A character, creature, etc which is heavily associated with a fictional universe, to the point of being the (official or unofficial) mascot
. This can be despite the presence of other creatures, characters, etc. In Video Games
, this tends to be a popular enemy (or unit) and can overlap with Mascot Mook
. In other works the role can often fall to the Team Pet
or another Ridiculously Cute Critter
or Small Annoying Creature
for when this is used to advertise a product.
"Cute" Series Mascots:
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Anime and Manga
- Tenchi Muyo! has the adorable cabbit (cat/rabbit) Ryo-Ohki, which has the ability to transform into a spaceship.
- Black Hayate and to a lesser extent Xiao May in Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Kon in Bleach. He even points this out.
- YuYu Hakusho: Puu!!!
- Magic Knight Rayearth: Pu pu-puuu! Mokona! (Also a mascot of sorts for Xxx HO Li C and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle)
- Kodomo no Omocha has a ubiquitous bat/rabbit hybrid, appropriately named Babbit. It probably exists only for this trope.
- For Full Metal Panic!, there's Bonta-kun, with the entire second season being named after the sounds he makes, "Fumoffu".
- For Heroic Age it's B-Navi. Be careful though, because it actually transforms into a gun used to fire the Cool Ship's main weapon.
- In Welcome to the NHK! Sato lampshades this trope by saying "Every RPG needs a wimpy mascot character!" while beating up a lookalike for Dragon Quest's Slimes.
- The series itself actually contains a de facto mascot in the form of that creepy-adorable dancing purple alien that is used as a personification for 'conspiracy'.
- Moyashimon has an unusual example: a cutesy, anthropomorphic Aspergillus oryzae spore.
- Sadaharu and Elizabeth from Gintama. The series also parodies the whole mascot concept with Makoto-chan, the ill-advised, short-lived mascot of the Shinsengumi.
- Chibi-san from Chibisan Date.
- Haro from the Gundam franchise, despite not appearing in four of the seven Alternate Universes.
- Kyubey from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Its face and Catch Phrase appears everywhere in the fandom because of how cute and innocent it is. /人◕‿‿◕人\
- Pokémon features Pikachu as the de facto mascot for the animated series and (slightly less so) for the games.
- Agumon is something of an unofficial mascot for the Digimon franchise, being featured as the partner of The Hero in two different anime series and a manga, and a prominent presence in most — if not all — video games and virtual pets.
- Suzuri from Ride Back. Unusual in that she's one of those rare cute sidekick-type characters who not only dies during the series, but dies rather brutally (we don't see her head getting crushed; that happens off-screen. But we do see the blood on the asphalt).
- Clara in Princess Jellyfish.
- Odate Buta is so associated with Yatterman that when the live-action movie started getting posters, the first one just showed him looking out at the viewer. Nothing else was needed - he's that well-known and associated with Yatterman.
- One Piece: Due to his popularity, Chopper has gradually become an icon for the series, to the point where it seems he and Luffy are the only characters
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex has the Tachikomas, the world's cutest giant spider-tanks.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Oddly enough, the promotional mascot for the Hitchhiker's universe (in the USA) is a little green guy that never appears in the books (or TV show, or movie, or radio show, or computer game...) themselves - though most fans consider Marvin to be the series' real mascot.
- Doctor Who's sentient Cool Ship, the TARDIS. Also he's had K9, who's lately moved to The Sarah Jane Adventures.
- To the point where when the Metropolitan Police tried to trademark the Police Box and sue the BBC for infringement, the judge ruled that the rights belonged the BBC, since they had been selling merchandise without any complaints for nearly 40 years!
- Cameron from The Sarah Connor Chronicles (also mentioned below.)
- The "Grr Argh" monster from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who you may remember as the badly-drawn monster that appears after every credits sequence. Not only does Tara quote Mutant Enemy's mascot, it sums up "Becoming" perfectly.
"Ooohhh, I need a hug."
- Ttark from Kratts' Creatures.
- Abby Sciuto, NCIS. Full stop.
- Tinker Bell for Walt Disney Presents.
- Kermit the Frog for The Muppets. He was also the mascot of the Jim Henson Company before Disney bought him out.
- Sesame Street has Elmo, also the mascot for the show's parent company Sesame Workshop. Big Bird used to fill this role before Elmo proved to be a massive merchandising success.
- Missile the shiba-inu police dog has become this for the Ace Attorney series, despite initially only appearing once as an optional character. Similarly, Missile the pomeranian from Ghost Trick, which shares the same universe (and who is a major character).
- Twilly for AdventureQuest in particular and all the other Artix Entertainment games to a degree.
- Tran from Beatmania IIDX.
