Fans Criticize Softbank's Anime Character Live-Action Phone Ads as 'Disrespectful'
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Last month, SoftBank's series of commercials depicting several classic anime characters all grown up premiered. The ads star Kyoko Koizumi (Tokyo Sonata, Hanging Garden) as Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon), the proprietess at Moon Ribar an atmospheric rooftop bar. She's assisted by Maruko-chan (Chibi Maruko-chan, played by Suzu Hirose) and welcomes guests like Fist of the North Star's Kenshiro (famous Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizō XI), Obocchama-kun (played by Shinnosuke Mitsushima), Duke "Golgo 13" Tōgō (played by Fumiyo Kohinata), Joe Yabuki (Ashita no Joe, played by comedian Naoki Matayoshi) and Astro Boy himself, played by Masato Sakai (Honey and Clover).
In the first ad, Astro Boy attempts to take a selfie before getting help from Sailor Moon's Moon Stick.
Golgo 13, now Prime Minister of the Japan's Diet, argues during a legislative session. Every time he reaches for his phone, the crowd gasps.
The third commercial stars Joe, who is now a novelist and suffering from "Punch-Drunk" Syndrome, and Kenshiro.
Obocchama-kun tries to garner laughs recording his gags for his streaming channel.
In the last ad, the characters have all gathered together.
The ads hoped to appeal to customers by promoting SoftBank's cell phone network through nostalgia. The results, however, are mixed. Fans criticized the depictions as "disrespectful" to the original work. Usagi Tsukino, for instance, has her future planned out in Naoko Takeuchi's original manga and the anime adaptation. Viewers criticized casting the character as the owner of a bar when she's supposed to become the immortal queen of Crystal Tokyo at age 22.
Another viewer wrote on Twitter: "I think it's been said well enough already, but with regards to the Soft Bank Commercials: the other characters aside, I can't accept "Astro Boy." Why do you think Professor Tenma never threw Astro Boy away? Because he never grew up!"
Source: Buzzap via Hachima Kikō