Story looks back on special relationship between much younger woman and her elderly ward.
18-Year-Old Grandpa sounds like it could be the name of a new anime series, but in fact, it’s the title of a Japanese advertisement that’s recently been uploaded to YouTube. In Japanese, the word for “grandpa,” oji-chan, can also be used to refer to any old man, and the video’s stars, an elegant woman and elderly gentleman reminiscing while relaxing by their porch, aren’t in fact blood-related.
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As a matter of fact, the two met in a convenience store parking lot during a downpour, when the woman came across the man huddled amongst some boxes, looking like he needed someone to take care of him. “I was just hungry,” he sheepishly grumbles, but the circumstances of their first meeting aren’t the only strange thing about the story. As they continue their trip down memory lane, the woman recalls how the man would often go out for the day and get into fights before returning home.
It’s a surprising revelation, because while the man doesn’t appear to be a completely prim and proper dandy, neither does he look like a street fighter, and he says he doesn’t really remember these violent episodes so well. Nevertheless, he fesses up to having caused trouble for the woman, who’s treated him kindly all the same.
However, all this underlies the fact that the man in no way looks like a teenager. Just when you’re thinking that maybe the 18 years referenced in the title is just indicating how long they’ve known each other, the man lays his tired head in the woman’s lap and wistfully says “18 years…No wonder my body is getting weary.”
But though it’s clear the two have shared many memories, the woman doesn’t want to think about their days together ending just yet, imploring “grandpa” to live a long life.
And as the camera cuts back to the woman’s conversational partner, the mystery finally unravels.
18 years may not be so old for a human, but for a cat, it’s a very advanced age. Life expectancies for pets are getting longer in Japan, which is why Mars Japan, the local distributor of Kal Kan cat food (called Whiskas in its home marker of the U.S. and many overseas territories) made this touching ad. Released in time for Japan’s Respect for the Aged Day, coming up on September 19, it’s a dramatic yet sweet reminder that while you may still be in the prime of your youth, your pets are getting older and less energetic, but they still need as much loving care as ever.