- The Borderlands series has the Claptrap, who was the star of a web series promoting the first game and is often seen in advertisements and was eventually made a playable character in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!.
- Prinnies from Disgaea and other Nippon Ichi games.
- The Dragon Quest series has Slimes.
- Dungeons of Dredmor has the Diggles. Ye gads, the Diggles...
- Chickens in Fable. Hell, Fable III starts with a chicken running around the city as an allegory for the rest of the game.
- Vault-Boy from Fallout.
- Final Fantasy: Chocobos and Moogles, and to a lesser extent, Cactaurs, Cait Sith, and Tonberries.
- The short, cute, big-eyed plant critters known as mandragora have achieved the status of Final Fantasy XI mascot both in official and unofficial works. In-game, there are numerous mandragora-themed equippable items to find, many of which have the ability to change the character's appearance to a mandragora. Mandragora have a prominent place in much of the official promotional artwork as well. The first and most important fan-made wiki as well the unsanctioned third-party windower program both use the mandragora as a mascot as well. Mandragoras have even appeared as the game's contribution to other games in the same company, such as appearing as a summon in Dissidia.
- Rena is considered the mascot of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
- The priring from Latale, which was so cute it was made into a pet.
- On the cute side of mascots, there's Mega Man (Classic) himself and the recurring Metool enemies, who appear in nearly every series in the franchise. There's also the Servbots for the Mega Man Legends series, and Tron Bonne could also possibly count thanks to representing the Legends series in crossovers more than any other character.
- Metal Slug has the Mars People.
- There's Mario for Nintendo's mascot, and obviously for the Super Mario Bros. series. Nintendo Power had Nester, and the Famicom Disk System had a critter called Disk-kun, who appeared on the title screen of Smash Ping Pong and starred in the last-ever FDS game, Janken Disk Shiro.
- Animal Crossing: Tom Nook.
- There are also some villagers, like Bob and Rosie, as well as Isabelle from New Leaf, that are seen as psuedo-mascots since they're so common in merchandise and official art.
- Custom Robo has the Ray series of Shining Fighter class robos, one of which represented the franchise in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- Kirby, not only is he the mascot for his own series but he can easily be considered the unofficial mascot of HAL Laboratory as a whole.
- A lesser example: the fairies from The Legend of Zelda, Navi and her ball-of-light kin in particular. They are even used as menu cursors.
- Mr. Saturn for the MOTHER series.
- Pikmin has, obviously, the Pikmin.
- Pokémon's Pikachu became this for the franchise as a whole. It's usefulness as the only available electric type before Cerulean City helped solidify this over the original intended mascot Clefairy.
- As a nod to Pikachu's status as mascot, every generation since has introduced a new electric rodent meant to resemble Pikachu. Pichu and Marrill are Johto's, Plusle and Minun are Hoenn's, Pachirisu is Sinnoh's, Emolga is Unova's, and Dedenne is Kalos's.
- Each successive generation of Mons also has a lesser, ambiguously official mascots for that generation (and it's remakes) alone. They are usually one of the first to be introduced for that generation: Togepi for Pokémon Gold and Silver, Lucario for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, and Zoroark for Pokémon Black and White. It's more ambiguous for Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, as there does not seem to be a clear-cut choice, though the closest "mascot" Pokémon for Hoenn seems to be either Blaziken, Gardevoir, or Absol. As for the most recent releases, Pokémon X and Y, it seems that at the moment Greninja the closest Mon they've got for a Gen VI mascot, as its surprise inclusion as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U has given it an increase in notability.
- The series also has what are known as "Version Mascots" which are the Mons that appear on the front of each version. Usually they're the Legendary that can be caught in the game.
- Rappies from the Phantasy Star series.
- Portal has the very friendly Companion Cube, which will not threaten to stab you. It's so popular that Valve's made plushies and fuzzy dice in its image. The iPod-esque turrets might even have a stronger claim to the title, appearing in Valve promotional materials even outside the Portal franchise, and getting a much greater and more varied role in the sequel.
- Carbuncle in the Puyo Puyo series.
- Ragnarok Online had Porings, in a very forcing way.
- Robopon has Sunny.
- Jack Frosts from the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series got so popular that Atlus chose them as their official mascot.
- The Grox from Spore.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic has seemingly adopted Blizz as their unofficial mascot. He's a rocket launcher wielding, Jawa, tanking companion of the Bounty Hunter class.
- Kero the frog and Grey the alien in Tokimeki Memorial 2.
- Rabites from the World of Mana series.
"Non Cute" Series Mascots:
Anime and Manga
- Attack on Titan has the Colossal Titan as the most recognizable character from the series, and used in numerous merchandise and public appearances. Sometimes, it is played straight as a 60-meter skinless horror. Other times, however, it's either an Ugly Cute Chibi or a dude in a costume that behaves in a comical fashion (nicknamed "Kyojin-kun" or "Giant-kun").
