The samurai are one of the most enduring icons of Japanese culture. While anime, manga, and Godzilla are obviously all huge parts of popular Japanese culture that have received attention overseas, the old-school warriors continue to fascinate people of all ages and nationalities. Unfortunately, the real samurai haven’t existed for quite some time, and we’ll never get to see them in action again.
Or will we?!
According to a new, tongue-in-cheek commercial from Cup Noodle, the Japanese instant ramen manufacturer, the samurai never actually disappeared. Instead, they just changed a little bit…into idol otaku fans?!
The commercial, presented as an English documentary about contemporary samurai in Japan, pokes fun at how Japan is viewed abroad. Or, to be more accurate, how some Japanese people think their county is viewed aboard. We’re pretty sure no one actually believes that samurai are still running around Japan. (We hope.) The commercial features scenes of samurai fighting while a woman narrates in Japanese over another woman’s English narration, setting it up as a short mockumentary. Fortunately, the video also has English subtitles, so you can test your listening skills as well!
The commercial manages to pack a lot of misinformation into its short 30-second run-time, suggesting not only that “Samurais are still alive even in the 21st century” but also that they (apparently) clash and duel at the Shibuya Scramble Crossing.
▼And the US is the country of the cowboys!
▼Hmmm…maybe they’re zombie samurai?
▼Wait…are you sure this wasn’t filmed at a rave in the 90s?
▼Hold on a second…is this a cult?!
▼No words. Just…no words.
▼This is actually…pretty accurate!
Hey, it’s not just young people who like Cup Noodles (or idols, for that matter)! Walk into any Japanese office at lunch time or around 10 pm and you’re sure to find at least one harried office worker slurping down a cup of instant ramen. Cup Noodle may very well account for 55 percent of Japan’s productivity, if you happen to believe statistics we literally just completely made up.
The video boasts the talents of a number of Japanese actors, including stuntman/actor Seizō Fukumoto, better known as “the man who has been cut down over 50,000 times” due to his extensive death scenes in period dramas, and Tatsuro Koike, who appeared in The Last Samurai. The dancing otaku scenes featured popular Japanese comedians like Keitan and Boto, while the idols were portrayed by DenpaGumi.inc.
Check out the silly (and bizarre) video below!
This isn’t the first time a Cup Noodle commercial has featured samurai and English (they once even had an American general “battle” with office workers using his epic native pronunciation), but we think it makes a great addition to their quirky commercial collection. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a kettle to boil…