Anime hero Fintan promotes Finland’s centenary in Japan
Fintan, the popular twitter character of the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo, gets a new life as an anime hero in a novel promotion of the centenary of the Finnish indedpendence in Japan. Short anime videos aim to increase the interest of the Japanese audience towards Finland and its centenary through lighthearted stories and humour.
The Twitter account of the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo was opened late 2011. Fintan made his first appearance in the spring of 2012 when Japan’s national broadcasting company NHK’s Twitter account started to call the Embassy’s account “Fintan”. The name Fintan derives from the words Finland and tan, which is a modern pet-name in Japanese. Fintan was created by Japanese animators Kenji Itoso and Tomohiro Ishii later in 2012.
Fintan anime character is approximately 7-year old boy with blond hair and blue eyes, who carries a Finnish flag and wears a lion costume. Nowadays Fintan’s Embassy of Finland in Tokyo twitter account, with more than 130,000 followers, ranks globally 10th most followed diplomatic mission twitter account.
From twitter character to anime hero
In the first episode, which was published today, Fintan tries out some of the unusual Finnish world championships, such as air guitar playing and mobile phone throwing. The topics of the three Fintan anime clips have been chosen among the story ideas submitted in an open idea competition organised by the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo.
“Our aim through these short animes is to increase the interest of the Japanese public towards Finland, and convey the message that Finns are innovative but also easy-going and easy-to-approach people, who don’t take themselves too seriously”, says Markus Kokko, Counsellor, Press and Culture of the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo.
The second episode of the anime series will be published in April, and the third one later this year. The animations have been produced by the Fintan creator Kenji Itoso together with his production group in cooperation with the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo. The voice of Fintan is performed by Saori Hayami, one of the most popular voice actors in Japan.
The Fintan anime can be watched through the social media channels of the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo as well as on the Embassy’s YouTube channel.