Japan loves its mascots. It seems that there’s a funny-looking costumed creature for every walk of life in the country. Mostly this is just harmless marketing fun but in one case, a mascot helped save the economy of one city.
Nyango Star is a “yura-chura,” which can be translated as “chill mascot.” He worked for Kuroishi City, which had fallen on hard times. Nyango Star—who is a life-sized round red cat who plays heavy metal drums insanely well—was dispatched in hopes that his playing would go viral and then encourage people to visit the city.
It worked. Not only did Nyango Star go viral, but he was invited to perform with several Japanese metal acts. It’ll be a little while longer before the full effect of this campaign can be evaluated but give that city council proper for trying something different.
On a related note, if you love metal mascots, here are the 25 best.