To help lift the spirits of Tohoku, Japan, the area hit by March 2011’s earthquake and tsunami, illustrator Ninico Edomura created Zunko Tohoku. Named after zunda mochi rice cakes, she’s a 17 year-old, who excels at archery. And she’s copyright free.
The idea is that the character will go viral via fan art and whatnot — thus, Japanese anime otaku can show their support for those in Tohoku. There are also Zunko apps and games that also provide local news about Tohoku.
Voice actresses Satomi Sato, who is from Sendai and best known for voicing Ritsu in K-On!, is lending her voice to the character, and Zunko is getting her own Voiceroid speech synthesiser software.
Other artists and manga illustrators http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/03/japans-greatest-manga-artists-offer-encouragement”>have also offered their support to the country and those impacted by the devastation.
東北応援萌えキャラ「東北ずん子」がボイスロイドに！ 声は宮城出身の声優「佐藤聡美」さん [Kotaku Japan]