The candidates for 2020 Tokyo Olympics official mascots have been announced.
There are three pairs of mascot finalists, selected from 2,042 entries submitted by the general public. They include common Japanese cultural tropes such as the maneki-neko beckoning cat and kitsune fox.
In general, the mascots have a Pokémon or yokai feel to them, and none of the designs is risky or surprising. The characters also all incorporate the official Games logo somewhere on their bodies or clothes.
Which pair do you think will win?
As previously reported, elementary school children will vote on which mascot becomes the official character for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Votes start from Monday and continue until February 22nd.
The transparency and open-access nature of the mascot contest makes a stark contrast to the opaque and controversial way in which the first national stadium and official logo designs were chosen. Both were eventually withdrawn and replaced.