I love Osaka. It’s full of disturbing characters, such as this fellow below. Well, Japan in general is pretty good at creating disturbing characters. (Read my post featuring the product of bestiality from Nara).
Calle and I decided to visit Osaka again because we got ourselves an amazing deal: free transport to, from and around the city and entrance to the gigantic aquarium for only 2,800円. Now for those of you who’ve just gone, “An aquarium, really? How old is this girl?!”, this aquarium has an amazing reputation….because it’s amazing! Let me show you…
For starters, the building itself is worth gaping at:
Then, once inside, the first thing you walk through is a shark tunnel, I spent ages trying to capture a photo but my timing really wasn’t in tune with the sharks’. Still I managed to take this:
Other cool things:
OK OK, I promised you some characters. Here is Bob, the world’s ugliest fish:
Here is Charles, the sentinel:
And here is “Santa Diver”:
Yes, that is a guy in a wetsuit in a Santa costume, posing for photos underwater. And here he is about to get taken out by the dolphin, clearly miffed that Santa’s hogging the attention.
I actually commend the Japanese for this crazy idea. It made me smile. However, the following character did not:
It appears to be an old, ugly man in a baby costume. Japan’s take on Benjamin Button? Oh wait, it’s a metaphor for drugs. Here he is in a mushroom costume.
And here he is again in a cow costume with an udder on his head. I can’t come up with any witty comments or symbolism for that one. Maybe I need the mushrooms.
For those of you familiar with manga/anime One Piece, you’ll know it’s aimed primarily at a youthful audience. By that, I mean it’s definitely watched by kids. In the series, there is a flame-haired female character, called Nami. Here she is with the rest of the crew:
As you can see, she has sizeable boobs – after all, there’s the teenage male audience to please. However, here is the plastic model version. Notice anything different?
Other characters I got to meet include a seriously creepy panda and the very scary Hattifatteners from my favourite cartoon as a kid, the Moomins!
The day ended, however, with a poster about the real disturbing characters in Japan. Train perverts (チカン) are a big problem. When I was studying in Tokyo last year, several of my friends got felt up on the trains – one girl was assaulted by the same man twice. Many women are too embarrassed or frightened to confront them. To make matters more problematic, it’s often impossible to tell who it is because train carriages are so crowded. This poster tells girls “Don’t forgive the perverts!”