Japan Tries Humor With ‘Nuclear Boy’ Fukushima [Video]

There has been no shortage of Japan nuclear crisis timelines, interactives and explainers, but how do you explain the situation to children? A new cartoon tries to do just that.

A new video depicting the Fukushima plant as a cartoon Genpatsu-kun, or “Nuclear Boy” has gotten hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Japan soldiers on in efforts to deal with the physical and emotional toll of the massive earthquake and tsunami.

Much attention has been diverted from the tough situation of the hundreds of thousands left homeless, hungry, cold and ill in the northeast of the country to concentrate on the mounting fears for the Fukushima nuclear plant.

But in a sign that people here are finding the best ways they can to cope with the ordeal, humor of Japan’s cute but often earthy nature is beginning to resurface on the Internet.

The bathroom humor in the video may not translate easily, but in a well-meaning, gentle attempt to explain the situation as if to a schoolchild, “Nuclear Boy” is portrayed as having a very bad stomachache and passing gas but still trying to “hold it in.” All to a soundtrack of exclamations and banjo music.

With explanations of how the situation compared with cartoon versions of “Three-Mile Island Boy” and “Chernobyl” — “That was one giant accident…diarrhea…it went all over the place” — the cartoon also praises the heroics of Nuclear Boy’s “doctors,” meaning the emergency team trying to cool Fukushima’s reactors, as they try to give him “medicine” (seawater and boric acid).

The cartoon goes on to offer prayers that peace will return to the people of Fukushima prefecture soon: “That’s the least we can do for receiving Nuclear Boy’s energy for all these years.” Check how “Nuclear Boy” summarizes the nuclear crisis and then share your thoughts. [via Wall Street Journal]

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