Sunday, March 1, 2015

Nonstop Takao ad

Sigh. Where to begin? Where to begin?
I got this little pamphlet manga in the mail a couple days ago, and it immediately raised red flags, and not because of the color of the cover page.

(Back page. Vote for me because you're gullible.)

It was pretty clear from the image of the guy on the bike that this is a promotion for a politician. Specifically, for Shimodzuru Takao, a local Kagoshima diet member. Looking at his website, I guess there's going to be more than one volume of this manga. I suppose if you're going to seize your own narrative, for a politician, fiction is the only way to go.

("As a child, Nonstop was a fierce fighter for justice and the Japanese way.")

If you really want to know how Japanese politics works, get your hands on a copy of Campaign. In the meantime, I have to ask if this is an illegal bribe, or illegal campaigning. Last year, one of Prime Minister Abe's minister picks had to resign for giving out illegal campaign gifts, which turned out to be little hand fans with her name on them. Things were probably worth $1 apiece, but the courts ruled she broke the law by trying to "bribe" voters with them. So, sending out free manga to local residents may not have been the smartest thing "Nonstop" could have come up with (especially if you ask "whose money was used to pay for the artist(s), printing and mailing costs?")

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