With the massive amount of mascot characters that exist in Japan, artists are often forced to make bold design choices in order to make their characters stand out and attain some degree of success. While this occasionally results in very interesting and successful characters, such as the lazy but cute egg themed Sanrio character Gudetama, other times it results in utterly bizarre characters that don’t seem like they would appeal to pretty much anyone. Unfortunately for the Tohoku Rakutn Golden Eagles, a professional Japanese baseball team based in the Miyagi city of Sendai, their new mascot seems to fall squarely into the latter of these two categories. Check him out for yourself in the picture below.
Kurowashi-san (Mr. Black Eagle)
Called Kurowashi-san, literally Mr. Black Eagle, this strange new mascot character was created as part of a promotional campaign called “Black Eagle Day,” which involves the players of the Sendai baseball team donning special black uniforms at select home games throughout the season.
But why go with the whole “average middle-aged man” theme? Apparently, the people responsible for selecting the Black Eagle Day mascot just couldn’t come up with anything better. So on April 16, during a game against the Nippon Ham Fighters, they decided to test him out and see what happens.
After, in the words of the official press release concerning Mr. Kurowashi, “leting him loose into the stadium like a wild bird” the people responsible for Mr. Black Eagle, noticed that two things occurred. First, he actually managed to get spectators to pay attention to him. Second, the Golden Eagles managed to make a last-minute comeback to win the game, so of course, they credited Mr. Kurowashi with the victory. That same day they talked to Mr. Kurowashi and officially made him their new mascot.
Although Mr. Kurowashi doesn’t have much of a backstory at this point, his official profile does reveal a few interesting tidbits about him. For example, his personality is listed as “serious.” He is not fond of answering questions and his facial expression almost never changes. However, what is perhaps the most amusing detail about this guy is that he actually knows very little about baseball. This is why you only see his facial expression change when home runs or other very easy to understand plays occur.
Kurowashi-san is currently scheduled to make seven appearances through the month of August during Golden Eagles home games. However, there are also plans for him to make appearances at various Miyagi Prefecture events, so it looks like there’s plenty of opportunities for people to take pictures with this very ‘average looking’ mascot. How many people actually want to take a picture with him remains to be seen though.