We here at Hokkaido likers have recently made contact with a minion of the "Ika-R Aliens" who are currently planing their invasion of Hakodate.
The minion identified herself as Akiko Sakaguchi, from Simple Way Co., and permitted me to interview her about the aliens.
What exactly are the Ika-R Aliens?
"The Ika-R Aliens have come from outer space to take possession of several things in Hakodate they've taken an interest in. Unlike Oshamambe's Manbe-kun or Yubari's Melon-kuma, the Ika-R aren't a one-of-a-kind creatures, there are thousands of them."
When did they begin their invasion plans?
"The aliens uploaded their first video of the Hakodate invasion to YouTube in December of 2008. In just a short time the video became wildly popular and, by March of the next year, they had been picked up by key stations across the country."
▲Battle scenes from the video.
Are the Ika-R Aliens bad guys?
"Yes. The Allies of Justice are always trying to stop the invasion, making use of Hakodate's famous landmarks for this purpose. For example, by using Goryokaku as a sky fortress, or riding the Tower Robot."
▲Hakodate landmark "Goryokaku Tower" fights aliens as "Tower Robot!"
▲The invasion has awoken this famous hollow earthen figure, "Kakku." When fighting aliens this national treasure reaches nearly 100 meters in length!
※We've featured "Kakku" on Hokkaido Likers before:
I thought the Ika-R Aliens were helping Hakodate promote these famous sites...doesn't that make them good guys?
"The Ika-R Aliens of which you speak were captured during the middle of the war by the Hakodate government. Although they appear to be helping with promotion, they are actually acting as spies for the invasion."
▲Pretending to work at a product exhibition.
▲Taking over the job of stationmaster for a day. Seemingly a promotional event...
"So these guy's could technically be called "Town Mascots" then?
"NO! They aren't mascots at all! They only sell merchandise to help fund the invasion and to make sure that everyone in the country knows their intentions! Through the pretense of promotional advertising, Ika-R have begun appearing all across the country."
▲High quality merchandise to help fund the invasion.
Even if it's just pretend, they ARE acting like town mascots though!
"Tsk tsk tsk, there are many minions who, like myself, have moved to Hakodate because of the campaign. For those outside the city, Hakodate is only known for its spectacular night view. Nobody knows about any other attractions.
By watching the invasion video many of us became fascinated by the unique charm of Hakodate, that is true.
But the town did not create the aliens in an attempt to create mascots. The town used the alien's interest in the city to their own advantage by using the video as a kind of promotion."
Well those that move to Hakodate because of the video seem like nice people as well...
"We absolutely love Hakodate. We love it so much that if the Ika-R aliens are successful in their invasion we plan on making the city our own! Which is why we've become their minions..."
▲Once you get used to them they're actually quite cute!
Have you guys ever considered a full scale invasion of the world?
"Of course! The world is full of wonderful things we'd like to have. To help us do that, though, we need to spread word of the invasion. Last year the invasion video was shown at film festivals in Mexico, Romania, and Poland.
This year it will be entered in the "Athens International Digital Film Festival" (Held from May 25th to June 3rd.) where it is sure to win the top prize!"
What are the group's future plans?
"Well, the Ika-R Aliens will continue their invasion of the city, and while we minions wait for the coming victory, we'll be pretending to do more promotion across the country, like this!"
▲Watch out! They may be coming to (invade) a town near you soon!
To find the invasion video on YouTube, just enter this in your search bar:
You'll find a small preview video of the DVD release. If you're interested in purchasing the whole video, please check out the site below for details!
■Contact Information for Ika-R Aliens
株式会社シンプルウェイ (Simple Way Co.)
■DVD「ハコダテ観光ガイド イカール星人襲来中 －特別篇－」
(Hakodate Tourist Guide, Ika-R Aliens Invade! -Special Edition-)
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)
Photographs provided by ⓒNekonote-Do/SW.