AKB48, the darlings of the Japanese pop scene, may have danced one step over the line sweet Jesus with their newest commercial for Puccho candy. The commercial first aired on 25 August and seems to have drawn a collective “yuggghhh” from the nation.
In it the girls dance away brandishing the product as only they can do. Except this time, all but one of their bodies have been digitally replaced by 5 and 6 year olds.
The commercial was intended to be a parody of “Song Sisters” who were basically singers on children’s TV programs. Typically there is a young adult woman singing about where strawberries come from, unicorns or something while several children dance around them and have a gay old time.
In this commercial Yuko Oshima takes the role of the Song Sister which leaves the other members to fill the tiny shoes of the children as they all dance to AKB48’s new song Gingham Check. The idea itself certainly doesn’t seem so creepy but it’s in the execution that cute turns unsettling.
The problem is that the digital effects used to create these girls are a little too crisp, creating what people on twitter have referred to as a “gross” and “physiologically disturbing” “malformed dwarf dance.” Perhaps if they had used a more hokey, 70’s style split screen the cuteness could have been saved.
It just goes to show how volatile a thing “cute” can be. One false move and you wind up weirding everyone out, just ask Pedobear.
Source: Itai News (Japanese)
▼A behind the scenes look at the commercial
▼Here’s a good example of the type of program the commercial is parodying
▼Maybe if they had seen this previous effort by Tim and Eric with Rain Wilson they would have reconsidered their concept