If you were to listen only to the ramblings of Internet users, you might think that Japanese TV is a nonstop procession of bonkers commercials, ridiculous pornographic game shows and people in little windows reacting to other people reacting to delicious food.
Of course, that’s not entirely true. There are actually a fair few TV shows that cover serious subject matter, there are perfectly normal commercials that don’t induce madness and/or seizures, and sometimes there are actually shows not related at all to food (actually, that last bit may be a lie).
So where does Japan’s reputation for crazy television entertainment come from? Why, from the rare but totally bananas stuff that somehow actually finds its way on air from time to time, like this ludicrous television commercial series that makes absolutely no sense at all.
First, do your best to watch this thing from start to finish and then we’ll talk:
Okay, now that your eyes are bleeding and you’re probably legally insane, let’s unpack this thing. What you just saw is, upon cursory viewing, a crazed visual soup of random non sequitur that has some tenuous relationship with pigeons. The tagline that keeps getting repeated in these commercials is, “hato ni komattara… Amemiya!” or, “If you’re having trouble with pigeons, call Amemiya!”
But here’s the thing: We have no idea if that is even true. A Google search shows that Amemiya is a Nagoya-based pest control company specializing in termites and there is basically no mention of pigeons at all on their website. Sure, Japan does have a bit of a pigeon problem but that’s less an issue for individual households than it is for public facilities like train stations, parks and office buildings. We’ve never even heard of a pigeon removal service. You’re more likely to have problems with crows in Japan – those clever bastards – or, who knows, owls or something.
Whose idea was this commercial series? Say what you will about how little sense it makes; at least it’s eye-catching. However, we still have no idea what service Amemiya provides or what their goal with this series is. We were tempted to call the phone number, but we didn’t want to have to explain to our editor in the event that a naked man showed up at the office door, flapping his lips with his fingers and smearing peanut butter on his nipples. Again.