Tag: 1980s

Packing a Roo in the Days of Pac-Man

Kangaroo was a mildly successful arcade video game released in 1982.
Launched in the same year was the phenomenally successful Pac-Man and notorious Custer’s Revenge.
Kangaroo also came out in the same year as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (video game), the flop largely blamed for the video game industry crash of 1983.
Kangaroo required players to take on the role of a mother roo who dodged falling fruits and punched primates to rescue her joey, who had been stolen by the monkeys.
The game started as an arcade game before Atari made versions for its 2600 and 5200 game consoles.
The game was also later adapted for a children’s cartoon.
Kangaroo promotional video from the ’80s

Related Links
Kangaroo video game
Kangaroo in the International Arcade Museum
Kangaroo at Atari Protos

Macropod Music and Getting Sentimental Over Kangaroos in Japan

The cover for Misato Watanabe’s “Sentimental Kangaroo.”

Kangaroos and koalas are among the symbols Japanese pop culture has, for many and various reasons, adopted at times (the latter with particular relish), and singer Misato Watanabe‘s choice of subject topic for her 1988 hit Sentimental Kangaroo proved a marsupial masterpiece.
Watanabe made her debut in 1986 with My Revolution, a huge hit that earned her a gold prize at the 28th Annual Japan Record Awards and would be the biggest-selling song of her career. Watanabe, whose heyday stemmed from the late ’80s to early ’90s, continues performing regularly today.
Sentimental Kangaroo was one of the attempts she made to match My Revolution, one of Japan’s most-covered songs of the past couple of decades and an early hit for its writer, Tetsuya Komuro, who would go on to become one of the most successful figures in Japanese entertainment history.
Sentimental Kangaroo scored a canned coffee ad for Watanabe, who appeared together with some animated marsupials bouncing through a sunflower field.

Misato Watanabe Official Site

いち早くCool Japanを先駆けて80・90年代の豪テレビCM

Mr. Okamura, an unforgettable character in NEC ads in Australia during the 1980s and 1990s.

Japan was trending in Australia long before it became flavor of the month in the way it has in recent years courtesy of Cool Japan.
During the late 1980s through to the mid-1990s, a time when trade friction between a seemingly unstoppable Japan and the struggling United States resulted in such incidents as American autoworkers using sledgehammers to demolish a Japanese car, Australia was slowly moving out of its self-imposed isolation to embrace the Asia-Pacific region and building the firm relationship it now has with Japan. Australia was a pioneer in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) and Working Holiday programs now welcoming thousands of people from all over the world to Japan.
Part of Australia’s embracing of Japan during this time came through the “Japanese character” often picked up by advertisers for use on Australian TV, a trend that Mitsubishi Australia began in a 1978 ad featuring sumo wrestlers and introducing into the lexicon a still commonly used phrase of “not so squeezy” to describe a roomy atmosphere (or, alternatively when used ironically, a tight spot). This trend also made NEC’s character, Mr. Okamura, and the fisherman in the John West commercials, popular across the country.
バブル当時、オーストラリアは日本に近づこうとした。その一環としてテレビCMで「日本人キャラ」を起用することがあった。1978年三菱の豪現地法人がはじめだった。キャビン・スペースが広いトラックのCMでの、「Not so squeezy」(きつくないという意味が、皮肉的に使う場合も稀ではない)が今でもオージー英語でよく使われている。また、NECのキャラだった「Mr.Okamura」や焼津の漁師は今でも多くのオーストラリア人にとって懐かしい思い出である。