Valentine’s Day Google Doodle In Japan Features Tony Bennett Ballad

    February 13, 2012
    Drew Bowling
    Comments are off for this post.

In case you weren’t aware, we here in the United States are at the end of the quotidian cycle. North America is literally the last continent to say goodbye to a calendar day and we’re also last to greet the new days. This phenomenon is owed to the International Date Line, which demarcates where calendar days start and end. The existence of the International Date Line is also one of the reasons why I suspect that Japan is called “Land of the Rising Sun” – because, according to the International Date Line, they’re one of the first countries to get to sample the new day.

Makes sense, right? Good.

So while tomorrow may be Valentine’s Day for those of us in the West, it’s already Valentine’s Day in Japan. Reinforcing the global significance of Valentine’s Day, Google has given their Japanese page the Google Doodle treatment today with a special animated doodle commemorating the holiday. Upon clicking the Doodle, Tony Bennett’s “Cold, Cold Heart” begins playing over an animation depicting a lovesick lad trying his best to woo a lady with roses and heart boxes of chocolate (among other gifts). Users can click through the animation in order to find news and search results for Valentine’s Day (those results will automatically appear after the animation is over).

What struck me most about this Doodle is the end, which presents a collage of different types of couples. Among them are a milk carton and a cookie, a cat and a dog, and a princess with a frog. Included with these pairs, though, are two depictions of same sex couples: one with two women, and another with two men. Google’s decision to include the two same sex couples with other pairs that are more comical or even fictional (an astronaut with a space alien?) is confusing. Should same sex couples ignore this uncomfortable juxtaposition given that they were even acknowledged at all? I’m not so sure gays and lesbians will take so kindly to their already-marginalized sexuality being regarded as seriously as space alien couplings or cat-and-dog couplings. You can see the two couples in the bottom row of the image below.

It remains to be seen if Google will roll out different Valentine’s Day-inspired Doodles (with different ballads, even?) for different regions of the world, of if this will be the worldwide Doodle for the holiday. Guess we’ll see tomorrow, hm?

  • Jayco

    Why are you saying it’s only in Japan? It’s in Australia too, chances are it will be everywhere.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/drew-bowling Drew Bowling

      Japan was the first Google page I saw that got the treatment. Given Australia and now Russia have gotten the Doodle on their page, I imagine it’ll be the same around the world. I stated Japan because I didn’t know if the Doodle would be the same for every language/country. Guess it is.

  • DDD

    This is interesting. I didn’t notice. I was too focused on the depicted story. Google hit it on the head! Instead of just going out and buying “things”, what most girls/women really want is for the man to spend time with them, and get into what they are doing. The message is excellent! We need more of this now in the US. Someone at Google has a happy woman close by…

    (From American living in Japan)

  • Bubba Jones

    Wait until the hate mail starts pouring in from all those dogs and cats. As any cartoon expert will tell you, they hate each other.

  • JR

    I don’t believe same sex couples will be offended by this adorable doodle. The end page, plus Boy and Girl, make up different relationships that work. Cats and dogs are opposites, yes, but opposites can attract. Cookies and milk are the perfect complement. The Princess and the Frog are the romantic, if not at times sad or dramatic, fairy tale match. As for the alien and the astronaut, it is the love for the exotic, the new and unexplored possibilities. Boy and Girl themselves are the love that comes naturally by shared interest, not forced by gifts. With all of these working matches, why do you think anyone would be offended to be compared to them?

    Then again, it is a doodle. These matches are cute and not just six panel of the same thing. Huzzah!

    • Tom

      I’m gay and it’s no big deal but it’s certainly not complimentary when you’re in a traditionally ‘invisible’ minority to be the only real inclusion in a load of fairy tales… or the only human among ‘wacky’ animals

  • Jessica

    I didn’t think the bottom left one was two women. To me it looks like an Asian or maybe white man and a black woman. So like the two men are representing gays, that square would represent mixed race couples.

    • Kim

      Agreed. Though it seems more like a “nerd” couple to me.

  • Jenn

    Oh shut it ! why does everything have to be over analyzed just let it be what it’s really about, which happens to be nothing about same sex or species.. It’s about a feeling, love.. that comes in many forms

  • Robert Miller

    I can see one same sex couple, but if you’re saying that the other one is the one on the bottom left I think you’re wrong. To me that looks like an interracial couple, man and woman. Therefore they represented all kind of people.

  • http://www.goodreads.com/noblebandit noblebandit

    #!*$!@# Valentine’s Day

    Relationships. They can keep them

    I have my books and my cat

    I’m happy flying solo

    QQ into my B & J’s Red Velvet

    Then treat myself to Olive Garden

    Salad and breadsticks are limitless

    Later play a game of WoW

    And dance with a Night Elf 😀

    Yeah, I’m happy flying solo

    Don’t like to answer to anyone

    Do what I want when I want

    You don’t hear me bleating on

    Tauren-sized box of chocolates

    For us single people on this day

    Ohmy. Funfun. To be honest

    I couldn’t have it any other way!