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Japan: Anime Character ‘Masuo-san’ on Twitter

Sazae-san, a comedy chronicling the lives of the fictional Isono family, is one of Japan's longest-running and oldest comic strips and animations. The animated series first aired in 1969 and is broadcast every Sunday from 6:30 to 7:00. It's not much of an exaggeration to say that at some point in our lives, all Japanese, either as a child or when raising children, will follow the tradition of having Sunday dinner with the family while watching Sazae-san (and finishing up with Chibi Maruko-chan, which airs from 7:00-7:30).

Recently, a seemingly unofficial Twitter account for Masuo Fuguta, the agreeable husband of the main character Sazae-san, popped up. He already has close to 7,000 followers after 100+ tweets.

Masuo-san makes announcements about air dates, with a unique spin. The Twitter story is set up describing the Isono family as having television crews come in to film their daily lives.

Masuo Fuguta on Twitter

Good morning. ‘Sazae-san’ will air today. The Isono family used to review the shows together when we first started, but lately a show can go by without anyone seeing it.

He gives us a bit of insight to his home life.

Masuo Fuguta on Twitter

E-mail from Sazae in Hakata. She's having a motsunabe dinner with the filming crew. Sazae is originally from Fukuoka Prefecture, so she plans to meet friends afterwards.

He also gets the chance to tell his side of the story. Masuo-san often takes a backseat to his outgoing and sometimes pushy wife and her immediate family, so it's refreshing to hear his voice.

Masuo Fuguta on Twitter

Finished work for the day and heading home. The show makes it look like I go home everyday while the sun is still out, but I actually do a fair amount of overtime.

There are clever tie-ins with social trends. The Taspo Card is an identity card required to buy cigarettes from the vending machine. Convenience stores enjoyed a bump in business for a while when people who hadn't applied for their cards yet went to the stores instead.

Masuo Fuguta on Twitter

Decent weather, going for a walk with Tara-chan. I'm out of cigarettes, so we'll head over to the convenience store near Sakura Shinmachi Station. I haven't gotten around to making a Taspo yet.

And of course, he answers questions about the other characters on the show.

Masuo Fuguta on Twitter

[Question] What type of novels does Isakasa-sensei write? [Fuguta's answer] Literary romances, or so I hear. Just between you and I, I haven't read any of Isakasa-sensei books. They're available through Amazon but it's all a bit too highbrow for me.

Blogger yurikawa appreciates the humor.

そこで、今日の放送と同時に、彼の実況解説が行われていたのだ。
一番笑ったのは、マスオさんが波平さんと歩いているシーンの後ページを読み込むと、「すみません。午前中実はパチンコ行ってました。」の書き込み。確かにそのシーンのマスオさんは紙袋を抱えていた。見事なアドリブだ。
本来、私は二次創作等が好きじゃないのだが、これは許せた。
きっとマスオさん(なりきり)のセンスが素晴らしいんだと思う。

Masuo-san tweeted throughout the program today. I laughed the most when there was a tweet saying “Sorry. I was actually playing pachinko this morning” after a scene where Masuo-san was walking with Naimei-san. He was carrying a paper bag in that scene. Excellent ad libbing!

Generally, I don't like secondary works but this is very acceptable. It must be that Masuo-san (or rather, the person behind the Twitter account) has a wonderful sense of humor.

Yamaq is also enjoying the ride.

フィクションのキャラクターがリアルでバーチャルなコミュニケーションに参加するのがおもしろくて、さっそくフォローしてみました。そうしたら一日経ったらマスオさんからもフォローされました。なんだかメジャーなひとにフォローされてドキドキします(笑)
つぶやきの内容がマスオさんのキャラクターっぽい部分と、声優さんなのかリアルな世界の部分があったりして、とても新鮮な感じです。このやり方って一歩踏み損ねると完全に宣伝調になるので、つぶやく側のセンスが問われる部分です。

最近面白かった与謝野代議士の秘書の方のつぶやきにつぐ、おもしろいキャラクターです。あっそうだ、今日サザエさんの日だ。

I started followed Masuo-san because it was interesting how a fictional character was participating in virtual communication for real. A day later, Masuo-san followed me back. It's exciting to have a “major” person follow me!

It's amazing how the tweets reflect both Masuo-san's character and the real world. If you go too far, it can sound like a promotional gimmick, so tweeting requires just the right touch.

This is the most interesting character among my recent finds, after the secretary of Kaoru Yosano. Hey, Sazae-san is on today!

Update: Blogger Maekawa has outed himself [ja] as the man behind the icon and declared an end to the two week experiment.

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