A Japanese company that dropped the use of an anime schoolgirl to sell its oranges because of her revealing miniskirt has now returned her as their mascot after a massive change.org campaign by locals.
According to local media, agricultural cooperative JA Nansun in the central Japanese prefecture of Shizuoka joined forces with the makers of ‘Love Live!’, a hit idol schoolgirl anime franchise.
To promote their Nishiura Mikan mandarin oranges, the co-op has been using the teen character Chika Takami who is pictured in a schoolgirl’s miniskirt. The drawing includes lines drawn in place that have left people divided over whether she has a see-through skirt or simply a more clearly defined crotch area.
A backlash to the racy cartoon character being used to sell oranges led to the LaLaport shopping centre in Numazu City, where Chika and her anime friends live in the franchise, to take down their ‘Love Live!’ and JA Nansun advertisements, according to reports just four days after they were put up.
But in response, supporters of the cartoon franchise launched a petition on change.org calling for the advertisements and merchandise to be reinstated.
A representative for JA Nansun has now contacted the petition organisers and assured them that Chika will continue to be the face of their campaign.
It is unclear whether Chika’s design will remain unchanged or whether decision makers will tone down the character’s appearance in certain areas.
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