Asia

Japanese ad showing girl turning into an eel gets pulled

Girl in a pool Image copyright YouTube/Newsshow Network
Image caption The girl is seen swimming in a pool moments before she turns into an eel

A Japanese advertisement showing a teenage girl in a swimsuit turning into an eel has been pulled after complaints it was sexist and "perverted".

The two-minute video was produced by Shibushi city, who said it was meant to highlight their commitment to sustainable eel fishing.

But it was widely accused of sexism, with one social media user calling it the "delusions of a pervert".

It is not the first Japanese ad to feature women turning into animals.

Image copyright YouTube/Newsshow Network
Image caption The video was meant to cast a spotlight on sustainability

The advert, narrated by a man, opens with a teenage girl in a black swimsuit floating in a pool asking the narrator to feed her.

"I decided I would do everything I could for her. I gave her delicious food until she was full and made sure she could sleep well at night," the narrator says.

Scenes of the idyllic Japanese countryside are also shown in-between shots.

The audience sees her transformation slowly begin when she is unable to pick up an object because her hands have become slimy.

She is later seen diving into the pool, transforming into an eel, saying "goodbye" as she swims away.

The video then ends with the words "we're farming [eels] with care" appearing on-screen.

Viewers on social media were quick to respond to the ad.

"Of all the bizarre sexist ads, this one from Japan takes the eel," said one user on Twitter.

"This makes me think of a girl who is being kidnapped and locked up... It's the delusions of a pervert," another commented.

City officials later pulled the ad, saying they were "aware that some people were offended".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Eels are classified as endangered in Japan

"We just wanted to make a video that simply explains the city is known for eel farming" a local official told news agency AFP.

Earlier this year, a Japanese company found itself in similar trouble.

It produced an advert comparing high school students to cows being bred for meat or dairy farming. One teenage girl is singled out for her ability to produce milk.

Users described that video as "udderly weird".

Related Topics

More on this story