Phone Ads to Show Sailor Moon, Astroboy, Kenshiro in Real Life
posted on by Eric Stimson
On October 20, Softbank, a Japanese telecommunications company, will debut a series of commercials for its cell phone network depicting several classic anime characters all grown up — and portrayed in live-action. The characters that have been announced so far are Sailor Moon, Obocchama-kun, Astro Boy, Kenshiro (Fist of the North Star), Golgo 13, Joe Yabuki (Tomorrow's Joe), and Maruko-chan (Chibi Maruko-chan). Kai-kun, Softbank's white dog mascot, will also star.
The commercials' premise rests on the Moon Ribar, an atmospheric rooftop bar tended by Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon) and frequented by "somewhat strange" patrons. It's a friendly, intimate gathering place, where visitors chat, celebrate their successes, weep over their failures, and enjoy their smartphones — all late in night and sometimes as a secret from their families.
Kyoko Koizumi (Tokyo Sonata, Hanging Garden) is cast as Sailor Moon. She admits that she was too old for the anime when it premiered and regrets that the commercials don't involve a transformation scene. Shinnosuke Mitsushima (the Japanese version of Alone in Love, 11:25 The Day He Chose His Own Fate) stars as Obocchama-kun, the rich, bratty hero of a comedy anime from the early 1990s; he has now fallen into poverty.
The first, minute-long commercial will air at 8:53 PM. Jean Reno has previously been cast as an anime character as well: Doraemon. Sailor Moon has been filmed in live-action before, although in that version, Miyuu Sawai played Usagi.