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The Fandom Debate – Episode 5: The Most Pointless Anime Mascot Character

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Fandom Debate Episode 5

Anime fandom is full of lists.

The most popular, the hottest, the best dressed, the best food girl.

Reading those lists is good, but who decided who is on the shortlist? And surely there is always somebody who you thought deserved to be entered, but was ignored at the cost of a really popular character who doesn’t really fit.

How best to solve the problem than with a civilised argument. Or even a debate.

Before we get to this week’s subject here are the top four from last week’s poll. For the full results, see the voting thread.

Episode Four – The Most Well-Balanced Tsundere

 
1. Rin Tohsaka (Fate/Stay Night) and Kaname Chidori (Full Metal Panic!)

3. Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail), Taiga Aisaka (Toradora!), Touko Matsudaira (Maria Watches Over Us)





Episode Five – The Most Pointless Mascot Character

One of the things people think of when they think of anime, is the numerous mascot characters that come with it. From Bleach’s Kon, to Sakura’s Kero-chan. Pandaikon, Jonathan, Mikuru, and Kyubey… they are small, big, furry, or slimy. There’s no rules about mascot characters other than that they are often seen as a symbol of the show. (OK, Mikuru may be pushing the theme)

Often considered to be useless, often mascot characters are pivotal to the plot. Take Kero-chan for instance. He’s a small flighty… bear-thing. Yet he is also there not only to guide Sakura through the world of Clow cards, but for other spoilerific reasons too. But what about mascot characters that are blatantly there just to appear cute, or to fill space? Who are the really pointless mascot character? Favourites will likely apply, but if a character has a role to play, they’re not pointless. And just how important does a character have to be to be considered to be a mascot? I’d consider Pikachu to be a mascot, but is Oshawott?

Nothing is totally pointless, but we’re not asking for a list of pointless mascots, we’re asking for a debate about the most pointless macots.

Try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but when they’re unavoidable, be sure to tag them as spoilers.

Below are the thirteen mascot characters that I’m seeding in to the debate this week, with a little comment for each. As ever, feel free to add your own, or disagree.

Remember, be civil. Disagreeing is fine, but try to include more than just that. Likewise, if someone disagrees, don’t be offended. Come back with a counter-argument!


Haro (Mobile Suit Gundam)
Invented by Amuro Ray, Haro is known mostly for floating around saying “Haro”. In later Gundam series he learned other words, but yeah… a floaty robot that says “Haro”.


Tipi (Pretear)
The small birds in Pretear are seen everywhere in the show, but all they do is fly around and say “Ti-pi” everywhere. Great for fans of Monica Rial, but pointless?


Panda Saotome (Ranma 1/2)
This one is a little tenious, as Panda is actually Ranma’s father, but just what point does he have as a panda other than as comic relief and sign-holder?


Babbit (Kodacha)
A wisecracking bat-rabbit that is known to trashtalk the cast and comment on what is going on.


Grunty (.hack)
I know they have a point in the games, but in the anime, they are just… there. They get fed, they get rode in to walls for no reason, and they get abandoned.


Penguins (Penguindrum)
I know they’re there for a reason, but I have absolutely no idea what that is. They are just walking around doing the same thing as the main characters, but why?


Tanuki (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun)
They are a character pointlessly inserted in to a manga. See also: Penguins. 


Unagi (Popotan)
A hybrid ferret/loli, that is there, and doesn’t do much.


Kuroneko-sama (Trigun)
A black cat that appears every episode. Unlike hamster-girls, it doesn’t appear to be eating something different each episode.


Ume (Hidamari Sketch)
A green… thing (Metapod?) that lives on the top of Hidamari Apartments. Voiced by the creator.


Shichimi (Negima!?)
The more useless of two random mascots introduced for the rejigged Negima. Whilst Motsu has an entire plotline (really?) with Makie, Shichimi is just a cotton-wool cat-thing.


Dera (Tamako Market)
Large, and pointless headwarming bird with a ticket for WeightWatchers.


Hans (Valkyria Chronicles)
The winged Porcavian mascot of Squad 7. Does anyone want bacon?

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