That adorable otter just took one too many blows to the head for the liking of city residents and officials.

It was a dark day in the yurukyara (Japanese regional mascot) world as rising star Chiitan was denounced by her adopted city of Susaki in Kochi Prefecture.

The reason for her expulsion was the endless series of videos on her social media accounts in which the small clawed otter attempted various activities that would be very challenging for someone in a giant otter costume such as kickboxing or making a cup of instant noodles.

▼ Some of Chiitan’s greatest hits

Chiitan the costumed character is based on a real otter of the same name who gained fame over the Internet in 2016 and even landed her own public access show in the Kanto region featuring appearances by Kamen Joshi, the idol group who frequently market their various odors and textures as fried chicken flavors.

Due to the real otter’s popularity, an anthropomorphic yurukyara version was made to give Chiitan’s brand added mobility. To accomplish this her Tokyo-based management used an existing otter costume design that was created for Shinjo-kun, the official, and preexisting, mascot character for Susaki City.

Possibly because the similarities were hard to ignore, Chiitan declared herself to be a “tourism ambassador” for Susaki City. Likely realizing the potential of her popularity, the city accepted and recognized her status as a quasi-official representative of the city. The costumed Chiitan even made several videos alongside Shinjo-kun.

However, it was clear to see that Chiitan’s edge was hampered by the strict rules of conduct that bound an official mascot like Shinjo-kun. While still cute, the videos lacked the sudden instances of violence that had originally made the costumed Chiitan a hit.

Still, on her own social media accounts, it was business as usual.

This dual role continued, but as Chiitan grew even more popular, residents of Susaki City began to take notice and wonder if this is really the otter they want representing their way of life. The city hall reportedly received upwards of 100 complaints regarding Chiitan’s antics.

Looking back at their relationship, and realizing that Chiitan spent all her time hitting things with bats and not promoting Susuka City at all, city officials felt it was in their best interest to sever official ties with the otter.

Chiitan fans might worry that this falling out could endanger her future, given the issues of intellectual property surrounding her likeness. However, it seems that’s not a concern. The mascot’s agency told Yomiuri Shimbun that they are still on good terms with the city.

▼ The real Chiitan, meanwhile, has yet to issue a statement on the matter. She is likely weighing the political fallout of choosing either side.

Susaki mayor Kosaku Kusunose also told Yomiuri that the decision was made with a heavy heart, but Chiitan’s behavior was having a negative effect on Shinjo-kun’s work towards regional unification.

It’s a bit of a stumble for her continuing rise to fame, but in the end Chiitan’s got to be Chiitan. To deny her that is to deny her very existence.

As for Susaki City, if they are interested, we have some free-agent mascots that could fill-in for tourism ambassadors such as the hypnotically undulating Satosshi or our sinewy latex-clad bear Hard Ku**mon.

Source: Yomiuri Online
Top image: YouTube/Kawaun Chiitan