Nintendo Ads Show the Differences Between the U.S. and Japan

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Pikmin 3 is already out in Japan. It's headed to the U.S. on August 4. The game is the same, but the Pikmin 3 commercials couldn't be more different.

Let's have a look.

Here is the Japanese commercial for Pikmin 3. In the ad, actress Juri Ueno watches a Red Pikmin carry a cherry. She then tells the Pikmin to stop and comments on how cute the little character is.


(You can also watch the second and third ad in this series. Note that there are also gameplay commercials that feature a soothing voice.)

This is the U.S. commercial. It's certainly different from the Japanese ad.

Recently, the difference between these commercials has become a topic on 2ch, Japan's largest bulletin board. What were the reactions? Some liked the U.S. ad, while others preferred the Japanese one.

People have been quick to point out how the commercials vary and what that says about how Pikmin 3 is sold in each region. "They want to sell to different segments," wrote one 2ch commenter. That doesn't just mean different regions, but rather, different target groups within each area.

Some 2ch users pointed out how the Japanese commercial is focused more more on the atmosphere, while Nintendo of America is trying to sell the game to kids, pushing the strategy element.


"I felt like the American version was more interesting," wrote one commenter. It seemed like the Japanese version didn't really offer much of an explanation of what Pikmin 3 was, the commenter continued. "C'mon, the Japanese commercial was better," a commenter countered.


"So much was implied that I didn't know what was going on," wrote one commenter. The commercial is so focused on the mood and avoids stating things outright that it "feels Japanese". In Japanese language and culture, much is often implied and inferred, with much going unspoken.

Another commenter pointed out that there are gameplay-only commercials (mentioned above) that provide good explanations. Wrote on commenter, "Perhaps this style of commercials works best for Japan." There were also opinions that the Japanese commercial seems more confident—like, I guess, Nintendo knows the game will sell in Japan.


Here, however, there also might be an appeal of what's different: Some 2ch commenters might prefer the American Pikmin 3 commercial because it's direct and to the point. They also might have liked it because it was so different. By that same token, some Westerners might prefer the Japanese spot because it's different!

"This is definitely an interesting comparison," wrote one 2ch commenter, perhaps summing this up the best. It definitely is.


日本とアメリカでこんなにも違うピクミンCM [2ch]

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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