Kasukabe station’s anime ad campaign is hitting close to home for many Japanese mothers.

Spend enough time in Japan (or indeed, many Asian countries) and you’ll learn to recognize a crude little boy plastered on grade-school stationery and posters: Shinnosuke Nohara, or Shin-chan, is one of the biggest cultural institutions in Japan and continues to delight children and adults with his filthy mouth, wild imagination, and tendency to moon strangers.

Shin-chan and his family live in the city of Kasukabe in Saitama prefecture — close to Tokyo, but without the extremely expensive price tag. As such, the town often hosts Shin-chan promotional events, such as their promotional stunt last year where they transformed an Ito-Yokado department store into the Sato-Kokonokado store from the manga and anime.

▼ The store was decorated in Shin-chan posters…

▼ …hosted limited-edition Crayon Shin-chan merchandise…

▼ …and offered colorful photo opportunities.

But this year, Kasukabe is going for a more subtle promotion.

Japanese Twitter is buzzing about the recent posters that were implemented in Kasukabe Station, providing a little narrative spoken by Shin-chan himself. Perhaps due to how crass and brash Shin-chan usually comes across in his canon, the somber tone in the ads hits an especially strong emotional chord.

“Mom, thanks for making summer vacation so wonderful.”

“But when does mom get a summer vacation?”

“Summer vacation would be even more fun if mom were enjoying it too.”

▼ The large text of these ads is accompanied with a longer screed, shown here.
(Translation below)

Kids look forward to having an exciting summer vacation, but that same summer vacation… can prove a little challenging for their mothers.

Moms have to not only keep their kids entertained, but also clean, do laundry, and prepare three meals a day. After breakfast, they must make lunch. Once lunch is prepared, it’s time to think about preparing dinner….

Moms need to think up what meals to eat, then go grocery shopping, and then work hard to cook it in a stiflingly hot summer kitchen.

It’s a lot of fun to travel with your family during the summer period. But although those fun times have increased, we still must deal with the same intense chores in our current Reiwa period — chores that remain as difficult as ever.

So we at Oisix have been considering…

“What can we do to help those moms?”

How can we make it less stressful to worry over each day’s menu, and make it less of a chore to do the grocery shopping?

How can we make the time they spend cooking more enjoyable?

How can we make summer vacation more fun, not only for Misae [Shin-chan’s mom], but for all mothers?

We think about what steps we can take to fix these problems, and then challenge ourselves to take those steps.

To all moms, thanks for your hard work this summer vacation.

The station itself is also papered with Crayon Shin-chan characters, and each train is heralded with a short clip of the Shin-chan ending theme.

▼ See the station in action here, and listen to the theme toward the end.

One thing is for certain — mothers and fathers alike can’t get enough of these cute, touching posters. Many commiserated over their own lack of a real summer vacation, while some jokingly commented: “Great, now I’m crying” or “I wish my own kids could see this”. Kids, however, seemed to focus more on how these touching words felt a little bizarre coming out of the mouth of one of the rudest children in anime.

Maybe that’s part of the point, though. If even the most juvenile character can take a second to recognize how hard his mom is working, perhaps we can take some time to appreciate what our own mothers are doing for us. Or, for those of us who are mothers, take a moment for ourselves to relax.

Unfortunately the posters will come down on September 2, but the warm fuzzy feeling from reading them will tide us over a lot longer than that!

Source: YouTube/SoraNews24, Chokotabi Saitama Tourism
Images: SoraNews24
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