The VICE Guide to Right Now

Japanese TV Is Covering the US Election Like a 'Game Show'

People say they’d be less stressed if all updates were reported with animated bobbleheads and video game health bars.
Frankie Lantican
Singapore
November 6, 2020, 9:53am
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Photo: Courtesy of Melanie Brock

News this week has been dominated by the United States election. For the first time in years, results weren’t clear within hours of polls closing. Now, three days after the Tuesday polls, people are still plugged into the news, awaiting the outcome.

Coverage has been pretty standard for U.S. media but over in Japan, networks are having a bit more fun. 

Now viral online are photos of colorful news sets and playful graphics that make updates look more like game shows than reports. There are bobblehead-like animations of President Donald Trump and rival Joe Biden, and meme-like photos of the two that accompany results from each state. 

Some compared the blue and red bars this network used to represent electoral votes under each candidate to “health bars” in video games like Street Fighter

Japan’s take on the U.S. election has garnered attention from people outside the country, many entertained and amused. 

According to local Matt Olsen, 31, Japan does not typically do this with other elections, but the loud and colorful graphics are widely popular across Japanese media.

“If you watch any Japanese variety shows or YouTubers, you notice they put superimposed text on screen to emphasize key quotes or reactions to stuff,” he told VICE.

The bobblehead-like design, called “Chibi” (meaning “short” or small”), is also a popular Japanese art style. It is seen in various anime and manga like Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z

As Japan continues to have fun with the election coverage, votes are still being counted in the U.S. As of posting, Biden has 253 electoral votes and Trump has 213.