Not all heroes wear capes. Some just wear pointy shoulder pads.

There is often a lot of talk about Japan’s many regional mascots, and even the various moe anime-style characters that frequently represent certain landmarks or organizations. But another sector of this industry that often goes over looked are local heroes.

I don’t mean “local heroes” as in people who volunteer at soup kitchens or preserve historical buildings, but actual costumed super heroes, similar to Kamen Rider or Super Sentai (a.k.a Power Rangers) characters who mainly serve local communities.

One such local hero is Chojin Neiger (Super God Neiger) of Akita Prefecture. Chojin Neiger possess the power of namahage, local demons who terrify children, but uses it to overpower evildoers who wish to sully the scenic beauty and charm of the region.

He is armed with dual swords made of grilled mochi on a stick known as kiritanpo, as well as a really heavy Akita accent. Luckily, his Twitter account is full of tips on learning this northern way of speaking.

▼ In this tweet Chojin Neiger explains Akita dialect phrase “hebana,” which means “see you later,” and includes a chart of Akita dialect’s evolution from standard Japanese

But you still might be wondering what exactly makes our super god all that special. After all, there’s no short supply of masked heroes fighting spandex and foam armored villains in Japan.

To answer that question, our story begins on a sunny afternoon in Akita, where Chojin Neiger had struck a deal with major vending machine operator DyDo for a line of machines decorated in his image. All was well with this synergistic campaign until some young children placed a note alerting our hero to a crises at hand.

The letter read:

“To Neiger-san,
We are sad that there is no more Calpis Water. Calpis Water is our favorite.
Neiger is also our favorite. Let’s play.”

It is unclear at what time the letter was written, but it caught the attention of Chojin Neiger at exactly 1:52 p.m. on 3 September. He sprung into action and issued the following tweet:

“What? A letter on the vending machine… Oh no! I must contact Akita DyDo right away.”

Neiger then tweeted again that the problem was being rectified…a mere four minutes later!

“Wow, they came soon. Cool.”

At 2:02 p.m. a mere ten minutes after the problem was noticed, the lactic acid bacteria beverage Caplis Water had returned to the machine. A note from Chojin Neiger to the children was also place on the machine which read:

“I got the Calpis Water back in the machine! Thank you always for your support!”

“It was bad to remove it when the season changed. Now you can drink your favorite again! Hebena!”

It’s very important to note that, like Chojin Neiger said, this machine was not simply empty of Calpis Water, they had actually changed the entire lineup of drinks and removed it from the selection completely. This means that in the span of only ten minutes, DyDo – at the behest of Chojin Neiger – completely revamped a vending machine’s menu in response to a note that a couple of kids taped to it.

Sure, the non-true-believers out there may say that Chojin Neiger and DyDo planned this ahead of time to make it look like it was done super-fast, but even still it’s a pretty cool thing to do for the kids.

▼ Chojin Neiger is a pretty salt-of-the-earth hero and likes doing normal dude things in his spare time like walking in snow shoes, playing guitar, and skipping stones

I sure don’t see any of those other so-called superheroes of stage and screen facilitating access to our favorite drinks…with the possible exception of Pepsiman, that is.

Source: J-Cast News, Twitter/@neiger_akita
Top image: YouTube/Cho-jin Neiger Channel
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