After a successful run worldwide, 'The Avengers' is finally being released in Japan this Friday. This should be cause for celebration amongst Japanese superhero fans but instead, they're angry and offended. Why? Because of the film's bizarro tagline: 日本よ、これが映画だ which translates into "Hey Japan, This is a Movie!"

Yup.

The photo above - a newspaper ad in Japan - was tweeted by Hideo Kojimo (via Kotaku), who gamers might recognize as the creator of the 'Metal Gear' series. Kojimo had a sense of humor about the tagline but others weren't so amused.

Japanese novelist Toshihiko Yahagi said, "Having an American say, 'Hey Japan, this is a movie' is deeply unpleasant. I swear that there is no way I'm going to see this film."

Unaware or unfazed by the controversy, Marvel's "Hey Japan!" tagline is still being used to promote the film (you can see it at the top of the film's Japanese official site). Marvel Studios has made numerous inroads into Japanese culture over the past few years, even producing 'X-Men' and 'Iron Man' anime specifically for the market. But this latest marketing gaffe doesn't look like it's going to help.

Also, what is even the point of this tagline? Do Japanese people not know this is a movie? What else would it be? A commercial for Acura?

It will be interesting to see how the movie performs this weekend and if it does as well in Japan as it has elsewhere across the globe. If it doesn't do well, at least Marvel can't complain that people didn't know it was a movie...