A few hours ago I was on my PS4 as usual, going through the home screen while thinking about which game to start next. I stopped to check my phone for a second and the screen rested on the Spotify app. There, something caught my attention.
No, not the fact that Spotify thinks people young enough to operate a PS4 will want to listen to AC/DC. Who the hell is Ai-Chan? Why does she own so many PlayStations? And why does PlayStation seem to be endorsing her Spotify playlist of video game OSTs?
Things got weird when I decided to look into it. She was on PS4 boxes:
She was on a number of PS4 themes:
She was even on the PS4s themselves:
As you may have assumed by this point, she's obviously a regional mascot for Sony. Much like Toro Inoue; the black cat who's huge in Japan but confused western players when he was included as a playable character in PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale. Curiously enough, Ai-Chan isn't from Japan, but Taiwan.
Ai-Chan is the creation of Taiwanese artist VOFAN, known for illustrating the Monogatari series of light novels. The character was created to promote the PS4 in Taiwan shortly after its release in 2014. That explains why we haven't seen her much here in the west and why she's always pictured on or with some kind of PlayStation iconography or product. You might be wondering, "do Ai-Chan lewds exist?" To which I answer: no, at least none that I could find. Maybe they do but they're buried under the swathes of hentai of anime characters who share the name Ai-Chan, but for now we can find consolation in these mildly suggestive yet still super cute swimsuit pictures of the brand-endorsed gamer girl. Seriously, I really like her design and I think if a console deserves to be lewded then surely the cute anime mascot does too. Even if she brings her PS4 controllers to the beach for some reason.