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Nissin's "Hungry Days" campaign delivers some vivid anime adventures.

Charlie Heller
February 06, 2018

From David Schwimmer to Danny DeVito, you may have thought the Super Bowl had already brought you all the year's greatest food commercials. And in Paddington 2, you probably thought you had the year's highest quality animation covered. Well, think again, because what looks to be the big budget, animated apocalyptic sci-fi romance extravaganza of the year is only 30 seconds long, and… a commercial for Cup Noodle?

Yes, the animated spot, in which two high school students confess their love to each other as the world around them seems to end, does, in fact, feature Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," which you may recognize as the theme song to Michael Bay's 1998 classic Armageddon, as well as some fluid camerawork worthy of the film.

And that's not all. It turns out the ad, released last week, is the conclusion of an ad series by Cup Noodle parent company Nissin called "Hungry Days," each installment of which features equally great animation. Each one follows the theme of "youth," which seems to involve a similar arc of teenagers confessing their feelings for one another, including some familiar faces.

"Hungry Days" debuted last June a reimagining of Hayao Miyazaki's classic film, Kiki's Delivery Service. In an update to the Studio Ghibli childhood fave, protagonist Kiki is now a 17-year old, similarly confessing her romantic feelings.

The second installment featured characters from Heidi, Girl of the Alps (a popular Japanese TV series from the '70s, whose crew included a young Miyazaki, his Studio Ghibli colleague Isao Takahata, and Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, in case you're wondering), and while subtitles are hard to find, it seems to follow a similar, and similarly well-rendered theme.

And the third one is based on Sanzae-san, which ran as a comic from 1946-1974, showcasing how its main couple got together and looks equally good. Which means the apocalyptic finale is unique among the series in featuring original characters—who, if you can read Japanese, you can learn more about on the ridiculously detailed info page Cup Noodle made for the ad. And no, it's not clear what any of this has to do with Cup Noodle, but it's good to see some animators getting to show off considerable skill for any reason.