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For decades snack company Ezaki Glico has supplied Japan with delicious munchies such as Pocky, Pretz, and Papico, not to mention a slew of other snacks that don’t happen to begin with the letter P! Until now, the company name was enough to grab people’s attention and promote the purchase of their tasty products. If pressed to choose an icon with which to represent the well-known brand, many might choose the 300-meter running man, as seen along the Dotonbori Canal in Osaka. However, not even he could be considered a true mascot.

Now, breaking tradition, Glico has just released official images of their all-new official mascot characters, Lico and Guri. These anime-style characters are the embodiment of cute and cool, but are pulling some conflicted reactions from Japanese Internet users. Take a look at their introduction video and decide for yourselves whether the creation of these characters is welcome or just plain weird.

Lico and her brother Guri are twin magicians (of course!), here to represent Glico as the company’s official mascot characters. They embody the basic archetypes for a pretty-girl pop idol and a handsome gentleman, respectively. In order to properly introduce the pair to the public, Glico put together a video called the Lico and Guri Back Story to explain their existence.

Unfortunately, while the short one-and-a-half-minute clip does a fantastic job of describing who the characters are, it doesn’t so much explain why Glico felt the need to make mascot characters in the first place. So, while the characters are attractive, the art is nice, and their song is really catchy, many people still wonder what Glico was really thinking when they made them.

Here’s a small sample of the comments left by Japanese Net users:

Lico and Guri are so adorable!
Glico’s official characters sure are cute.
Glico is acting kind of weird…
Now they’ve done it.
I’m scarily attracted to Guri.
The magical twins Lico and Guri…What’s up with that, Glico?

Comments ranged from obedient praise to worry and confusion. People on the whole did not appear to have a problem with the characters themselves, just their sudden appearance and the reason for their existence.

Whatever the motivation behind this new brand of marketing, Glico has obviously put a lot of time and money into creating these characters. The video that they released was illustrated by the popular artist, BUZZ, accompanying music composed by Yasuhiro Nakashima and performed by Chii, an American steadily making her mark on the Japanese pop industry; the company really went all out here! And, rumor has it that there will be a second video released sometime in the near future. If Glico is really serious about pushing these new characters as representatives of their snack brand, then we look forward to seeing what they come up with next!

Reference: Aeon Square (Japanese)

▼ Move over, running man. Make room for the new kids in town.

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▼ Glico’s magical mascot characters, Lico and her twin brother, Guri.

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▼ You can watch their introduction video here or on YouTube.

[ Read in Japanese ]