10 completely baffling Japanese commercials

Lost in translation? Maybe. Japan is justly renowned for its insane ads – and some feature unlikely famous faces.

Wonder Core

A commercial for an at-home ab workout bench, and this clumsy chap is having a bad day. He’s slipping over soap, he’s rowing with his girlfirend, and he’s being annihilated by a wrecking ball. However, all those bench presses he’s been doing have saved the day. Exercise truly does save lives!

Nissin Milk Seafood Noodles

What’s scarier than being stalked by pepper and cheese Power Rangers rejects? When said stalkers contaminate your noodles with delicious seasonings, of course. The phrase “that escalated quickly” has never been so relevant.

Anabuki Construction

This 30-second retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale has a lot more raccoon testicles than you remember.

KFC Christmas

Massive American brands like McDonalds and Starbucks now have a international presence, with stores all around the globe. KFC is no different. In fact, KFC is so popular in Japan it is the festive eatery of choice thanks to their successful marking campaign known as “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!”, or ‘Kentucky for Christmas’.


In sunny Great Britain, advertising for household appliances and kitchen utensils are probably some of the most bland and boring ever. However, in Japan, cookware brand FlavorStone decided to get 100 maids to flip a pancake around a mansion for some old guy. Hugh Hefner has nothing on him.


What sells crisps better than a bizarre anthropomorphic dog? According to Japan: nothing.

Arnold Schwarzenegger for Kowa Coffee

Arnie is no stranger to doing commercials in Japan. He is particularly loyal to a certain Japanese energy drink company that make some of the most disturbing commercials ever to grace the airwaves. Don’t drink too much caffeine before bed, and certainly don’t watch these either.

Nicolas Cage for Sanyoko Panchinko

Nicolas Cage plays some kind of cowboy/sheriff in the desert who gets ambushed by a gang of aliens. This one speaks for itself.

Tommy Lee Jones for Boss Coffee

We don’t really see Tommy Lee Jones in massive roles very often anymore, but that’s probably because he’s raking it in in Japan as a sponsor for Rainbow Boss coffee. In commercials for the product he plays ‘Alien Jones’ – an extraterrestrial who has assumed Jones’ form after seeing him in one of his films. In each advert, known as missions, Alien Jones investigates a new aspect of human life, whether it be pets, food, or different jobs.

The “cast” of Star Wars for Hagoromo tuna

The massive success of the Star Wars series mean that nothing is safe from its influence. Lego, lunchboxes, toys, and (apparently) tuna. It seems that Darth Vader and Luke don’t mind putting their differences to one side for a bit while tucking into a tuna salad. C-3PO seems to be making some very interesting noises too. Who thought tinned tuna would bring peace to the galaxy?