Face/Off against pollen and aerosols.

Out reporter Masanuki Sunakoma has made a career out of finding and testing the lowest-rated products on Amazon Japan. But to show that he’s not a complete masochist, sometime he likes to see how the other half lives too and order something with a very high rating.

This time his search took him across the Pacific to the U.S. version of Amazon where a face mask had gotten a stellar 4.7-star-average rating with 83 percent of all purchasers having given it a five-star rating. This seemed odd to Masanuki, who thought that America had largely given up on face masks a while ago. Nevertheless, it had gotten the following glowing reviews:

“Perfect. No complaints.”
“I would give it 10 stars if I could.”
“But this mask!”
“How can you not give it 5 stars?”
“This is my National Treasure.”

They were certainly compelling and even though mask usage has become more relaxed in Japan as well, he decided to take the plunge and order one of these “skin-colored” treasures from the US.

It took 10 days for the international shipping and Masanuki wasted no time opening his package.

As advertised, it was a two-piece set consisting of a skin-colored main mask with a replaceable filter. It boasted being one-size-fits-all, unisex, and washable and also had adjustable straps and promised a high degree of breathability.

But strangely, none of the customer reviews touched on these features. Perhaps all that stuff was just standard in the USA and people there took it for granted. Masanuki picked up the removable filter to inspect the fibers when…

▼ “Nick Cage!”

Hollywood superstar Nicolas Cage’s face was fused into the design of this mask. It was a jarring image, but our reporter decided to roll with it. After all, who wouldn’t want to take on the face of one of the most beloved actors in history.

While preparing his mask, Masanuki went back to check some more reviews. One read: “I wore this to the supermarket and someone yelled out ‘Nick Cage!’ Thinking it was the actual actor, everyone turned and looked at me. Now, I know what it’s like to be him.”

Masanuki wasn’t ready for that level of exposure, so instead he took his Cage mask out to a quiet spot in his local park to look at some cherry blossoms.

It was a bonding experience between him and the star of Wild at Heart and Con Air. The face on the mask seemed to have the same characteristics as a Japanese Noh theatre mask in that Nick’s expression seems to change whenever Masanuki tilts his head.

In this state our reporter was reminded of the classic manga The Gutsy Frog in which the spirit of a dead frog possesses the image of a frog on a boy’s T-shirt. Fortunately, Mr. Cage is still safe and sound, but heaven forbid some ill fate does befall him, he’ll have a place to go.

He’ll still have to work up the nerve to take this mask any deeper into public space, but it was otherwise very comfortable and will go great with the Nicolas Cage pillow cover he got last year. Masanuki couldn’t help but agree with the reviews that this really was a five-star mask.

Photos © SoraNews24
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