John Oliver loves to close out his show with the wild and inane. Last week, he brought attention to the controversial otter mascot Chiitan (after forcing viewers to sit through a Jigglypuff snuff animation).
Chiitan’s official social media describes them as a 0-year-old fairy baby who plays around super actively every day. They were so popular that at one point, they were going to get their own anime incarnation. That project is currently being postponed.
As the story goes, the Japanese city of Susaki has an official otter mascot named Shinjo-kun, who wears a bowl of ramen on their head, but behaves well otherwise.
In conjunction with Shinjo-kun, Susaki adopted a real otter named Chiitan as an ambassador to the city and a second mustelid mascot. Eventually, an unofficial costumed version of Chiitan began terrorizing the city as well as social media.
Videos of Chiitan inflicting random acts of violence on property and people quickly went viral. These include dancing on a stripper pole, flipping over a car, and shoving someone into a pile of metal boxes while they try to rehearse their dance routine. A general theme of bodily harm and misanthropy permeates all the anthropomorphic otter does.
— ちぃたん☆ (@love2chiitan) February 19, 2018
Over a hundred complaints were filed with the city from concerned citizens who did not approve of Chiitan’s behavior. Eventually, Susaki revoked the animal Chiitan’s ambassador status and also placed a ban on the oppositional, chaotic mascot variant.
Oliver admitted he adores the renegade otter’s crazy adventures and antics, even highlighting the maniacal mustelid’s Twitter memes. Chiitan’s social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram boast over a million followers each. Susaki and Shinjo-kun would do well to pick up on the manic pixie dream otter’s brilliant marketing methods.
Oliver believes that Susaki should be thanking Chiitan for putting the city on the map, even if its methods go against decorum and decency in the eyes of its citizens and government.
Still, it’s totally understandable why parents are concerned about leaving their impressionable youngsters around to witness Chiitan’s total f***ery!
Eventually, Oliver involved himself in the battle of the otters by sending over Chiijohn, an otter mascot and “41-year-old near-sighted English fairy baby” who combines aspects of the host with Chiitan. Chiijohn enjoyed a wholesome playdate with Shinjo-kun.
— Last Week Tonight (@LastWeekTonight) April 22, 2019
Unfortunately, this stunt had the effect of inflaming and enraging the still banned Chiitan, who challenged Oliver “to explode through a table.”
I'm in a public beef with an unsanctioned Japanese otter. I needed this. https://t.co/z7Yd7izRxY
— John Oliver (@iamjohnoliver) April 22, 2019
What a world we live in!