- In Free! Iwatobi-chan is the protagonists' hometown mascot. It's a distinctive rock-headed bird-like... thing, popular among fans as a decal.
- Darth Vader for Star Wars, though mascot duties have also been passed around to Yoda, the Clone and Stormtroopers, Darth Maul, and (especially in the franchise's early days) R2-D2 and C3-PO. Even the Death Star is something of an icon for the franchise.
- Possibly Gollum for the Lord of the Rings movies.
- The Ugly Cute Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters. In universe, it's explained that Stay Puft is the mascot for a brand of marshmallows and the star of his own cartoon TV series. The "NO-GHOST" company logo also serves as a mascot.
- For the Terminator series, Arnold's iconic face has been etched into our collective memories. The metallic skull of the T-800 Terminator would also count as iconic. Also, Cameron is the iconic character for The Sarah Connor Chronicles spin-off. (The last one isn't in the "non-cute" category, but never mind.)
- Ash Williams for the Evil Dead films, making it one of the few horror movie franchises known more for its hero than its villain.
- The Pink Panther had an Animated Credits Opening with the titular diamond's flaw visualized as what it's said to resemble — a pink panther. The animated character was so popular that he got his own series of animated shorts in addition to becoming the mascot for the movie series, even as Artifact Title set in.
- MechWarrior: The Timber Wolf / Mad Cat BattleMech for the video game series and arguably the whole BattleTech universe. Completely deserved, as mecha don't get any cooler than the Timber Wolf. (And calling it the Mad Cat among the wrong group of fans will get you labeled a stravag freebirth.) The second most iconic mech is the Atlas, a massive skull-faced, broad-shouldered death machine often depicted ripping enemy battlemechs limb from limb. The Atlas is generally used as the mascot for the Succession Wars Era, while the Mad Cat is the mascot of the post-Clan Invasion era.
- Warforged fill this role for the Dungeons & Dragons setting Eberron.
- The Lady of Pain for the Planescape, setting; her ominous face with her cold stare is on the cover of every product.
- Warhammer 40,000: The Space Marines are the main mascots. Especially the Ultramarines, who appear in most of the promotional artwork and the starter set; they are even called "poster boys" by players of other armies.
- Cirque du Soleil shows often start with a stylized logo in print ads and at their website, but eventually switch to a memorable supporting character (or representative of a memorable character group) to serve as the show's face. This is particularly important with the Las Vegas resident shows, since as many as eight different shows are running there at one time; a well-chosen mascot helps establish the style/tone that makes the production distinct from its sisters.
- The Big Daddy from Bioshock.
- Max Damage from the Carmageddon series.
- Command & Conquer series: The Mammoth Tank. Also The Commando and Agent Tanya.
- The Green Beret for Commandos. Interestingly, he is a rare example of series mascot who is the main character.
- The Cacodemon for Doom, even becoming the official mascot for Doomworld, the biggest Doom fansite.
- Dungeon Keeper has the Horned Reaper, along with the Dark Mistress.
- Headcrabs from Half-Life.
- Master Chief for Halo
- The Gas Mask Helghan troopers in Killzone.
- Marco Rossi from Metal Slug
- The Creeper from Minecraft
- The spectral ninja Scorpion has gradually become the mascot of the Mortal Kombat series. Sub-Zero is a close second, being the first "ninja" that the developers created. Scorpy and Subby have been the default fighters for player 1 and 2 respectively since Deadly Alliance.
- Liu Kang can also be considered the mascot of the series, being the longest-running protagonist by far. His ability to shape-shift into a dragon evokes the iconic logo after all; even before said dragon was redesigned from klassic green to chrome black.
- As of Mortal Kombat 2011, a Scorpion look-alike serves as the figure on the logo for Netherrealm Studios. Given his popularity among fans and the developers (specifically Ed Boon), it was only a matter of time.
- Anna from Fire Emblem, who has appeared in all games to date except Fire Emblem: Gaiden. Despite being in the series for so long her only time she becomes playable is Fire Emblem Awakening.
- Marth, as well. Being the first Lord of the series, he is well-associated with Fire Emblem even though he isn't featured in all of the games. As far as Super Smash Bros. is concerned, Marth representing Fire Emblem is akin to Mario representing the Super Mario series, Link for The Legend of Zelda, and Pikachu for Pokémon.
- Captain Falcon of the F-Zero series.
- Metroid: The eponymous energy-sucking, flying fanged jellyfish aliens of the series. Very young infants are Ugly Cute, though.
- Pyramid Head for the entire Silent Hill series.
