If I were meeting a member of an alien race, I think the first thing I’d show them would be Japanese television. Assuming in this scenario that we can at least communicate on a basic level, I’d hold up Japanese shows as both an example of boundless human creativity, and also as proof that humans are so varied and complex and unpredictable as a species that even stuff made by us is incomprehensible. I’m worried that might scare them, but I can’t think of a better way for them to get mankind.
Everything on Earth is so niche. Some people don’t like TV, others don’t like reading, and only like…50% of the population are well into sport. So I’m meeting this alien, and they say they picked up some broadcasts of a cricket game, and they want to give this strange game a go. Naturally this is a wonderful opportunity for diplomacy between our two peoples, so the indoor cricket nets go up and off we go! Naturally, they have to be indoor, and there must be nets. We don’t know how strong this alien species is…they could have such mammoth muscle-mass that they could smack a ball into orbit. Simple Earth cricket nets might not be enough to deal with an intergalactic batsman, but we can at least set them up as a safety measure.
But then it might turn out that only like 50% of aliens like sport as well, and here we are, boring them. They didn’t travel millions of parsecs to visit a foreign world, only to be bored! But I can’t put on an episode of Week of Our Lives for them either, because they might hate that as well. And what if somewhere out there, there’s a fearsome creature that looks like a hanging net that ensnares its prey, and we’re being offensive by showing them sports netting.
That’s why we need Japanese TV. I don’t care where in the galaxy you’re from: that’s the epitome of weird and wonderful. We can bond over our shared confusion.