Ananmaru, a bulldog themed mascot character with a reputation of not being cute, has been named the tourism ambassador of Komae, a city in Western Tokyo.
Ananmaru, who was created by a Komae City employee and has been called “not cute” by the mayor of Komae, made his debut in 2014 as the “guard dog” mascot of Komae. As part of his role as the guard dog of Komae, Ananmaru has been raising awareness about the things people can do to prevent crime, prepare for natural disasters and stay safe in general by doing things like passing out flyers and making regular public appearances.
Interestingly, Komae has not had a traffic related death since 2013 and they also had the lowest number of reported crimes of all the cities in Tokyo in 2015 with 466 incidents. Whether these figures are due to Ananmaru’s efforts to raise awareness about these topics is at best unclear though.
In his new role as tourism Ambassador, Ananmaru will be trying to get people to visit Komae and purchase its locally produced products. However, he will also continue protecting the people of Komae in his role as the city’s guard dog.
If you’d like to see what Ananmaru looks like moving around, check out the video below, which shows the guard dog mascot playing catch with a mascot of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team during a visit to the Yomiru Giants stadium last December.
If you’d like to see another “not cute” mascot, check out the article below.