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Friday, January 30, 2015

Cuteness And A Cute Pokemon Video

I'm not a huge fan of the Japanese 'cute' phenomenon that the country has been actively participating in for the past four decades.

I joke about liking Hello Kitty, but in truth, if it wasn't for Japan's fascination with it, I wouldn't give it more than a glance, lumping it as some stupid mascot for children that I, as an adult, don't find all that interesting.

I grew up watching Godzilla and Gamera monster movies that were on American television stations on a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Sometimes they were on, other times it was some chop-socky martial arts movie of unknown country of origin. They were exciting. They were entertaining.

Now… maybe it's because I'm a boy in a man's body, but while I appreciate cuteness in people, I am less impressed by cuteness via fashion. Sure if you are eight-years-old, be cute. That woman over there - she's cute.

But dressing up in clothing and make-up to look younger and thus 'cuter' than you are? Not my cup of o-cha (green tea). I don't hate you if you do. Good for you if that's your thing. I just don't find it appealing on a personal level.

Japan… it likes its cute. Likes it too bloody much in my opinion. But that's just my opinion, and even though my opinion is correct, I may not be.

I like Pokemon. I don't get the whole card game thing, but many of you did or still do. I'm sure many of you don't understand why I collected hockey, baseball, wrestling, basketball, football, Planet of the Apes, Mork & Mindy, Star Wars trading cards, or why I now collect certain WWI and earlier tobacco card with an aviation theme. I don't care for heights and I don't fly a plane, and have maybe been in the air 20 times at the most? Different strokes, et al.

Is Pokemon, Japan's Pocket Monsters (Poke-Mon is a hybrid of the two words) cute? I suppose the monsters are… certainly the so-called good guys are.

I liked watching the animated program because the lead character Ash and his pokemon Pikachu didn't always win the battles or tournaments they entered (which surprised me), but were always good sports about it. I also was curious about what new creature or adventure they would next encounter. Why not? The creators gave the characters a pleasing personality.

Anyhow, here's a cute video of Pikachu (Ash's electric mouse pokemon that doesn't want to grow up or evolve) as an electronic piggy bank.

Despite the description on the video mentions 'tipping', just recall that tipping is NOT allowed, or rather is frowned upon in Japan.

I know… I get it… I do my job, and no one gives me extra money. But, since I know people who receive tips don't usually make a lot of salaried money, I have no issue with it. In Japan, companies perhaps pay a better salary to their employees.

Then again, I know they don't. I am very confused. How is it that despite Japan's interest in westernizing itself by cherry-picking aspects from different cultures, it chose not to utilize tipping?

Whatever. It was a cute video, but not so cute that it will cause you to spit up and get that bitter lemon taste in the back of your throat.

Andrew Joseph

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