The World of Golden Eggs is a popular Japanese-language cartoon, set in America with English subtitles. And two of its characters, Rose and Mary, are promoting the latest Final Fantasy game.
Rose and Mary are twins. They love exercising and cooking. Rose and Mary seem to be based on Piiko and Osugi, two gay Japanese twins. Famous for the last several decades, they are television personalities: Piiko is a fashion critic, and Osugi is a movie critic. However, while both previously admitted that they were gay, they then said they were celibate, perhaps to avoid any ruffled mainstream feathers. Both do end up being the token gay commenters or celebrities on prime time programs.
While sometimes homosexuality does not seem to have wide acceptance in Japan, folks like Akihiro Miwa, who was Yukio Mishima’s lover, appear in kid’s cartoons and sell potato chips on TV. Things aren’t so cut and dried.
Japanese television is populated with stereotypical gay men. While the word “okama” is used to refer to these comedic gay characters, the word itself is deemed offensive by some and reclaimed by others (it originally means “shiri” or buttocks). In recent years, there does seem to be more of a concerned effort to depict gay celebrities as individuals, rather than human cartoons, having them offer insight about difficult times they had growing up or being bullied in school.
Japan’s gay community, however, has been quick to notice that, well, the two Golden Egg characters are drenched in stereotypical gay iconography – whether it be their outward appearance or simply the type of Japanese words and expressions they use. Golden Eggs is a comedy and like many comedies, it plays on stereotypes.
Some might find the stereotypes offensive, some really don’t care, and others, like this blogger, enjoy the series, taking it for what it is.
And this isn’t the first campaign to feature Rose and Mary. Nissan roped the twins (and other Golden Eggs characters) in for a series of commercials. If you haven’t heard or haven’t seen The World of Golden Eggs, the anime is worth checking out. Speaking of stereotypes, Golden Eggs is different from what Japanese anime is pigeonholed as being. For that, it’s worth checking out. Hopefully the new Dissidia is, too.