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Just last week, after having sat through it for possibly the tenth time in just a couple of hours, I took a screen grab of an unskippable YouTube ad and shared it on my personal Facebook feed. Whether it’s the theme tune, the overly dramatic presenter’s way of speaking or the fact that I care nothing for pachinko, I don’t know, but this ad was slowly driving me mad. As it turns out, I wasn’t alone.

The ad in question is for Gundam-themed pachinko machines in parlours operated by the Sankyo group. While both the original animé and pachinko remain incredibly popular in Japan and we can’t fault Sankyo for tapping into a popular theme, the frequency with which this ad is being shown online is slowly but surely driving YouTube users in Japan to detest both the theme tune to a once beloved animated series and even the ad’s presenter, popular comedian Teruyuki Tsuchida.

Here’s the ad in question, uploaded simply as “that annoying ad” by one Japanese YouTube user:

The original commercial is actually only 15 seconds long, but since it’s entirely unskippable and appears online so often, many are netizens are beginning to lose their patience. I, for one, have gotten into the habit of clicking the “mute” button on the video player upon the very sight of Tsuchida’s face and staring at my keyboard while counting down in my head.

Here’s what a small handful of YouTube viewers had to say about the ad:

- Because of that ad I now hate both Tsuchida and Gundam. Thanks…

- The number of ads on YouTube has really increased recently. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen Teruyuki Tsuchida’s face.

- Seriously, can we do something about the number of Gundam ads on YouTube!?

- OMFG, those unskippable Gundamn ads are driving me crazy.

- This is so irritating it’s laughable.

- That Tsuchida ad is making watching YouTube a chore.

The ad is definitely working in as much as that I now know that I can play Gundam-themed pachinko games at Sankyo. But it also makes me determined to never, ever set foot inside such an establishment purely because the company has so mercilessly assaulted my eyes and ears with this ad. Kind of like how the politicians who park their campaign cars outside my house and repeatedly shout their names through megaphones do little more than give me an extra name to add to the list in my head of “people never to vote for.”
[ Read in Japanese ]