On June 17, HANABIE. uploaded the music video for their recent release, TOUSOU (Run Away). A scene in the video shows a disgusting boss getting a powerful punch from lead vocalist Yukina [ユキナ]. Clever fans recognized the villainous boss from their previous music video, Pardon Me, I Have To Go Now [お先に失礼します。]. Perhaps, the blow to the face is well deserved as the boss’s behavior was particularly creepy in that video.
The boss character named “No Boss” [いや〜な上司] in the music videos is portrayed by Koji Kuroki [黒輝光司] and is most likely a decent person in real life. Yet, his acting in “Pardon” is very convincing as a bad boss. Filmed in a typical office setting, the band members including Yukina also have guitarist Matsuri [マツリ] and bassist Hettsu [ヘッツ]. They play the roles of office workers and have to endure his overbearing and inappropriate behavior.
The disgusting boss focuses on Yukina’s character and at several times gets way too handsy. Later in the video’s story, Yukina has a text conversation and learns a special power. After she has had enough of the bad boss, she yells in his face, “Pardon Me, I Have To Go Now!” The phrase is directly from the song’s title: [お先に失礼します。]
While the fictional portrayal in both videos is humourous and exaggerated, it brings to light a very serious issue in Japan. According to a survey from 2022 by consulting firm Shikigaku, they found that nearly a third of employees in Japan have experienced workplace harassment. And recent laws and changes in Japan’s culture may help to push back on this problem.
Meanwhile, in the fictional world of HANABIE., the disgusting boss is served swift justice. In a scene, viewing his smartphone, he is apparently terminated from work and is facing sexual harassment allegations. And if that’s not enough, Yukina’s knock on his smug face should leave an unsettling reminder that you don’t mess around with HANABIE.