Japanese City Blatantly Rips Off Pikachu For Mascot

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Japanese City Blatantly Rips Off Pikachu For Mascot

What? Who is this Pikachu you speak of? We've never heard of him, and we totally didn't rip him off for our new recycling mascot. Ok, that last bit may be a bit untrue ...

It's not too often that city mascots come under fire for ripping off popular cartoon characters. However, that's just what's happening over in Ube City, Japan, where a new recycling mascot is a pretty blatant rip-off of Pikachu.

It turns out the city created the character Ecoha to promote recycling and environmental friendliness. That said, as you can see in the video here and the photos below, Ecoha bears more than a passing resemblance to the world's most famous Pokémon. Between the rosy cheeks, enormous eyes, ear placement, and color choice, there's really no feasible argument that this character design isn't a Pikachu rip-off.

Apparently a number of citizens had a problem with the design: "The city has received 96 comments from citizens. 82 of the comments could be categorized as complaints about how Ecoha looks too much like Pikachu."

The city has now decided to change the character's design. The fact that Ube City actually went so far as to not only OK the creation of this character and then promote it is a bit mind-boggling. Did officials actually think that no one would notice?

Source: Geeks Are Sexy

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Leaf ears? Guess this is a grass/electric type pikachu, like if a pikachu got with a bulbasaur. Also my mind's eye made sure to ruin both those characters for me.

They seriously thought they could get away with that? In Japan? Hell, you couldn't even pull that off as original in backwater rural Kentucky. Of course, they probably just thought nobody would care, but, here we are. Mocking them.

To be fair... with the sheer amount of pokemon these days its hard to come up with a cute mascot and not rip something of of the series.

well, who the heck knows, maybe all mice in Japan look like yellow hamsters with rosacea.

Its a recycling mascot? It should be fine, then, since their mascot is recycled!
Joking aside: Its Japan. If anybody would insta-recognize the most iconic Pokemon ever, it would be the Japanese. Terrible choice for a Pokemon to rip off, city.

In all fairness Pokemon is really underground in Japan.

TehChuckles:
To be fair... with the sheer amount of pokemon these days its hard to come up with a cute mascot and not rip something of of the series.

It's not just something. It's the mothaf****** Pikachu!

OT:

Did officials actually think that no one would notice?

I'm with you on that one.

It's just a pichu without the black and the tail :o

http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Pichu_%28Pok%C3%A9mon%29

hmmm... I don't see it...

Pika Pika-- Ecoha!

I'd love to know what the person in the suit thought as they were about to don it. I wonder if the words "God, this looks so much like pikachu." ever crossed their minds.

It would be pretty funny if nintendo went and used there mascot as a new pokemon

sexual harassment panda -

It reminded me of it.

But hey, at least the mascot is recycled. totally keeping up with the theme.

EDIT

Troublesome Lagomorph:
Its a recycling mascot? It should be fine, then, since their mascot is recycled!
Joking aside: Its Japan. If anybody would insta-recognize the most iconic Pokemon ever, it would be the Japanese. Terrible choice for a Pokemon to rip off, city.

oh fuck.. you just had to steal this one from me...

this makes me a SAD PANDA

What if this became a new evolution for Pikachu in Pokemon. That would be funny.

Apparently someone spiked Pikachu's food with powdered Leaf Stone.

Pikachu is fatter.. heh maybe Pikachu could learn something from this thing.

TeeBs:
In all fairness Pokemon is really underground in Japan.

I... I'm pretty sure that that is a completely incorrect statement.

Looks more like Pichu to me
image

Titan Buttons:
It would be pretty funny if nintendo went and used there mascot as a new pokemon

That is a hilarious idea. I would also award points to nintendo for making a unique pikachu named Ecoha. I would also be unlikely to play the game but that's besides the point.

At least its cuter than the pikachu costume

Ube City used Mimic! It's super effective!

Seriously, they are really lucky Nintendo doesn't just go right after them. They're usually pretty quick on the defense when it comes to ripping off their character.s

Now I'm wondering what those other 14 comments were.

Oh. Another pokemon recolor.

How quaint.

is it wrong that I still want to hug the fuck out of it?

give em a break, there are a lot of weirder things about Japan that are more worthy of note than a pichu rip-off. pokemon are japanese anyway, big whoop. remember when pedobear became a mascot for the winter olympics? now that was funny

That thing should become a pikachu shiny or new form or something.

hmmmmm...well....ummmmmm....uhhh..yeah, i don't see it.

I like ecochu, er ecoha, more than pikachu.

Looks more like Pichu than Pikachu, IMO.

They couldn't even change the shine in the eyes, wow seriously.

Is it actually that similar? Really? It's a fluffy character with a slightly oversized and round head, and pointy ears. I could point out a whole load more that are similar. It's just fairly generic, really,

werewolfsfury:

TeeBs:
In all fairness Pokemon is really underground in Japan.

I... I'm pretty sure that that is a completely incorrect statement.

I was just trying to find a picture of the Pokemon Centres they have in Tokyo because I was like "I'm pretty sure that Pokemon is massively popular over there". So yeah... incorrect statement is VERY incorrect.

Well...Yeah, How could the official not see that one coming?

Either they had to live under a rock for 2 decades or they are just stupid.

To be honest it's the face that resemble Pikachu (the cartoon body is still different enough) and they really should of kept the body structure the same for the costume (big wide head). Well I guess those copies Pokemon game had found the real mascot since they are scrapping that one.

werewolfsfury:

TeeBs:
In all fairness Pokemon is really underground in Japan.

I... I'm pretty sure that that is a completely incorrect statement.

The newest games sold 2.6 million copies in Japan during the first two days.

I just don't know how they think they could get away with this. This is like some town in America recoloring mickey mouse green and sticking some leaves on for ears.

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