Lost in translation

When it comes to wackiness and cultural wonders, inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun, seem to constantly go that one step further to amaze us. From their baffling pachinko – a hypnotic ubiquitous slot-machine game-, or school girls’ underwear addiction, to strange humiliating game shows, Japan has become the place where, in terms of entertainment everything and anything goes.

Advertising is no exception, and that now apply to western celebrities too. Long gone are the days when holding a glass of Scottish Whisky while smiling at the camera, was just about all you could ask a jet-lagged over-the-hill actor, before he flies back to US with untouched rep and a bank account well topped off.

Bill Murray with his performance in Sophia Coppola’s movie has now turned these easy-money no questions asked gigs into a cool thing. Portraying an aging actor on a trip to Japan to repay a loan, “Lost in translation” has put a bright light on what used to be hushed in Hollywood and made it trendy. From then on, other celebs have had to go extra creative and wild in the name of Japanese entertainment.

Here are some of the craziest celebrity acts in Japanese ads.

Recently admitted alcoholic Hollywood actor Nicholas Cage is now going bonkers in a pachinko campaign, because he stumbles upon a triplets’ convention and thinks he’s tripping.
Coming clean with own addiction scandal and repaying the mortgage? Way to go Nick!

Closely followed by an insane Bruce Willis dressed up in grotesque orange pyjamas promotes a petrol station chain by bizarrely deciding to shoot up his bedroom with a ray gun in action films-like shouting frenzy. A must-see! Where else would you get to see Bruce Willis in an orange nightcap?

Last but not least, ever so cool Japan-ophile Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill 1and 2), has gone further by going lingual too and actually having a go at Japanese language in this gone-mad family reunion ad pushing a weird doggy speaking cell phone.  Hat off to Quentin for making the effort, when most English speaking actors, usually get dubbed in Japanese ads!
Note also that Mr Tarantino has for the occasion been renamed “Tara Chan” (Uncle Tara)!

Domo Arigoto Tara Chan!

AP, for Freelang

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