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Advertising / Metro Manners

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Metro Manners, sometimes referred to by the name of the main character, Super Kind, is a series of etiquette PSAs created by Mike Diva for the Los Angeles Metro in 2017. The series of videos are a pastiche of the Henshin Hero and Magical Girl genres, and center around the adventures of Super Kind (Anna Akana), a transforming superhero who promotes good behavior on the bus and subway. Super Kind is an ordinary transit rider who transforms into a superhero when confronted with her enemy Rude Dude, a furry orange monster who displays all sorts of bad behavior.

All the ads can be viewed here.

Metro Manners contains the following tropes:

  • Ad Bumpers: Each episode has a Title Card done in the style of anime ad bumpers that appears in the middle of the episode that explains its subject in English and Japanese.
  • Animesque: It's a live-action work, but the style is clearly inspired by anime in addition to the content. Examples include Super Kind's purple hair, use of anime-style title cards, and the use of freeze-frames with Manga Effects, such as a segment where Super Kind freezes, shocked, while white lines radiate out from her face.
  • Celebrity Endorsement: The "Wait your turn to enter" PSA features a cameo from Danny Trejo, where he introduces himself with "Hi, I'm Danny Trejo" and delivers the message of the episode.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The fantasy sequences of most episodes are visually busy with a highly saturated, pastel color palette, particularly in the second one.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Each episode features a musical sequence that takes place on highly stylized sets rather than on a bus/train like the rest of the episode. These feature surreal touches such as supersized fruits floating in the background and a mini train coming out of Super Kind's mouth. This is particularly evident in the "Seat Hogging" PSA, where all the sets are filled with brightly-colored geometric shapes.
  • Dynamic Akimbo: At the end of her Transformation Sequence, Super Kind strikes a variant of this pose where she stands with legs apart, one arm on her hip, and the other hand making a V-Sign. This alludes to her status as a superhero, but the V-Sign makes her more cute and less confrontational than the usual superhero, fitting as her goal is to get people to be respectful on the bus.
  • Eye Beams: In the "Aisle Blocking" PSA, Super Kind vaporizes Rude Dude's bike with her eyes.
  • Fantasy Sequence: Maybe. In every episode where Super Kind battles Rude Dude, the battle ends with her striking a pose and staring off beaming into space, while everyone else on the bus stares at her looking weirded out, implying the whole battle and transformation sequence was all in her head. But the detritus of her battle remains in view at the same time...
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: The videos usually involve Super Kind having a Transformation Sequence, performing a song and dance routine about Metro behavior, and then using her super powers to vanquish the villain. But "Wait your turn to enter" instead features the main characters standing around awkwardly while Danny Trejo delivers the aesop instead, with some Lampshade Hanging:
    "There was gonna be a whole song and dance routine about how you should wait your turn to enter the train, but they got me, Danny Trejo, to talk to you instead.
  • Henshin Hero: Super Kind is an ordinary transit rider who becomes a super hero (complete with costume and Transformation Sequence) when she sees bad behavior on the Metro. She seems to have New Powers as the Plot Demands in order to combat Rude Dude.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: The videos are made for an English-speaking American audience but feature mostly Japanese narration and Japanese text onscreen. The Japanese voice-over isn't actually important to the message but adds to the feeling that the clips are from a Super Sentai-type show.
  • Make Some Noise: In "No Loud Music", a Darker and Edgier Super Kind forces headphones on the Rude Dude that destroy him by playing music incredibly loudly.
  • Say My Name: Super Kind's transformation trigger phrase is her own name, which she says emphatically and dramatically before transformation.
  • Transformation Sequence: When Super Kind notices bad behavior on the Metro, she yells her name and transforms into her superhero outfit. The transformation takes place on a blue background with red hearts, and Super Kind rotates slowly as clothing items appear. At the end, she strikes a dramatic pose.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The riders of the L.A. Metro are completely oblivious to a giant, one-eyed, fuzzy orange monster riding the bus with them, and are only mildly fazed by things like a tornado-force gale suddenly appearing on the subway.
  • Vacuum Mouth: In the "Eating" video, Super Kind sucks the monster's food out of his hand with a power vortex emanating from her mouth. This is so powerful it causes passersby to lose their hats and the lights to flicker.