An Extremely Happy Mascot
Well, its been awhile, but I’m going to have to dust off the “Japan’s weird, did you know that?” file. Not that the insanity ever stops, mind you, but at some point you just get accustomed to it. Like, it happens and you’re just like “eh, been there done that”. The bar is effectively raised, so it will take some awesomely jaw-dropping shit to really make you pause and go “wow…that’s fucked up”.
So I was dragged shopping somewhere again by my wife. But it was okay this time – my brother-in-law was also there, and despite being male he actually LIKES shopping. So the wife was able to get the male input of “oh, that’s cute!” or “I don’t think that suits you” that she desperately craves for* without having to torture me to do it. Given a stay of execution, I was allowed to go off and sit down wherever I should find a place to sit.
*Despite wanting to drag me along shopping and ask my opinion on stuff, when I do give an opinion she never listens to me. I think I’ve ranted about this before though.
I wandered off and eventually found a bench in what appeared to be a kids section. In front of the bench were those dispenser machines that spit out some cheap $1 toy in a bubble. At first I didn’t really pay attention to them. It was your standard fare – Gundam, something with little girls who have oversized breasts and magical powers, and I dunno, maybe something Disney.
However, I happened to be sitting right in front of a rather peculiar one. It struck me as odd at first, because the animation was so…well…simple. Just this green-pea-looking dude among all the Gundams and lolita bishoujos. It looked like something any 5-year old could draw.
But upon closer inspection, I found that this was peculiar for an entirely different reason. Haven’t figured it out yet? Well here, take a closer look.
Still clueless? Well, I guess that’s understandable. I mean, when looking at an animated character marketed to kids, the last thing one would expect to find is a raging fuckin’ boner.
Look at him. Look at how happy he is about that shit. I can almost hear the voice of Stuart from MadTV. “Lookit at what I can do!”
So the character is named Mari Mokkori. This being a bit of word play – “marimo” being the word for green algea clusters of which Hokkaido apparently has plenty (thus the character’s green disposition), and “mokkori” being slang for “boner”. I’d never heard of the word “mokkori” before, apparently I haven’t been hanging out in the right circles or something. But this almost certainly begs the question – who was the genious who thought “hey, why don’t we make a green algea character who also sports a nifty hard-on?” It seems like a bad punchline, but not only is this real…its a popular and highly marketable children’s character in Japan. The guy who thought to combine aquatic flora and male erections and market that to children is probably rolling in mad bank right now. Just let the reality of THAT sink in for a few moments, and when you come back I’ll have tissues for you to cry in.
When my wife and brother IL came back, I pointed out my new discovery, only to find them not even remotely fazed. Brother IL had recently been to Hokkaido, and he tells me that the character is extremely popular there. My brother-IL also tells me that in Hokkaido, Mari Mokkori has his own theme song. He even sang a few bars for me, at which point I think I lost the final shreds of hope I had for humanity.
Almost in desperation, I try to point out the absurdity of the situation.
Me: But, look where we are! This is the KIDS section! Isn’t this highly inappropriate to market to children?!
Bro: Nah, it’s okay, right? Kids are too young to understand this stuff. Its harmless.
Me: Isn’t this the country where guys can get $40 blow-jobs from sex shops in the middle of the city, and where train lines had to institute “women-only” cars because the groping problem got out of hand?
Bro: ….Oh yeah, huh?
I, of course, had to buy two of the cheap toys. They turned out to be rubber balls. So now I can bounce around a rubber ball in my house featuring a seaweed with a boner. Nice.
Later at home, I was still kind of stunned about the whole thing, so my wife tried to point out that Japan isn’t the only country guilty of oddities.
Her: Okay, yeah, he’s erect and all, but that one American toy is worse I think.
Me: …What could possibly be worse.
Her: You know, you showed me the video on YouTube…that bukkake gun or whatever it was.
She is, of course, referring to The Oozinator.
Me: …Oh. Oh! But I dunno, that wasn’t intentional. I don’t think they realized what they were doing.
Her: A kid furiously pumping a long shaft until thick, sticky gobs of white goo shoot out from the tip? How could they not know?
Me: …Oh yeah, huh? Come to think of it though, its amazing this toy didn’t catch on in Japan.
Her: I think most Japanese guys would think, “If I’m going to be covering someone in sticky white goo, why do I need to use this gun?”
So there you have it. A brand new entry for the “Japan’s weird, did you know that?” file. On one hand, I kind of like that Japan isn’t nearly as uptight about all things sex as America is. On the other hand, its still a green little algea boy with a boner. I can’t imagine having my little daughter one day rush home to show me the drawing of her favorite character – Mari Mokkori. “Look daddy, I made mine brown just like you, and I made sure to draw his erection a little bigger too!” And people keep asking me why I don’t want to raise kids here.