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Tokyo 2020 unveil bug-eyed Olympic mascot hopefuls

A shortlist of three pairs of official Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games mascots are unveiled at Kakezuka elementary school in Tokyo, on Thursday.
 TOKYO, Dec 7: Tokyo Olympic organisers unveiled a shortlist of three official 2020 Games mascots today – from bug-eyed cartoon heroes to cuddly raccoons.

The Olympic and Paralympic designs, which celebrate the themes of harmony, diversity and resilience, were unveiled by pupils at a Tokyo elementary school.

After a bungled rollout of the official Olympic logo that led to it being scrapped following accusations of plagiarism, local organisers have left the selection of the Tokyo 2020 mascots in the hands of school children.

From December 11 to February 22, pupils at every elementary school across Japan – and Japanese schools overseas – will choose their favourite design, with each class casting a single vote. The winner will be announced on February 28.

The competing mascots are instantly recognisable as “Made in Japan”, ranging in appearance from sci-fi cool to a glum-looking fox closer in spirit to the country’s beloved “yuru-kyara” (soft characters).

Design A’s futuristic blue-checked design with pointy ears and oversized eyes evokes Japanese manga, while Olympic organisers revealed it has a “strong sense of justice” and can apparently move faster than light.

Its Paralympic cousin, meanwhile, sports red checks derived from cherry blossoms and possesses the ability, helpfully, to “talk with stones and the wind.”

Design B pairs a cartoon hybrid of a “lucky” cat and a fox draped in a red flame-like cloak with a blue lion-dog of the type seen guarding Japanese shrines – the common thread between them big round eyes resembling disco lights. – AFP

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