Damn it, anime. Is there anything that it doesn’t ruin?! While I might be speaking in jest with that question, Niigata prefecture (Japan’s leading producer of rice) is being quite serious in their new campaign that blames anime for Japan’s decreasing consumption of rice. Perhaps a bit of explanation is in order.
We’ve all seen it a million times in anime; a young girl is running late for school so she grabs a piece of toast and runs out the door with it still hanging from her mouth. This is often followed up by the girl in question turning a corner too quickly and running into one of her love interests for the series. The classic plot setup has become more than just a trope or even a meme, it’s a full-fledged staple of any romantic comedy anime.
However, Niigata prefecture has made the argument that because of this specific scene that has been repeated thousands of times over the years, Japan no longer sees rice as a breakfast staple and has been replaced by bread products. In my opinion, this is quite the leap in logic, but then again, I’m not an expert on the gastrointestinal habits of Japan’s population.
Regardless, Niigata will not take this sitting down and has launched a new campaign aimed at changing the perception of rice as a breakfast staple food once again. How do they plan to do this? Through a series of video shorts which show a young girl re-creating the trope, not with toast but a rice ball gripped between her teeth.
As you can see in the live-action short, Niigata has hired actress Manami Igashira to portray the pivotal role of “Young Girl Running With a Rice Ball”.
There’s no word on how often these shorts are going to be released nor is there any word on if our young girl is going to run into her destined love interest or a magical mascot character in future editions (my hopes are leaning towards the latter) but stay tuned to the J-List Blog for more adventures of “Young Girl Running With a Rice Ball” as they are released.