AKB48 Alumna Atsuko Maeda Returns in New Doraemon Ad
posted on by Egan Loo
French film star Jean Reno (Léon: The Professional, Mission: Impossible, The Da Vinci Code) is back as the manga cat Doraemon in his eighth live-action Toyota commercial on Saturday. Like the seven previous ads from Toyota Motor Corporation, the eighth ad depicts the characters of the classic children's manga Doraemon, two decades after they grow up. Satoshi Tsumabuki (Dororo, Ikebukuro West Gate Park, Smuggler) plays Doraemon's hapless owner Nobita.
This time, Atsuko Maeda, the singer who just "graduated" from the idol group AKB48, returns as Jaiko Gōda, the younger sider of the bully Gian. This is not only Maeda's first new ad to air after her AKB48 graduation, but also her first ad in which she co-stars with Gian (as played by mixed martial artist Naoya Ogawa).
The theme of the eighth ad is "Geijutsu no Aki," the Japanese custom of enjoying and making art in autumn. Jaiko holds her own museum exhibition under the pseudonym "Christine Gōda," but Doraemon and Nobita can't decide if one of her paintings is of a potato or a bug. (It's neither — Jaiko drew a Toyota Prius car.)
The Next Stop on the art tour is the supermarket that Gian now manages. There, Gian belts out the hit AKB48 song "Heavy Rotation" under the stage name "Takeshi Gōda." Doraemon and Nobita flee with Doraemon's Tōrinuke Hoop (Shortcut Hoop) and find a surprise on the other end. Actress Asami Mizukawa (Nodame Cantabile, Dark Water) also stars in the ad as Nobita's female friend Shizuka.
Here are the seven previous ads: