Exhibit A - Sports Team Mascots
Japan's sport mascots are so cute it hurts. Take the above example, of the Philadelphia Eagles mascot from America's NFL league, compared to Japan's Rakuten Eagles baseball team. One seems to be going for the intimidating, menacing approach, and the other...well, how could you be intimidated by those guys, am I right?
(pic credit left: here, pic credit right: here)
Exhibit B - Planes
QANTAS are the national airline of my home country...and their planes aren't really that interesting to look at. Sure, you could say that the kangaroo logo on the tail is a bit cute - but gosh, the rest is a little drab isn't it? Let's compare it for just a second to ANA's Pokemon offering. The entire plane is covered in complete cuteness as far as the eye can see.
(pic credit left: Qantas.com, pic credit right: Wikimedia Commons)
Exhibit C - Barricades
Road construction is frustrating to deal with at the best of times. Whenever I'd see barriers like that blocking off a lane of traffic, I'd automatically start getting annoyed. Not the case in Japan, where you have all manner of adorable barricades, from ones like the Hello Kitty ones in the picture, to giraffes, bears and bunnies. You can't be mad about lane closures when Hello Kitty perched on top of a rainbow is staring back at you!
(pic credit left: here, pic credit right: newyorktimes.com)
Exhibit D - School Buses
On the left is what I expect when I think of school buses. That generic yellow, American style school bus (you know, the ones that seem to be in every movie ever made with school aged children in it). I can assure you that I would have had no trouble getting motivated to go to school if I got to travel there in a Pokémon bus. Schools everywhere ought to take note!
(pic credit left: readyclick.blogspot.com, pic credit right: pinterest.com)
Exhibit E - Trains
On the left we have a train from my home city of Melbourne, Australia. And on the right, we have a Japanese train with Doraemon smiling back at you. The only similarity here is the fact that they're both trains and use the blue and yellow color scheme - but other than that, their fun factor is completely different. You can guarantee what train I would be picking if I had the choice!
(pic credit left: railpage.com.au, pic credit right: pinterest.com)
Exhibit F - Road Signs/Warning Signs
Another comparison of something I would see back home in Australia, compared to what I see here in Japan. Those yellow and black signs are the world standard, it seems, and tend to be a little uninteresting (apart from the fact that it contains warnings that you might bump into a kangaroo, emu or camel)...but Japanese road signs are much cuter. Only could that smiling, happy looking fish make me worry less about the idea of a particular thoroughfare possibly being closed in the event of an earthquake.
(pic credit left: Wikimedia Commons - pic credit right: Flickr)