God damned Tarako
First of all, apologies for the lack of substantial posts lately. This new job system for this year has made me pretty busy. Will try to write something better soon!
In the meantime, if you've managed to avoid this following thing thus far, it's time you experienced it. This damn tarako thing has taken over Japan. Before I say any more, check out this video. Imagine you're just watching TV, and suddenly this ad appears.
What?! There's plenty more where that came from, too. There's a whole series of these things.
There's no getting away from it. This craze has swept the country. The "UFO catchers" (those things with a claw inside a box which you maneuvre to try and grab a toy) are full of tarako toys. You can buy tarako toys, stuffed animals, key rings, little ones to hang off your phone, all sorts. In the supermarket, little stereos are set up, playing the song.
Seeing my kids spontaneously bust into song and dance with apparently no provocation a little while ago was pretty much it. Freaked me out. What song and dance? Well, the ads proved such a hit that they made a full song out of it, and a music video to boot.
It's like brainwashing. Look at the blank stares of the kids in the ads. They've lost their independent will (although, interestingly, they're also all non-Japanese. Wonder what's up with that…). There's plenty more around as well, including a Christmas remix. Do a search for "tarako" on youtube or something and see what you find.