At a first glance, you’d probably be hard pressed to figure out what this poster is promoting, but that may be the genius of it.

This poster was spotted by Twitter user @Hirotan_real421 somewhere in Aichi Prefecture.

▼ “Aichi Police did it lol”

In the the gold-framed poster, we see three drawings of handsome men, each with a few choice words for you, the reader, as they ride the train and generate sparkles with their mere presence.

“Insipid…you bother people and ruin their lives?”

“Unbelievable…you are a pathetic example of us men.”

“You dare look your parents in the face…your savage behavior is that of a MOLESTER”

And below is a message from the Aichi Police, asking anyone who notices inappropriate behavior on the trains to call their support-line.

It’s definitely a change of pace from the typical posters we ignore which depict a shadowy man lurking in some dark corner of a train. On the contrary, this one is bright, very eye-catching, and likely to draw you in to figure out what’s going on.

But once you’re hooked in, figuring out what’s going on exactly is still a bit of a challenge. The men appear to be addressing molesters and yet it would seem like actual molesters wouldn’t be particularly interested in a poster like this in the first place. The artistic style and forceful yet polite tone of the characters is awfully reminiscent of BL (Boys Love) manga, or at the very least an example of romantic dating sim games.

Commenters were equally confused as to the exact concept behind this public service message from the Aichi Prefectural Police.

“I think a lot of people will mistake that for a romance game ad.”
“That’s totally Boys Love lol.”
“I think women will get the message but they should try reaching the root of the problem: men who molest.”
“That poster is seriously appealing…”
“I can’t figure out who’s talking to who in this poster.”

“I think I read a fanfic of this poster where those three guys gang up on a molester and have their way with him.”
“Are they stupid? Aren’t they just fueling a molester’s sense of inferiority?”
“This may reduce the incidents of molestations against women, but may increase incidents of men getting groped.”
“Are these guys gay or not? I’m confused.”

The best I can figure is that this poster is aimed at the fujoshi subculture of girls who enjoy BL works and would be attracted to such imagery. Despite the fact the characters appear to be talking directly to molesters, perhaps their indignant tone is actually meant to help empower fujoshi to not let any would-be gropers get away with their crimes and contact the authorities without hesitation when confronted with one.

It’s also another example of police forces across Japan shedding their stodgy conservative images with some creative ads. I mean, just look at the sparkly stickers they even used to hang the poster.

It’s also interesting to note that although this poster appears to be aimed at a very specific group of people in Aichi, it has received widespread attention all over the internet and is raising awareness of molesters all over Japan as a result. We’ve heard of stealth marketing for a while now, but could this be the advent of stealth PSAs?

Source: Twitter/@Hirotan_real421 via My Game News Flash (Japanese)
Images: Twitter/@Hirotan_real421