Heralding the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class in Japan, watch the action-loaded anime in a futuristic Tokyo. We reveal the narratives behind this hot pursuit
We started with sharpened objects, eventually projectile weapons made a debut, and now we rely on grocers, markets, cafes, and restaurants to conveniently pre-assemble ingredients into one locale for fulfilling our gastronomic appetites. But in a futuristic Japan where city blocks shift on time schedules, top animators in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz proposes a far racier outlook on dietary consumption to ultimately land that fully satisfied smirk on our faces.
Created by a team of field experts including Natsuo Sato (Planning/Supervision), Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Character Designer), Mizuho Nishikubo (Director), Kazuchika Kise (Animation Director), and Kenji Kawai (Music), the film piece above follows a long culture of Japanese Animations better known as anime. The early days of this art saw the rise of legendary productions such as Osamu Tezuka’s Tetsuwan Atomu (1963), Uchu Senkan Yamato (Yoshinobu Nishizaki, 1974), and Tonari no Totoro by the respected Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli, 1988).
Since those starting days, anime has developed extensively, both technologically and stylistically, and capitalizing on this, a ramen-desiring trio now cuts a high speed chase through Tokyo streets in the anticipated Mercedes-Benz A-Class, soon to hit Tokyo 2013. The prey in question is a 1954 “Blue-Wonder” Transporter – the fastest racing car transporter in the world – trucking the much hunted and legendary ramen noodle stand.
The absurdities of this skid marking do-or-die pedal to the floor car chase of the future for the ultimate bowl of noodles, was a calculated intention expressed below in the interview with the mastermind behind the concept – Natsuo Sato. Additionally revealed are glimpses of a centuries-old tradition that reverently bows to a timeless culture of Japanese gastronomy and an understanding of community urban life.
Sato-san, how did a concept of a food-chasing adventure develop with Mercedes-Benz?
I thought it cool to be serious about something that others might think absurd. People are bored by conventional car chase scenes, which are not exciting for audiences anymore. I expected audiences to think “It’s so cool!” or “They are so ridiculous but gave me a good laugh!” after seeing the three characters in the animation so desperate to satisfy their desire.
Ramen (noodles) is a soul food of Japanese youths. In the animation, people live in the near-future Tokyo, which has a different appearance from current Tokyo with different lifestyles. However, their passion for ramen hasn’t changed. Ramen is the tool to connect contemporary young people with the future world in the animation.
Could you give us some background on the Japanese culture of travelling food stands?
Food stalls are one of the traditional cultures in Japan appearing in the Edo era. They are the places where people without money enjoyed foods and experienced happiness. Where food stalls gathered, people had life. In other words, food stalls are the oasis of downtown.
What inspirations led to the creation of the characters and their personalities?
I have a basic belief that a well-loved character cannot be a superhero. People find those characters attractive when they are not perfect and something is missing from them. The imperfectness is a charm of being “human” and people love it.