Improper Cigarette Advertising In Manga

Advertising in manga? What better place? Advertising cigarettes in manga? Even better. Get kids when they are young and fantasizing about super powers and defeating evil. While I believe this practice is less common these days, some of the older manga of the late 80s and 90s had this advertising so in your buried-deep in-manga face, they might as well just had a character transform by cigarette.

Improper Cigarette Advertising In Manga 1

In the classic Manga ダイの大冒険 (Dragon Quest), the main character Dai feels embarrassed and small due to blowing up something with magic lightning that he shouldn’t have blown up with magic lightning (Don’t worry Dai, it happens to the best of us.)

So the scene needs a good visual way to show how “small” Dai feels. Hmm, what is something small? Hmm… Duh. Cigarettes.

Cigarette Manga

What, he isn’t going to smoke them?

Nice. And the Mild Seven label is nice and readable. Forget the fact that this is a high fantasy world with dragons and wizards. Cigarettes have their place in any world.

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


Improper Cigarette Advertising In Manga — 6 Comments

  1. I was surprised to walk by a candy display the other day and see gum packaged as cigarettes in a box[1]. That was still around in the states when I was young but I think it’s been effectively banned these days. It’s kind of amusing, and odd, that smoking hasn’t been heavily vilified here.

    [1] タバコ風 キャンディ:

    • Wow. Interesting product link.

      I think Japan is about 20-30 years behind America when it comes to smoking and its image. But it definitely has changed significantly in recent years. For example, non-smoking sections and non-smoking restaurants were pretty rare before 2000.

      • It seems like we have several American companies to thank for some of the changes too. Starbucks are non-smoking but absolutely packed nearly all hours of the day and most of the other cafes have non-smoking sections now with many having remodeled to completely enclose the smoking part. In additional all of the renovated McDonald’s are non-smoking.

        I think the no walking while smoking laws help a lot too and police seem to actively enforce those and the age limits. In additional a lot of cafes and restaurants will have a strict non-smoking section until dinner time presumably so that non-smokers don’t have to go back to work smelling of smoke.

        Even though Japan is slow I do really like how it’s based purely on economics and not poorly written emotional law-making. While living in California I always thought it was a bit silly that bars and clubs also had to enforce the ban. I guess for me that encroaches on everyone’s personal freedoms a bit too much.

        • It’ll be interesting to see where Japan heads with its smoking laws and policies. The recent trend has made it a lot easier for foreigners who can’t deal with smoke wherever they eat.

          This article isn’t meant to criticize smokers, as I’m sure there are readers here that are. It’s just an interesting phenomenon to target young kids through fantasy manga in this way.

        • I’m a bit late to the party, but this is good info to know. I’ll be mindful of it when I get around to visiting since I’m extraordinarily sensitive to smoke (I get dizzy and nauseous from anything more than momentary exposure =/ ).

          Is it only in restaurants and such that it can be difficult to avoid, or is it a big challenge out on the street as well? That’s a problem I run into even here in Cali, with the anti-smoking laws. It’s hard to walk outside anywhere remotely busy without getting stuck in somebody’s smoke trail.

          • It depends on where you are, but it’s definitely gotten much better. Most restaurants (excluding izakaya bars) that allow smoking have a separate smoking section, and many restaurants have moved towards complete nonsmoking.

            As for walking and smoking 歩きタバコ, I actually think it tends to be better than America. There are signs everywhere telling you not to walk and smoke, and there are enclosed smokers’ sections outside in many public places. Walking and smoking is frowned upon significantly in Japan, due to the heavy crowds and potential to hurt children.

            So you should be fine.

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