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November 28, 2003

Anabuki Construction ad
Posted by Teresa at 01:20 PM *

This is one of the weirdest ads I’ve ever seen. It’s for a new development built by Anabuki Construction. Keep a close eye on those animals, because partway through the musical number they undergo certain transformations.

I highly recommend the annotated translation of it available here. Read all the way down or you won’t find out about the magic powers of tanuki.

Comments on Anabuki Construction ad:
#1 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2003, 01:37 PM:

Hey, if you want to see a lot more about Tanuki and their magic balls, you need to see the Studio Ghibli animated film TAMPOPO, which is all about a bunch of tanuki trying to keep the humans from ruining their forest. You are unlikely to see it in a theater, as they do a lot of magic with their balls. It's an odd little film (not a Miyazaki film, though Ghibli is Miyazaki's studio) and worth seeking out.

Furries everywhere! The world keeps getting stranger.


#2 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2003, 01:55 PM:

Tom beat me to it! Except he means Pom Poko (or Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko), not 93Tampopo94.

#3 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2003, 02:13 PM:

No, Tampopo is live action, and about the magical powers of ramen noodles. (well, not really, but it's a western about Ramen noodles, and that's surreal enough...)

#4 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2003, 02:56 PM:

Good ramen does have mystical properties.

But that video is gloriously strange, and it's just promoting a builder of apartments... I bet my landlord could rent out that last unit if he ran ads with magical forest creatures... or kawaii spokeswomen...

Meanwhile, I've been afraid to click any of the extreme fandom links Xeni's been posting to Boing Boing this week.

Trying to find the chord changes to "Angel's Pledge" is extreme enough for me, thank you.

#5 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2003, 03:03 PM:

Ah well, that's what comes of posting before I was really awake.... And the director is Isao Takahata, to make it easier for you to look up.

#6 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2003, 05:00 PM:

Believe it or not, I ran across tanuki and their magical, um, powers somewhere else very recently. I can't remember where or I'd give the link. But they're pretty unforgettable!


#7 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2003, 07:41 PM:

I love the Internet... here's a couple of links

Enjoy. I want one! As a pet!


#8 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2003, 08:31 PM:

Talk about yer friggin' inscrutable!

#9 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2003, 08:57 PM:

Fear the Japanese mystical creatures.
Tanuki and Kitsune (similar, but less vulgar, less benevolent (generally...), and foxes) are pretty damn weird, but Tengu? And their local version of the Devouring/Sheltering Crone (See also: Baba Yaga): Yamamba?

Of course, my favorite are the Kappa, whow, while Kitsune and Tanuki have enjoyed a healthy popcultural life (mostly in anime and statuary), have apparently been relegated to cute little dolls in most popcult appearances.

Who can fail to love little malevolent water sprites with infinite strength as long as the water on top of their heads doesn't spill.

#10 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2003, 11:11 PM:

And, BSD, who gave their name to cucumber sushi rolls (kappa-maki) -- I heard a rumor that this is because they love the rolls so much that they'll lean down to pick them up and ... oops, no more water!


#11 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2003, 01:25 PM:

Sources vary as to whether you present cucumber/cucumber rolls to Kappa in order to:
1: Placate them
2: Get them to bend over, spilling out the water, or
3: When you give them the cucumber-product, they, being japanese malevolent spirits, of course bow to you. Bowing makes them spill, etc.

#12 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2003, 04:27 PM:

I've watched it again. Still weird.

#13 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2003, 11:13 PM:

> 3: When you give them the
> cucumber-product, they, being japanese
> malevolent spirits, of course bow to you.
> Bowing makes them spill, etc.

Back in my game programming days we (though not me personally, unfortunately) did a licensed Usagi Yojimbo game for the Sinclair Spectrum and the Commodore-64 which featured politeness as well as mayhem, and artwork and animation were done for Kappas, which you could only defeat by bowing to them (so their bowl tipped) rather than by fighting them.

Sadly, the pokey 64k memory of the C64 couldn't accomodate all the artwork, so that bit never made it inot the final game.

#14 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2003, 12:26 PM:

An oldie, but a goodie; and I've never seen the translation before.

One of my friends was deeply disturbed by this, back in the day. We did all we could for him...but somehow, making it so that the song played everytime he logged into the group message board didn't help him overcome his aversion.

Go figure.

#15 ::: T.L. Hines ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2003, 03:22 PM:

All I can say is: it takes big cajones to pull off a commercial like this one.

Speaking of all things odd and Japanese, is anyone else a fan of "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge" on Spike TV? I think it's the funniest thing on television today, even without the crude English voiceovers (and I'm certainly a fan of crude English voiceovers).

#16 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2003, 03:31 PM:

Ooo...if the Anabuki-chan ad is new, have you seen the Tokyo Breakfast short? Brilliant...

#17 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2003, 08:18 PM:

One thing I just picked up on, that I really should have remembered before -- something not mentioned in the annotated translation link -- is the riff on "Little Red Riding Hood". The campaign girl is wearing a red hooded cloak, and when we first see her she's carrying a basket. And watashi no kioku ga tashika naraba (if memory serves me right) the Japanese version of "Little Red Riding Hood" is called "Akazukin-chan". ("Aka" here is "red" and I suppose that a hooded cloak is a "zuki" or "zukin".) "Anabukin-chan" seems like an obvious pun on "Akazukin-chan".

#18 ::: Eva ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2003, 04:31 AM:

Passing strange. My mother's from Japan and used to tell me kappa/tanuki stories when I was growing up, but she never mentioned this.

This made my day.

#19 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 04, 2003, 12:49 PM:

My uncle creates Japanese gardens. I should ask him if he has a souce of ceramic tanuki. They'd be fun housewarming gifts.

From a late season of "Mystery Science Theater 3000":

Tom Servo: "If she's a werewolf, why doesn't she have many rows of really small breasts?"

Mike: "That makes me uncomfortable in _so_ many ways?"

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