January 28, 2015 posted by

Japanese Animated Commercials, Part 4

Here we go again with these silly Japanese adverts! Let’s see what’s in store this week.

Maruai Hanakatsuo
1960s commercial for a brand of katsuobushi. Featuring an American woman speaking broken Japanese. Must be a payback for all those times American cartoons depicted Japanese people speaking broken English.

Shiseido Pearl Toothpaste

Here’s a 60-second commercial for a toothpaste. Cute song. Produced by TCJ in 1960.

Chicken Ramen

A fun, bouncy commercial for Nissin’s Chicken Ramen. From 1963

Watanabe Juice

A very simple animation for a juice product. Dated 1960.

Akafuku Mochi

1978 commercial for Akafuku mochi. Ejamaika!

Yamasa Chikuwa
Another super short commercial, for chikuwa. The ad refers to the fact that Yamasa company has existed since 1827, the message being that their product is still a popular choice after nearly 200 years.

Various PSAs

How about some public service announcements? Yes, Japan has PSAs as well. Here’s a video containing over 4 minutes of them.

Asahi Pentax “Black Man’s Blues”

And finally, an award-winner. From 1964, Asahi Pentax “Black Man’s Blues”- I didn’t make that name up. It’s actually called “Black Man’s Blues” according to the official database. This won 4th place in ACC (All Japan Radio & Television Commercial Confederation) Award that year.

Produced by Toei Animation, directed by Kentaro Uchida and animated by Mami Umetani. Voice by Kumakura Kazuo.



  • When the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization traded video tapes during the late 1970s and 1980s with fans in France for anime taped off TV, we often got them with the TV commercials. I’m afraid that we never watched the animated commercials, but we always paid attention to the live-action commercials featuring high-priced American celebrities like Michael Jackson or Arnold Schwarzenegger who would never let themselves be seen in a TV commercial in America. Or maybe no American adv’t agency would come up with their prices like the Japanese adv’t agencies would. Some of these Japanese TV commercials are on YouTube, and I’ve considered devoting a column to them; but of course they’re not ANIMATED commercials. But when I remember Arnold in a tuxedo leaping from car-top to car-top during a traffic jam, I’m tempted …

    • I’m sure for plenty of Japanophiles (if that’s a proper term to use), those ads featuring familiar western celebrities are the ones most often asked about and flaunted whenever possible. Nobody ever cares about the animated stuff I use to like seeing from raw broadcast recordings of some anime I traded over the years.

      But when I remember Arnold in a tuxedo leaping from car-top to car-top during a traffic jam, I’m tempted …

      For me it’s this one with Arnold laughing hysterically for some energy drink!

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