Well, okay, maybe not, but there are some things that come from Japan that just leave you wondering why nobody else in the world invented it first.
For instance, there's the Umbrella Tube.
There's the square watermelon.
Oh, and there's Sega's Toylets, video games you play with...um, well, let's just say it has a lot in common with the Nintendo Wii in so many juvenile ways.
That's right, video game urinals. The goal is to help men learn how to "aim" in public restrooms, and to that end they have a variety of games. There's Graffiti Eraser where your stream helps wash vandalism off of walls. There's Battle! Milk From Nose which is probably indirectly the first time you'll ever hear me say "urinal co-op" since you're testing your abilities against the previous user. A stream of milk comes out of a character's nose against another character's lactose-spraying facial feature, and if your spray is "more powerful" (or more accurate, I'm not 100% sure), you knock your opponent out of the ring. There's also a game where you attempt to fill soda cans, and the one that just screams "Japan" to me...
There's a game where your stream represents the wind, and you attempt to blow up a woman's dress.
Because it's Japan, is why.
But because you might only be able to use the facilities if there's a woman talking to you, there's also the game with the pink nurse caressing a suggestively-shaped glass vial for you to fill with...um, something. I'm not sure what those symbols are, but for some reason I'm getting Dr. Mario flashbacks.
The toilets were first tried out in Japan in 2011, where apparently they were a huge splash (sorry) with the public. They soon found their ways into restrooms across the country, and are apparently a pretty huge hit in bars.
I'm of three minds about this product. First, if the actual goal is to get men to be more careful when they use the restroom, then having video games certainly beats those carnival games where you engage other people in horse races by shooting water into a clown's mouth. If nothing else, it's better to be able to play alone than need to wait for nine other guys to show up so you can try to win a stuffed animal in a public restroom.
Note to people: Never accept a stuffed animal given to you by someone who works in a public restroom.
Second, I'm disturbed, because Japan has somehow managed to take one of the most basic functions of the human body ("remove waste") and find a way to make it socially acceptable to be a bit of a pervert about it. "Hey, man, gimme two more beers. This time I'm gonna blow that woman's dress into the next COUNTY. It's gonna be all Hurricane Me up in that stall. You guys wanna come watch me get the highest score? It won't be weird...right?"
Third, for reasons that I cannot fully explain, oh god I want one. Not for the pervert games, but because, well, it's a video game designed for bathrooms. I've always slightly wondered why urinals aren't often found in homes (as it turns out, Marketplace answered that question not too long ago), but being able to be amused while engaged in something that's typically boring would just be fun.
And before you say anything, yes, people have had books in bathrooms for ages, and one could always carry a video game into the bathroom with them, but do you really want to be touching something someone was handling while using the facilities? Who knows what's growing on those pages or those buttons?