Chidejika Saga (you know it’s epic when ABe steps in)
I’m all fuzzy on the details, but it seems Japan will be switching to terrestrial digital TV in 2011. In order to explain this process, the NAB (Japan’s National Association of Broadcasters) hired Tsuyoshi Kusanagi for a series of commercials and ads.
Tsuyoshi Kusanagi is a member of the boys-become-men band SMAP, an institution in the world of Japanese pop. If you looked up the definition of the word “mainstream” in a Japanese dictionary, you’d see a picture of SMAP. For modern day show biz standards, SMAP has a very clean image. Kusanagi himself was spotless, even angelical.
That is, until he was found running stark naked in the middle of the night, in Tokyo, and yelling at police “What’s wrong with being naked?!” For more info on the night that sparked this whole thing go to Tasukidaisuki here (check the links too).
So the NAB immediately dropped Kusanagi, as we can all be sure that Japanese digital programming will be full of wholesome shows without a trace of vulgarity or obscenity. Yeah, right.
In any case, the NAB decided to go a safer route and create their own mascot for the campaign. Enter Chidejika:
The wordplay itself is stunning. Chi = “earth”, deji = short for dejitaru = “digital”, ka = “change”. Chidejika then means “terrestrial digitalization”. For the coup de grace, the word shika / jika means “deer”, so you slap some antennae on the antelope and you get Chidejika-chan!! How cute!
But the cuteness proved irresistible for pixiv artists, who started moefying and lolifying the new mascot, sometimes even merging it with disgraced Kusanagi’s face. Now the NAB is angrily scrambling to figure out how to stop all of these perverts from ruining their mascot (never mind the free publicity). For more info and pictures of the many radder, meaner and often nakeder Chidejikas, check Sankaku Complex here (nsfw).
A couple of days ago, while the NAB raged and the rogue pics continued to multiply, the calm, collected genius of Yoshitoshi ABe stepped into the fray. ABe simply analyzed the NAB’s own official campaign poster, here:
As you can see, one out of the 5 characters is totally naked!!! What’s up with that? ABe suspects that the NAB will argue that was a reindeer and that naked reindeer are OK, but plain deer aren’t. ABe-sensei won’t accept this though. He throws his hands up in the air and proclaims his confusion. Why the uproar? Wise man (his post is here, in Japanese).
Predictably, pixiv is fighting back, and I’ve selected some text-heavy Chidejika pics that illustrate the artists’ feelings, with my translations. Enjoy.
EXHIBIT A (pixiv artist: append)
“Anyone who infringes Chidejika’s copyright should cut his belly open and die. And it shouldn’t just end with these people dying. These artists should be thrown into the pits of Hell by the NAB. Along with their supporters. The reason is that whoever infringes our copyright and damages the image of Chidejika deserves to die. To understand this issue in all its complexity you should visit http:/www.nab.or.jpchidejika”
[The big red letters stand for the NAB]
Exhibit B (pixiv artist: くろいひつじ)
“Chidejika-chan has come all the way from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in order to massacre all analog users! Chidejika-chan will use the waves emanating from the antlers on her head to brainwash everyone! ‘I’m not stark naked so there’s nothing to be ashamed of!'”
[The blurb next to the little deer says “Usually I look like this!!”]
EXHIBIT C (pixiv artist: 田口)
“ANALOGBEAR says ‘I fe-fe-feel like I’m being sucked into this Chidejima Shadow'”