This Explosively Bizarre Ramen Ad Is Packed With a Japan’s Worth of Viral References

Trends are fleeting. Instant noodles are forever

Taiyo Kikaku's Tokyo division made a video for Nissin Chikin ramen that appropriates a dizzying array of Japanese ad tropes.

"SamuraiDroneCatIdolSuperhumanRubeGoldbergViewerWarningTooExplosiveHighSchoolGirl"—a breathless title that references all the stuff it plays with—is a kinetic, visually impressive piece of business that includes contemporary ad trends like drones, parkour sequences and complex Rube Goldbergian visual stunts.

It also parodies Shiseido's "High School Girl," a viral spot for NTT Plala, and Marukome's "Definition of Japanese Kawaii" (itself a visually rich ad for soup).

The satirical tone is broad enough that people will enjoy it, even if they don't catch all the references. It also seems to wink at what Westerners recognize as major elements of Japanese culture—sumo wrestling, Samurai, smartly dressed schoolgirls and a martial arts aesthetic.

They aren't one-off gags, either; as ridiculous as it may seem, the content builds to a central point, which is that fads are fleeting, but institutions aren't. (Nissin Chikin, obviously, is the institution in question.)

After seeing this, we got to thinking about what the Western version would look like. It would probably be a faux documentary with lots of lazy absurdist humor … and at least one shot of people jumping up and down at an outdoor music festival. David Kiefaber is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak.