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Analoguma (Japanese: アナロ熊 or アナログマ, lit. “Analog Bear”) is the icon in an online parody movement against Japanese private-public promoting campaign for the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, and the antithesis of a mascot character of that campaign called Chidejika (地デジカ, lit. Digital Deer).
In the first half of 2009, those 2 mascots caused a strange sensation on the Japanese web.
Background: Failed Launch of Chidejika
On April 24th, 2009, a Japanese idol Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, the image character of Japan’s transition to digital television in 2011, forced to step down from the campaign by a scandal that he was arrested for public indecency of going on the naked, drunken rampage in park. Just three days after the incident, National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan (NAB), which was relabeled the Japan Commercial Broadcasting Association in 2012, revealed a new mascot for the campaign named “Chidejika”, which name is a compound word of “Chideji” (地デジ, abbreviated term of Digital Terrestrial Television) and “Shika” (シカ, Deer).
The sudden appearance of new mascot soon became to a laughingstock as a quickie character for compensation. Besides, Chidejika got a much attention in a negative way because its looks, only wearing something like a leotard or a school swimsuit, had an enough impact to make many people imagine a barnyard humor due to the influence of that incident. An online news article reported more than 400 parody illustrations or moe gijinka versions for Chidejika had been posted to illustrators communities within its first week.
The critical failure was NAB showed stereotyped reactions against those internet users innocent mischiefs. They took those parodies seriously, appealed to news media that they had prepared that digital deer since before, its clothes wasn’t a swimsuits, and showed complaint to sexy illustrations for Chidejika. Moreover, an online gossip news getnews.jp reported that NAB was planning to take a tough line with not only unauthorized reproductions of Chidejika pictures but also parody creations to protect their own copyright as usual.
NAB’s small-minded attitude rubbed Japanese internet users the wrong way. Then, people with humorous anger against NAB began to lionize “Analoguma”, a Shift-JIS art character of Kumar (クマー) or Pedobear putting a Yagi-Uda antenna on its head, as the antithesis of Chidejika. This character for analog terrestrial television was born on /news/ board in the Japanese anonymous text board community 2channel on April 28th, and quickly imported to Chidejika-related threads in /mnewsplus/ (headline news of sports and gossips) board. Throughout those threads, Analoguma became to be drawn as the antithesis of Chidejika, a copyright-free mascot in a campaign for postponing the transition or promoting to take this opportunity to stop watching TV.
Analoguma’s Shif-JIS art
Analoguma’s sarcastic concept against NAB and Chidejika was soon received many internet users favourably, and inspired their creative mind. Several Analoguma’s websites parodying Chidejika’s official web were quickly launched, many fan works were uploaded to the Japanese video sharing service Nico Nico Douga (NND) and illustrators communities pixiv and Nico Nico Seiga. In addtion, several character goods for this copyright-free mascot were also released.
Among their creations, a vocaloid song titled “A Song for Analoguma” (アナロ熊のうた, Analoguma no Uta) composed by koushirou in April 29th, 2009 made a smash hit on the web. The original video and fan-made music videos (shown below) for this song on NND and YouTube had earned over 1.3 million page views in total within its first 2 months. The creator contracted to a major record label and released the song on music distribution sites in June of that year. In addition, this song was included in compilation CD albums for popular vocaloid songs together with "Hakata-san Song" from Salt of Hakata meme, and a collaborating song with Ayumu Kato from a Japanese comedy duo Zabunguru, who was well known for his Impossibru face, was released in the summer of 2009.
It’s been living secretly for a long time to sooth viewers heart.
That’s Analoguma, Analoguma.
He’s still fine.
Yagi-Uda antenna is receiving (analog) terrestrial broadcasting everyday at full power.
Please stop ghosting.
That’s the incredible new comer pushing high-definition quality.
Generations have to change.
He has lived along with Showa period, the bubble economics and the Heisei Recession.
Goodbye Analoguma, Analoguma
Until we meet again.
Meanwhile, NAB’s firm attitude against Chidejika parodies could never affect to internet users activities. Instead, several web domains including the word “chidejika” were registered by individuals, and parody web pages satirizing NAB and Chidejika were opened on there since NAB hadn’t keep domain names for the campaign. Moreover, NAB got revealed a further mistake of GFDL licence violation in the following month that it cited descriptions from Wikipedia’s deer article to Chidejika’s press material without any credits, but NAB got it over by correcting a paper without any formal statement of apology. This NAB’s inconsistent attitude for copyright management was mocked at by internet users so much.
The online sensation of Chidejika and Analoguma has ended in late 2009. Tsuyoshi Kusanagi had returned to the former position in July of that year, and Chidejika has played a role of pure mascot as if nothing had happened in its begining.
Analoguma came to light for a finale on July 24th, 2011, the day of stopping the analog terrestrial wave. A game shop in Akihabara organized a funeral for Analoguma in the front of the store on that day.
Left: Techno Remix | Right: CGI Music Video
Analoguma-chan (アナログマちゃん) is another “Analog Bear” charecter designed by a Japanese illustrator Tomoyuki Kurosawa.
Analoba (アナロバ, lit. Analog Donkey) is a mascot character in an imaginary campaign for insisting a free circulation of digital terrestrial television tuner for people. Its name is a pun for “Roba” (ロバ, Donkey) and “Roha” (ロハ), a Japanese slang meaning of “Free”.
Editor’s Note: Registration is needed to browse the original videos listed in this section.
JAPANATOR – Japanese digital TV transition gets new mascot to replace SMAP's streaking Kusanagi / Posted on 04-28-2009
Asiajin – Promotion Character Battle: Digital Deer vs. Analog Bear / Posted on 05-03-2009
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