Niigata Government Blames 'Girl Running With Toast' Anime Trope For Decline in Rice Consumption
posted on by Kim Morrissy
The Niigata prefectural government is trying to promote the region's rice products with an attention-grabbing accusation: it's anime's fault that rice consumption has declined in Japan. Remember that trope where the girl is late to school so she runs with toast in her mouth?
The government released a video last week explaining the reasoning: "Is it because of that one scene in anime? 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."
As a region that specializes in rice products, Niigata has decided on a specific course of action: replacing the bread with rice. In order to compete against the prevailing image, Niigata will create new heroines who run with rice in their mouths instead.
The project's first ad does exactly that, casting actress Manami Igashira as a girl running late to school with a rice ball in her mouth. The ad takes pains to point out that the rice was home-grown in Niigata Prefecture by the character's grandfather.
Will this project succeed in overthrowing bread's dominance in this classic anime trope? Time will tell.