When you hate your boss but you’re also on a deadline.

Since anime is not currently being generated by artificial intelligence, and still has to be created by human hands, quite often you get to see the personalities and thoughts of the person those hands are attached to manifest in the animation.

You can see it in the animation style. You can see it in the choice of colors. Or, in the case of frustrated animators who want to get revenge on their boss in an inconspicuous way, you can see it in little hidden messages. 

Such a message was recently brought to the attention of the Internet by Japanese Twitter user @HikozaTwi, who posted this screenshot from the anime movie Akira.

▼ “During the scene for the prediction from the 25th ESPer, there’s a hidden cry of pain from the animation staff. (I just found out.)”

Here’s how the text appears in the animation:


Here’s the Japanese it corresponds to:


And here’s the translation:

do I
have to even
draw this
Give me a
break! Geez

You have to hand it to that stealthy animator: Akira came out in 1988, and their sneaky message hasn’t been publicly uncovered until now. Talk about playing the long con!

What’s best about it is how nonchalantly the text fits into the background. Ninety-nine percent of viewers would just assume that it’s nonsense English, or scribbles, but those who are willing to pause their videos — and who are watching in high enough quality to read it — get to see a hilarious little bit to remind them that someone drew everything they’re seeing.

▼ And since Akira is currently and officially available to watch for free on YouTube, you can check it out for yourself here!

Japanese netizens all delighted in seeing the all-too-human message:

“That animator knew what they were doing, cutting off the text to look like English.”
“Yeah, it starting with ‘DO’ made me think it was English.”
“This happened a lot in older Shojo manga, messages like ‘I can’t believe you found this message.'”
“Seeing this is probably only possible thanks to finally watching in HD and 4K.”
“Oh god, how overworked were those poor animators?”
“There’s something similar from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam I think.”

▼ Someone else found that Gundam scene too, where the text on the right translates to: “Hooray! I’m done. Now I can move onto something else.”

Since Akira supposedly predicted the coronavirus outbreak, we have to wonder… is this also a harbinger of things to come? Will we start discovering messages in our world that prove we’re living in a simulation, that we’re nothing more than drawings created for the entertainment of higher beings?

Well, as long as it’s a dating simulation!

Source, top image: Twitter/@HikozaTwi
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