Equal parts anime nostalgia and reverse psychology make for an effective billboard.

Our traveling reporter Masanuki Sunakoma has felt a hole in his heart for many years now. Even in his dreams, he goes back to that snowbound Iwafune Station where he spent the entire night laughing at a hilarious Cup Noodle advertisement posted on the wall.

▼ Iwafune Station

Image: Wikipedia/Longissue

However, the next morning a train swept him away and out of the life of that ad before he had a chance to tell it how he really felt.

Even after becoming a SoraNews24 writer and despot of a hair salon, he had been unable to fully cope with the loss of that ad in his life. It had caused him to become cold and distant to other nice posters and commercials which had vied for his heart.

Then one night in a dream he recalled a promise that he and the advertisement had made, that they would meet again at Murasaki Station in Chikushino City in Fukuoka Prefecture.

So he journeyed out there in the faint hope that it too would come. Cue the music:

As he drove to the station he recalled the lyrics to the Masayoshi Yamazki hit, “One More Time, One More Chance” which was used as the haunting ending theme to the Matoko Shinkai anime 5 Centimeters per Second.

“I’m always looking for you everywhere,
The opposite train station platform, in an alley window
Even though these places you never are”

A tear trickled down Masanuki’s cheek as he pulled into the station. He walked onto the platform, unsure of what he was looking for, when suddenly he caught a glimpse of something on the other side of the tracks…

It was a bright yellow billboard that was both sassy and self-deprecating as it playfully twisted the lyrics to the Yamazaki ballad:

“The opposite train station platform, the smartphone generation
Even though this place they never look”

Masanuki stood back and observed the other people in the station. Sure enough, they were all staring at their smartphones without even taking a peek at the billboard, even though it sat there, bright as day and staring them in the face.

At first its caption might seem like merely a snarky commentary on people’s fixations with their smartphone screens, but Masanuki saw the genius underneath it all.

This billboard was for Nishitetsu Motor Driving School, owned by the same company that ran the train line running through this station. As a driving school, their target audience would be teens and young adults; those young enough to easily identify the 5 Centimeters per Second reference and post it on social media.

That’s just what Twitter user Naosumi (@fishaction1) did and it got over 13,000 retweets and 32,000 likes as a result.

So, while the sign is right that young people are too busy looking at their phones to see it, it has also managed to work its way onto those very smartphone screens it was talking about and right into the awareness of its target market.

It wasn’t the same ad that Masanuki spent that one fateful snowy night with, but he realized then and there that he couldn’t dwell on one poster for his whole life, no matter how special it was. If he found the strength to move on by himself, he could experience an entire world of clever ads and begin to truly enjoy living.

As he walked down the street and away from Murasaki Station, a smile grew on his face. He was looking forward to this new chapter in his life, and completely forgetting that he had driven to the station in the first place.

Source: Twitter/@fishaction1
Photos ©SoraNews24 (Unless otherwise noted)
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