Umacha Commercials

Here is another pair Ghibli of shorts, which appears on the excellent Short Short DVD in Japan. These are tv ads for Umacha, some beverage brand I've never heard of, but seems to have the magical power to salvage relationships and boring office meetings. So I guess it's kind of like Mentos, right?

I have to say, I especially like the big office worker in the second ad, the way he grunts as he runs around. So-so-so-so-so...I wonder: does he do this everywhere he goes? Is this his personal catch-phrase? What would his wife think? How long before he becomes an easy target for teenage pranksters?

The visual style of these ads follows the zen watercolor look of My Neighbors the Yamadas, which was a pleasant surprise for me. Isao Takahata's 1999 film remains dear to my heart, and it's great to see that Ghibli continued to mine that vein over the years.

As always, these animation shorts are a real treat, since we get to see the Studio Ghibli staff play around a bit, without the old masters hovering over their shoulders. It follows through to a breezy, carefree nature, and you can see that on the screen.


Emilien said...

About the "So-so-so-so-so" whispered by the man. If I'm not mistaken, it's the "sound" (in manga) made by someone sneaking out. In one episode of the anime "Lucky Star" for example, one off the character named Konata does this sound when she choose to sneak away from her homework to play an MMORPG on her computer. Earlier she does the same sound when she sneak behind one of her friend in public bath to prepare a prank. It's the sound of the stealth move.

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