How does the saying go again? Something something… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?

Japan is host to a miscellany of mascots. Some represent facilities such as Osaka Airport while others have a higher potential of appearing in your nightmares. However, in the case of this one brand of potato chips, a mascot change has sparked buzz among Japanese netizens, and quite frankly, not many folks are pleased.

Wasabeef, a portmanteau of the words wasabi and beef, are potato chips made by Japanese snack producer Yamayoshi Seika. These chips are well-known not necessarily for their savory taste but rather for the wasabi itself, said to be harvested from Nagano prefecture, which is a well-known region for wasabi production in Japan. For 33 years, Wasabeef has been using the same mascot: a drowsy-looking cow.

▼ For reference, the OG mascot, known as “Wasacchi” since 2015.

So how has the mascot changed exactly, and what does it look like now? Well…

▼ I spy with my little eye… a green pea with legs? Hold up.

Dubbed “Wasagyuu” and designed by Japanese comedian Akihiro Nishino, clear differences this mascot has in comparison to Wasacchi, besides its bright green complexion, is its lack of arms as well as hands and a prominent pig-like snout. At first glance, despite the holstein spots in viridian green, the mascot is very reminiscent of a wasabi pea, or a green pea fried in starch and wasabi.

▼ Well, I gotta admit… the new mascot does seem to look more like a pig than a cow if you don’t notice the horns.

Responses ranged from the negative to the nostalgic with many users posting photos of Wasabeef chips. The negative comments from Japanese netizens had mostly individuals lamenting the changes and others expressing their disappointment:

“Didn’t we just re-name the mascot? This feels so sudden and too soon.”
“Rather than Wasabeef, the chip has become Wasapork…”
“Will we never see our dear Wasacchi again…?”
“It’s… rather round.”
“Besides the design looking more like a pig, Mr. Nishino is someone whose done some pretty shady stuff in the past, so the re-design is a really unfortunate thing. I’m thinking about forgoing these chips even before the re-design is made official.”

▼ One user noted that the new mascot resembled the Haro companion robot from Gundam.

While the ongoing dissent from longtime fans and the passing online observer has yet to stop, for the time being the new mascot design is set to debut in September 2020. Let’s just hope there’s no changes to the recipe, though we eagerly await the return of a gyoza collab that once knocked the olfactory sensors out of Mr. Sato’s nose.

Source: Livedoor News
Images: PR Times
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