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Last week’s US midterm elections drew the attention of the whole world, including Japan. NHK covered the whole spectacle in detail, but the usually serious broadcaster went with a bizarrely cartoonish, over-dramatic banner that showed America’s most senior politicians looking like characters in a beat-’em-up game a la Street Fighter.

“NHK’s 2014 United States Election page’s top banner is ridiculously cool, like something from a beat-’em-up game.”

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NHK is Japan’s national public broadcaster, funded by the license fee every TV owner pays. To keep their citizens informed they report on the news several times a day and have a website that’s always being updated with the latest stories. One of the biggies last week, even in Japan, was of course the US midterm elections where President Obama’s Democrats suffered crushingly terrible results to the Republicans. NHK covered the elections from start to finish and chose to top their main election page with the above banner. Wise or terrible decision? You decide!

Political engagement in Japan is startling low for an advanced democratic nation, but Japanese netizens still had a thing or two to say about NHK’s banner:

“I’d go vote if they did this for Japan too.”
“American elections look fun.”
“Looks like something from Marvel Comics.”
“NHK are putting more effort into this than for Japan’s double elections.”
“The Democrats: Hillary’s there but her husband Bill Clinton isn’t lol”
“Unlike Japan, America hypes up their elections. It’s stupid ‘cos even though Japanese people don’t have any interest in politics there are loads of people who talk like they know about it. Japanese people should be more active in politics!”
“I don’t know any of their names except for President Obama and Hillary.”
“I don’t know the names of any of the Republicans. Who are these people?”
“Looks like a movie poster.”
“I want to see one where Obama’s completely beaten up by the election results lol”
“And Obama was so popular when he became president…”
“It’s kinda like all these white gangsters have shown up and are beating up Obama and then the camera’ll move to a shot of the white house and the logo ‘STREET FIGHTER II’ will come up.”

And it’s not the first time they’ve gone for this style either. Below is the one from the 2012 Presidential Election. While it doesn’t include the whole cast there, it’s made even more dramatic by giving the two men lightning wielding power ups.

▼ Obama vs Romney.


What do you think of these banners? Do they inspire a desire to vote in you? Or do they make you feel like it’s all a bit of a farce? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: HamuSoku, Twitter
Images: NHK 1, 2