World / Politics

Big in Japan? Faux Trump ad video goes viral

by Jesse Johnson

Staff Writer

Donald Trump is tangling with Japan again.

This time, the only nuclear weapons involved are the ones being launched in a viral video posing as a Japanese-made commercial for the Republican U.S. presidential candidate.

The satirical video, created by American YouTube personality Mike Dahlquist, better known by his online moniker “Mike Diva,” has been viewed by millions since it was uploaded to the site Wednesday — with many viewers apparently believing it to be an actual Japanese commercial.

The video opens in a bedroom adorned with Trump posters and focuses on what appears to be a Trump-obsessed Japanese girl who longingly admires a picture of the presidential hopeful. Suddenly a television flickers on, announcing that Trump has been elected “world president.”

The heroine then magically transforms into a tutu-wearing Sailor Moon-type princess and flies to a psychedelic world — replete with cherry blossoms and blue dinosaurs adorned with Trump’s head. In this world, the presumptive GOP nominee reigns supreme.

The scene then switches to rows of pink camouflage tanks raising their guns to salute a marble bust of Trump as fighter jets scream overhead. This is followed by Trump making a variety of dance moves and gestures, including a Nazi salute, as a montage of swastikas loom behind him.

Just as suddenly, the heroine runs to hug Trump, and the two are enveloped by a massive robot fighting suit with a metallic-like Trump head as nuclear missiles launch in the background. The words “Trump banzai” flash and the robot proceeds to create a massive wall, much like the one the real Trump has promised to build between the U.S. and Mexico.

Then the robot flies into space and unleashes a beam blast from his hands that destroys the Earth.

A shock to the system? You bet.

“A lot of people are confused, a lot of people think its real, and a lot of people are angry,” Dahlquist said in an interview with The Japan Times.

“The only surprising thing is how much both sides are digging this video,” he added. “I expected there to be a lot more angry Trump supporters and Trump haters.”

On the Mike Diva official Facebook page, viewers appeared taken aback by the video, with some even believing it was a real Japanese commercial.

“Did anyone catch that swastika … really Japan?!?! Really?!?!” one user commented on Facebook.

“Wow, did you not see the blatant Hitler/Nazi references and the part about destroying the Earth? Why would this video make you want to vote for Trump? Makes me think that all of the people voting for Trump are simple minded,” another user wrote.

Most, though, seemed to get the joke.

“You guys, this is making fun of Trump, not glorify him. He not only does a Nazi salute, launch a bunch of nukes, and puts up a huge wall, at the end of the commercial, he destroys the world. It’s a satire,” another Facebook user said.

But even the star of the commercial — after Trump, of course — said she was blown away by the number of netizens who believed it was the real deal.

“The sheer amount of people who think its a real Japanese commercial and that Im some Jpop girl actually obsessed with Trump,” the cosplayer star of the commercial, a wig stylist known on social media as Sushi Monster, wrote Thursday on Twitter.

But perhaps the strongest proof that it is satire is that the real-life Trump’s hard-line views toward Japan clash with the kawaii cuteness of the video.

Trump has said that if elected president he will consider withdrawing U.S. military forces from Japan, complaining that Tokyo shoulders too little of the financial burden of hosting American forces.

He has also indicated that he would let Japan go nuclear for self-defense if the U.S. left.

For Dahlquist, though, it was more about the humor and creativity of the project.

He said Japanese commercials — which he called “the best in the world” — are so funny and creative that he had always wanted to make one.

“I made this video because it was the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to Japanese commercials while simultaneously making fun of Trump,” he said.

As of Saturday, the satirical video had been viewed 13 million times on Facebook and some 2.4 million times on Mike Diva’s official YouTube account.

“This video is ultimately a love letter to Japan,” Dahlquist said. “I’m constantly inspired by Japanese culture and I wanted to make something beautiful, funny and horrific at the same time.”