The fastest rising star in the world of Japanese mascots is Nyango Star, the apple/cat hybrid from Aomori’s Kuroishi City, whose popularity is skyrocketing thanks to a series of viral videos of him drumming along like a demon to heavy metal songs.
This afternoon I was lucky enough to catch a performance by the talented musician and fruit/animal hybrid in Harajuku. In order to get the ticket, I had to buy some Nyango Star merchandise from the toy shop, Kiddyland. There was a section of the store dedicated entirely to him, with mugs, towels, toys, and cushions featuring the red character.
The show, nearby on the top floor of Alta, on Takeshita street, was short but entertaining. A crowd of about fifty fans, almost entirely female, cheered as Nyango star pounded the skins to X Japan songs. He also communicated with a host by writing on a notepad, and guzzled water through an extra-long straw poked through a hole in his face. He greeted the fans one by one with high-fives as we left after the show, and handed out business cards. The job-description on the cards was Manager of Kiddyland (for one day only).