- Super Robot Wars: The SRX is the mascot of the series and Banpresto in general. It has a head shaped like the company logo, and its Game Breaker upgraded form is even named Banpreios!
- The Fiend from Quake was the mascot for Id Software in the latter half of The Nineties.
- Nightmare for the Soul series; ironically, while Nightmare represents the series' evil sword Soul Edge, most installments in the series (and all installments featuring Nightmare himself) are named after Soul Edge's heroic counterpart Soul Calibur.
- Soul Edge is probably the real mascot. Though the name of the games is now Soulcalibur, the Soul Edge is still by far the central character.
- Some of this is made nil by the fact that Nightmare is Soul Edge/Inferno's host (and in SCIII and SCIV, Nightmare was literally the living incarnation of Soul Edge). Nightmare, however, was featured on the Project Soul logo from SCIII up to SCV (wherein the logo was redesigned to show a re-imagining of the Soul Embrace from SCIII, which was then changed back to the original logo starting with the SCII HD Online re-release) and is essentially the central antagonist of the series starting in his Soulcalibur debut (Soul Edge/Inferno is the de facto Big Bad), making Nightmare's claims have a bit more weight to them.
- The Heavy Weapons Guy for Team Fortress 2.
- The Koala in Tokimeki Memorial: Forever with you.
- Needles Kane and his flaming clown head ice cream truck in Twisted Metal.
Anime and Manga
- Jack Frost (from the Shin Megami Tensei franchise) is the mascot of Atlus Corpora.
- While the monsters you meet in Shin Megami Tensei are based on mythologies, possibly because of Jack Frost status as a mascot, you will meet original Jack Frosts like King Frost, Black Frost, Ichigo Frost, B Hawaii Frost, Lemon Frost, Melon Frost, Mirukin Frost, Frost Five and Lucifrost.
- Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army has the dapperest Frost of them all.
- Until he was displaced by Mega Man (Classic) and Ryu, Captain Commando was the face of Capcom.
- Sonic the Hedgehog has been Sega's mascot since 1991. Alex Kidd is commonly remembered as having been Sega's mascot before Sonic, though Opa-Opa actually was used more often for cameos back then.
- Pac-Man, the face of his own franchise, and Namco's mascot for over 30 years now. He has had a few redesigns here and there but still manages to be one of their most popular characters.
- Mario is essentially the face of Nintendo.
- Mr. Pants officially for Rare. Unofficially, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong could have been considered this back when Rare was still with Nintendo, and Banjo and Kazooie can still be considered this.
- Hudson Soft's mascot is a tiny bee. The bee has shown up in several of Hudson's video games, including Adventure Island and Milons Secret Castle.
- Neko-Arc (a comedic miniature catgirl form of Tsukihime's main heroine) is the official mascot of Type-Moon and the Nasuverse.
- Asagi serves as one for Nippon Ichi (along with the Prinnies mentioned above), as she makes a cameo in all of their games.
- Recently, it seems like they're trying to make Nisa their new one.
- Unofficially, Max for Lucasarts' adventure games.
- Compile's cute mascot, Randar (or Lander), appeared in several of their games.
- Toaplan had a similar but more purple and less round mascot named Pipiru, who appeared at the end of Zero Wing and was hidden in Out Zone and Truxton II. Even after Toaplan went defunct, Pipiru briefly appeared in a cutscene in DonPachi.
- Terry Bogard for SNK, originally, it was Athena.
- Konami tried in the late 1980s to establish Konami Man as their mascot. He never really caught on, though Konami Wai Wai World gave him the leading part and a Distaff Counterpart, Konami Lady. Konami Man still makes occasional cameos in Castlevania games.
- Solid Snake and Simon Belmont also qualify, due to being the heroes of some of Konami's biggest franchises.
- The obscure company Asmik had the mascot Asmik-kun, called Boomer in the US.
- Amstrad's first-party label Amsoft named its mascot after executive Roland Perry. Roland became the star of eight mediocre to awful games, which never established any consistent model for drawing him.
- Heavy Weapons Guy is the face of Valve, showing prominently in all their Meet the Team videos, and representing them in most third-party promotions and crossovers.
- Shantae for WayForward Technologies.
- In Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment has a mascot known as "Toro Inoue" (the Sony Cat). He's an anthropomorphic cat in a Super-Deformed style. Outside of Japan Sony has had more than temporary mascots (Crash Bandicoot probably being the most famous) but none really have been their official one.
- Xbox tried the cute variation with Blinx but the series ended up being a Stillborn Franchise when the game was criticized for its clunky controls. Master Chief is considered the Xbox mascot now.
- A Japanese mobile game company COLOPL, Inc.'s mascot is Kuma the Bear, appeared in many of their games.