Advertising / Segata Sanshiro

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fujioka-segatasanshiro.jpg
You'd better run, boy.note 

"Segata Sanshiro!
Segata Sanshiro!
Sega Saturn, Shiro!"note 

In the 1990s, Hiroshi Fujioka played the eponymous Segata Sanshiro (pictured), the Japanese spokesman for Sega's Saturn console - a crazed martial artist who beat the living crap out of people for not playing Sega Saturn and singing his own theme song (well, part of it), which was later released as a single that sold over 100,000 copies. It can be argued that his presence in Sega's Japanese commercials was singlehandedly responsible for the continued existence of Sega in the console market (up to the Sega Dreamcast).

Unbeknownst to many people nowadays, he was a direct and very personal parody of Sanshiro Sugata, a literary character of the eponymous series written by Judo scholar Tsuneo Tomita and immortalized in film at the directorial debut of Akira Kurosawa.

His last commercial consisted of him bravely sacrificing himself to ensure the Dreamcast's release, and his exploits were immortalized in Sega's last first-party Saturn game Segata Sanshiro Shinkenyugi.

His exploits have given him a Memetic Badass status comparable to Chuck Norris, except this guy has video footage to back the claims up.

He made his first American comic appearance in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog issue #269, was one of the three winners for the voting of DLC characters in Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed, and made an appearance in Project X Zone 2 as one of the playable characters.

A collection of the commercials can be found here. A rare footage of him transforming into Kamen Rider 1 can be seen here too.

The Segata Sanshiro commercials provide examples of:

  • Abusive Advertising: Dire consequences are promised for those who lack a Saturn.
  • Advertising Campaigns: Probably one of the best (and ridiculous) advertisement series ever made.
  • Always Someone Better: He lost a martial arts tournament to Sonic the Hedgehog in one comic.
  • Awesomeness Is Volatile: When Segata judo-tosses someone, they explode. Twice.
  • Badass: What else could you expect?
    • The man threw another man, and the other guy EXPLODED.
  • Back from the Dead: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed retcons his final commercial, having him survive, but showing that he spent THE ENTIRE 14 YEARS SINCE THEN making sure Sony's rocket never hits Sega's headquarters. And somewhere along the line, it seems that he's able to toss the rocket and have it explode somewhere else, and gets back into kicking ass in Project X Zone 2

Troper: "Oh yeah. Now what trope do I have to see..." (someone taps his shoulder) "Look, I'm kinda bus— S-SEGATA SANSHIRO!?"
Segata: (beats Troper to a pulp for contributing to tropes rather than playing Sega Saturn)
Troper: "S... Segata Sanshiro..."
Segata: "Sega Saturn, shiro!"
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Advertising/SegataSanshiro