Due to Japan’s obsession with cuteness, even serious things are not excluded from being handled in a cute manner. Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s Crime Prevention Task Force has been introducing their cute female dog mascot on their Twitter account since 2013. The mascot is called Tewatasanaiinu which is a combination of the words “tewatasanai” (not handing over) and “inu” (dog).
This mascot looks like a hybrid between a dog and a human. It has green hair, large fox-like ears, human hands, and wears a police uniform. Tewatasanaiinu is created to encourage people to be aware of crimes and learn tips about crime prevention. I guess this is a pretty effective method, especially for kids. It is kind of like watching Barney or other anime characters giving advice.
The mascot can also be seen doing a New Year cleaning (Osoji) which is a custom in Japan.
As part of a PR campaign, Tewatasanaiinu had also posed with a popular idol group called Momoiro Clover Z. Perhaps Tewatasanaiinu will be a singing idol who also fights crime in the future!
Back in 2013 when the mascot was first introduced, it received some criticism due to how it looks. Those who did not approve thought that instead of looking cute, the mascot looks creepy especially because of the human hands. I have got to agree with this as I think that the mascot would look so much cuter if it looked much more like a dog instead.
Some people commented that the hands look like they belong to an old guy or a man rather than a cute girl or dog. There are also some who doubt the usefulness of this mascot and think that the police force has too much time on their hands. However, I think the people who made those critiques are just being too negative.
Despite the criticism, any publicity turns out to be good publicity. The number of Twitter account followers is said to have increased due to the introduction of the mascot. Thus, the creation of the mascot seems to be a great idea despite some individuals finding it a bit creepy!
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