Trendy Angel, a comedy duo who won the M-1 Grand Prix 2015 manzai contest, will appear on Detective Funassyi. (Manzai is a form of stand-up comedy that’s usually done in pairs as give-and-take banter - more about manzai on Wikipedia.) They’re the two balding guys in the photo above. Their names probably don’t mean much unless you’re a fan of manzai, but they’re a very ‘hot’ act right now, so it seems Fuji TV is putting some money and effort into the Funassyi vehicle. (News article (Japanese)).
As happens quite often with manzai duos, one of the Trendy Angels is a lot more popular than the other - Saito-san, who’s on the far right in the photo (and he’s always called Saito-san, not Saito or Saito-kun or something else. He even calls himself Saito-san). Here he’s in a skit with Egusuplosion, telling the history of Commodore Matthew Perry’s arrival in Japan through song and dance. Saito-san is the one in the middle - he moves and sings pretty well, in a slightly creepy kind of way. (I admit to being a fan of Saito-san.)
The 2016 Fukubukuro (lucky grab bag) from Funassyiland looks like a great deal. It will contain 15,000 yen worth of Funassyiland products, and the adorable white Funassyi Manekineko (lucky cat) shown above. The bag itself is reusable (and really cute) too. The Funassyiland Fukubukuro will be available at the official Funassyilands in Funabashi, Harajuku, Tokyo and Umeda, Osaka plus the online Funassyiland store, as well as at Funassyi Fantasy World in Nagoya, on January 1st and 2nd (the 2nd for Funassyi Fantasy World). Price: 5,000 yen plus tax.
(The Ikebukuro Loft fukubukuro will have a black version of the Manekineko, so I guess serious collectors will want both fukubukuros…)
Product page on Funassyiland site
A big limited-period Funassyi event will take place at the Ikebukuro, Tokyo brand of Loft store from December 26, 2015 to January 24, 2016, in the 9th floor Loft Market area. Called Yuku Nashi Kuru Nashi (ゆく梨くる梨), which is a Funassyi-fied version of the phrase yuku toshi kuru toshi (ゆく年としくる年とし), “the year departing and the (new) year coming”, the event will usher in the new year with several exclusive Funassyi items (I’ll post images of these if/when they are made available) as well as a many other Funassyi goods.
Of particular interest may be the fukubukuro or lucky bag. Fukubukuros are a New Years tradition in Japan - they’re packed with items based on a particular theme (in this case, Funassyi merchandise) and they are usually a great bargain. The Ikebukuro Loft fukubukuro will be 5,400 yen including tax.
Ikebukuro Loft is right near the East entrance of Ikebukuro Station.
Event information page (Japanese)
(The original Japanese tweet is 「ふなっしーの大きさになりたい」- which could mean “I want to be Funassyi’s size” literally (i.e. more compact, since it seems Otanekun frequently scares small kids because of his height) or “(Someday) I want to be as big as Funassyi”. In any case, Funassyi is a role model for many gotouchi chara, especially the unofficial, non-government-entity ones.)
Funassyi Manjuu are little buns filled with smooth sweet bean paste (koshi-an). The buns are made by Namikoshiken, a traditional sweets (wagashi) maker in Nagoya that’s known for their Handmade Zoo series of manjuu. Funassyi Manjuu comes in a box of three, and cost 463 yen per box. They’re available at the Funassyiland Funabashi and Osaka stores only.
These little buns a lot cuter than the savory Funassyi Man steamed pork buns (bao) that were available for a limited time last year at Family Mart convenience stores. Those were downright scary, although they were pretty good.
Funassyi promises to whack away all your worries.
Via the Pear.
A different animated Funassyi from the ones we’re used to seeing appeared during the weather forecast segment of Oha! Suta, a syndicated daily morning program aimed at kids produced by TV Tokyo, on December 15th. The weather segment always has a little anime bit running in a small window with the weather (presumably to keep the kids’ attentions while the parents check up on the weather or something). At one point this animated Funassyi is beheaded….not something you would have ever seen on his Funabiyori series.
Although Funassyi has not appeared in pearson on Oha! Suta, Funagoro has appeared on it a few times, mainly to promote Bandai products.
Since this is a quiet Funassyi weekend, here’s a look back to one of The Pear’s most electrifying live performances, from April 26, 2014. It was a stage performance that was webcast live as part of a Niconico Douga Cho (Mega) Party event, hence the scrolling comments all over the screen. Funassyi performs Funafuna ☆ Fire Endless Night, a Funassyi-fied version of Megu Megu ☆ Fire Endless Night, a vocaloid song. It’s obvious Funassyi is singing live (although it would be hard to tell if he was lip syncing…), since he forgets a line of the lyrics. ^_^; But his movements are amazing and the crowds - both the live one and the commenting one - go wild.
If the on-screen comments bother you, here’s a version with the comments on the side.
Funassyi seems to be busy these days with various projects he can’t talk about specifically yet. I’m sure we’ll find out about them in good time. In the meantime, he seems to have been inspired by Funacolle Monkey Funassyi to tweet like a monkey - “ukya, ukya, uki, ukyakya” etc.
