Does peering into these colorless pseudo-waters reveal a deeper social problem?

It was only a few years ago that one could walk into a convenience store and blindly grab a plastic bottle of uncarbonated, transparent liquid and trust that they were getting the refreshing blandness of water. Now, you have to search among the colorless rainbow of flavors in order to find actual water-flavored water.

Furthermore, day by day the beverage sections of convenience stores and supermarkets have been steadily growing transparent. What used to be a colorful array of Pink Pepsi and Cola Float Calpis has become a sea of bottled waters that taste like yogurt and tomatoes. However, it wasn’t until the latest and perhaps boldest clear drink to hit the market, Suntory’s Premium Morning Tea: Milk, that it finally dawned on me why…

▼ One glance at this ordinary picture of a Tokyo convenience store and the sheer size of the shelf space taken by flavored waters is hard to ignore.

While explaining the development process of their eerily clear milk tea drink, Suntory said that in places of work or education, putting sodas or juices on your desk comes across as immature. So, they had the idea of creating drinks to look like regular water, but still have the power to satiate your inner-child’s sweet tooth.

▼ Some bottles are intentionally designed to look the same as plain water for this very reason

Apparently they were really onto something, because comments of praise for these clear drinks could be read all over the Internet.

“It’s transparent so it can be brought to a meeting or school!”
“When I worked at a company branch with 100 years of history, these transparent drinks were certainly useful.”
“I’ve heard that people drinking juices and sodas at public offices have gotten complaints. Is that why there’s a demand for clear drinks?”
“There are also tweets saying that children in elementary and junior high school put it in their water bottles and bring it to school. Is that allowed? If so, it probably makes both children and adults happy.”

However, while many celebrated their liberation from the scrutinizing eyes of co-workers and teachers, others thought that clear drinks were a part of the problem, not the solution.

“So they look down on people who drink something other than water, tea, or coffee and asked if there was a way to avoid it. These are terrible drinks created by the dark side of Japan.”
“How do you figure producing clear drinks is more important that producing an environment where you can freely drink whatever you want? This is the dark side of Japan…”

While saying this is a “dark side of Japan” might be a rather melodramatic assessment of things, it does seem unfair to judge someone by their beverage of choice.

▼ Systematic sweetism in various layers of Japanese society has people living in fear

So, everyone in Japan, let us rise up and shun these oppressive clear drinks! I’m not just saying this because I personally think flavored water sucks and want the shelf space available for more fun stuff like Ghost Pepsi. I’m doing it because, as the great Martin Luther King Jr. once said, I have a dream that my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged on the color of their drinks, but on the content of their character.

Source: Standby
Images: SoraNews24