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There’s something about a home cooked meal that, even if it’s not Michelin-starred fare, is incredibly delicious. It may be because every bite was prepared with love or perhaps it’s just the nostalgic flavor from your childhood. For many Japanese people, miso soup is one of those comfort foods. While it’s an everyday staple for many, the taste of your mother’s or wife’s (or other favorite cook’s) miso soup is second to none.

Miso and instant miso soup foodstuffs company, Marukome, has come out with some heartwarming commercials that really encapsulate the idea of food bringing people together. While you may not be crying at the end, you’ll at least really want to share some comfort foods with loved ones.

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Marukome chose a highly talented team for these commercials, having Robot Communications, an Academy Award winning production company, collaborate with Studio Colorido, an up-and-coming animation studio. Together, the three organizations created these high-quality animated commercials that warm our hearts as much as miso soup warms our stomachs.

The series of three 90-second commercials started last year with the release of “Traditional Restaurant Taste, Economy Pack: Mother and Son.” The story is about a young man who leaves home for the first time to work and live on his own. It’s tough starting a new life, so his mom sends him care packages of fruit, condiments and a Traditional Restaurant Flavor, Economy Pack of instant miso soup (it is a commercial after all).

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When the young salaryman drinks the soup, he senses his mom’s caring presence sitting across from him at the table, checking-in on his well-being.

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These meetings continue through a variety of challenges at work, until things start looking up and he gets a bonus. Now it’s his turn to send his mom a care package, thanking her for her help by giving her a nice sweater.

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Through her care and miso soup deliveries, he was able to get on his feet and successfully start his career. The commercial reminds us that, even if we’re far apart, the taste of good comfort foods can tie us together.

▼ It’s longer than a normal commercial, but it’s worth it.

The next commercial to come out was “Traditional Restaurant Flavor, Instant Miso Soup: Job Transfer.” This adorable story follows a young father who was transferred away from his home, in typical Japanese company fashion. Often times, instead of moving the whole family, only the father will move away, as the stint usually only lasts for a few years. The father in this story was living away from his family, but one day his two young daughters come to visit his new apartment.

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The daughters, anxious to bring a piece of home to their beloved papa, learn how to cook his favorite meals and bring all of the necessary ingredients along with them.

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Although the food wasn’t as delicious-looking as they’d hoped, the father, proud of his daughters, takes a bite, proclaiming that it’s delicious and “tastes like home.” Of course, one of the dishes the girls prepared was Traditional Restaurant Flavor, Instant Miso Soup.

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The idea for this commercial came from some of Marukome’s own employees who got transferred from the Tokyo office to Nagano Prefecture, and must sometimes leave their families behind.

Finally, the most recent installment, “Traditional Restaurant Flavor, Cup Miso Soup: Midnight Snack, was released on February 17, 2015. This commercial is probably the most heart-wrenching of the three, as it follows a teenage daughter tirelessly studying for her university entrance exam and her awkward father, both who seem unsure of how to speak to each other anymore.

The story begins with the daughter seeing her father in the entryway with an umbrella, getting ready for work. Instead of asking him, she goes to the other room and asks her mom if it’s supposed to rain. Poor dad!

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One evening, the girl takes a break from her studies to eat a midnight snack. Coming into the kitchen, she is surprised by a spread of onigiri (rice balls) and a Traditional Restaurant Flavor, Cup Miso Soup waiting for her on the dinner table. The next morning the girl thanks her mother, who signals she knows nothing about it. Who could it have been?!

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The next night, the girl goes down to the kitchen to find her father fumbling around, doing his best to shape more onigiri and prepare miso soup for his beloved daughter. Awww!

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Taking the opportunity for some much-needed bonding time, he invites her to have a snack with him. She thinks to herself, “Dad’s soup is so warm,” clearly meaning both in temperature and feeling. The creators suggest that as the pair play rock-paper-scissors to see who gets to eat the awkwardly large onigiri, both are taken back to her childhood when they would play games together and were very close, opening the door to a similar future.

Marukome is trying to tell us that even if you think you’ve lost touch with someone, sit down to a cup of miso soup together and you’ll realize you’re not that far apart at all.

Who knew that you could get so much feeling out of a simple cup of instant miso soup? This is exactly the reaction the Marukome advertising team was looking for. They even decided not to show the commercials on TV, instead putting them up for free online. This way they could put more money into making high-quality commercials. They also found voice actors with dialects from specific regions, to really connect with those people living away from their countryside hometowns (the dialect is most noticeable with the mother in the first commercial).

With so much effort put into their commercials, it makes us hopeful that an equal amount of care and dedication is put into their products as well, so, this is really good advertising!

Sources: Anime!Anime!, Marukome
Images: YouTube (MarukomeOfficial 1, 23)