As we learned a few days ago, 3 February is the traditional holiday of Setsubun in Japan. Although its customs vary from region to region, most people who celebrate the occasion enjoy the practice of throwing beans to expel evil from their homes. The Shibamata Taishakuten temple in Katsuhika, Tokyo must have had some industrial strength evil in their area this year because they brought in OCP’s future of oni-fighting, Robocop, to toss some beans.

But before the main event, Robocop had to follow his prime directive and joined forces with Katsushika Police’s yuru-kyara mascot Furikoman and a life-sized interpretation of Kameari Police’s moe mascot Ayame Honda.

This trio took to the shopping street heading towards the temple and raised awareness among the elderly shoppers of fraudsters trying to take advantage of their good-natured ways. And let me tell you, there’s nothing seniors respond to more than a cyborg police officer, power ranger, and moe chick.

Afterwards Robocop and the other mascots sat in for an interview. Here’s what he had to say.

The interviewing officer translated that to mean, “It’s an honor to share this bean-throwing with the people of Japan at this Taishakuten. Thank you for your cooperation.”

And then came the oni. Often translated to “demon” oni tend to resemble ogres more. You’d expect Robocop to instantly auto-target the fiends’ kneecaps and say “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.” But no. Being the true gentleman his is, he let the Shinto priests do their thing.

Then it was time to throw the beans!

At about this time I can just hear all you purists screaming, “Hey! What are these SHINTO priests and oni doing at, the famous BUDDHIST temple Shibamata Taishakuten!?”

Don’t worry, Setsubun is a holiday observed by both Buddhists and Shintoists so it’s not uncommon for both religions to come together in celebration of it. Of course two religions operating in the same space is always tricky business, hence the presence of Robocop.

Source: Cinema Cafe, Toychan Net (Japanese)
Video: YouTube (maidigitv), maidigitv, SonyPictures, kaoru34

Robocop and friends warning folks and giving interviews.

Oni and bean throwing

Of course this is all a tie-in to the upcoming Robocop rebootmakedosequel. Unfortunately, it looks as if Paul Verhoeven’s deceptively deep vision of a man-turned-tank desperately clinging to the last shreds of his humanity has been turned into your run-of-the-mill superhero movie. On the other hand, its awesome to see Michael Keaton back in films.

In case you forgot or have never seen the original Robocop, it went something like this.