Ibaraki prefecture is well-known amongst anime fans as a major anime tourism destination as the town of Oarai, which is the Holy land for Girls und Panzer fans, is located there. The area has been frequented by military anime enthusiasts all over Japan, and the area’s local Self Defense Force (JSDF) have gotten a lot of help in getting new recruits and even have their own moe mascots.
Hibari represents the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF), Nobara represents the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and Koume represents the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF). All three are helping promote the JSDF and recruit new members to protect Japan from invaders
and the occasional kaijus.
It seems that the campaign was a success, and now, the three of them are once again returning for a new campaign to recruit more members, with this year’s theme being “Your own dreams will come true!”.
The three will be featured in various posters and standees and displayed in several JSDF offices. They are all designed by renowned illustrator, Pochi Iida.
Since Girls und Panzer aired, Ibaraki has now been associated with tanks, and when an election on who will become the trio’s center took place, it’s the JGSDF mascot, Koume, who earned the right to be in that position, though Hibari and Nobara are still very popular, with anime like Strike Witches, Arpeggio of Blue Steel, and Kantai Collection getting many people interested in the air force and navy.