Tokyo Sky Tree mascot Sorakara-chan introduced

PHOTO COURTESY OF TOBU RAILWAY

TOKYO —

The mascot character associated with the Tokyo Sky Tree, currently under construction in Sumida, was officially introduced Thursday. The character’s name is Sorakara-chan, which, literally translated, means “From the sky-chan.”

The character was chosen by means of a competition run by Tobu Railway in which 28 advertising companies vied for the high profile branding opportunity.

Sorakara-chan was chosen from over 65 characters entered into the competition.

The mascot even has a whimsical back-story to help solidify the public’s identification with the brand.

Sorakara-chan is a girl with a star-shaped head hailing from the “Pointy Star” from which she scanned the universe using her favorite telescope. She apparently saw the 634 meter Sky Tree brightly piercing through the clouds, which enable her to find and visit Tokyo. Her clothes are imprinted with a design based on the framework of the Sky Tree itself. Character merchandise and other PR materials are already being prepared for the Sky Tree’s public opening ceremony.

The mascot selection process and the Sky Tree construction project are being led by Tobu Railway and a conglomeration of six Japanese television broadcasters including public broadcaster NHK.

Construction of the Sky Tree is scheduled to be completed by December 2011, but the official ceremony, with the help of Sorakara-chan, is scheduled to take place in spring 2012. The completed structure will be the literal center of a large-scale commercial development project as it is located between Narihirabashi and Oshiage stations.

Sorakara-chan’s back-story about the impressive reach and visibility of Tokyo Sky Tree speaks to its main purpose as a television and radio broadcasting tower.

Although the current broadcasting tower, Tokyo Tower, was once a crowning achievement on Tokyo’s skyline, it is now no longer tall enough to provide complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting coverage as it measures only 333 meters and is surrounded by high-rise buildings.

News reports

  • 0

    Mark_McCracken

    Although the current broadcasting tower, Tokyo Tower, was once a crowning achievement on Tokyo’s skyline, it is now no longer tall enough to provide complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting coverage as it measures only 333 meters and is surrounded by high-rise buildings.

    Was it necessary to locate the tower in Tokyo, where land prices are expensive, and there are many high-rise buildings? Wouldn't some rural part of Japan have been cheaper, and with fewer high-rise buildings?

  • 0

    Carcharodon

    oh boy, someone shoot me in the face with a bazooka - Lame name for the tower topped off by an even lamer mascot.

    Epicfail.

  • 0

    gogogo

    Looks like a druged out girl from the 50's

  • 0

    MrDog

    Jesus Christ! That is horrible.

    Did they get someones 4 year old child to design it?

    Sky TREE with a STAR as a mascot. That's just... crap.

  • 0

    SeasonedVet

    The mascot even has a whimsical back-story(?)...She apparently saw the 634 meter Sky Tree brightly piercing through the clouds, which enable her to find and visit Tokyo.

    LIES! Here she is and the tower is only just over 400m!

    Here's the real story. One of the comittee fat cats brought in a picture his daughter drew after eating too much natto and said fat cat convinved the rest of said comittee to use it after wining and dining at your expense! How do you like them apples?

  • 0

    ebisen

    Mark - simple answer to your question: YES!!!!! -think where the biggest amount of viewers are located in this area... you got it - it's Tokyo...

  • 0

    swingaway

    Seriously? This is the best they can come up with? I agree with some of the previous posts on how this one came about...

  • 0

    Gurukun

    MrDog, I 100% agree!

  • 0

    herefornow

    To think that "28 advertising companies vied for the high profile branding opportunity", and this was the winner is truly sad, and indicates yet again why the ads here are so pathetic. Nothing but celebs and/or silly characters like this one. Is it possible Japan is reaching a new, even lower level of "dumbed-down"?

  • 0

    ratpack

    "Dumb mascot and VERY stupid name".

    I agree with you...BUT that's why it will be a hit in Japan. Geez I'm glad a japanese guy didn't hit upon the 'Star Wars' movies before Lucas did.....can you imagine the type of stupid creatures there would have been in the movie???? Luke and Hans would have been fighting Kitty and a really dark and dangerous creature that looks like a piece of bread with eyes.

  • 0

    lovejapan21

    This is Japanese culture. As lame as you might think it is, Asians don't. Anime, Disney, Cute... So for the theories of a fat cat with his child drawing it convincing others blah blah blah..you are WAY OFF..they chose it because they honestly think it is perfect for their people!!!

  • 0

    lovejapan21

    or in other words, their TARGET CONSUMER

  • 0

    moonknightskye

    oh noh not again... they created another scary thing. I work near a tv station and theres a mascot of a chick and children go crazy about that... when i saw it... its like... what is that thing? looks like a drugged chick that was ran over by a bullet train. so many weird things here. its making me crazy... like them

  • 0

    Papigiulio

    wtf this is almost as horrible as the Olympic logo for London.

  • 0

    IfeelImust

    I quite like it, perfect for a childish society! Would have preferred Bart Simpson though.

  • 0

    ppokkiya

    Well...that's going to replace the whale in my nightmares...

  • 0

    MrDog

    @Ratpack

    Luke and Hans

    No, "Hans" would be in lederhosen ;p

    Why does everything have to have a character? It's a big antenna for Christs sake, not an amusement park! I know they're going to fill it with crap like Tokyo Tower, but still

    Even Tokyo Tower's "but-plug" character is better

  • 0

    Carcharodon

    it actually looks like the scary offspring of peko-chan and Lisa Simpson...

