Previously I hadn’t done a yearly post for mascot characters and the closest I’ve got is my favourite mascot and pet character top 5 list written back in 2016. However, that isn’t really fair to some of the adorable mascot characters out there and 2018 had some great mascot characters.
So, my criteria is that the character is more cute than annoying and is important enough to the plot of their story that removing them would actually hurt the narrative. They also need to feature heavily in fan art and merchandise. That means main characters are actually able to also be mascot characters. I know that other people will define it a bit differently and that’s fine, but that’s what I’m working off for my choices. And if you want to know why I lump pets in here as well it is because with some characters it is difficult to tell if they are a mascot, a pet, or both.
Without any further delays, let’s count down my top 5 anime mascot characters and pets of 2018 and then I’d love to know which characters caught your eye this year.
This time I’m giving honourable mentions to Sir Balgary from Record of Grancrest War (great potential character but too limited in appearance) and Navi from 100 Sleeping Princes (too annoying and fairly useless).
Number 5: Romero from Zombieland Saga
In case you are wondering, I do appreciate that I am choosing a character from a show I dropped. That said, the name alone is enough here to warrant a mention. In a story about zombies giving a shout out to a legend of the horror movie genre was an A+ move and one I definitely appreciated in the first episode of this series. However, I don’t have a lot more to say other than zombie dog with a taste for squid because honestly I didn’t hang around long enough with this series to really get into the character (so breaking my own criteria before we even really get into the list).
Number 4: Kero from Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card
Kero, or Cerberus, is the guardian of the Clow Cards (though apparently not that good at his job) and he’s been with Sakura since the beginning of her journey. He continues to play as her stuffed toy in Clear Card, coming under increasing scrutiny from her brother, still insatiable when it comes to sweets, and still just not quite as useful as it seems he should be when it seems like he’s needed but other-times surprisingly useful. That said, Kero remains an amusing member of the cast and one who is needed in a lot of scenes or Sakura would end up talking to herself a lot and that is not a good sign.
Number 3: Rimuru From That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime
While it has taken this show a fair while to grow on me, there’s no denying that the titular slime is an iconic character of the season and the year. Not to mention I would love to get my hands on a Rimuru plush because that would be just this side of adorable. With his internal monologue critiquing the world and reacting far more exuberantly than his exterior slime self, Rimuru has been a pleasant enough protagonist but his most valuable trait is that he just looks so cute (and when was the last time you saw a cute slime).
Number 2: Mii-Kun from How To Keep A Mummy
You have no idea how hard it was not to give this adorable let bundle of bandages take out the first place. Seriously if someone had floated the idea of ‘cute mummy’ prior to my seeing this series I would have asked them what planet they were from. And yet, How To Keep A Mummy gave us the single most adorable mascot character ever and it didn’t matter what Mii-Kun did, he was cute. I’d love pretty much anything Mii-Kun themed and honestly this character deserves to be in some kind of cuteness hall of fame.
Below my number one choice I’ve shared a tweet from the amazing Mel that actually combines my number 1 and 2 choices together. This absolutely made my day.
Number 1: The Platelets from Cells At Work
Honestly, I don’t think it could have been any other group of characters. The platelets are cute and every scene they are in makes you tilt your head and go ‘aww’, even as they serve a vital function both in the ‘body’ and in the anime. Still, any platelet scene was just precious and clearly the writers knew that spacing them out beautifully so that you never had too much but got a continuous drip feed of adorableness. Given how easy this one is to cosplay and how cute people look in the costume, I’m expecting that we’ll be seeing platelets for a fair while to come.
Right, so that is my list and now I’m turning it over to you: who are your top mascot characters and pets from 2018.
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