In an effort to attract young people to ride trains and visit attractions near stations, Kyoto Subway started the “GET ON! Kyoto City Subway” promotion with female characters in 2013. Having cute characters or anime girls endorse a product or service is a classic method employed by many Japanese companies, governments and other organizations. However, with the growth of anime and manga merchandise specifically targeted at women, Kyoto Subway is one agency that made the decision to get on board and create male characters to increase female interest.
All of the characters are named after stations: Moe Uzumasa is named after Uzumasa Tenjigangawa Station on the Tozai Line, Saki Matsugasaki is named after Matsugasaki Station on the Karasuma Line, and Misa Ono is named after Ono Station also on the Tozai Line.
The male characters, Ryo Ono and Takeru Jujo, made their first appearance on October 4. Ryo is Misa’s older brother and loves the timeliness of Kyoto subway while Takeru is named after the Jujo Station on the Karasuma Line and wants to be a baker to sell bread in stations. The characters appear on posters, on merchandise and on materials at popular tourist attractions. Additionally, the Kyoto Subway holds various competitions for riders to enter for chances to win ride discounts and goods.
Image and article reference: http://bit.ly/KyotoSubway