At least once a week, it seems as if a story breaks and sets off every Japanese commenter with a keyboard, leading them to bemoan the fall of their once proud nation. It could be anything from freezer divers to Pokémon cheaters that gets people going, but most of us usually just shake our heads and move along.
This time, though, they might be on to something. The release of a new choose-your-own-adventure-style “dating sim” DVD has left us utterly bewildered.
Titled My Little Sister and I Enjoy Hokkaido and Eat Crab, the “virtual date” stars Reina Saito, a member of the Hokkaido idol group Team Kurerejjo, who talks directly into the camera, addressing the viewer as “older brother,” during the date. Throughout the video, the audience and Reina go sightseeing in Hokkaido and stop along the way to eat some crab, one of the prefecture’s most popular foods.
But this isn’t an entirely passive experience! The viewer is allowed to make choices and see how the idol reacts. Also, the DVDs actually come with crab, giving the “big brother” the chance to indulge during the meal scenes. This perhaps also explains the 10,480 yen (about US$105) price tag for the most expensive set, which includes red king crab, snow crab, and hair crab along with the disc itself. For those on a budget, there are also less expensive sets that come with only one type of crab. And for those who find themselves completely clueless in the kitchen, instructions on how best to prepare the meals are included. Reina even explains how to peel the crabs during the dinner scene and offers to feed the viewer, encouraging them a with a big “Open wide!”
▼An example of choice selection screen for viewers. In the scene below, the viewer gets to respond with either “Hey, me too, actually!” or “What the hell are you saying!?”
enjoy see a two-minute sample of the DVD below!
Somehow, this isn’t actually the first production of its kind. A similar DVD, which allows viewers to travel to Shimonoseki and eat fugu (blow fish) with a “childhood best friend” was also released by the same company earlier this year. This leads us to wonder: is creepy, semi-interactive virtual dates with idols the tourism of the future??
We sincerely hope not…