News 2nd, 3rd Anime Political Ads of This Year's Elections Posted (Updated)
posted on 2009-08-22 09:16 EDT by Egan Loo
Not-So-Daily Link of the Day: The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan has posted its second one-minute animated political ad on Friday. Like the first ad, the "Ramen" ad centers on a man, who looks similar to Yukio Hatoyama of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), and the eligible woman he is wooing.
In the new ad, the woman is surprised to see that the man is running a ramen shop she visits. The man insists to the woman that his policies are not just "lip service" and offers her the house special, the "Manifesto Noodles" — a reference to the DPJ's manifesto for the elections. However, he adds and removes ingredients to the recipe as different customers demand different things. In the end, the woman says that the Manifesto Noodles are unrecognizable from before, while the man insists that it is still the same.
The original "Propose" ad has now been seen over 570,000 times, while the new "Ramen" ads has over 25,000 hits so far. Prime Minister Tarō Asō, a self-professed manga fan, called for parliamentary elections this month — even as members of his own LDP have called for his resignation amid sagging approval ratings. As the ironically named conservative faction of Japanese politics, the Liberal Democratic Party has ruled the country for most of its history after World War II. According to the latest polls, the opposition DPJ is poised for a historic takeover of the government in the elections.
Thanks to Asō's manga interests, a proposed National Media Arts Center has become a symbol of his government. Even though Asō notes that the center's 11.7-billion-yen (about US$120 million) plan predate his adminstration, he is viewed as the center's most prominent proponent. Backers have nicknamed the center the "anime hall of fame," while detractors call it the "national manga café." Even manga creators and animators are divided on the issue. The center's backers include Revolutionary Girl Utena creator Chiho Saito and Pokémon creator Tsunekazu Ishihara, while Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino and character designer Yoshikazu Yasuhiko have publicly criticized the plans.
Update: The LDP posted a third anime ad, "Bureru Otokutachi" (The Blurred Men), in which the four main leaders of the DPJ are depicted as having inconsistent stances on issues. Thanks, EmilScherbe1. Please see the discussion for why the Liberal Democratic Party's name is not an ironic use of the classic definition of "liberal democracy."
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history