Notable changes are coming in 2022. After two years of closures, the government recently reopened the borders, allowing a limited number of international students to enter Japan.
In addition, from April 1, the Law on the Circulation of Plastic Resources came into effect. It targets our future by limiting plastic waste by reducing the use of petroleum-based plastics and promoting recycling.
These will be influential in Japanese society. But there is another important policy change that will have an even greater impact on current and future generations of Japanese.
Effective April 1, 2022, Japan lowered the legal age of adulthood to 18, from 20 previously. Some 2 million people aged 18 and 19 came of age in Japan that day.
RELATED: The legal adult age in Japan is now 18 (from 20): 8 things that change, 4 that stay
Now a collaboration between the Japanese government and the popular Kodansha manga series, Tokyo avengers written by Ken Wakui, aims to communicate the meaning of this crucial decision.
Tokyo avengers The manga, which has sold more than 50 million copies since its first publication in March 2017, covers various themes – youth, school life, love, friendship, time, regret – for to name just a few. The story of the series begins when the key protagonist, Takemichi Hanagaki, hears the news that his college girlfriend, Hina, has died in a gang-related incident. In a sequence of coincidental events, he accidentally travels back in time. Takemichi is determined to uncover and correct mistakes from the past that could hopefully prevent his girlfriend from meeting her death in the present/future.
Now the Japanese government has recreated scenes from the Tokyo avengers anime and produced an announcement video to convey these important changes. It’s a very original way of communicating life-changing events that could have a big impact on the future of new Japanese adults.
SPOILER WARNING: There may be some Tokyo Revengers plot-revealing elements shared below. Please proceed with caution.
Create hope and encouragement
The ad’s opening scene is taken from the first episode of the anime itself, when Takemichi hears the news of his middle school girlfriend’s death. He then turns to the news of the passage of adulthood in Japan at 18 years old.
Shortly after the initial scene, Mickey, another key character in the series appears. He talks about gaining confidence to make decisions for the future and “expanding your world”. These scenes were recreated from Mikey’s pep talks given during the intense build-up to the rival gang fights in the original anime.
Next, a scene shows Naoto (Hina’s younger brother) describing why this new law was passed. In the original anime, Naoto was trying to explain time travel to Takemichi and how events from the past can change the future. The new announcement uses the scene to convey the government’s wishes for the younger generation to develop their potential and participate more actively in society from an early age.
It’s a nice touch to show courage as the age of adulthood is lowered, and a message of hope and encouragement for the future of young Japanese people.
Moving on to the next scene, we find Takemichi and Hina talking in her bedroom. In the original story, Hina expressed her gratitude to Takemichi for saving her brother Naoto from bullying delinquents, and also pointed out that Takemichi had matured and become an adult. This is a very appropriate message for the new age of adulthood.
The recreated version shows Takemichi delighted to be able to do adult-only things in Japan, like signing up for a credit card and applying for a loan. He jokingly brags about shopping and is quickly warned by Hina, who reminds him that contracts aren’t easy to cancel and handling money should be taken seriously. Ultimately, it’s their decision now.
Next, we hear Takemichi’s dialogue about where to live thoughts about his own future. He alludes to the fact that 18-year-olds can now rent apartments and sign contracts under their own name. The scene ends as he decides to be in charge: saving money to secure a place for him and Hina, as well as proposing to her.
The clear message is that new Japanese adults need to consider life planning and financial decisions early, without delay.
Impact of good decisions
The second half of the manga recreation begins with Mikey pointing out that there are still things that don’t change for 18 year olds. For example, the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and legal forms of gambling are still prohibited. He shares the sad story of a friend whose life was in danger from alcohol and cigarettes, and a gambling addiction. Mikey encourages people to make the right decision.
In the original anime, this was the scene of his famous speech at Musashi Shrine, where he ignited the gang and led them to victory.
The key message: act together for the shared benefit of your friends and yourself. The recreated anime is full of relatable reasons why the younger generation should embrace the standards that will keep them out of trouble.
The past and future path to your dreams
A scene near the end shows Atsushi, Takemichi’s close friend from middle school, confessing that in the past he was the victim of a pyramid scheme. The scene shows how getting involved in a scam got his friends in trouble and left him with a lot of debt, all because he thought he could make a quick buck. He begs Takemichi to help the others.
Takemichi then uses the anime to travel back in time for a conversation with young Atsushi about pursuing his dreams. Atsushi shares his dream of becoming a hairdresser, while Takemchi warns him of money traps along the way, introducing a helpline (188) in case he gets into trouble.
Back in the future, Atsushi invites Takemichi to be his hair model. This brings tears of happiness to Takemichi, who realizes that his friend was able to avoid being scammed by making better decisions in his revised past.
The final scene in the recreated anime, spoken by Naoto, is a reminder that turning 18 doesn’t automatically mean you’ve matured into adulthood. Making decisions and signing contracts require caution and vigilance. He adds a caveat that becoming eligible to make these hectic decisions can bring new dangers, like becoming the target of scams.
In conclusion, Naoto is pushing for the current generation that has come of age to help those that follow.
Decisions made now can have a big impact in the future. This is a key theme throughout the original manga series Tokyo Avengers, and now in government promotional video. It’s a great vehicle for sharing the new coming of age law. After all, fans of all ages can enjoy hearing their favorite music. Tokyo avengers the characters remind us that our decisions and actions today make us who we are in our future. To learn more about this creative campaign, see the gov-online campaign page detailing other FAQs and policies affected by the April 1st change.
Western audiences may notice the swastika symbol, 卐 or 卍, in Tokyo avengers.
Today, it is primarily recognized in the West for its use by the Nazi Party. However, in Japan and many East Asian cultures, it is a symbol of divinity and spirituality. It is used, among others, in Indian religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
The western version of Tokyo avengers for foreign audiences sometimes omits the swastika symbol in the anime series due to its complicated associations in modern history.
Author: Galileo Ferrari