Voting is under way for the best “yuru-chara” in Japan, on the website of the ”Yuru-chara Grand Prix 2013”. “Yuru-chara” are cartoon mascots that work hard across Japan to represent their home town, region or prefecture. (^^)/
15 yuru-chara from Nagasaki Prefecture are in the running this year, and among those battling for the prize are Ganba-kun and Ranba-chan, the mascots of the Nagasaki Ganbaranba National Sports Festival & National Sports Festival for People with Disabilities, which will be held in 2014.
（Left: Ranba-chan; Right: Ganba-kun）
Their motif is the mandarin duck, the official bird of Nagasaki Prefecture ☆
When you put their names together, you get the word “ganbaranba”, which is the Nagasaki dialect equivalent of “ganbarou”, meaning roughly “go for it!” or “let’s do our best”♪
Ganba-kun and Ranba-chan are traveling all over the place, throwing themselves into their promotional work.
What’s more, an official shop has been set up to deal in Ganba-kun and Ranba-chan goods! It’s called “Ganbaranba Station”.
You can find it on the 4th floor of Amu Plaza, right next door to Nagasaki JR station.
I already knew about the themed polo-shirts and pin badges, but… wow! The range of goods is quite astounding!
There are lots of surprising things on sale. The full line-up consists of more than 70 items ♪
Ganba-kun’s face pops up everywhere! ヾ(=^▽^=)ノ
Kintarou Ame is a kind of cylindrical candy made so that the same image appears wherever it is sliced. Now there is a Ganba-kun and Ranba-chan version!
Handmade candy: ￥400
Ganba-kun necktie: ￥1000
The organizers have thought of everything, even preparing understated designs which require a second look before you notice “… oh! It’s Ganba-kun!”♪
There are all kinds of shirts, from kidswear to nice soft-feeling t-shirts to long-sleeved shirts, and more.
This kids t-shirt (especially the print on the back) really caught my eye. I wonder if I can squeeze into the 150 size (*^m^*)
It’s… a… tight… fit…
There are even handwritten comments posted by the staff next to the products. Almost without thinking, I found myself wanting to buy them!
（The comment in the photo reads: “Students, adults, everyone!! Use this cute clear-file to organize your papers, and you’re sure to get noticed”）
The most popular of all the multitude of items in the store is this:
The pin badge (￥210).
There are 47 different designs, showing Ganba-kun doing the various sports in the competition.
There is a huge variety, from Ganba-kun sailing a yacht, to Ganba-kun riding a horse.
This is my favourite ♪
It’s “triathlon Ganba-kun”!
The three Ganba-kuns look like a set of triplets! It’s pretty rare, so I bought it (^w^)
Only at Ganbaranba Station can you see so many Ganba-kun and Ranba-chan goods on display in one place!
Next time you pass through Nagasaki Station, make sure to drop by the Ganbaranba Station.
Address: 4th Floor, Amu Plaza Nagasaki, JR Nagasaki Station Building, 1-1 Onoue-machi, Nagasaki City
Opening hours: 10:00～21:00