Japan’s latest anti-piracy ad features wacky new mascots Popcorn Otoko and Soda Otoko

Earlier this year, we brought you the news that Japan’s wacky anti-piracy ads have turned into something of a cultural phenomenon, with body-popping mascots Camera Otoko and Patrol Lamp Otoko getting their own range of figurines. Now a new ad has been released, which features extra characters Popcorn Otoko and Soda Otoko. But what role do they have to play in this mini crime drama, besides providing delicious refreshment?

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Japan’s infamous anti-piracy mascots given own line of figurines, pre-orders open now

For many years now people across the world have been treated to various informative public service announcements telling us to not record movies as we watch them in the theater. I recall once even being told that cinema piracy helps fund terrorism.

However, in Japan the NO MORE Eiga Dorobo (No More Movie Thief) campaign has transcended its original aim of copyright protection and has become a pop-culture phenomenon in its own right. The main characters Camera Otoko (Camera Man) or Patrol Lamp Otoko (Cherry Man) must have achieved their aim, as filming movies with bulky tape-loaded camcorders has seen a significant decline in recent years.

Now, having succeeded in their mission, it’s time for these guys to cash-in on their own popularity by selling little versions of themselves through Bandai’s online shopping site.

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