Forget Frozen 2. There’s only one emotional cinematic experience you need in your life right now, and that’s the story of John Oliver, Chiijohn and Shinjo-kun.
First, some important backstory. Back in 2018, a Japanese otter mascot called Chiitan went viral on social media, prompting John Oliver to do a segment on him for Last Week Tonight. Despite Chiitan’s popularity, the city of Susaki — which he was the unofficial mascot for — eventually broke ties with him, leaving their official mascot, another giant otter known as Shinjo-kun, tragically alone.
“That broke our hearts, so we did something uncharacteristically sweet for us — we created our own replacement mascot, Chiijohn: a near-sighted otter,” explains Oliver. “We actually sent him to Japan to find Shinjo-kun. I will admit, he came on a little strong at first, but eventually they became great friends and have been living in Susaki together ever since.”
You can catch up on Oliver’s first foray into the world of giant otter mascots here:
And now we finally have the sequel we’ve all been waiting for.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about these two lately because next year — let’s face it, it is going to be unpleasant,” says Oliver. “It is a presidential election year, so things are going to get even more toxic than they already are. And lately, I’ve found myself often craving for these two’s particular brand of unmitigated joy.
“So I recently tried to get in touch with them…”
Nothing melts the heart quite like old friends reuniting.