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I have developed a series of college mascots that are Japanese based. What would I call them if they are in a comic strip talking to each other; so if the name is chip would he be called chip-chan, or chip-kun, or something else? Need help on this asap. Thanks.

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Mascot characters are usually called without any name suffix unless くん/ちゃん is part of the official name (like どーもくん). Most people just call ふなっしー ふなっしー, while you may add くん or ちゃん if you really like to show your love.

This is more true when the name/appearance of your character is closer to the western style. Everyone knows two western friends are calling one another without adding anything. When western cartoons and movies are translated, we seldom hear くん/ちゃん, and no one thinks it's impolite.

Judging from the image you posted, your characters are not like typical Japanese "lovely" mascots (known as ゆるキャラ / 萌えキャラ). So I think you can safely avoid くん/ちゃん altogether.

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  • Thanks. in the USA college market I think it will be good to use kun for all of the mascots to show they are of the same group or family in a way. I am sure if I was marketing these primarily in japan then I may not need or want that. these characters are both angry and cute and I have had great response to them so far in the USA. Thanks a lot for your help. Very informative. – David Gormley Mar 31 '17 at 14:36
  • @DavidGormley Okay, kun should be definitely better than chan anyway. Note that kun may sound too polite, nerdy, distant or even cold, depending on how you use it. Young Japanese students (especially athlete type people) usually do 呼び捨て among their friends. – naruto Mar 31 '17 at 15:18
  • ok. If I end up selling these into japan I will probably drop the ending all together. frankly, 99% of americans wont have a clue what chan, kun, or anything else means. so Kun should work. thanks again. – David Gormley Mar 31 '17 at 15:50
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Chan (ちゃん) - this suffix shows the speaker finds a person endearing. Using chan with a superior's name is considered rude. Generally it is used for babies, teenager girls, young children, and grandparents. It can also be attached to animals. It shows cuteness, lovers, close friends, or any young woman. Young women may use it to refer to themselves to appear cute and childish.

Kun (くん) - used by people of senior status to refer to people of junior status or by anyone when referring to male children or teenagers. Women may also used the term when referring to a guy they are emotionally attached or known a long time. Kun isn't male exclusive, but mostly used for male references.

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  • chip-chan sounds like a female mascot, it could be a small boy, too.

  • chip-kun sounds difinitly a male mascot

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  • ok. what are kids calling each other when hanging out now? chan or kun or something new? – David Gormley Mar 31 '17 at 2:04
  • No limit, depends on how little they are, chan applies even an adult female, if she behave like a kid. female upgrade to -san when everybody thinks she have enough educations. it could be 5 years old or 28 years old. I hope you got this right. – user20428 Mar 31 '17 at 2:08
  • thanks. here is an example of the characters. would you call them chan or kun? thanks !! dropbox.com/s/l6xs5uuxreyi51k/tomodachi%20show.jpg?dl=0 – David Gormley Mar 31 '17 at 2:19
  • We don't add surfix for the hostile. They aren't looking like tomodachi for me! – user20428 Mar 31 '17 at 3:39

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