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Emerging from the cocoon that was The Daily Show, John Oliver has carved out a brilliant spot for himself with his own talk show Last Week Tonight. He has produced some amazing pieces on net neutrality, Edward Snowden, the Miss America Pageant and the NCAA. Viewers tune in each week to find out what subject close to their hearts is being roasted or promoted on HBO. Japan has gotten a couple of mentions on the show before, but this past week brought the insanity that is Japanese mascots to the attention of his viewers. Surely Japan’s mastery of the subject can teach the rest of the world something.

America has its share of loveable mascots, from Smokey the Bear (“Only you can prevent wildfires.”) to McGruff the Crime Dog (“Take a bite outta crime.”) However, do they really compare to Fukuppy or Marimokkori? Besides, Japan has the U.S. beat by pure numbers alone. At the last Yuru-kyara Grand Prix there were 1,699 entries, far more than the 47 prefectures that exist in Japan. There are mascots for almost everything, from cities to government programs and even prisons. It’s hard to choose just a few to highlight in a seven-minute segment, but some of the best and most talked about made the cut.

In the good column is Kumamon who has reportedly earned Kumamoto City over US $1.2 billion over the past two years.

▼ His dance alone is worth the $1.2 billion price tag.

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Perhaps the highlight is Japan’s current most popular mascot, Funasshi, who’s amazing “punk’d-like” TV spot showed him running away from explosions.

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Mascots are so prevalent and relevant that even foreign government agencies are unveiling their own mascots in Japan.

▼ Pictured here: Shalom-chan, how Israel hopes Japan sees their country (as a parrot holding an olive branch)

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However, not all mascots are good in Japan, and the sheer scale of them is getting out of hand. Last year the Japanese Finance Ministry tried to crack down on excessive mascotting when paid for by public funds. However, Oliver thinks that logic is wrong and believes that government agencies in America should be following suit by creating mascots to help engage the public, or for the lolz. And it wasn’t good enough to just have pictures of them, a mascot show had to be included as well.

▼ Scales the Blind Iguana

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▼ Hamilton the Pig for immigration, “Look out, he’s coming to de-pork you.”

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▼ Creepy baby doll with Hulk hands wearing a tutu, because, it’s no weirder than any Japanese mascot.

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▼ Ramjam the dancing ram

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What did Japanese people think of John Oliver’s take on the mascot craze?

“It reminds me of Monsters, Inc.
“They’re like those Cabbage Patch Kids from a while ago.”
“They’re awful.”
“When I saw the video I laughed so hard.”
“The baby in the back is terrifying.”
“I want this to happen all over the world! lol Every countries’ personality seems very interesting.”
“Their point seems to be…Japanese character designers are superior.”

Check out the full hilarious video to catch the rest of the mascot insanity.

Source: YouTube (LASTWEEK) via Kinisoku
Images: YouTube (LASTWEEK)