Believe it or not, there’s actually a perfectly logical reason this manly mythical beast needs both a sword and a gun.

This week, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics got their mascot characters, chosen by the votes of elementary school kids from across the nation. But while the yet-to-be-named icons are the official representatives of the games, Cup Noodle maker Nissin has created another character to represent an often-overlooked Olympic sport.

Nissin is the official food partner of the Tokyo Olympics, and also the official sponsor of the modern pentathlon event. Right now, a lot of you are probably asking “Wait, what’s modern pentathlon again?” Sure, you can probably guess that it’s somehow a contemporary update to classic pentathlon, and that it contains five events, but what exactly are those events?

So to help you remember the components of modern pentathalon, Nissin has created Pentaurus-kun, and instead of going with Japan’s usual design aesthetic of charming cuteness, it’s gone for over-the-top freakiness. Oh, and perfectly smooth and hairless washboard abs.

That’s the five-member a cappella group Gospellers, one of the most popular bands of the early 2000s in Japan, reprising their 2001 hit “Hitori” (meaning “One Person”) in a serenade to Pentaurus-kun, a heavily-muscled and heavily-armed masked centaur.

But this isn’t a monster that Nissin borrowed as part of its cozy relationship with the Final Fantasy video game franchise. On the contrary, every part of Pentaurus-kun’s design is meant to remind you of the five events in modern pentathlon. First, and most obvious, is equestrian show jumping, hence the character’s centaur status. Next is fencing, which explains the mask and sword. There’s also swimming, which is why Pentaurus-kun is shirtless and wearing a form-fitting spandex-like garment on his hips. Representing cross-country running are a pair of running shoes on his front feet (his rear pair are hooves), and finally, the pistol is for pistol shooting.

▼ Ah, now that we know the logic behind him Pentaurus-kun doesn’t seem so cr-…nope, still freaky.

As for why the Gospellers are here, the original version of “Hitori” contains the lyrics:

There’s only one thing I’ve promised
That from now on, I’ll never leave your side
I’ll keep moving forward, just for that one person, for you
So that you’ll never
Hear a sad song again”

But for Pentaurus-kun, they’re singing:

Just one person does five
Fencing, shopting, riding, running, and swimming
There are five, just for one person
But we’re guessing you don’t know much about
Modern pentathlon

Startling and disturbing as Pentaurus-kun’s appearance may initially be, you have to admit it’s actually a pretty clever move on Nissin’s part, as it’s definitely a memorable design that helps you remember that modern pentathlon, despite getting very little of the Olympic limelight, is a pretty cool, not to mention physically demanding, mix of badass action-movie-star skills. That’s the sort of awareness boost the sport could really use, seeing as how the video claims there are only about 300 modern pentathlon athletes in the world, and a mere 33 in all of Japan, which is part of the reason the sport’s inclusion in the Olympics is in jeopardy after the 2020 Tokyo Games.

And aside from athletic implications, the weirdness level here, amped up by the fact that Pentaurus-kun seems to also be a talented dancer…

…should make the character a perfect fit for quirky gachapon capsule toy vending machine merch. Plus, with his inhuman yet muscular body, and also the fact that he’s willing to whip himself…

…it’s probably only a matter of time until kinky Pentaurus-kun fan art starts showing up.

Source: YouTube/日清食品グループ公式チャンネル via IT Media, Nissin
Top image: Nissin
Insert images: YouTube/日清食品グループ公式チャンネル

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he always feels a sort of kinship with the Gospellers because of their Waseda University connection.