Meet Cinnamon, the cute character who is viciously bullied every day in Japan

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Oh, internet. smh.

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A few years back I read that when American kids were asked what they wanted to do with Barbie, the responses were almost all violent. It’s not really about Barbie, it’s that kids have taught each other to hate her. It’s just like the way all kids loathe anchovies, which they have never tasted, and that one weird kid they’ve never actually talked to. A kind of runaway feedback loop happens until the mob gets their torches and pitchforks out and nobody knows exactly why. I think it’s entirely random.

Ganbatte, Cinnamon!


I was kind of hoping this story would be about how people target anthropomorphic fictional scapegoats as a way to ease tension and keep humans from being bullied. No such luck.


There’s a dessert called cinnamon?

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Cinnamon Bun takes his fair share of abuse as well…but his is all in-show


A “huggable character” cannot be a victim of cyberbullying or abuse.

A single malicious word spoken to a real human being is worse than all the nasty things tweeted to all the fake corporate mascot accounts there are. Or are we supposed to feel indirect sympathy for the PR people who use mascots as marketing tools to motivate consumer purchases? The phenomenon reported in this article is interesting, but for the writer to try to motivate sympathy for the character is ridiculous.


Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have sympathy for the character specifically. I do have an exasperation with the human need to belittle others, and I believe this is more an expression of that than it is contempt for corporate mascots.

And more so, my comment indicated amusement and mild puzzlement over peoples’ tendency to latch on to one specific target in the presence of many more obvious ones, instead of distributing their attention more widely.


Yup. Serving size: 1 tablespoon. You should try it!

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Oh sorry, didn’t mean to reply to you in the first place :slight_smile: – was trying to make a general comment and clicked the wrong reply button! Sure it’s sad that people feel like they have to spend their time belittling mascots, which after all will never feel any pain anyway.

Perhaps I’m being too cynical, but I can’t help thinking that this might be:

  • A marketing stunt designed to generate sympathy for the character
  • Possibly a viral campaign to promote the character ranking vote mentioned in the article
  • Or even an odd public-service campaign against bullying online

But in all probability, people are just being weird on the internet again.


The cyberbullying of a fictional corporate mascot as popular and innocuous as this one is a lot more visible than the similar abuse suffered by countless ordinary children and teenagers. If sympathy drummed up for Cinnamon translates to sympathy evoked for them, it’s not ridiculous at all.


If we’re going to cyberbully a fictional character / mascot (and I know we are…) I’d like to nominate the execrable reincarnation of Colonel Sanders.

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I just visited Japan last month. One thing that I noticed is the cultural ‘correct response’. If something is eaten, unless it’s complete garbage, the response is: ‘oishii~!’ (so delicious!). And if anything presented is even remotely cute or attempting to be cute, the correct response has to be ‘kawaii~!’

I understand keeping a homogenious and tightly knit society takes a lot of work…but it must be so tiresome for those freethinking independent people who want to shout ‘burdock melon curry is not delicious! It tastes slimy and wrong!’ ‘Cinnamon isn’t particularly cute at all, it’s derivative and obnoxious!’

Bullying is bad. Yes, yes it is. I’ve been bullied my fair share in my life…done a bit of bullying myself. Now that I’m grown…due in some part to the experience; I know the signs and how to avoid it. I’m not saying it’s ‘ok’…but it happens.

But an imaginary character is bullied via the Interwebs? The only response, besides the poor long eared blighter hanging itself, is to CREATE A BETTER MASCOT! sheesh…

Don’t know why but the juvenile insults quoted here really made me laff. It’s a funny idea, well executed. Why the hell not?

Actually I do this to my cat. It’s kind of like stretching your swearing and insult muscles, making up creative or stupid phrases that you can’t say elsewhere. She can’t understand words! The furry little sh*tbag!

But I doubt it will be. Far better to focus on actual children directly than to worry about this stupid mascot.

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Bullies bully because they feel repressed by someone or by something themselves. They unleash their violence (verbal or physical) to people they find even more helpless than themselves.

It looks to me that this phenomenon is a product of society built on repressed emotions. These find an outlet in this way. So yeah bullying is a problem but it’s not the root of the problem. Trying to just curb it without actually solving the source of frustration will only result in even more frustration not less.


There’s also your garden-variety psychopath, who bullies and manipulates people because he derives simple enjoyment from seeing other people suffer.

But that’s not the lion’s share of bullies.

Humans’ mirror neurons are activated by anthropomorphic figures in the same way they react to other people (and some animals). I wonder if psychopaths are more likely to abuse an anthropomorphic construct than individuals with fully intact empathy systems? Or whether the knowledge that it can’t experience emotional pain means that it’s not fun?


Sure, but they don’t come in thousands. Problem really escalates when you have folks that would otherwise be normal flip to the dark side, and that happens way more often than we would like to admit.