Indonesian Ministry of Health uses kawaii anime character to convince young japonophiles to get vaccinated
Indonesian government agencies have tried many ways to appeal to young people to promote their various programs, but the Ministry of Health’s latest attempt to convince young people to get the COVID-19 vaccine is quite ingenious given the strong culture weeaboo in the country.
The ministry recently posted a video on TikTok to raise awareness about the current phase of the national COVID-19 vaccination program, in which people over 18 are now eligible for the vaccine. The video features a young man named Yudha receiving a visit from the anime character Ogiwara Sayu, the female protagonist of the anime / manga series Higehiro: After being rejected, I shaved and ran away in high school, or Higehiro for the sake of simplicity.
For those unfamiliar with the romantic comedy series, Higehiro tells the story of an employee in his twenties named Yoshida who meets Sayu, a teenage high school student, and how he ended up protecting her in the midst of his troubles (yes, that has scary connotations, but it is a lot of romantic anime for you).
@kemenkesriKasihan belom tau, mana masih muda lagi. #samasamabelajar # wibuindonesia #KemenkesRI
Playing on the fantasies of young men cohabiting with kawaii young girls, the Ministry of Health’s TikTok depicts Yudha living with Sayu and how she informed him about the mass immunization program.
“You are not up to date, Yudha-kun! [The COVID-19] vaccination is now available for people aged 18 and over, ”Sayu told Yudha in the video, after which he agreed to sign up for a vaccine.
The video came with the hashtag #wibuindonesia in the caption – “wibu”Being the Indonesian spelling for weeaboo, the derogatory slang term generally applied to Westerners obsessed with Japanese pop culture, especially anime and manga, although it has been widely echoed by the fan community.
The TikTok has received over 395,000 likes and shared over 41,000 times at the time of writing, which is far superior to other videos posted on the ministry page. In the comments, most users expressed surprise that an official ministry account is posting wibu-user-friendly content, while others have applauded their efforts to reach the younger generation.
Widyawati, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, confirmed that the TikTok was indeed created by the ministry, adding that they wanted to appeal to young audiences. Between that and giving live chickens to the elderly to get vaccinated, it can’t be said that the Indonesian authorities are not trying.
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