There's a new Super Smash Bros. for 3DS commercial for Japan. The ad introduces the game's Mii Fighter function — how you can create your own fighters for the game. To do so, customised Miis of Japanese pop group AKB48 appeared in the ad. Online in Japan, some were not happy about this.
AKB48 is probably the biggest (literally) girl group in Japan. Thus, by including them in the commercial, it's easy to show off the Mii's customisation feature. More or less, folks know who these people are. On Saturday, still images showing AKB48 members fighting Nintendo characters hit 2ch, Japan's largest forum.
There might have been some confusion. Some, but certainly not all, gamers seemed to think that Super Smash Bros. for 3DS starred AKB48. Well, they can if you create their Mii Fighters. Hell, anyone can star in the game.
"I hate AKB48, so I'm not buying this," wrote one commenter. "Foreigners are probably thinking, 'Japan is so messed up,'" wrote another. "This is the same Nintendo that is worried about money..." quipped yet another, seeming to indicate that the company had to hire the group for this commercial. "Who's the idiot that came up with this idea?" blasted one commenter. Of course, some commenters just seemed to be piling on Nintendo for the sake of piling on Nintendo.
Other commenters tried to stress that these were customised characters — something that is very clear in the final ad uploaded to YouTube on Sunday.
Then, as Japanese site My Game News Flash pointed out, some people on Twitter also criticised Nintendo after apparently seeing the commercial, saying Smash Bros. "had sold its soul" or that the simply the group's appearance in the commercial "made them lose the desire to buy the game." Vocal folks weren't happy about AKB48 being used to show the Mii Fighter function. Yikes!
AKB48 appears in a lot of ads — a ridiculous number of them. Like this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, uh, this and more. Perhaps, you can understand why some folks in Japan rolled their eyes after seeing AKB48 popping up in a Super Smash Bros. commercial and had a knee-jerk reaction.
Nintendo has long used idols — whether that's boy band or girl band members — to sell its games in Japan. It's not surprising that the same is true for Smash Bros.
スマブラにAKB48が参戦決定！ → 批判殺到ｗｗｗｗｗｗｗｗｗｗｗｗｗｗｗｗｗｗ [Hayabusa]