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Tourism association makes change in response to complaints that original poster was inappropriate.

Japan is generally okay with boob-based products and marketing, but residents of the town of Minokamo, in Gifu Prefecture, recently drew the line at a promotional poster that featured a busty anime character drawn in a way that emphasized her heaving, shiny breasts.

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Minokamo’s Kamo Agricultural School is said to be the inspiration for the near-identically named Tamo Agricultural School, the setting of anime franchise No-Rin, and the series’ characters have served as spokesmodels for the community before. For the 2015 iteration of Minokamo’s currently ongoing Minokamo Marutto Stamp Rally (in which prizes can be won be patronizing a certain number of local restaurant or bars), the city’s tourism association decided to devote the event’s poster to a large image of No-Rin’s generously proportioned Kocho.

The posters went up in November, but before long complaints started coming in that the illustration was overly suggestive. Since the stamp rally is scheduled to run until the end of January, rather than leave a sizeable portion of the population upset through the next two months, the Minokamo Municipal Tourism Association met to discuss a replacement, and eventually settled on reusing the same artwork it had for a tourism pamphlet that was distributed in August of 2014.

▼ The new 2015 stamp rally poster

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While Kocho is still present, she’s been pushed to the background, and is posed far less provocatively. Now occupying the front-and-center position is Ringo, No-Rin’s female lead who enrolls in Tamo Agricultural School after retiring from her life as a pop idol (hence the frilly outfit).

The redesign leaves the 2015 stamp rally poster looking very similar to the one used for the event in 2014, with the illustration of Ringo in her idol costume and some differing text layout being the only significant changes.

▼ The 2014 stamp rally poster

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On its website, the Minokamo Municipal Tourism Association has issued the following statement.

“Regarding the No-Rin and Minokamo Marutto Stamp Rally 2015 cross-promotion:
The Minokamo Municipal Tourism Association deeply apologizes to those individuals who were offended by the illustration used in the recent stamp rally poster. The event is scheduled to go on as planned, and we ask for your understanding.”

Considering that Ringo plays a more prominent role in the series than the buxom Kocho, one could make an argument that the new poster is far more appropriate from a story-telling perspective. However, given that snide remarks (played for comedy) about Ringo’s petite chest are a recurring element of No-Rin, it’s somewhat debatable whether or not she really makes for a less sexualized mascot than Kocho.

The tourism association has already begun distributing the redesigned posters, and has requested participating merchants to take down the old versions. Meanwhile, fanatic No-Rin fans are no doubt keeping their fingers crossed that a few of the discontinued posters find their way to online auctions.

Source: Sanspo via Hachima Kiko, Minokamo Municipal Tourism Association
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