One of my earliest experiences of culture shock after moving to Japan was during my first trip to the movie theater. As the credits started rolling, I did what I expected everyone else would be doing — I stood up to leave, only to have my Japanese friend tug on my sleeve to make sit me back down. “It hasn’t finished yet,” she whispered, and as I looked around, every other person was still sat in their seats, eyes glued to the credits rolling up the screen.
It was only when the last of the credits faded away and the lights came up that everyone started gathering their things to leave, but that moment always stuck with me. Bear in mind that this was before the days where post-credit scenes were really a thing, too.
Ever since then, I’ve dutifully stayed sitting until the credits have finished in full (with the exception of the movie Cats, where my friend and I made a beeline to the exit the moment the movie ended).
I thought I was the only person who didn’t stay and watch movie credits, but it turns out I have an unexpected ally in legendary ’90s J-pop idol Ami Suzuki.
Suzuki recently made headlines after an appearance on TV panel show "Girl’s Barking Night." The show features a male host with a panel of female celebrity guests, and the topics discussed on the show usually provide a good opportunity for the guests to vent their feelings. Previous shows have featured divisive topics such as “people who don’t participate in group messages” or “people who wait until they reach the register to get money out of their purse”.
The topic discussed on the show that aired on May 4 was “Should you watch the credits of a movie until the end?” to which Suzuki boldly declared “Do we need to? The moment the movie ends, I’m like ‘I’m outta here!'”
Since the show aired, Suzuki’s comments have divided people into two factions — the "stay and watch the credits" group and the "leave immediately" group. The overwhelming majority of netizens seem to be in the "stay and watch the credits" group, however.
“Anyone who leaves before the credits finish isn’t a real movie fan.”
“Movie fans like to use the credits to think about important scenes from the movie they just watched. People standing up and talking is really rude and distracting.”
“I like the credits so I can see important facts, like where the movie was filmed.”
“If you leave early, you’re disrespecting the people who worked hard on the movie.”
“These days, so many movies have post-credits scenes, so you’re missing out.”
“When I watch a Hollywood movie, I always look for Japanese names in the credits. It’s fun.”
“People are free to do what they want, but I really disagree with Ami Suzuki asking ‘Do we need to?’ If she’d just said “I don’t watch them’, then it’d be fine.”
Seeing as Suzuki herself is in the entertainment industry and releases DVDs of her live concerts, some Twitter users remarked that her comments could suggest that there’s no need to watch the credits for things she appears in, insulting the people that have worked hard behind the scenes.
“It would be fine if a member of the public made these kinds of comments, but for someone in the entertainment industry? Has she no respect for the staff that work for her behind the camera?”
“It’d be like people leaving during the curtain call at her shows.”
The debate is still raging on, but one thing is clear — no matter what side of the fence you fall on, if you watch a movie in Japan, maybe stay sitting until the credits have finished, unless you wish to feel the wrath of your fellow moviegoers. And while you’re at it, try not to laugh loudly, either.
Source: Sponichi Annex via Hachima Kiko
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