Most of us have probably wondered at some point how people from other countries might view us.
Being from the UK, it’s fair to say that for myself, the answer to that question is probably mostly ‘they hate us’. It’s fair enough, really, given that out of 195 countries in the world, only 22 have never been invaded by Britain.
Nonetheless, it’s interesting to get an idea of the different perceptions that other places may have. Sometimes how other people see us can reveal something about ourselves we might not otherwise see.
However, one anime from Japan and its depiction of someone from the United States of America may not offer insight so much as simply portray the most cliched idea of someone from the USA you could possibly imagine.
The clip is from Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, an anime series that ran from 2001 to 2002. It follows childhood friends Arumi and Sasshi and their adventures in various realities and shops.
Among their encounters is one with someone from the USA who runs a hot dog stand, because of course. Let’s just say it’s like someone took a load of clichés about the USA and threw them into a blender, and this is what came out.
The character is very loud, swears on almost every other syllable, and is very in their faces, talking over them and not letting them get a word in.
To top it all off, he is dressed like Elvis, even featuring a quiff and bare chest to compliment it.
At the end of his hot dog sales pitch, a group of cheerleaders even come out from behind the stand to add to the show. It’s really quite a scene.
People took to Reddit to share their thoughts over the depiction of someone from the USA.
One drew attention to a notable absence: « We don’t swear that f**king much, stop being so f**king ridiculous. But on a more serious note… where’s his gun? »
Another wrote: « This was more like a caricature of Texas than anything, but I was still laughing the whole time because I’ve met people this reminds me of. »
A third replied: « As an American expat living in Spain, I can tell you Americans have a fairly poor reputation outside the States. »
It’s probably safe to say that the depiction in the anime was very tongue-in-cheek, though if they did want to go the full way, the addition of a gun would have helped.