Remember that old Chuck Norris Facts meme? Stuff like “Chuck Norris doesn’t read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.” Well, that was fun and all but has he ever made a man literally explode simply by throwing him?
As you can see this man has. His name is Segata Sanshiro and HE is the ultimate bad ass. Not only has he performed that feet of strength but he is perhaps single-handedly responsible for the Sega Saturn’s success in Japan.
The Sega Saturn was a games console that Sega released in the mid nineties. It didn’t sell too well in the west due to its lack of 3D capabilities and difficulty to program for it. In Japan however, it held its own. I believe this is largely because if you didn’t buy one, Segata Sanshiro would beat you up.
Whatever marketing man thought him up deserves an award. The character himself was based on the main character from Sugata Sanshiro, a film by Akira Kurosawa. In that film, Sugata Sanshiro learns about himself through Judo, Sega’s Segata Sanshiro on the other hand is already a Judo master and knows all there is to discover about life already.
He would appear in Japanese Saturn ads during the 90s and show people the error of their ways for not playing Sega before uttering the immortal line “SEGA SATURN SHIRO!”.
Lets analyse that phrase for a minute:
sega sataan shiro!
YOU MUST PLAY SEGA SATURN!
As you can see, that catchphrase is a play on his name and tells you in no uncertain terms that if you don’t play Sega Saturn, he will beat you up, again.
These commercials are brilliant, confirming my long-held belief that commercials are the best thing about Japanese TV (with one or two notable exceptions). They chronicle Segata Sanshiro’s many adventures, such as kicking baseballs to score home runs, single-handedly winning the 1998 World Cup for Japan, twice, head butting bricks and teaching flirty youths the meaning of wholesomeness (which is playing more Sega Saturn obviously).
See them all here:
These don’t hold a candle to the incredible officially released song though, just check out this verse:
“Even if they chase after the petty pleasure of sex
Their soul will stay empty
Those who do not commit themselves to extreme gaming
Will find their bodies severely beaten!”
Speaks for itself, doesn’t it? Never cross Segata Sanshiro or your will find your body beaten, severely.
Whole Song with English Subtitles:
All good things have to come to an end though. With the release of the Dreamcast, Sega’s successor to the Saturn, he was no longer needed. He went out in a blaze of glory deflecting a missile away from Sega’s HQ.
I salute you Segata Sanshiro, Japan’s ultimate bad ass.