Remember how much fun it was practicing writing the alphabet when you were a kid? Every single letter; upper and lowercase; again and again; page after page after page. Good times, no?
Well, at least one Japanese NicoNico Douga user seems to think that there’s no better way to pass the time than filming herself writing a few Japanese characters on a sheet of paper. Sorry, did I say “a few” characters? How about just one character? 30,000 times…
In a video simply titled “I write 30,000 hiragana ‘a’s”, a young woman (or one who uses a lot of anti-aging hand cream) takes it upon herself to write the same one character from the Japanese syllabary- あ- again and again until the entire page is completely filled. Having already been watched almost 50,000 times so far, the video has caught the eye of many Asian bloggers, with many internet users asking the same two questions: “how long does it take to do something like that?” and, perhaps more importantly, “why?”
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As the video starts, the character-obsessed user sets the scene for her viewers, giving a fair warning of what’s to come.
“This is a movie of me writing the hiragana character ‘a’ on a sheet of B3-sized paper,” she writes. “It’s incredibly painful to watch, and it’s really, really long, so I’m playing the video at 20x speed.”
And with that, she’s away! Starting from the top left corner of the page, slowly filling up every millimetre of writing space with あs — each barely more than a centimetre tall– she works her way along the top edge before going down the left side. As she writes, virtual pop idol Hatsune Miku’s song “AaAaAaAaAa” provides the perfect soundtrack, with drum beats and electronic vocals keeping time.
“There’s no end in sight!” our letter-loving friend writes as she reaches the bottom corner of the page. The video then kicks into highspeed overdrive and, before long, the blank sheet of paper becomes an eye-popping mass of tiny black lines.
“I did it!” the user triumphantly signs off before thanking us for watching.
Viewers immediately took advantage of NicoNico Douga’s unique commenting system—which allows users to overlay comments on particular sections of the movie as it rolls—adding their words of support. Although most comments are some variant on “aaaaaaaaaaa” and “that’s amazing”, there are a couple of comments (hopefully jokingly) suggesting that the next video be an attempt to achieve the same feat of scribbling with the next hiragana character, “い”.
Best of luck with that, pen lady…