You see them in anime. You see them in manga. And yes, you see them in video games. Octopus tentacles are, and have been for centuries, common tropes.

But in Japan, octopus are not just creatures that pop up in popular culture, they are creatures that pop up on the dinner table. Japanese fishermen catch the cephalopods using lures and nets.

One Japanese fisherman, however, uses something quite unusual.

Apparently, a trawler in Akita Prefecture is using anime figurines, such as Gundam's MS-06 Zaku II and Neon Genesis Evangelion's Rei Ayanami, as lures to catch the mollusks.

"Ah, yes, tentacle play," wrote one commenter on bulletin board 2ch. "I see."

Others were completely bewildered, wondering the hell was going one, while some called this a "yarase" or "faked situation". Sometimes things on Japanese TV are apparently phony. Other times, they are horrifyingly real.

The fisherman's rationale is that red shapes fool the octopus into thinking they're crabs—hence all the red colored figures.


The clip originally appeared on Japanese morning TV show, Zip. I was once interviewed for Japanese morning television—this same network—and that was real. Then again, I wasn't talking about catching seafood with anime figurines.

Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome—game related and beyond.

(Top photo: ニテレ | AP Photo/Roland Weihrauch, pool)