The Japan Self Defense Force or JSDF has become quite popular lately with the rise of anime like Girls und Panzer and Arpeggio of Blue Steel and they have even adopted three moe mascot girls to represent the ground forces, the navy and the air force.
The three cute moe girls are Momoe Kibi who is affiliated with the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF), Mizuho Seto who is affiliated with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and Airi Bizen who is affiliated with the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF). All three characters are designed by Strike Witches creator and Girls und Panzer character designer Humikane Shimada.
The three recruitment mascot characters have proven to be very successful as Volunteers of Japan’s National Defense Academy (NDA) and the JSDF itself have increased by 20%.
6,500 calendars and 9,000 postcards were distributed as part of the recruitment drive. The postcards and calendars featuring the three characters have already become valuable and is now sought-after by many fans.
Momoe became the first moe mascot for the Self Defense Force as she appeared in many recruitment posters for the JGSDF last July 2013. Airi and Mizuho meanwhile followed the next month in August.
There has been a rise in military-themed anime and video games lately with series like Girls und Panzer, Strike Witches, Arpeggio of Blue Steel and Kantai Collection all proving to be overwhelmingly popular. Perhaps these series have made the JSDF even more alluring to many Japanese.