The lost-in-translation moment went straight to #1 trending on Japanese YouTube.

Japan has welcomed a lot of international stars to its shores over the years, most recently with English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran playing gigs in Osaka and Tokyo earlier this month, followed this week by American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars.

Despite many of their Japanese fans not being able to speak or understand English at a fluent level, that doesn’t stop them from attending superstar concerts in droves, and that’s exactly what happened during Mars’ recent four-night stop at Saitama Super Arena, which completely sold out its April 11-15 tour dates.

One lucky fan, who was in the front row at one of the performer’s concerts, had a great night at the show, capped off with her taking home a towel used by Bruno Mars himself. The only thing is, the towel she was so thrilled to receive wasn’t actually intended as a gift, as fellow concertgoers say that Mars threw the towel at her in exasperation after she refused to put her cellphone down to enjoy the show.

Take a look at the chain of events here:

The clip shows that the fan, who is actually a Japanese model with thousands of followers on social media, had been taking selfies of herself and her friend while they were in the front row, directly in front of the Grammy Award-winning singer. According to the YouTuber who posted the model’s clip online, Mars threw the towel at her in exasperation after having to perform to the back of her head throughout much of the show.

Bruno Mars is well-known for asking fans to put their phones down and enjoy the concert live, as shown in this video compilation from 2014.

If Mars really wants fans around the world to follow his requests to put down their cellphones, he might have to learn how to say it in different languages to get his message across, given that the front-row fan who had the towel thrown at her in Japan was thrilled to receive it, captioning the moment with “OMG!!! I GOT THIS!!!!”

The force and accuracy of the throw seems to suggest something else entirely, with Mars’ Japanese fans berating the fan for disrespecting the singer, especially while enjoying the show from the privileged front-row position. One fan had this to say about the incident on Twitter:

“How many tens of thousands of genuine Bruno Mars fans do you think there are behind you? What are you doing while we’re showing our joy and gratitude? You’re in the very front row. You’re in his line of sight. Because of your actions the country’s image takes a dive. More than anything, Mars himself had been telling you to stop.”

Still, ignorance is bliss, so for the short time after the show, before her misunderstanding went viral on Japanese YouTube, the model may just have become Mars’ number one fan. After the realisation, however, who knows what became of that sweat-soaked towel? Hopefully it acts as a bittersweet reminder for her to stop and enjoy life in the moment, without having to look at it through the screen of a cellphone.

Source: My Game News Flash
Images: YouTube/ちゃんねるばい