The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently added an “abnormal behavior” warning to the anti-influenza medication Tamiflu. The medication is extremely popular in Japan, where doctors believe it can be effective against avian flu symptoms. However, some unusual side-effects have been detected, as reported by CNN.com
The added precaution comes after reports of more than 100 new cases of delirium, hallucinations and other unusual psychiatric behavior in children treated with the drug. Most were Japanese children.
Longtime observers of Japanese culture have pointed out that these symptoms are curiously similar to the side-effects reported by frequent consumers of Anime films. “It explains a lot”, said Stanford psychologist Dr. Rayford Dudgeon “Have you seen some of this stuff? You’d have to be whacked on psychotropics to come up with a concept like tentacle rape.”
Akira Toriyama, creator of the popular series Dragon Ball Z, has admitted that both the manga and the anime artwork are inspired by epic Tamiflu-and-cough syrup binges that leave him jittery and paranoid for days afterward. “Without Tamiflu, I’d probably be cranking out frame after frame of crude animation for The Simpsons” Toriyama said through an interpreter. “The pig in a bow-tie came from a self-portrait I painted during one of my lost weekends”.
Japanese and American doctors who commonly prescribe Tamiflu point out that influenza can cause some of these symptoms even without treatment, and take umbrage with the notion that the drug is responsible for current entertainment trends in the subculture. “Tamiflu wasn’t on the market in 1991, when Mr. Toriyama wrote a story arc about common household spices attacking the Earth.” said one prominent physician at Johns Hopkins. “Are we going to blame the pharmaceutical industry for Tamigotchi and Godzilla, too? Maybe the Japanese are just weird.”
“Now if you’ll excuse me” he concluded, “I have to go borrow some Tamiflu from the pharmacy and play a couple of hours of Katamari.”