Addressing an audience of nearly two thousand at a rally in North Carolina last Saturday, US Senator Bernie Sanders made a bold promise to potential voters: “If elected president, I will continue bringing anime to life.”
“Mark my words. My cosplays will only get better.” the candidate emphasized, one eye obscured behind a red Dragon Ball Z power scouter. “Heck. I’ve already started sewing.”
The independent senator whose economic stance and progressive views made him a surprise frontrunner among democratic candidates explained that the United States presidency would provide the resources and exposure necessary to take his passion for costumed role-play to the “next level.”
“One Piece. Bleach. Naruto. When I’m president, not even manga will be safe.” Sanders shouted to cheers from the room, going on to detail how serving as commander-in-chief offers unparalleled access to quality fabrics, die-cast replica swords, as well as full-time staffers to help him with more ambitious costumes. “It’s time to double down and finish that Gundam armor, America!”
Political pundits were quick to analyze the announcement.
“We’ve seen Bernie as Ryu. Cowboy Bebop. Diglett from Pokemon.” remarked Larry Sabato, Director of University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “He’s hit nearly every major franchise character this past year and done a damn good job of it. As POTUS, I think he could go deeper: embody some of the minor characters in popular animes—Kon, Haku, Trunks, Tomoyo Daidouji. I’d love to see him throw some Kill La Kill our way. Regardless, we can definitely expect a few gender-bends heading into 2016.”
Sanders acknowledged that the idea of disappointing the American people would keep him ambitious. “It’s all about the fans. I’m not here to throw on some eye shadow, wear a blue shirt, and call it Kaworu from Neon Genesis Evangelion. This is the presidency we’re talking about. Every character—human or undead— that sets foot in the Oval Office will be handmade, highly detailed, and immediately recognizable.”
The senator paused before continuing, visibly emotional: “These characters have taught me so much. They’ve helped me through some really tough points in my life, this campaign even.” He sighed, regaining his composure. “Becoming them is not a duty I take lightly.”
The senator, of course, is not without his critics, with many in the GOP alleging he is too old to portray younger, ‘kawaii’ characters from popular fan-service features. Fielding a question about these concerns, Sanders responded “Kawaii? Oh, you want kawaii?” He then giggled, puckered his lips, pressed his knees together, and feigned an expression of surprise to a standing ovation from the room.
“Ultimately, it comes down to this America.” he said before leaving the stage. “Do you want to elect another corporate stooge to Washington?” The senator spun, landed in a martial arts pose, and shouted in a gravelly bass: “Or Vegeta-San, King of Saiyans!”