So the week after Wallpaper*-founder Tyler Brule's new magazine, Monocle runs a 17-page cover story about the Japan Self-Defense Force, the International Herald Tribune has a story about the JSDF's deployment of Prince Pickle, their anime character mascot, to Iraq?
Never mind that the JDF non-combat troops went to Iraq in 2004 and pulled out of Iraq last year. Never mind that Prince Pickle and his female subordinate Parsley-chan, have been around for years. Anyway, I'm just saying.
The real question, of course, is where are the Prince Pickle goods? Plush toys, vinyl, lunchboxes, etc.? So far, I'm afraid the only thing I can come up with is cell phone charms, which are not only a choke hazard, they fall into the "Don't Try This At Home" category of things you just cannot pull off outside of Japan. Like a saucily knotted silk scarf on a dude in France, or dark socks, sneakers and shorts in Germany.
Cuddly Characters Front Japan's Military Aspirations [ap/iht]
Japan Probe has some photo composites of Prince Pickle at work [japanprobe.com]
The MOD has old Pickles manga available for download, and also a library of Prince Pickles and Parsley-chan images [mod.go.jp]
Previously: Looks like Yawaraka Sensha is still the cuddliest war cartoon character around.
Speaking of which, there's a new episode