Goodbye husbandos and waifus, it's time for all the mascot characters to steal the limelight.
They are characters deeply associated with their series, have memorable designs and subsequently are a popular choice for merchandise. Basically, if your great-grandaunt Aino, who has never seen any anime or played any computer games, can recognize "that yellow mouse my grandchildren really like" aka Pikachu, it's passes the mascot test. More often than not they are non-humans ranging from animals to machines to blobs of slime.
I will analyze the diversity of mascot characters in anime, viewing the different roles a mascot character can play in a series besides the obvious "cute and/or funny character". For example, Nyanko-Sensei from Natsume's Book of Friends acts as a teacher/protector (though how well is another matter), or Kon from Bleach was initially created with the purpose of being a tool. Cute and innocent-looking characters such as Kyubey from Puella Magi Madoka Magica can be very deceiving at first glance. Even series with mascots deeply ingrained into them such as the Pretty Cure franchise, have different and intriguing ways of using said mascots. All in all, mascot characters have an important role in any good series whether the audiences notice it or not. And hey, they might even be the main character!
The presentation will be held in English as "suomen puhekieli" is hard. Beware random spoilers as well.