By critThreat 4 Comments
This past week, we talked about a criminally underrated console, the Game.com Sega Saturn. It suffered an ill fate, mostly due to Sega's Herp Derp marketing tactics. It fared much better in Japan than in the States, but it still needed something to make it stand out. Something or someone that could grab the entire world by the balls, swing them around, put them through a meat grinder while spitting in their face, and make them want, no, NEED to play the Saturn. Only one man could rip the still-beating hearts from the chests of the N64 and PSX: Segata Sanshiro!
Segata Sanshiro (not to be confused with Segata Sandshrew) was a character introduced by Sega in 1997 to help market their fading Sega Saturn console. At this point in the endless struggle that is the Great Console War of All-Centuries, Playstation and Nintendo had a death grip on the console market. So Sega, at least in Japan, did what they knew best: DO EXTREMELY BIZARRE THINGS IN HOPES THAT PEOPLE WILL UNDERSTAND!
They decided to launch a marketing campaign around Segata Sanshiro. Segata was, in essence, the equivalent of Chuck Norris today. A monster. A man able to pulverize ANYTHING put in front of him. He is best explained as a Japanese Elvis wearing a Judo robe.
He was featured in many commercials, played by a well-known Japanese actor named Hiroshi Fujioka, doing things mere mortals could only dream about. For example, in one commercial, Segata is shown fighting another "karate dude." Segata then proceeds to pick the other fighter up and throw him. As the opponent hits the ground (head first, mind you), HE EXPLODES. EXPLODES!!! Next, we see Sanshiro holding a Bomberman plushie before it shows a few shots from the then-new Bomberman game.
In other commercials, you see Segata Sanshiro bend nature to his will by doing things such as: carrying a 12-foot-wide Saturn up a mountain and using it to train, beating up 3 kids to convince them that Sega Saturn Baseball is better than regular baseball, KICK a Home Run (yep), throw a soccer player from the bench into a game to headbutt a winning goal, picking up and moving a soccer goal to prevent the other team from scoring, as well as countless other cosmic anomalies.
But, as time has shown us as recently as Randy Savage, heroes can't live forever. With the dawn of the Sixth Console Generation, Sega knew there was only one way to save Sega. In a final commercial, Sega is shown in a skyscraper talking about a new console. Just then, the executives see a missile heading straight for the building. Luckily, Segata Sanshiro (who I assume ALWAYS stands at the top of the Sega building in case of such an emergency) leaps off of the roof and grabs the missile, stopping it inches from impact. He then turns the missile away and rides it into space.
The Sega employees watch in amazement and one girl even cries out his name. Next, we see Segata in space, still atop the missile. He keeps repeating "Sega Satān, shiro!" which, even though it sounds almost EXACTLY like his name, actually translates to "You must play Sega Saturn" (not Sega Satan). Then, the missile detonates in the eerie silence of space. We are shown a picture of the newest Sega Saturn game, that just happens to STAR Segata Sanshiro (I smell fodder for a future episode!!). The final seconds of the commercial show a city with Segata smiling and nodding in the sky.
Well now that you know that it was, in fact, Segata Sanshiro who died for your sins, I think we can called this Bonus Get!!! Bonus GOT!!! Until next time, BOOM!-Jared
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(originally posted here.)