The Makoto Shinkai Thomson-East Coast Line anime ad has become a meme in Japan

What a coincidence, everyone can't make it to their class reunion because they're all in Singapore.

Guan Zhen Tan | December 13, 2019, 06:02 PM

The first phase of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) will be fully operational on Jan. 31, 2020.

An Open House will be held on Jan. 11, 2020 for the public to have a sneak peek of the line and its stations.

Speaking of the TEL, you may recall the beautifully-made anime commercial for the line by acclaimed Japanese director, Makoto Shinkai of Your Name fame.

"Sorry, I can't make it to the reunion. I'm in Singapore right now."

While Singaporeans were mesmerised or amused at how romanticised Singapore was in the eyes of the acclaimed director, Japanese viewers started seeing the ad in a different light.

The commercial has now become a copypasta - a viral message replicated, sent and posted on various social media platforms.

If you've not seen it, the animated short story revolves around the female protagonist Ayano, who is an engineer.

At the beginning of the video, we are introduced to Ayano, who is apologising to her classmates for not being able to attend a class reunion, as she’s currently in Singapore.

Her reply was then seen by some of her classmates who are already eating and drinking at the reunion event.

Screenshot via Taiseicorp's Youtube video

Screenshot via Taiseicorp's Youtube video

Screenshot via Taiseicorp's Youtube video

Ayano continues on her soliloquy, saying that she's constructing the Thomson-East Coast Line which will span across the country.

As much as she misses home and her past, Ayano mentions that she will put aside those feelings, and continue to work hard at constructing the MRT line, as it will deliver unforgettable memories to someone, someday.


Plot holes

Some Japanese viewers found that her classmates contacting Ayano only on the day of the reunion itself a little strange.

Screenshot via 秋本夕虹's Youtube video

"The first thing that came to my mind was why didn't they try to contact her until the day of the class reunion itself?"

Screenshot via 秋本夕虹's Youtube video

"She totally cancelled on them last minute."

At the same time, Ayano's narration lacks a clear break between what she wrote in her text message and her own thoughts, which may lead to viewers thinking that she sent a long message to her classmates, detailing her grandiose excuse for missing the gathering.

Screenshot via 秋本夕虹's Youtube video

"I'm wondering if there's really anyone who would send such emails during the event itself."

Meme infamy

These plot holes turned the moving script into something of a joke between netizens.

Sometimes, it's just a simple reference to the ad:

Others, including celebrities, would quote the ad when they're actually in Singapore themselves.

Some even copied the entire script, and sent it to their friends, mocking the ridiculousness of the extent of Ayano's explanation over a text message.

Screenshot via Rei417mokeAlice (now deleted), from Nico Nico News

There's even a Twitter bot that regularly tweets the same script daily:

So if you see people repeating the same chunk of text about not being able to make it to a certain class reunion because they're in Singapore, you know why.

While we can't say the meme has created an increase in tourists rushing to Singapore to use that one joke, it's nonetheless endearing.

A shame that we can't actually use that excuse, though.

 Top image via Tom Watanabe's Youtube video


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