Lotte’s gum brands become samurai warriors from the Shinsengumi and fight to protect a tooth that claims to be a high school girl.
Popular candy manufacturer Lotte created a stir in 2014 when they introduced their group of Gum Kare, or “Gum Boys”. These handsome anime characters act as the embodiment of the company’s popular chewing gum brands, each with a different flavour and style. The boys have starred in a number of short animated videos, including one where they became geeky characters after eating too many sweets on Valentine’s Day.
But now the boys are back, starring in an equally bizarre clip that involves rescuing a high school girl…who’s actually a tooth. The video is set in an Edo-period town and starts with some chirpy music and an introduction in written Japanese, much like a video game. We find that the sparkly tooth has crossed the space-time continuum and is now living inside the mouth of a man during the closing days of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Suddenly, Glamour, from the Glamatic Kingdom, appears and, having never seen such a fantastic, mysterious tooth before, decides to whisk her back to his home country. Glamour is voiced by award-winning voice actor Jun Fukuyama, who’s had roles in anime films like Bleach and the Mobile Suit Gundam series and parts in video game franchises like Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid.
Thwarting Glamour’s plans to kidnap the tooth are the Gum Boys, who come to the rescue in the form of the Shinsengumi, which was an actual special police force of swordsmen formed in 1863 to kill or arrest enemies of the Tokugawa Shogun. Hailed as heroes in popular culture yet known as a ruthless murder squad by historians, the real-life Shinsengumi never faced a challenge like this. Let’s take a moment to meet the members of the group below.
▼ Coolmint to the rescue! Known as “Kuuru Hijikata”, this character is the deputy of the Shinsengumi and uses an “Antarctic” sword. He also carries around a penguin soulmate to show just how cool he is.
▼ Akuo Okita, aka Acuo gum, is a young swordsman prodigy who provides an invigorating breath to long sighs.
▼ Gurin Yamanami, the leader of the group, is shy and retiring. A serious, studious type, he carries around a notebook and the fragrance of sweet mint.
▼ Kishirito Saito, representing the gum Xylitol, is calm and sometimes a little pretentious. He has beautiful manners and an equally beautiful fighting style.
▼ Fuitsu Toudou is Fit’s gum personified. The youngest member of the group, Fuitsu is a master of kabuki dance and uses a sword and shuriken throwing stars, as he comes from ninja heritage.
▼ Black Black gum is represented by Burakku Harada, a short-tempered, wild warrior who’s an expert with the long-handled Chinese Spear. He has a deep sense of duty and charges in to fight straight away.
To see the story clip in full, check out the video below.
If you’re wondering what happened at the end, Glamour says the tooth belongs to him and he’s determined to take it home with him at all costs. The video concludes with the blushing tooth asking, “What on earth will become of me?”, hinting that we’ll be seeing more of the “Gum Shinsengumi” in the near future!