Less salt present in sweeter message to defeated Akihabara rival.

Last Friday, a McDonald’s branch in Tokyo’s Akihabara neighborhood closed down. It’s unusual enough for a branch of the world’s biggest burger chain to close its doors, and this case was particularly surprising, since the restaurant was on a busy street in the electronics/anime shopping district where it had thrived for 22 years.

So when the McDonald’s Showadori Akihabara branch shut down, people noticed, including their neighbor two buildings over: the local Burger King branch. Burger King put up a sign thanking McDonald’s for serving the community for over two decades, but the notice turned out to have a hidden message, as reading it vertically spelled out “Victory is ours,” celebrating Burger King outlasting its rival.

But now, just a few days later Burger King has taken down the stealthy jab and replaced it with a different sign, as shown in this tweet from Japanese Twitter user @ESP_Believe_777.

The new poster still features a Burger King employee respectfully bowing, but the message now reads:

Thank you for 22 happy years.

Us being next to each other, like steel sharpening steel, what we did was compete as good rivals and good friends. The end of that history is something that makes us incredibly sad. Up until now, you were an unchanging presence nearby [illegible]. Thank you for 22 years of smiles! Good [illegible], and we’ll keep doing our best again tomorrow.

Unfortunately, a patch of glare obscures a few words. The overall gist is still pretty easy to grasp, though, but is there once again a hidden message?

Yep. If you take a look at the first Japanese character in each line, and read them vertically, you get:

Wasurenai yo, which means:

“We won’t forget you.”

So this time around, it looks like Burger King has shelved the snark, and is offering a pure-hearted sendoff to its local competitors, which makes sense when you consider that no matter how deliciously salty the main course may be, the most satisfying way to end a meal is with a dessert that’s straightforwardly sweet.

Source: Twitter/@ ESP_Believe_777 via Jin
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