  • 0

    Mittsu

    Everything needs a mascot these days......

  • 0

    fishy

    love-

    This is Japanese culture. As lame as you might think it is, Asians don't. Anime, Disney, Cute... So for the theories of a fat cat with his child drawing it convincing others blah blah blah..you are WAY OFF..they chose it because they honestly think it is perfect for their people!!!

    Quick looked Yahoo Japan comments about this character (sorakara-chan)... Obviously, Japanese people think this character very lame as well LOL

  • 0

    porter

    Soon on sale: A complete collection of Sky Tree figure dolls.

  • 0

    KaptainKichigai

    Imagine this doll sitting on a chair in a dark corner of your room at night while you are sleeping....staring at you....staring....in the dark.... She looks like Lisa Simpson on crank!

  • 0

    lovejapan21

    fishy those people would probably like a character that resembles astro boy with a mini skirt and boobs poppn out ;) its either this or that here...

  • 0

    lovejapan21

    Kapatain, I actually imagined that for a sec, and scared the lights out of me :) I hope i dont see her in my dreams tonight!

  • 0

    Potsu

    Tacky Japanese culture aside....is that the best they could come up with ??

  • 0

    mikehuntez

    Maggie Simpson at 8 and hooked on cocaine!!

  • 0

    jojo_in_japan

    Maggie Simpson at 8 and hooked on cocaine!!

    I was just thinking the same thing ... you beat me to the punch.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Why does everything have to have a mascot? They just made the tower kitschy.

  • 0

    islandview

    So how baaaad were those other 65 mascot character entries for this one to win?

    But seriously, isn't she just so kawaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!?

  • 1

    bicultural

    You guys think this is bad ... have you ever seen the mascot(s) for the current Tokyo Tower? The Noppon brothers. Terrible. I bet you some 60 year old oyaji always has the last say in matters such as this.

  • 0

    tkoind2

    I am surprised Japan doesn't have mascots for grave yards. Though it may be that I just haven't seen one yet.

    Land of the never aging children.

  • 0

    sf2k

    Like this represents anything but to forget about Japan. Pretty sad.

  • 0

    techall

    and why, pray tell, does a tower need a mascot?

  • 0

    porter

    Its creative. Sora-kara means from the sky. Her head is the shape of a star, her eyes look like planets or the sun and she has a telescope. Its cute. I like it.

  • 0

    techall

    Hailing from "pointy star", scanned the universe with her favoiite telescope, saw the 643 meter high tower (but missed to 900+ meter building in Dubai)gimme a break, I thought smoking that stuff was illegal!

  • 0

    InfiniteDreams

    Nice tower.

    Tacky name & tacky mascot.

    Hard to believe that the name & mascot were chosen from several entries. Wouldn't want to see the others...

  • 0

    Gurukun

    Her head is the shape of a star, her eyes look like planets or the sun

    I went home and tried to be romantic with my wife and said that....she slapped the crap out of me.

    I actually like the dog in the background better.

  • 0

    mrsynik

    wtf does a broadcasting tower need a mascot for?

  • 0

    Commitin

    Everything here needs a brand image. They can't sell the tower itself to people, but they can sell sorakarachan dolls and create an image. It's a given for the Japanese audience cause it's worked in the past. At least this is better than those foolish tokyo tower thingys

  • 0

    Sherman

    Whoever sanctioned this stupid mascot should be the first one to jump from the sky tree!

  • 0

    techall

    They should have waited a couple months and they could have had all the Yokohama Baystars mascots with the same head for free.

  • 0

    DarkKnightNine

    Why does everything in Japan require a stupid cartoonish looking mascot? Couldn't it just be Tokyo Sky Tree and that be the end of it?

  • 0

    DarkKnightNine

    Beyond stupid! This is the best that 28 different advertising agencies could come up with? At the very least they could have given her attractive looking legs.

  • 0

    mrsynik

    Maggie Simpson at 8 and hooked on cocaine!!

    How about a figurine of Dana Plato instead!!!

  • 0

    bcbrownboy

    It's great! Retro, 40's, or 30's. The joke's on ... us. Can they really go with this?!?

  • 0

    EbiChiri

    One would think that since it is Tokyo Sky Tree there would be a mascot which had something to do with trees. I'd prefer "L'il Treechan" or "Branch-chan". Now those would be superlative monikers.

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    This thing is at least better than the old Tokyo Tower mascot - it was something resembling a giant condom.

  • 0

    zenobia

    Take away the star from the head and you have...that. It could have been something more techie-like.

  • -1

    oberst

    i can already hear it................ KAWAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

  • -1

    ikkochan

    Things like this make me ashamed to be Japanese. To think, "The whole world is watching." UGH!!!

  • 0

    as_the_crow_flies

    One would think that since it is Tokyo Sky Tree there would be a mascot which had something to do with trees. I'd prefer "L'il Treechan" or "Branch-chan". Now those would be superlative monikers.

    How about "Out-of-my-tree-Chan"?

  • 0

    tokyokawasaki

    Isn't that (a surprised looking) Lisa from the Simpson's :)

  • 0

    ppayne

    There's already some "hentai" artwork featuring Sorakara popping up on Pixiv.

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