchu are defeated by Excel and her rag-tag group of rebels.

1. Pokute (Haré+Guu) Pokute are some sort of alien-like vegetable animal. Supposedly, they were sent from the heavens but the main cast instead uses them as a food source. One particular, and disturbing, episode of the series follows the village elder as he instructs how to cook the weird beings. They live in groups and have a sort of ominous feeling to them. They also don't have any arms.

The new poll: Of classic creator Go Nagai's work, which is your favorite?

The old poll: The last poll asked what anime convention(s) you are planning to attend this year, if any It was a two-part question with most not attending any and the majority who are attending selected Otakon. The results ended up pretty weird because the survey threw in a "none of the above" answer on top of "other: in the comments". Bleh.

  1. No 41.4%
  2. Yes 39.0%
  3. Already did, but won't attend more 10.1%
  4. Haven't decided 7.8%
  5. None of the above 1.7%

Alright everybody, see you all next week! I look forward to your input in the comments and feel free to follow me on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee or e-mail me at [email protected]

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