Mondo Mascots

Inside Japan's growing world of adorable, bizarre mascots [Fandom Files #57]

Presenters
Nov 5, 2018

Chris Carlier moved from England to Japan more than a decade ago, enticed by an ad seeking English teachers and a thirst for adventure. Originally a cartoonist by trade, Carlier is still in Japan, and in addition to continuing his day gig as a teacher, he has now married his language skills and penchant for cute characters to perform another important public service: documenting Japan's growing mascot craze via his MondoMascots.com.

Documented on his website and social accounts, Carlier's anthropological study has introduced a gold mine of quirky, adorable, and just plain weird mascots to the western world. The mascots tend to be fantastical (and sometimes non-sensical) characters who have been anthropomorphized, frequently by children whose drawings are selected in local contests. And they represent everything from cities and sports teams to household items and even prisons, showing that there is nothing too dark to be illuminated by the loving glow of a giant cartoon fabric monster.

Carlier talks to The Fandom Files about his adventures in Japan, the boom in mascots, the latest trends, and the weirdest characters he's ever seen.

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