So Sega is bringing back Segata Sanshiro for their 60th Anniversary. For some reason.
There’s no question that the ‘90s are back in vogue. This could be that all the kids that grew up in the ‘90s are now approaching middle age, which means that they statistically have the most disposable income that they are ever likely to have. Which might not be as much as their parents, but at least they’ve got a whole bunch of cool games to spend their cash on.
This situation is much the same in Japan as it is here, so for Sega’s 60th anniversary, they decided to bring back a classic TV icon.
But first, we check out Sega’s snazzy new website with a message from Sega chairman Haruki Satomi. Mr. Satomi decided that the best way to show his appreciation to Sega fans is with a very corporate letter featuring his smiling face that definitely expresses “deep gratitude.”
“This year, sixty years will have passed since Nihon Goraku Bussan Co. Ltd., the predecessor of Sega, was established on June 3, 1960. We are indebted to everyone who has patronized the Sega Group for many years, and would like to express our deep gratitude to all of you,” said Satomi. “We want to astonish the world with breath-taking experiences that no one in the world has ever imagined.”
If that wasn’t ‘90s enough, last week Sega decided to release a teaser image of their 60th-anniversary plans. Although the silhouetted figure certainly seemed like an advertisement for a new fighting game, it was actually just Sega Shiro, Sega’s new corporate mascot. At least, in Japan anyways.
For those who weren’t living in Japan in the ‘90s, Sega Shiro is actually a reference to Segata Sanshiro, Sega’s advertising mascot for the Sega Saturn. Sanshiro was actually a parody of Sanshiro Sugata, a Japanese movie about a legendary judo fighter. Sanshiro would often show up, use his judo prowess to violently defeat some random opponent, and then hock the Sega Saturn just by saying his name really fast.
Here’s the thing: the new guy who now plays Sega Shiro (Maito Fujioka) is actually the son of the actor who played Segata Sanshiro (Hiroshi Fujioka) in the late ’90s. So it all comes full circle.
Sega hasn’t been in North America long enough to celebrate a 60th anniversary, so this will likely remain a “just for Japan” thing. And maybe that’s for the best.
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