It seems Japan just can't get enough of Amabie these days. Japan's unofficial "mascot" in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, the half-man half-fish yōkai (monster) whose image is believed to ward off epidemics has been appearing in everything from fan art, cute donuts, traditional wagashi sweets, and sembei rice crackers.

But why stop at drawing Amabie or eating Amabie snacks? According to legend, when Amabie surfaced off the coast of Kumamoto, it told the fishermen that they would be safe if they showed people its image. What better way to show off Amabie's image than "becoming" the legendary creature yourself!

Employees with expertise in AR and VR at fun-loving creative corporation KAYAC Inc. decided to implement that idea. Thinking about teleworkers conducting meetings through video chat software and people connecting through online drinking parties, it occurred to them that they could make a Snap Camera / SnapChat effect.

AmabieMask (by mako hara)

All you need to do is bring up Snap Camera on your desktop or SnapChat on your smartphone (or download it if you haven't already), then do a search for "AmabieMask"

The Amabie opens its mouth in sync with your mouth movements, and its long hair ripples when you move your head sideways. It's sure to be a hit at your next meeting, offer an opportunity to promote awareness in the fight against the coronavirus, perhaps even spark conversations which could help others sharing the same challenges, not to mention provide some much-needed levity in these difficult times.

Other effects which are useful in online meetings

KAYAC Inc. employees also came up with a few other effects you could use during your online video meetings, such as:

Toast (by Yuji Miyano)

The perfect one to use when you're late.

If you've ever read manga or watched anime, then you're probably familiar with the "toast of tardiness" trope. A high school student oversleeps and rushes out the door with a piece of toast in their mouth.

With this effect, you can start off your meeting saying: "Oh no, I overslept and I'm late for the meeting." Maybe your boss will forgive you ... or maybe not.

Eureka! (by Yuji Miyano)

Rather self-explanatory. Use when appropriate for those Eureka! moments.

If you'd like to know more about KAYAC Inc., please visit their homepage here.

By - Ben K.