There are many wonderful things about Japan. And, like anywhere, there are some not so wonderful things. Rarely do you see so many of them in one 30-second commercial.
The ad in question is for the National Association of Labour Banks, which is somewhat like Japan's version of a credit union. The commercial was made for television last year, but recently has become a topic online in Japan.
In the ad, a little girl is reading and realises someone is at the door. She says, "Welcome home" as she jumps through the air and embraces a cute ATM machine. The inference is that the automatic teller machine is her father. As she's spun through the air by the ATM, the little girl keeps saying, "ATM fees" over and over.
Then, the girl's mum announces that it's time for dinner, and the little kid ditches the money machine parent and makes a beeline for the table. Then, there's a title card about getting cash back for ATM charges. Finally, the family does a little dance.
Granted, there are worse things wrong with Japan, but it's easy to see why on 2ch, Japan's largest online forum, the commercial has sparked conversation -- and disbelief.
"The fuck hahahahahahahaha," wrote one 2ch commenter. Some wondered if the commercial was for real. (Yes, according to the National Association of Labour Banks' website it is!)
"Well, this is the ideal husband," wrote another 2ch commenter."From the point of view of the husband, the wife is the housekeeper, and the child is the pet," chimed in yet another.
Then, there was the observation that there weren't any ATM fees, because the teller machine (well, the father) gets love from his family -- his family that views him merely as a source of money. How sweet.
The commercial's cute factor makes everything worse. Even though this probably wasn't the intention, the result is a damning condemnation of modern Japanese society. All that in just 30 seconds!