Bubble-headed mammal quickly becoming the darling of Japanese pro-gaming.

Most people probably know Shinjo-kun as the basis for the costume of the internationally popular Chiitan, well known for her rambunctious stunts and feuds with celebrities. For a few years Shinjo-kun and Chiitan worked together entertaining and promoting Susaki City, in rural Kochi Prefecture.

However, a split occurred earlier this year which sent Chiitan spiralling into Twitter limbo. Shinjo-kun, meanwhile, was recently found to have a secret talent hiding in that giant head of his all this time: he’s a pretty kick-ass Street Fighter V player!

At the Game Centers GP eSports celebrity invitational event on 26 May, various figures from the entertainment industry squared off in the legendary fighting game. But it was Shinjo-kun who managed to take it all in the final match against actress Yuka Kuramochi.

As we can see in the video, he is still wearing his mascot gloves, meaning he is doing this while essentially wearing a pair of mittens over his hands, not to mention an enormous ball with extremely limited visibility on his head.

▼ Shinjo-kun and Kuramochi also battled during the preliminary phase of the tournament. Shinjo-kun proved victorious here as well.

Shinjo-kun appears to be a defensive player who’s good at finding openings in the timing of his opponent’s moves. The final shoryuken of the championship match was so well-timed that it hit while his opponent was attempting to confuse him with a quick crossover jump.

▼ The final moments of the championship match, as well as Kuramochi’s reaction to having just been robbed of the championship by an otter, can be seen in this tweet.

During the semi-final round Shinjo-kun went up against artist and musician Daito Manabe. This time in the beginning moments, when Shinjo-kun appears to be staring down Manabe, we can see that the otter has a large arcade-style joystick controller strapped to his lap. This would be big enough for his paws to manipulate and be kept in place since he can’t look down to make adjustments.

Fans were impressed with his performance, and in true Street Fighter nature, many challenged him.

“I want to fight you Shinjo-kun!”
“He should hold open matches.”
“I would love to watch a tournament with Shinjo-kun in it.”
“They should make a Shinjo-kun character in the game!”
“Awesome! Fight on, Shinjo-kun! Fight on!”

He also got the attention in the form of a challenge from Jun Utahiroba, the psuedo-bassist for arguably the world’s most famous air band Golden Bomber.

▼ “Shinjo-kun is the one I most want to fight now! But where do I have to go to fight ‘him?’ Kochi Prefecture?”

Shinjo-kun himself was quick to accept Utahiroba’s challenge.

▼ “Kochi is fine, but it’s far and inconvenient, so I can go to Tokyo!”

So it looks like the challenge is accepted, and once the logistics are worked out, we can watch the giant cartoon otter face-off against the guy who pretends to play bass for a living in Street Fighter V once and for all. Although a date is not determined yet, I can honestly say this is the most excited I have ever been for an eSports event in my life.

Source: Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/[Official] Shinjo-kun
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