Trouble Thinking

August 9, 2010

US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement… Manga Style!

Have you ever found yourself suffering from insomnia, and at 2am wondering to yourself.  “Gee, I really want to learn more about the military and political relationship between the United States and Japan… but it’s so difficult to understand without overly cute cartoon representations of the two countries explaining it to me through metaphor in an appealing visual format!

If you have, then like me, you should seek immediate psychological help. However, while you’re waiting for the men in white lab coats to take you to a better place, check it out!  Our prayers have been answered!

No, I am not kidding you. This is an official publication straight from the US Forces Japan Website

As a man who often thinks of the United States of America as a 5 year old ginger kid with a crazy bunny hood, this publication really speaks to me. The first chapter of a supposedly 4 chapter series on the military alliance between Japan and the USA can be found in it’s entirety here:

The technical term you’re looking for is ” Totally Bitchin’ ”

I can’t read Japanese, but nonetheless I’m astounded as to just how adorable a complicated and sometimes troubled relationship between our two countries really is.  I mean, come on, the little boy’s name is “Usa” and his Japanese friend is “Arai Anzu”. Say it 5 times fast in your best stereotypical Japanese accent, and you’ll get it.  It’s so precious, I just need to post a few more panels:

Who knew policing the world could be so cute?

If the USA and Japan are kids... where the hell are the parents?

I love it. Usa goes around killing all those North Korean cockroaches, and Arai Anzu says some stuff I can’t understand, but probably along the lines of “Thank you so much Usa for keeping us safe.  It’s great that your presence lends us so much political stability; in no way did our prime minister resign recently over controversies regarding his failure to make good on promises to shut down a US military base!”  Precious.

Then again, the more I look at that last panel, the more it looks like the United States is just some asshole kid stomping on bugs and shoving the corpses in girls’ faces.  Hmmmm…. lets not read into that. Moving on.

After this beautiful publication wins us the hearts and minds of every Japanese citizen, I think we need to expand the genre to resolve all of our international disputes.  Just think how much more susceptible Iran would be shutting down its nuclear program if we had an adorable booklet with USA-Iran character analogs explaining the situation in a carefree and non-threatening manner?  Illegal immigration got Arizona all riled up? Make a manga featuring “Mex” the illegal immigrant and “Ari Zona” the cautious but caring family-values oriented American who overcomes her distrust of Mex through a delightful 30 page cartoon adventure that unites the two in the bonds of love and friendship.  I mean, hell, this shit practically writes itself.

Anyways, enjoy the PR masterpiece.  If anyone actually has the skills and inclination to translate this, I’d like to see what it actually says.  I tried searching for a translation, but all I found were people debating which anime sucks the most on military forums. Swing and a miss on my end.

Until next time, stay thirsty my friends.

UPDATE: Apparently the good folks over at Manga Fox have scanned and translated this into English. Many thanks to joshuaism for pointing this out!  (People read this blog? Amazing!)

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