Drawing shows what happens during junkai renraku, but something important is missing.

The Japanese term junkai renraku translates to “patrol contact” or “patrol communication.” It’s a practice in which officers from the local police box knock on the doors of local residents and businesses to ask if they have any questions or requests about policing practices, with the officers offering advice about how to avoid becoming the victim of a crime and prevent accidents too. The resident is also usually asked to fill out a “resident information card” with information such as their name and occupation, although this is optional.

The goal, ostensibly, is to foster communication and understanding between the police and the public, but the sudden appearance of a uniformed police officer at your door asking you to fill out a form can be unsettling for those who don’t know it’s a common police procedure. So to help soften any sense of surprise, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s PR division recently sent out a tweet explaining what junkai renraku is. That may have put some minds at ease…but at the same time, there were more than a few minds filled with fear after seeing the illustration of an in-progress junkai renraku visit.

Sure, in hand-drawn-artwork-loving Japan, a government institution using manga-style characters with stylized designs isn’t so shocking in and of itself. These specific drawings, though, are pretty unsettling. Ordinarily, larger eyes are more expressive, but here they have a strange lifelessness to them that’s somehow enhanced by their extra-large circumferences. The police officer seems to be trying to talk to the mother, but she’s staring off into the middle distance behind his left shoulder, with her mouth shifted almost entirely to the right half of her face.

But what’s weirdest of all is that no one has a nose, and not in that sense of “anime characters’ noses are just a single vertical line with a shadow on one side.” Between the three characters in the illustration, there’s not a single stroke or placement of color that suggests any sort of nasal contour. Again, it’s most jarring on the mom, since with only one visible eye we should be seeing her face in profile, but the only curve is from her cheekbone (bonus weirdness: we can see part of her left eyebrow, but instead of a glimpse of her left eye below it, there’s just solid flesh).

Reactions from Twitter-user art critics have included:

“What…what is this…”
“Those eyes…”
“Mom! This police officer’s eyes have some crazy shine to them!!!”
“They were scary looking enough already, but now that I’ve noticed they don’t have noses, they’re even scarier.”
“They look like stands (the supernatural entities from manga/anime JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.)”
“They should have just used [stock image] illustrations instead.”
“I think this program will help prevent crimes, so I’m thankful to the police for it. If you can, I’d like you to give these characters noses.”

But hey, maybe the illustration is supposed to show a junkai renraku taking place during a spike in nose thefts, in which case it’s doing its job perfectly.

Source: Twitter/@MPD_koho (1, 2) via Otakomu
Top image: Pakutaso
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