In recent years, something funny craze has hit all over Japan quietly. That is called local idols or characters; "Ringo-musume (Apple girls)" in Aomori (because Aomori is famos for Apples), "SHIP" (Ｓ⇒Sakata city Ｈ⇒Hatsu Ｉ⇒Idol Ｐ⇒Project)in Yamagata prefecture, "Kasseika men (Invigoration men)" in Nagano. Mainly, most local characters have their original costumes and songs, and some of idols are getting popular in Tokyo like "SHIP".
The purpose of local character is to invigorate local and let people in other prefectures know about the prefecture.
There are, of course, local idols in my hometown, Akita. In particular, I would like you to know cool hero in Akita whose name is “Neiga”.
Neiga looks like Kamen rider who is well known in Japan as a fictitious hero in a children’s program. Neiga has some weapons to beat the enemy off. “Kiritampo sword”, for instance, is not simple sword but looks like beautiful Kiritampo. Kiritampo is special products in Akita made of rice. His mask has an impression of Namahage, frightening devil in Akita. Other famous things in Akita are put in Neiga’s costume or arms which is pretty good way to advertise Akita.
What I like most about Neiga is that people use Akita dialect in Neiga’s world. As you may know from the name of Neiga, it is already Akita dialect which is comes from Namahage’s saying, “Warigo-ha-iNEIGA( Are there any bad kids)?” Furthermore, all names of his enemies are related to Akita dialect; Hojine (fool in Akita dialect), Han-kakusai(silly), Heyamikogi(lazy), Yogutagare(greedy) et cetera. Probably, it brings laugh for only people who know the dialect like me.
I know some local characters in other prefectures; however, I would strongly recommend you new hero in Akita. I can declare that Neiga is not unsatisfactory character but very orthodox. I wish Neiga would break out some good effects to g economy of Akita.
Neiga Official HP
Kasseika men HP