When we first saw the above poster advertising a Hanshin Tigers farm league baseball game, we did a double-take and sat there scratching our heads for a few minutes. “That poster looks so familiar…but something seems just a little off,” we mused. After mulling it over for a few minutes, it finally dawned on us: “Oh, that image is almost an exact copy of a recently released movie’s promotional poster!”

Can you figure out which movie this poster is parodying?   

The poster in question was being used to promote a farm league exchange match between the Hanshin Tigers, based out of Hyōgo Prefecture, and the Yomiuri Giants of Tokyo on May 31 and June 1 at Koshien Stadium. As if that big match-up wasn’t enough to entice people to come watch the game, the marketing department had a killer back-up plan: plaster Osaka with promotional posters for the match right next to movie posters for one of the year’s most anticipated blockbuster hits!

That’s not all, because the baseball poster itself was designed to closely parody the movie’s main promotional image. Have you figured out which movie it is yet?

…If you guessed X-Men: Days of Future Past, then give yourself a pat on the back!

▼Get it now?


The latest movie in the X-Men franchise, X-Men: Days of Future Past, was released in Japan on May 30, only a week after being released in the States. That’s pretty impressive, considering Japan’s terrible track record of releasing international films months after their initial release dates…

Private rail company Hanshin Electric Railways Co., Ltd., which conveniently owns the Hanshin Tigers, went all-out to show their support for western Japan’s beloved team. That support included decking out monopolizing the inside of train stations and trains with side-by-side promotional posters for the game and the movie.

▼Interior of a train at the Hanshin Umeda Station in Osaka



While the pairing of baseball with mutants may seem arbitrary at first, the connection is actually more logical than you think. In the latest flick, the X-Men must fight against giant robot “Sentinels” who are trying to eliminate the mutant race. Who are the Hanshin Tigers playing in this match? The Yomiuri GIANTS. In other words, “The Tigers who bear the weight of the future of the baseball world will do battle with the Giants.” Makes perfect sense to us.

The posters are complete with the taglines “The farm league match’s most decisive battle” and “The Earth’s last decisive battle.” Outfielder Hayata Ito becomes Wolverine’s double, while infielder Issei Morita takes the place of Mystique in the image.


By the way, this isn’t the first time a professional Japanese sport has been promoted using a famous movie poster! Check out these side-by-side comparisons of posters for 2013’s Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods and a J. League Division 1 match for the Albirex Niigata:


By the way, it appears that the posters did the trick–the Tigers won the May 31 game 6-2 against the Giants and the June 1 game ended in a 2-2 draw. “Battle with the Giants” indeed!

Source: Honyaku shitara kou natta
Images: Gigazine, Hanshin Tigers