If you love anime – or think all Japanese animation is the same old, same old – check out
this all new selection of off-beat, wacky, vintage animated TV commercials from Japan. They are filled to the brim with imagination, style and appealing design.
We have more of these Torys commercials made by TCJ Animation Center (now Eiken). The first one is a send-up to “The Untouchables”, with FBI Detective Uncle Torys taking a case of the Torys Whiskey for himself. In Japan, The Untouchables aired from 1962 to 1964 on the NET (now TV Asahi) network.
As a bonus, here’s another set of Torys commercials, these being made in color. The first one, where Uncle Torys returns home from work, was particularily famous, and arguibly the most well-known of the commercials. The third commercial is hilarious in that the Japanese singer is trying to sing a Western song in English even though he clearly has limited vocabulary in the language. “Ohhh western! Ohhh western! Action! Drama!”
Licca-chan is a dress-up doll made by Takara company. Think of it as a Japanese equivalent of Barbie. (more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licca-chan)
This commercial is interesting, utilizing stop-motion animation on the actual dolls. I’m surprised there wern’t many commercials for dolls using stop-motion technique, although the lack of mobility might have been a factor.
Yanbo Mabo Weather
Yanmar is a diesel engine manufacturer and from 1959 to 2014 they sponsored a short weather spot, which featured two boys (Yanbo and Mabo) in an animated intro while singing “My name is Yanbo! My name is Mabo! Together We are Yanmar!” The characters were designed by animator Yasuo Nakamura, who worked on the spot for the entirety of the run.
Here’s an early intro from 1959:
Initially, the intros were entirely animation, but they later began incorporating the animated characters into live-action, which became the standard until its end. Here’s a later intro from the 1980s:
Finally, as a 50th anniversary celebration, they made a special opening where the two characters look through old intros from throughout its run, showcasing how they evolved:
Bambino Race ‘n Chase
How about we end on a commercial for a video game? I’m not a gamer, but from seeing the commercial, the objective is to catch the getaway car as you control the policecar.
The most notable thing, however, is that this 1980 commercial features the first animated appearance of Ryotsu from “Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo” (“This is the Police Station in Front of Kameari Park in Katsushika Ward”, often shortened by fans as “Kochikame”), a long-running manga by Osamu Akimoto. The manga ran on Shonen Jump from 1976 to 2016, exactly 40 years.
Despite its popularity and long-run, it took years for a proper animated adaptation to be made. Tatsunoko Production made a 30-minute film in 1985 that was released as part of Shonen Jump Anime Festival, but a regular series didn’t happen until 1996, with Studio Gallop producing. The show lasted until 2004 for a run of 373 episodes, plus two theatrical movies and nine TV specials.