Sakamoto Ryōma Travels to New York for MetLife Web Series

posted on by Amanda Whalen
Daisuke Ono plays historical figure for insurance ad

Historical figure Sakamoto Ryōma explores New York in the first episode of a web series called “Ryōma Meets MetLife,” sponsored by life insurance company MetLife. Sakamoto and MetLife are roughly the same age, since MetLife was founded about 150 years ago in New York and Sakamoto will have been born 150 years ago this year.

In the series, Sakamoto Ryōma is played by voice actor Daisuke Ono. Ono has previously voiced Jōtaro Kūjō in Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Jūsimatsu Matsuno in Mr. Osomatsu, Sebastian Michaelis in Black Butler, and Erwin Smith in Attack on Titan, along with countless other characters in a variety of anime, video games, and live-action films. He will also be voicing the character Atsushi Kimishita in the upcoming soccer anime DAYS, which begins airing in July.

Daisuke Ono (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure's Jotaro, Mr. Osomatsu's Jūsimatsu Matsuno, Black Butler's Sebastian Michaelis) plays Sakamoto Ryōma. He was specifically chosen for this role because he was actually born in the same area as Sakamoto, in the Kōchi Prefecture of Japan, and has worked there as a PR ambassador. In the web series, he speaks in the Tosa dialect, which is the local dialect of the Kōchi Prefecture. Ono has also played Sakamoto Ryōma in the otome video game series Hakuoki.

Sakamoto Ryōma is considered a visionary for his time. He strove for a unified, democratic Japan and worked to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate. He was ultimately assassinated, but not before helping to usher in the Meiji Restoration.

"Ryōma Meets MetLife" has three planned episodes. Below is episode #1, “Ryōma Goes to New York.” It features Sakamoto lost in 1860's New York. He runs into a MetLife consultant who tells the crowd that it's in their power to prepare for the worst. Sakamoto Ryōma proclaims that we stand on our own, and insurance helps with that.

Source: Anime! Anime!

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