A lot of eyes, very few “Ayes!” in public opinion poll.

Planning large, in-person events remains a dicey proposition in Japan. The situation seems to be getting gradually better, though, and most people are optimistic that by the time 2025 rolls around, the pandemic will finally be completely over, and so preparations are proceeding for Expo 2025, the 2025 World Expo to be held in Osaka.

Some of you may remember our previous discussion of the event, specifically its official logo, an irregularly shaped blood-red ring made up of eyeballs that reminded the Japanese public of anime monstrosities and video game bosses.

▼ Relax, this is a still image, so any pulsating motions you see are all in your head/nightmares later tonight.

Fortunately, in addition to the logo Expo 2025 will also have an official mascot character, and the organizers have narrowed the field of candidates down to three finalists. Unfortunately, the candidates are all based on the logo, and it’s debatable if they’re any less disturbing.

Currently, they’re just called Candidate A, Candidate B, and Candidate C, though “WHAT?!?”, “WHY?!?”, and “NO, REALLY, WHYYYYY?!?” seem like they would have worked just as well.

The Japanese government’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry revealed the three finalists this week, and is asking the public to submit their opinions through its website or in the tweet’s thread. So far, the voice of the people of Japan is best encapsulated by responses such as the following:

“You want my opinion? OK – they’re creepy.”
“Every single one of them is nasty.”
“This is what you’re using our tax money on?…My kids won’t be able to go to the bathroom by themselves at night after seeing these.”
“Candidate C looks like some sort of parasite has infected the Cookie Monster’s head, hijacked his central nervous system, and is now hungering for human flesh.”
“I think these were designed by an insane person.”
“I looked at all three, and none of them are suitable. They’re all so bad that they’d be off the bottom of whatever scale you could evaluate them on.”
“How about you scrap all these and start a nationwide contest for some new designs?”
“Can we not have some less bizarre-looking mascots instead?”
“These are disgusting…like, aggressively disgusting.”

Overall, commenters seemed to find “too many eyes” to be more off-putting than “not enough eyes,” as Candidates B and C have gotten the most negative feedback. Aside from the excess peepers, the contrast between the red ring of eyes and blue body makes them look like they’re in the process of mutating, although one (and only one) commenter did say: “I like B. Its mouth is cute.”

On its website, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry asks respondents how well they feel each candidate represents Expo 2025’s themes of “designing a future society of shining lives” and “experimental site of the future society,” as well as conceptual keywords for the event such as “taking on the challenge of approaches that no one has tried before” (that last one, at least, is one the candidates fit to a T).

The opinion survey will be going on until 5 p.m. on March 10, though the ministry clarifies that this isn’t a mascot election, merely a way to gauge public reaction which will then be one of the factors used in deciding which character to go with.

Source: Expo 2025 (1, 2) via Jin, Twitter/@meti_NIPPON (1, 2)
Top image: Pakutaso
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