Photo from the Detective Funassyi set via the Monkey Pear.
It’s a pretty slow Funassyi news day, so following up on Butaccoli and Otanekun, here’s another offbeat and rather obscure yuru chara - Unchon. (Linguistic context: no. 2 in Japanese vernacular is either “unko” (harder) or “unchi” (softer).) Unchon is a yuru chara (a loosely defined mascot) but is not a gotouchi (regional) chara; it’s actually a corporate mascot for the largest toilet manufacturer in the world, Toto (Tōyō Tōki), makers of the famous Washlet line of magical toilet seats and toilets. Unchon appears randomly at Toto showrooms and other places to entertain kids. Despite its blue and yellow limbs, it is unrelated to Funassyi.
Yuru chara photographer Mira Nakano regards it as the hands-down winner of the 2015 “why did they go ahead and make that a three-dimensional [mascot]” award of all the mascots she took pictures of this year.
Toto kids’ site, where you can download Unchon wallpaper, coloring pages and the like. In 2-dimensional form Unchon has actually existed since the early 2000s, but the earliest mentions of a 3-D Unchon are from around 2012.
Funassyi presents Kazuya Kojima, his co-star on Detective Funassyi, with a mini-Funassyi, asking him to take care of his child. Kojima looks suitably impressed.
Via Parent Pear.
Some of Detective Funassyi was shot in the city of Ayase, Kanagawa prefecture. Some photos of the shoot were posted on the city government’s website. In the third photo, Funassyi is posing with Butaccoli, the official gotouchi chara for Ayase. Butaccoli is a combination pig (buta) and broccoli.
My homebase in Japan is Yokohama, which is also in Kanagawa, but I’ve never even heard of Butaccoli before. So many gotouchi chara toil in obscurity… I don’t find Butaccoli as endearing as Otanekun somehow, even though I have nothing against pork or broccoli.
I’m a bit late posting this, but if you are in the Sasebo, Nagasaki area there is a Funassyi Marché in progress at the Tamaya department store right now (ground floor special events hall) from now until December 25th. See the previous Funassyi Marché posts for what to expect to find there. (Via Rapiit Co.)
Grey Parka Service, makers of several high-end Funassyi products like the Funassyi Sofa and 90cm Funassyi, have introduced another pretty pricey item meant for adults: a Funassyi wallet. It’s genuine leather, lined inside with a Funassyi print fabric, and has a little gold Funassyi charm attached. The letters FUNASSYI are stamped in gold on the outside, and there’s a little ribbon stamp too. It’s available for preorder on their online store, with delivery in late March to early April. Price: 21,600 yen with free shipping.
Update: It’s now also available for preorder from Toyful.
Product page on Grey Parka Service site
Child actress Non Kawakita on the set of Detective Funassyi, posing with her co-star Pear (top photo), and with what looks like the script (bottom photo). If they sold copies of that script, I’d totally buy it.
In a recent survey conducted by the internet portal goo, Funassyi was selected as the celebrity whose foreign language skills in languages other than English were the most surprising. As mentioned in the previous post, Funassyi speaks and understands enough Chinese to conduct basic conversations. He mentioned on an education-oriented TV show that aired in April that he got interested in Japanese history via video games, which led to an interest in Chinese history, and in turn got him interested in learning Chinese. The survey respondents found this display of the intellectual side of the Pear surprising.
The video above is a promotional bit for his Taiwan visit in 2014. Comments on YouTube indicate his pronounciation is not bad - what do you think?
The top 10 celebrities cited for their foreign language skills in the survey, with the language they’re good at in parentheses, are as follows. Some of them are also pretty fluent in English. (English was probably excluded from the survey since it’s the first foreign language taught in Japanese schools, and a fair number of celebrities are good at it.)
- Funassyi, Pear (Chinese)
- Kazuma Miura, actor (Chinese)
- Yasuko Mitsuura, comedian (Indonesian)
- Teruyuki Kagawa, actor (French)
- Naomi Watanabe, comedian/actress (Chinese)
- Tomoki Kameda, boxer (Spanish)
- Ryohei Suzuki, actor (German)
- Shohei Tanihara, actor (Chinese)
- (tie) - Junichi Komoto, comedian (Korean) and Mari Sekine, television host/personality (Spanish
Funassyi tweeted this message in Chinese yesterday in response the the survey results: “我給台湾親愛的大家！非常感謝了！明年二月我再来台湾決定！清等一下！nassyiii!!”
Article on goo site (Japanese)
People have been posting photos of their new 90cm Funassyis. Some pictures include the owners’ Funassyi collections too. The one in the top photo may be the most impressive one I’ve seen so far, rivaling, if not surpassing, Aiko Obuchi’s collection.
(The 90cm Funassyi has been put back on sale by the way. Probably the easiest way to order it at this point, especially if you don’t have a Japanese credit card, is from Grey Parka Service via Amazon Japan. Ignore the listings that sell it for 45,000 yen and up - the ‘real’ price is 29,592 yen, which includes domestic shipping. If you want it shipped overseas you’ll have to rely on a friend in Japan, or use a package forwarding service.)