The above image depicting a man looking at erotic manga on a train has been circulated wide across the internet. We even made use of it in an article about unusual train behavior. Hardcore readers, however, may recognize this man as Yoppy, a writer from the awesome Japanese humor website Omocoro.
With his new-found fame, Yoppy embarked on a quest to present his website beyond the shores of Japan. But was the world ready for the Japanese-oriented naked-man-heavy content of Omocoro? Find out in this naked-man-heavy article!
Our tale begins one chilly day in January. Yoppy was going through his usual routine, inspecting his samurai sword when suddenly…
Nagata: “This is screwed up, man. Game over. This is seriousssssssssah!”
Yoppy: “What are you all worked up about?”
Nagata: “This!! Take a look at this!!”
Yoppy: “Huh? It’s an English article. What about it?”
Nagata: “Photos from an article I wrote the other day are in the foreign news!!!!”
Yoppy: “Wha? What the… Aaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!!!!!”
Nagata: “It’s worse! Everyone is talking about it like you’re really some pervert reading porn on the train!!!”
Nagata: “What are you gonna do, Yoppy? Now everyone all over the world thinks you’re hentai! When you go through airports the customs officers will stop you and say ‘Hey, aren’t you that pervy guy?’ When you try to relax on the beach in Bali people will throw stones and yell ‘Die freak!’ Everyone’s gonna think Omocoro is some kind of fetish website! This is bad, man!”
Yoppy: “So, I’m a pervert am I?”
Nagata: “What are you doing?! Yoppy!!!”
Yoppy: “Right… so the whole world thinks I’m a deviant?”
Yoppy: “It’s come to this. Time to finally take on the world!!!!”
Nagata: “Ah, Aaaaah… Yoppy only does this when he’s really serious about something. This is it. Look out, world…”
My name… is Yoppy.
About a week ago, I was falsely accused of being a pervy perv perv by the entire world after an image of me looking at erotic drawings on a train went viral. It was an understandable mistake, but I have to clear my name. To do that, I have to show the world the brand of humor that Omocoro and I put out.
Up until now we catered our site to Japanese readers and their sense of humor. The fact that my photo went out as a real one might mean that those outside Japan simply don’t get Japanese humor. So, I’m going to take three carefully selected stories, translate them into English, and present them to the world. The articles are:
7,044 Retweets, 476 Likes
Twitter articles have a kind of universal appeal and this one went over well in Japan. In this one Sebuyama submits himself to various forms of torture in the hopes that one of his Twitter followers would come to his aid. Also a dog ran through one of the photos right at the punch line. It was a perfect little miracle for a great article.
2) Photoshop Craftsman vs The Most Heinously Ugly Human
9,416 Retweets, 1,064 Likes
We violated one or two of Omocoro writer Ricke’s human rights in the making of this Photoshop article, but it was worth it. This story also got some popularity overseas, especially in Taiwan. I figured this would be good to put out for evaluation too.
3) Car Wash
360 Retweets, 239 Likes
Finally, as a control for this experiment, I selected this article which inexplicably featured naked men made up to look like automobiles and get washed by another naked man. I thought this article was what hell must be like, but maybe foreigners will find something redeeming about it.
I enlisted the help of Jiro Zero from Hyena’s Club to make the English translations of each article.
He was suffering from a bad case of pixel-face at the time, but he was able to work through the pain.
With his translations complete, Yoppy went in search of foreigners to show his articles to. At first, he went to Roppongi, but one of the people there recognized him from the train photo and started throwing rocks. “Roppongi foreigners are scary,” he thought to himself.
Then, he went to Waseda University to find some exchange students who were too busy to come across his pervert picture online. Yoppy managed to get a German woman named Zara and an American man called Tom to review his three articles.
Zara liked the Photoshop article the best. She thought the Twitter Experiment was interesting but a little too cruel for her liking. She did admit, though, that the article could appeal to males more. Car Wash she simply didn’t get. She also didn’t recommend showing it abroad as it might perpetuate bad stereotypes against Japanese people.
Tom, however, liked Car Wash the most. He thought it was strange with the prevalent genitalia but the ambiguity of it all was what made it interesting. He ranked the Photoshop article second as it had a certain depth to it. The Twitter Experiment came in last mostly due to the off-putting imagery of a guy held hostage in his tightie-whities.
While this feedback was interesting, it was also completely confusing to Yoppy. Both Zara and Tom had balanced yet contrasting opinions on the stories. This wouldn’t do. It was time to truly take these stories global.
Yoppy made his way back to the Omocoro Editorial Department nursing a bruised shoulder. An English conversation teacher had spotted him along the way and pushed him into a bike rack shouting, “Serves you right, dirtbag!”
He called up Jiro Zero who was by then wearing a doctor-prescribed dog mask for his pixel face. Together they began phase two of Omocoro’s globalization. The pair uploaded the three English articles to two of the internet’s largest sites, 4chan and Reddit.
On each site, Yoppy started a thread introducing himself as the guy in the infamous iPad-train-pervert photo and asked people to review his articles. Jiro Zero was on hand to translate the feedback.
Title: “Hello. I’m the man on this pic, and I want to hear about these articles.”
Yoppi: “Hello 4chan. I’m Yoppy. I write for a Japanese humor website Omocoro. I always write articles for Japan, but today I want to hear about these articles from foreign people.
I tried to write three kinds of articles in English and am waiting for your impressions!
4chan won’t let me post links so you can find the articles by my Twitter account @yoppymodel!”
Yoppy: “This is a picture from CNN, but it was my work. (By the way, I posted this to prove who I am in case people didn’t believe me.)”
Anonymous: “What are you doing?”
