When I heard back in March that the United States military was calling its part in the relief effort after 3/11 "Operation Tomodachi" (Tomodachi sakusen) I cringed.
"Oh Amaterasu," I thought, "anything but that. Call it 'Operation Steller's Sea Eagle' or 'Operation Scrumptious Pantypacker' (OK, maybe that not that one). Just not 'Operation Tomodachi'."
Because the very first thing I thought of when I heard "Tomodachi" was...well... instead of me telling you, why not try just try a search on Google Images of "Tomodachi" in hiragana?
Just copy and paste in the bit below and see what you get.
See that? That is the first thing I thought of.
If you are asking yourself, "What the hell is that?" what you are seeing is images of "Tomodachi" -- the masked, genocidal dictator of Japan in the wildly successful manga and film series Nijuseiki Shonen. In the chronology of the series, Tomodachi is to take over Japan in 2014 on the wings of the electoral victory of his "Friends Party" (the Yujinto - now there's a name!). Something that is called "Operation Tomodachi" in 2011 would seem to be part of the master plan.
Now I have had conversations and email interpellations with folks on this. Most responses I get back are polite rephrasings of "MTC, you are nuts."
Still, no matter the noble intentions in the selection of the name, "Operation Tomodachi" just grates upon the ears.
Does anyone else feel this way? And if so, for what reason?