People in Japan aren’t buying as much rice as they used to, and that matters in Niigata prefecture, because rice is a big commodity to them. And they’ve found something to blame: anime.
We all know the cliche of the anime girl who’s late for school. She hasn’t finished (or started) her breakfast, so she runs through the streets with a piece of bread sticking out of her mouth. The Niigata prefectural government thinks this image is the problem, and they’ve responded in kind.
“Is it because of that one scene in anime?” the Niigata prefectural government mused in a statement. “We wondered if there was anything in Japanese culture that explains the decline in rice. And our answer is ‘The girl who’s late running with toast in her mouth.’ This standard trope shows the girl with toast in her mouth turning the corner and bumping into her destined one. There’s a possibility that the repetition of these scenes over time have caused young people to associate breakfast with bread.”
They also released a live-action ad showing what they want to see more of in anime: a girl running late with rice sticking out of her mouth, not toast. This is only the beginning, as they plan to release more videos like this.
According to SoraNews24, the response from Japanese netizens has been divided. They translated some of the online reactions:
“What a dumb, fun idea!”
“Go for it, you idiots!”
“I think I’m gonna have rice for breakfast tomorrow.”
“It looks like the actress is having a really hard time running with a rice ball stuffed in her mouth.”
“How about a Girl Running Late with a Sushi Roll?”
Does watching anime affect what you decide to eat for breakfast, or do you think this is a stretch?
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.