Looky at the cartoons/cute stuff everywhere!
What’s up, cartoon lovers? You see our look the Studio Ghibli Museum? Huh… well since I can’t hear you I’m just going to embed it below. Plus, it emphasizes a greater point regarding today’s dorky, needlessly incensed look at Japan.
When it comes to traveling to Japan, there’s one question I’ve getting more than anything: How much Japanese do you need to know before you go? Well… none. While I won’t say it’s the best way to experience the culture, as long as you have some international data available on your smartphone, you don’t have to speak to anyone, really.
See that? Did you understand exactly what that said? Me too! You don’t need have learned any Japanese whatsoever to understand that this sign is begging to your dormant sense of human empathy: Please let the elderly, injured, and preggers sit down before you. Perfect! Almost every advisory/advertisement/sign in Japan reads like a comics strip, and you’d be hard pressed to look in any direction without spotting something cartoony. Kinda like my room with more Hiragana.
If I’m not making myself clear here, first of all, Japan has an undying affection for older cartoon characters. Betty Boop, Donald Duck, Snoopy. This alone will forever bond us. Furthermore, not only does damn near every product, public service announcement, and even entire towns have an adorable mascot, 2D toons are far and away the preferred art form. For comparison, here’s an animated abomination currently haunting my neighborhood:
Is this intentionally unappealing?
Ugh… Okay, I could probably rail all day on America’s mascotery, or lack thereof, but almost all of it is the realm of “kids stuff” anyway, so it’s hard for an adult to complain (although I’m gonna anyway!) However, shit like the monstrosity above and The General? Maybe it’s the prevalence in my area, or my personal love of 2D characters, but I consider them absolute eyesores. Why even have a fucking mascot at all?! Even if there is some invisible mandate that states every corporate cartoon in the US has to be 3D CGI now, can they at least be designed by a someone better than pre-9/11 Dreamworks intern? Fuck this piss, watch Japan do it a zillion times better. 2D 4LIFE!
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