Yoppy: “I’m asking for everyone’s feedback.”
Anonymous: “I’ve seen you post before. It was funny. Anyway, there aren’t many people around because some Google asshole made a fucking hard captcha.”
Yoppy: “Thanks for the info. I’ll wait a little bit.”
Anonymous: “Hello. Japan-san. Anime daisuke.”
Yoppy: “Hello. Could you tell me your impressions of my articles and if they’re any good?”
Anonymous: “Why are Japanese people inhumane?”
Anonymous: “I read Car Wash but it fucking sucked.”
Anonymous: “Regarding the whole site, about 80% of the content is fun and worth checking out.”
Anonymous: “Stupid Japs. I guess two bombs weren’t enough.”
Anonymous: “Boring. I’ve also read a lot of comedy manga and they were boring.”
Anonymous: “Please bring Downtown here.”
Anonymous: “Twitter was a little interesting. Photoshop was very interesting. Car Wash sucked.”
Anonymous: “The Twitter one was funny. I liked it. The part about further abducting followers who came to help was good. The ugly guy was also fun. Personally, I like this kind of thing. I don’t have any feelings about Car Wash, I didn’t get the meaning at all. Are there any others translated into English?”
“This was funny.”
Anonymous: “The Photoshop one was cool, the others were no good.”
Anonymous: “The Twitter one; the idea was good but the way it was presented was bad. I thought the way you combined short videos with the images was interesting.”
Anonymous: “Twitter was the best. Because experiments on the internet and Twitter are universal. I think only Japanese people can understand Car Wash. I think you should do more English articles so more people can see them. The Photoshop one was good.”
Anonymous: “The site was pretty cool. Even without understanding the text it was a fun read. Very visual and unique.”
Anonymous: “Everything sucked. The naked men were disgusting. I don’t like the gayness of it.”
Anonymous: “Twitter: Interesting, Photoshop: Interesting, Car Wash: I don’t get it… Maybe I get it, but it’s not interesting (Why are naked men pretending to be cars?).”
Anonymous: “The Twitter one was awesome! The second one was kind of good. I liked it. I didn’t understand Car Wash.”
Anonymous: “Twitter: OK; Photoshop: a little good; Car Wash: WTF!?”
“Sorry I have to be somewhere. Thank you for all your feedback! And I’m sorry to those I couldn’t reply to. I’m still collecting questions and impressions and will answer later.”
Anonymous: “Bye bye.”
And so, the 4chan session came to an pleasant end. There were some rather harsh, controversial comments, but Yoppy felt pleased with the generally civil conduct of respondents. He was also surprised at how popular comedy duo Downtown were outside of Japan.
He dismissed Jiro Zero as his pixels were breaking out again and decided to call it a day. Little did he know what was brewing on Reddit.
Later that day, Yoppy was feeling pleased that he made some good progress in shedding his wrongful “pervert” image. In fact, he felt so good that he could finally go back to his favorite porn site, guilt-free.
Yoppy: “Mud? Naw. Anime mask? Naw. Aw screw it. I’ve been good. Let’s try some… Ah wait a second I posted those stories on Reddit too. I wonder if anyone read them…”
Yoppy: “It’s full of comments and I can’t read a single one!”
Yoppy: “And they’re flooding the Omocoro website!”
Yoppy: “They’re flaming me!”
And so, Yoppy’s simple request had made it onto the top page of reddit getting almost as popular as a bunny with a backpack. With Jiro Zero gone, all he could do was watch helplessly as unintelligible paragraphs of feedback popped into his in-box, one after another.
“Anyone who speaks English in Shibuya right now! Um, wanna come over?”
Two Twitter followers responded to Yoppy’s plea.
Yoppy: “What do you think? Are they flaming me?”
Guy: “No. I don’t think so. There are some positive comments. And some people are debating it.”
But sure enough, while Yoppy was busy interacting with the 4chan users, he had neglected his Reddit post. During that time it had swelled to over 1,000 comments. It was too much for any human to deal with, let alone in a foreign language. He instructed his new friends to pick out the most valuable comments and translate them.
In the end, Yoppy got so much insight into his website that he himself turned completely inward. No longer responding to external stimuli he was trapped in a world of Twitter experiments, naked men washing each other, the localization of Takeshi’s Castle, and how he was kind of like something called Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job.
Somehow, he knew it would end like this.
After getting discharged from the hospital, Yoppy looked back on his foray into the international market. He learned that as far as humor goes, there really aren’t any cultural boundaries for taste. Folks in countries all over the world had the same reaction to Car Wash. Whether in Japan, America, or Germany, some thought it was brilliant while others thought it was complete crap.
That was comforting to know. However, he also noticed that people in other countries didn’t seem to get the layout of the Omocoro website. Many complained that there were large blank spaces, thinking that photos had failed to upload. They didn’t seem to get that it was done for timing purposes. Others said that they should make videos instead.
What Yoppy discovered was that when presenting your dumb Japanese website to foreign markets, it’s not the content that needs changing. It’s how you present the content that’s important. For example, take a look at this dumb website.
Yoppy also learned that, while they often get a bad reputation of cynical jerks, the people of the internet outside of Japan were by and large nice people. Whenever he noticed someone being especially angry, Yoppy would write “I’m sorry if I upset you in some way.” Afterwards, other users would write “You don’t have to apologize. They’re just a jerk. You did nothing wrong.”
Indeed, he truly felt that it was absolutely possible to take your Japanese website global…
Yoppy and Omocoro would like to thank Jiro Zero, Sushitani, Mahiru, Kuwahara, Ooba, Saitou, everyone at 4chan, and everyone at Reddit for all their help!