Fox girl Aki with her flaming red ears and tail, wolf boy Sousuke with his mischievous grin, and the tiny Wilhelm have been on the festival posters for some years now. Aki and Sousuke have been also running around at the event to provide information, open and close the event, and mingle with the guests. But who are they exactly and how did they come to be?
Species: fox (Japanese ‘kitsune‘)
Mascot since: 2009
The idea of Aki started actually a few years before she became the mascot. AniMatsuri Head Organizer Kaia was sketching a girl with the intention of drawing a mascot. She did not look like the current Aki at all and even did not have the same name. Her name Aki means “autumn” in Japanese and was chosen specifically for the time of the year when the event happened.
And what can Aki say about herself?
“Hello, everyone! My name is Aki and I’m a fox girl. My name means ‘autumn’ in Japanese, which is very fitting because both my hair and tail are flaming red! Like the leaves at that time of year. I love it! Oh, my personality is easy-going and I’m always positive. Nevertheless I take my responsibilities very seriously, which is more than you could say about my two fellow mascots, but I still love them dearly. Can’t wait to see you all at AniMatsuri!”
Species: wolf (Japanese ‘okami‘)
Mascot since: 2011
After Aki it became clear that it would be good to have another mascot to share the responsibilities with and just to have fun with. Since we already had a fox girl then why not have a wolf boy as well. Foxes and wolves are known in Japanese folklore. The idea for his name was stuck for some time in Kaia’s head. The inspiration for Sousuke came from the character by the same name from Full Metal Panic.
How would Sousuke introduce himself?
“Yo, the name’s Sousuke. I’m a wolf boy with black hair and a black tail. I love having fun! During the festival you will see me running around, pulling pranks and making mischief. I like to try new things, play all the games, and meet as many visitors as possible!”
Species: bear (Japanese ‘kuma‘)
Mascot since: 2012
After having two human type mascots, we thought why not have a small cute character and so the idea of a onigiri-shaped bear was born. The name, we decided, would be chosen by a public vote. And so Wilhelm the bear was born.
What would Wilhelm say when introducing himself?
“Hello. My name is Wilhelm. I’m tiny and pale orange. People say I have a mysterious smile like I’m always up to something or in deep thought. So which is it? You’ll probably never know, but should I suddenly pop up on your path, will you be able to unveil the mystery that is me?”