Brush up on your Japanese geography as Capcom takes you on a tour of ten famous spots in Japan in an attempt to promote the new Monster Hunter 4 for the 3DS. Monster Hunter 4, better known as MonHan in Japan, was released September 14, 2013, but has just now put out their localized commercials for the whole world to see.
These commercials feature celebrities, mascots, and attractions famous to the specific areas, but with a bit of explanation I think you’ll enjoy them too.
Shizuoka De MonHan
Our first destination on Capcom’s tour of Japan is Shizuoka Prefecture. You may not know Shizuoka, or the celebrities in the commercial, but you will probably recognize Mr. Fuji, which is used to demonstrate the new jump feature found in Monster Hunter 4.
Kumamoto De MonHan
Next up is a jump down south to the island of Kyushu, where I used to live. Here they filmed commercials for both Kumamoto and Kagoshima. The Kumamoto commercial starts with a Mr. Ueda eating the famous ‘Kumamoto Ramen’ which is referred to as ‘Kumamoto Rajan’ (a monster from Monster Hunter 4). Mr. Ueda then confuses Kumamoto Castle for something his character could climb in the game, at which point the commercial pans out to the director and cameraman wondering if Mr. Ueda has been playing MonHan 4 a bit too much.
Having personally spent many weekends in this city, I loved this commercial. But I admit, it takes a special type of humor to enjoy.
Kagoshima De MonHan
Kagoshima, also in Kyushu, is famous for its shopping, large volcano, and some of the most glorious meat you can imagine. Kagoshima being my home away from home, I really wanted to like this commercial, but the prefecture really let me down. It shows off a few local celebrities and mascots saying they are hungry and eating some yaki niku, loosely ties in a reference to the game, and then has the diners march out, leaving the bill to the area’s mascot. Come on Kagoshima, you can do better than that.
Okinawa De MonHan
Okinawa is next on our tour of Japan, where we meet up with a local band. In the commercial a guitarist walks in and says that he is quitting the guitar and is going to pick up the flute. Two other members look surprised until they figure out he is talking about MonHan 4.
Nagoya De MonHan
Nagoya’s commercial features a couple of Japanese pro wrestlers who are fighting with moves used in the newest installment of the game. The absurdity alone made me laugh.
Hiroshima De MonHan
Now it’s off to Hiroshima, where we meet up with two entertainers playing MonHan 4. One of the entertainers climbs up and down steps in excitement that the game allows you to climb in the game. He then jumps onto the back of the other man, displaying the new grab attack. The whole commercial is funny, but the wink slayed me.
Miyagi De MonHan
Capcom then takes us to Miyagi Prefecture’s ‘Sendai Castle’ where we meet a group of 5 samurai. They talk about how Sendai Castle is a great castle and the walls are incredibly high. A samurai then shows that the new jump feature in MonHan 4 looks great. Not entirely sure how the MonHan reference fits into the commercial, but the samurai’s reactions are great.
Niigata De MonHan
Niigata’s commercial features the J-pop group Negicco using three famous products (onions, rice, and a dumpling) produced in the prefecture as weapons. Not much more to it, just a solid combo of cute and funny.
Iwate De MonHan
In Iwate we meet the J-pop group Chairmans. They are exhausted after a long but enjoyable day in Iwate. Just when it looks like the girls are going to call it a night, one of the members pulls out MonHan 4 and exclaims the night has only begun.
Kagawa De MonHan
I saved the most bizarre for last. Capcom takes us to Kagawa for a quick tour of the popular cat island. One of the cats even tells you if you are going to hunt, he will accompany you. It is weird, but if you like cats, you will enjoy this one.
As bizarre as these commercials may have been, these are all way more fun than the local commercials I used to get back in the States! I’m hoping Capcom does more of these ads for future games.