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I’ve spent the better part of the morning watching clips of a Japanese mascot playing death metal drums over children’s songs, and if you don’t have at least 60 minutes to kill, you should probably just close your tab right now.
It started with this tweet that went viral in Japan on March 3, with more than 100,000 likes, and slowly made its way to Reddit during the weekend.
Xの紅など激しい曲ばかりではなくて、ここで1曲お子さん向けの曲を…！と始まったアンパンマンのマーチですが、、、— 綺 (@ak1225_062708) March 4, 2017
The 1:42 clip prompts so many questions: What is that song, and is it really supposed to be played that way? (After Babymetal, there’s really no telling.) Why is this happening in a mall? And perhaps most importantly, who is this costumed creature?
The song, it turns out, is “Anpanman’s March,” and it’s the theme song to the anime series Soreike! Anpanman, a popular children’s show about a superhero whose sidekick is some sort of bean-jam pastry called anpan. And it definitely does not call for the blitzkrieg behind the drums. It’s actually quite pleasant.
There was one more clip from the performance and some serious rock-star posturing.
『ちょｗ体勢つらっｗｗｗ…危なっ…— 綺 (@ak1225_062708) March 6, 2017
シュール2連発 pic.twitter.com/mKv6lFClqQ— 綺 (@ak1225_062708) March 4, 2017
おはようございます。笑うしかない朝。— 綺 (@ak1225_062708) March 5, 2017
It turns out the mascot is named Nyango—though I’ve also seen him identified as Nyan-cho, Nyannotate, and Nyango Star—and he’s shockingly popular. He has more than 40,000 followers on Twitter and a YouTube channel filled with drum covers of the aforementioned Babymetal as well as Slipknot and the Ventures. Nyango also has the best backstory you’ll ever read (translation via Google):
Domestic cat Shiloh, 7 years old died for a long time due to illness. After cremation in the funeral home, buried in the apple field.
A few years later, it revives as an apple fruit. It grows gradually and actually falls to the ground.
I got scratches but I gradually grow up.
Memory is ambiguous but the part as a cat begins to show gradually returning with time.
It reminds me of everything and returns to the owner, but from its appearance it is noticed that it is Shiloh, it is called a wild beast of a red apple.
Although I was able to have the weather but I had to manage it, I consulted the grandmother of the apple tree which is the birth parent.
“Please save the power to please everyone, go to the hill of HOLLYWOOD, and you will be able to return to the former way.”
I could not catch on to denture but I could catch somehow.
Now I thought about the way of going to the United States after dead older trees, I thought that I could go overseas if I became a rock star with my hint of drums from my owner.
I will practice by seeing the owner’s drum, and it will appear in the local event.
From band fellows, called from the legendary drummer “Ringo Star”, a drummer of cats and apples, “Nyannotate”, which is said to need a name.
An adventure back to Nikkatsu’s white cat begins.
Honestly, I’m more confused now than ever, but I sincerely hope he really makes it to Hollywood one day.
Austin Powell is the former managing editor of the Daily Dot. His work focuses on the intersection of entertainment and technology. He previously served as a music columnist for the Austin Chronicle and is the co-author of The Austin Chronicle Music Anthology.