Sega are soon celebrating their 60th anniversary, and have teased something related to an older marketing campaign- character Segata Sanshiro.
The Japanese Sega Twitter account tweeted an image of a judo gi with a QR code. Users quickly found it led to this Japanese website, counting down the days to March 25th, and showing a silhouetted man in a judo gi.
The website is a sub-page, and when going to the home page, the following message is displayed (with the first line in English).
“Hello!! SEGA FANS
Ah! You came to this page.
You like Sega very much! ?
Wait a little longer until the site is released ♪”
Translation: Google Translate
For those unfamiliar, Sega produced the Sega Saturn console in the mid 90s. One of the advertising campaigns for the console in the late 90s was with the creation of character Segata Sanshiro.
Played by Kamen Rider actor Hiroshi Fujioka, the advertisements would show a man in a judo gi (a parody of the main character in the film Sanshiro Sugata) attacking people otherwise having a good time. He would then state “You must play Sega Saturn!”
Later adverts would show him performing impressive and ridiculous acts, along with his own theme music. The character was popular enough to warrant his own Sega Saturn game in Japan.
One final advert was shown with the launch of the Dreamcast, showing Segata saving Sega headquarters from an incoming missile, forcing it to redirect and riding it into space.
Thanks to its rediscovery through the birth of the internet, the absurdity of the adverts gave them new life, granting the character cameos in some Sega titles.
Sega was formed on June 3rd, 1960. Even so (as of this time of writing), the website notes there “5 days to birth” (Translation: Google Translate).
DualShockers also reports that Sega Fes (Sega’s anniversary event) usually held at the end of March. However, with the coronavirus outbreak, it is more than likely the event will not go ahead (having not been announced). Sega Fes has usually had major announcements, such as Sakura Wars and the Mega Drive Mini.
The individual on the website seems less muscular Segata, leaving us to speculate this may be the the announcement of a “Sega Saturn Mini” (much like past “mini” retro consoles, having classic games pre-installed).
Even so, there are many possibilities. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!