The host clubs of Japan are a particular quirk which will always surprise visitors to the country.

While other countries seem to view paying young attractive people to entertain you as a somewhat male activity, Japan also indulges lonely women. In host clubs the female clientele can drink all night with charming hosts, provided of course, that they have healthy bank accounts. This sort of special treatment doesn’t come cheap!

For Valentine’s Day this year, Japanese chocolate stick snack Pocky brought out some romantic AR anime boyfriends to represent each of their flavours, but Nissin’s Cup Noodle have taken a bit more of a risqué advertising technique by anthropomorphising their flavours into seductive host boys.

The commercial takes place in the Cup Noodle themed host club, ‘Club Es’. The ‘Es’ is short for 'ethnic', since it showcases instant ramen flavours inspired by famous overseas dishes.

Any woman who’s been randomly handed a business card when walking through Kabukicho may recognize the design hallmarks. Chandeliers, sparkles and damask patterns give Japanese host clubs a particular brand of glamorous tackiness. But the distinct Cup Noodleyness of it all shines through with motifs of crabs, shrimps and chickens among other ingredients.

Three flavours have been made into heartthrob anime-style characters.

First up is the weirdly coriander-obsessed Tomya (he even decorates his clothes with the stuff), the host version of Tom Yum Kung flavour Cup Noodles.

Lak is the anthropomorphised Singapore Laksa flavour, it is possible that he is a man of few words since his portion of the songs consists of him singing 'la la ku sa ku sa', but his chicken friend and egg shoulder adornments kind of speak for themselves.

The newbie to the club is fresh faced and bare chested Blape, the Black Pepper Crab guy. The crab ornament over his crotch leaves him open to all kinds of jokes that I won’t write.

The landing page for the promotion is made up like a mock website for Club Es, including menu and staff gallery. Much like the coriander, some of these pictures get pretty fresh portraying the Cup Noodle flavours in various states of undress.

For those successfully seduced by the instant ramen hosts, Nissin are giving the chance to win a tasty bouquet of Cup Noodles on Twitter.

Anime host boys and Cup Noodle is certainly not the crossover we expected, but in the past Nissin have never been afraid to bring out some eccentric marketing campaigns. Like a giant Final Fantasy Weapon Fork for example...


By - grape Japan editorial staff.