Japanese superhero wins internet’s hearts responding to child’s SOS letter posted to vending machine
- Sentai / Superhero / Touching / Twitter / Vending Machines
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Many prefectures and towns throughout Japan are represented by a mascot character that is seen as somewhat of a local ambassador. These characters typically become the face of promotional merchandise for the area, and are often aesthetically a cute anthropomorphized representation of regional specialties and scenery.
Akita prefecture's Choujin Neiger ("Super God Neiger") is slightly different, however. Choujin Neiger's character (and name) are inspired by the Japanese folklore namahage demons, who traditionally search out misbehaving children in a New Year’s Eve ritual. He also happens to be a sentai superhero, donning an outfit you would expect to see on an episode of Kamen Rider or Power Rangers.
Instead of battling nefarious supervillains, however, Choujin Neiger serves Akita by farming, picking up trash, and doing his best to inspire local children--which makes for some amusing pictures!
It's a recent gesture by the defender of Akita, however, that has the internet swooning over Choujin Neiger. The masked hero took to Twitter earlier this week to share a photo he found left by a very young child attached to a vending machine that featured Choujin Neiger's likeness, asking for help because his favorite soft drink had been removed from the machine:
"To Mr. Neiger,
I'm sad because the Calpis Water is all gone. I love Calpis Water. I really like Neiger too. Let's play."
Seeing that a young child was distressed over not having his favorite drink, Calpis Water (a diluted version of popular Japanese soft drink Calpis), Choujin Neiger couldn't turn down a call for help and sprung into action by really going the extra mile.
Responding like Batman to a vending machine version of the Bat Signal, Choujin Neiger called up the local branch of DyDo, the company that manages the machine, and had Calpis Water re-added to the drink lineup immediately.
Choujin Neiger even left a note in response, taking care to use only hiragana and katakana (Japanese phonetic alphabet), so that the young child would be able to read it: "I've restocked the Calpis Water! Thank you always so much for your support!"