Almost all Japanese TV stations have their own official mascots, and TV TOKYO is definitely not out of the loop. Their official mascot is Nanana, a banana who bends into the shape of the number “7” (the channel number of TV TOKYO).
Nanana was created as a celebration of TV Tokyo’s 50th Anniversary in September of 2013. His name was chosen through public applications and was announced on December 23, 2013. Nanana’s birthday is on July 7.
This mascot was originally a dessert of the “B Set” lunch menu of TV TOKYO’s cafeteria, but felt a sense of danger the moment before being eaten, and evolved into a character. Since then, Nanana has gone through many twists and turns to become a Banana Employee. Here is a short clip of how he became who he is today:
Nanana usually does not talk, but you can hear him speak on the show “Tokyo Live 22-ji ~Nichiyoru Mattari Namahousouchu~.” The voice actor of this character is comedian Hakata Daikichi. You’d expect Nanana to have a high-pitched, adorable voice, yet in reality, Hakata uses his normal voice so it’s quite surprising.
Not only does he appear in events held by TV TOKYO, Nanana has also made a guest appearance on the anime “Yu☆Gi☆Oh ARC-V.”
Since February 26, 2015, Nanana has also become a mascot of BS Japan, a company held by TV TOKYO. BS Nanana will be representing this station as it reaches its 15th anniversary. In this case, he wears a suit with the BS Japan logo.
Nanana also has his own exercise routine called “Nanana Taiso.” TV TOKYO’s YouTube channel has a playlist dedicated to performances of this exercise. They have even asked staff members to go along as well. Konno Asami, who is an ex-member of Morning Musume and now an announcer at TV TOKYO, also shows an example. Here are some of the uploads:
Nanana has a variety of original goods as well, which you can view here. He has collaborated with Hello Kitty for some of the goods! (Wow, Hello Kitty is everywhere. So cute.)
Nanana has an official site under TV TOKYO. Here, you can download free Nanana-related materials, as well as read up on his recent activities on his blog. He also has a Twitter account with over 56,000 followers.
Nanana has become a huge commercial hit, with over 3,000 people visiting his special exhibition last March. On July 7, 2015, Nanana will be releasing a recipe book titled “ナナナのないしょのバナナレシピ７７ (Nanana no Naisho no Banana Recipe 77).”
Images: TV TOKYO