From BabyMetal to Hello Kitty: 11 Wacky Japanese Trends to Love

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Screenshot via Santen Pharmaceuticals

7. Odd and Amazing Japanese Commercials

Japanese society is definitely a consumer oriented one and advertising is king. They seem to regularly churn out a number of rather odd and sometimes amazing commercials, let’s take a look at a few from this year.

There’s nothing more Japanese than ramen. Pokka Sapporo has a line of extra spicy noodles, Kara-O, and we all know that spicy means sexy. Their ad campaign has a set of commercials featuring various sexy young women to sell ramen. They feature a cover girl, racing model, an idol girl, an anime voice actor, and dancers from CyberJapan. Don’t question it, just watch them slurp noodles and sweat. As Monty said in their string skit: “Shut up, shut up, shut up! Sex, sex sex, must get sex into it. Wait, I see a television commercial…”

Celebrating their 58th anniversary this year, Nissin takes a different tactic for their Nissin Chikin Ramen ad. A warrior school girl goes a long way to make her ramen in this spot. The commercial touches on all sorts of popular Japanese memes and themes along her journey contrasting with the constant nature of the ramen flavor.

Mars Japan brings a horror movie icon from RIngu into their candy fold.  Sadako, the terrifying pale skinned, long haired character that crawls out of the television is part of the Snickers You’re Not You When You’re Hungry campaign. RocketNews24 notes that the role is played by Yoshiko Mita, a famous Japanese actor, for the grouchy parts and then Elly Nanami, an actor that actually portrayed Sadako in a movie, for the scary parts.

Okay this one isn’t exactly a commercial, but it pretty much functions as one. This is an anime episode made for a drug company, Santen Pharmaceuticals. The characters are eyedrop ingredients interpreted as cute anime girls. Vitamin B6 anyone? RocketNews24 reports that their motto is “We are EYEDROPS! Sworn to protect planet Eye!”

I’ve saved the best for last. This is a sort of tales of the weird plotted commercial. It delves into the origin of a Firefly Man character with a pretty complete story covering his downfall. This ad’s goal is to sell… Ocedel Lighting’s LED lightbulbs, but you won’t care because it’s creative and fabulously done.