Funabashi city’s unofficial mascot, Funassyi, is one of the most recognised mascots in Japan. A few years ago, the infamous pear fairy mascot would make hundreds of TV appearances. In fact, Funassyi made 102 TV appearances in 2014, alone. Unfortunately, in 2018, it only made four. So why the sudden drop? Well, Funassyi sat down on an interview with Diamond Online to set the record straight, and it wasn’t because of a so-called drop in popularity.
The interview revealed that the mascot didn’t initially want to be a TV personality in the first place. It also cited health reasons, as TV programs were giving it more and more physically strenuous stunts, as well as some dangerous ones. And because of these, it started turning down appearances on TV.
Funassyi made a name for itself due to ridiculous stunts and over-the-top antics. However, the pear fairy revealed that it didn’t want that, and said that it did not want to become a stunt man.
It also cited one of the most dangerous examples, and it involved underwater filming in Mexico. An incident happened while filming, and the man in the suit was actually hospitalised. “I thought I was going to die,” it said. And worse was the fact that the mascot character was forced to cut its hospitalisation short in order to continue filming. It also participated in other physically taxing activities right after getting hospitalised… and that includes wrestling. Funassyi was in exessive pain for two months after that. However, in order to keep up with the schedule, it powered through a lot of appearances with the help of anaesthetic injections.
Funassyi is still widely popular in Japan, and it still appears on TV and events. However, it doesn’t do all those crazy stunts any more.
Source: Diamond Online