April this year saw the nationwide emergence of Okazaemon a regional mascot (called yurukyara in Japan) who operates out of Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture. In spite of looking like a strung-out cat that will stab you for its next fix, Okazaemon has captured the hearts of mascot fans with his offbeat charm.

In fact, Okazaemon’s ever-rising star has earned him second place in the Regional Yurukyara General Elections after Funasshi, another breakout mascot success of 2013. And with such notoriety there are bound to be those who emulate the formula. Enter Okazaennu: the female weird kanji cat character.

The design of Okazaennu is fundamentally similar to that of Okazaemon, right down to the disturbingly dilated pupils but with some feminine touches like a pink bow and long eyelashes. She even has the oka kanji on her face and saki kanji on her chest (although it’s been broken up by her womanly features and may look like two separate kanji to the untrained eye).

Despite her markings, Okazaennu operates out of Higashimiyoshi Town in Tokushima Prefecture some distance away from Okazaki. Also, having just entered into the mascot circuit, she still operates as an independent and doesn’t have the official backing of her region like Okazaemon currently enjoys.

According to her facebook page, Okazaennu’s full name is Mariennu Okazaki and she enjoys sightseeing, Awa dancing and reading under “Daikusu” a very large camphor tree in Higashimiyoshi that was designated a national treasure.

Though still just beginning her career, we look forward to seeing Okazaennu’s fame grow much like other well established characters who were created by putting a bow on top of preexisting ones such as Minne Mouse and Ms. Pac-Man.

Source: Facebook – Okazaennu
Video: YouTube – OutboundJapan
Original Article by Usagi Yumeno

▼ A promotional video for Okazaennu

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