Join us for this exclusive investigative report.

Over the past week or so rumors have been swirling that our reporters can be seen in a commercial for three of Nissin’s instant rice products. Here’s a 15-second version of the ad. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled about six seconds in.

Fans of our site might find a striking similarity between the old guy leading the Nihon Meshi gang and our own star Mr. Sato. What’s more, the long-haired, Van-Dyked gentlemen to his rear also bears a strong resemblance to our own Go Hatori.

There was no announcement of these guys being in a commercial, so is it them or some kind of copycat imposters? Our offices have been flooded with inquiries both by phone and social media, and when the number of requests climbed to twelve, we decided to act!

To find out for ourselves, we went to the source: ourselves. We asked Go Hatori whether or not he was in the recent Nissin commercial.

“No. It’s not me.”

He did admit, however, that his memory wasn’t what it used to be, so there is a possibility that he did go to the desert with a bunch of freaks and film an avant-grade commercial, only to have it slip his mind.

So next, we turned to Mr. Sato with the same question.

▼ “It wasn’t me, man.”

We should take his response with a grain of salt as well, as Mr. Sato is five years older than Go and equally — if not more — prone to bouts of CRS.

So just to be super-duper sure, we also asked the PR department of Nissin Foods Co. Ltd. if those two guys in the commercial were Mr. Sato and Go.

“No, they are some other guys.”
(Nissin Foods Co. Ltd.)

We cannot speak for the memory retention of these guys one way or another, but it’s looking pretty certain that those actors aren’t our guys. This begs the question of why they look so much like our guys. Was Nissin biting our steeze?

We do roll in a lot of the same circles as instant food, and both Go and Mr. Sato have made television appearances. So it’s not impossible to assume they are on some ad writer’s radar.

▼ Mr. Sato on Meshi Tero-1 Grand Prix,
Go is once again standing right behind him off-camera

To answer this we must first try and make sense of the cacophony of colors and sounds that go into these spots. You might be surprised to know that many of these characters have back stories. In the case of the Mr. Sato lookalike, his name is Former Ramen Old Dude (Motoramen Ojisan).

He debuted in the commercials as simply Ramen Old Dude, an old guy who really enjoyed instant ramen, until one day the mascot for Curry Meshi instant curry rice seriously injured him.  The critical blow caused a near death experience in which the Curry Meshi angel showed him the glory of instant rice.

▼ In his debut, Ramen Old Dude only bears a passing resemblance to Mr. Sato

Since then he has taken up the cause of Nihon Meshi Instant rice and has risen to become the leader of the movement. This latest commercial depicts the apocalyptic battle between Curry Meshi, Cup Noodle Bukkomi Meshi, and Nihon Meshi. In the end, god of Nissin and former pro-golfer Isao Matsui just says “hell with it all” and pushes the reset button blowing the whole lot of them to smithereens.

▼ Here is the full 60-second advertisement

So at least we can see that this character wasn’t originally based on Mr. Sato, rather any time you dress an older Japanese guy in leather he tends to take on Sato-like qualities.

However, there’s still one mystery. Despite his prominent role in the Nissin commercials, the true name and identity of Former Ramen Old Dude is still unknown. Without that crucial piece of information, we still can’t say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it isn’t Mr. Sato. So let’s all keep an eye on him from now on.

Source: Nissin Curry Meshi
Images: YouTube/Nissin Food Group Official Channel, SoraNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]