Behold, the origins of anime character design:
Big cute eyes? - Check!
Small pointy nose? - Check!
Lives in Japan? - Check!
Flails arms and legs and flies through the air at a moment's notice? - CHECK!
Who is this? - The Japanese Dwarf Flying Squirrel.
Further evidence of visual appeal:
And here I used to think anime characters were like mice. Silly me - I had the wrong rodent in mind.
Can't tell if weird =_= or otaku...