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Tweet of the Week #52: Pepper the Robot Freaks Out Twitterverse Singing Happy Birthday

Learn the expression みたい while hatching your escape plan with this week's viral tweet.

By 3 min read

Those who haven’t traveled to Japan might picture a Blade Runner-esque landscape ruled by automatization, robots and pointless instruments of machine intelligence. But anyone who’s been living here long enough will have realized the shocking truth: Japan is old-fashioned AF.

Like an 80s movie set in an imagined future where a lot of things are packaged in plastic, Japan lives in a time warp that wants to embrace technology but is also terrified by it. Fax machines exist alongside touch-screen vending machines. Flip phones are as common as VR headsets. As for toilets. Do you choose the humble squat or the semi-sentient washlet which sings while spraying you up the butt?

Very occasionally though, life here does offer us a glimpse of what the future may have in store for us.

Meet Pepper, the creepy humanoid robot

If you fear super-intelligent robots, humanoid Pepper (ペッパー) will be the stuff of your nightmares. While this synthetic being is no Terminator, his ability to see that you are looking at him and to follow your path as you walk by, silently turning his head, is unsettling, invasive and creepy as hell.

Developed by Softbank Robotics Aldebaran, Pepper was introduced to the market in 2014 as the first “robot capable to read human emotions.” Thanks to its facial and voice recognition abilities, Pepper is able to respond to the user’s emotional state, using both his voice and body language to interact with people around him. At the same time, this sneaky little cyborg collects and analyzes data about you. 26

Available for purchase at just $22,500 (a fraction of the cost of the new iPhone), Pepper has been freaking people out with its soulless black eyes at Softbank stores, public libraries, banks, medical facilities, and restaurants across the nation. 

Now though it looks like Pepper has decided to engage the next step of its evil plan to destroy the world.

No more birthdays for us

If one Pepper robot wasn’t enough to get you to cross to the other side of the road, five of them should make you run for the hills (the really far away ones).

なんかこのわりみたいでくさ = Seems like the end of the world, lol

Memes and GIFs exploded on Twitter after this blood-curdling video went viral across the globe.

Yes. Yes, it is.

Sorry, you can’t escape. はっぴば〜すで〜とぅ〜ゆ〜! Happy Birthday!

よるになるとこうなるw = At night, they end up like this, lol

Still, it seems like Pepper would make a perfect Halloween costume.

It “seems like” the one on the left is… the DJ?

The expression みたい won’t help you with a robot apocalypse, but is definitely a good phrase to express that “something looks like” or “seems like.” Just like a particle, みたい can be attached directly to nouns, adjectives, and verbs’ casual form. 

  • 子供こどもみたい = (act) like a child
  • ゆめみたい = like a dream
  • いえにいるみたい = seems like they’re home
  • わかれたみたい = seems like they broke up
  • つよいみたい= looks strong

みたい shouldn’t be confused with the たい form of the verb 見る, which means “I’d like to see”. 


Japanese Romaji English
ペッパー pepaa Pepper
なんか nanka somehow
この kono this
わり yo no owari end of the world
みたい mitai seems like
kusa shoot, sh*t, also “lol”
よる yoru night
になる ni naru become
こうなる kou naru become like this
w w lol
子供こども kodomo child
ゆめ yume dream
いえ ie home, house
いる iru be
わかれたわかれたわかれたわかれる wakareru break up (couple)
つよ tsuyoi strong
見る miru see

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