Chiitan’s management claim a city rep in charge of happiness told them “permission wasn’t needed.”
The next few weeks will prove to be crucial for the future of Chiitan, the otter mascot who does stuff like this:
ちぃたん☆ (@love2chiitan) February 08, 2019
These adorably dangerous capers have earned the yurukyara mascot character an impressive 1.32 million followers on Twitter, eclipsing that of legendary mascot Kumamon (about 805,000 followers) and nearing the level of established international superstar Funasshi (1.44 million followers).
It is also well above the roughly 100,000 followers held by former Yurukyara Grand Prix champ Shinjo-kun who is the source of both Chiitan herself and her current problems. With both otters having been created in the same style by the same person, Chiitan is essentially a derivative work of Shinjo-kun.
▼ Since Shinjo-kun is an official mascot, his behavior is much more restrained, with DJing about as wild as he usually gets
DJ SHINJOKUN ★ https://t.co/SH51iFlQEN
y u u m i (@yuuuuumi_t) January 24, 2019
This appeared to have caused no problems for over a year, but since last month Susaki City — the owners of Shinjo-kun — have been taking an increasingly aggressive stance against Chiitan, first disavowing her as their Tourism Ambassador, and more recently requesting that she cease and desist all activities.
Mayor Kusunose of Susaki City initially said that the cause of this was over 100 complaints from residents that Chiitan’s sometimes-violent behavior was having a negative impact on Shinjo-kun and the city. However, the timing was suspiciously close to the announcement of an animated Chiitan series trademark application filed for both domestic and international use by her management Kleeblatt.
On 8 February Kleeblatt spoke publicly for the first time about the issue, telling Oricon News that the reason they filed for a trademark in the first place was because of agreed upon plans from last year to market a Shinjo-kun & Chiitan line of merchandise and even an animated series featuring the pair.
This trademark is likely the main point of contention between the two as an overseas trademark given to Chiitan before Shinjo-kun would have given Kleeblatt the advantage over Susaki in that market.
▼ Were the people behind Chiitan planning a