I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, March 31, 2018


Well, this might be one of the few articles or perhaps it is truly the only article in which I couldn't list the singer or the band behind the song since I simply couldn't find the performers (April 2 2018: Daemonskald was able to resolve that question...look at the comments down below). Still, I just had to make its presence known on the blog. In fact, I couldn't even find out when the song or the character himself was realized on screen. The Wikipedia article just stated "...sometime around the mid-1990s". So I will go with 1995 for argument's sake.

Anyways, not long after my arrival in Japan for my second stint there, there came a long-running series of commercials featuring a certain cola, but this time, there was a heroic pitchman behind Pepsi, the aptly-named Pepsiman. Looking like a mix between a tokusatsu hero and Zero, a minor character from the X-Men comics, he ran a Tom Cruise-like sprint whenever there was a perceived lack of justice...or cola...and made things right...or non-Coke. Somehow, though, he managed to end up looking more like Inspector Clouseau after his deed was done.

The reason I'm even mentioning him here is that although it looks like the commercials had been filmed in sunny California, they were supposedly only shown in Japan. The other reason is the theme song which I can only assume was based on the iconic theme for the 1960s "Batman" show. One thing I regret not seeing throughout the commercials is Pepsiman actually doing a Batusi-like dance to his song. You can listen to the full version as you pay full credit to the musicians since they went full-in on the project. Again, I don't know who was responsible for "PEPSIMAN!" but my respects. As for who came up with the CG character, it's been attributed to Canadian comic book artist Travis Charest.

I was pretty amused by this.

(July 23 2018. Chasing Showa was kind enough to let me know about this YouTube video which had just been posted yesterday by a hearty fellow named Daniel Ibbertson about Pepsiman the game character although there is some mention about his time as a commercial pitchman.)


  1. Hi J-C - this is great stuff, takes me back to the funk days of the early 70's. And while they may have been filmed in CA, the boxing sequence shows the Brooklyn Bridge in the background (as in Brooklyn NY). My first reaction to the character is he looks a lot like Marvel Comics Silver Surfer; especially on his surf/snowboard. I agree - whomever "James & Gang" were/are (most likely a studio assemblage), they gave this their all and probably had a blast along with the residuals. For the record though I detest Pepsi .....

    1. Good evening T-cat!

      For the record, I concur with your on the record comment: Pepsi sucks!

    2. Hello, folks.

      I'm actually OK with either brand and I think I'm one of the relatively rare guys who loves Dr. Pepper. As for the song and the character, I'm hoping the person in the Marketing Dept. at Pepsi got a good bonus out of the campaign.

    3. Hello All!

      Well, according to Hidefumi Watanabe (渡辺秀文) biography on MR.MUSIC website, James & Gang is/was James Shimoji (ジェームス下地):

      His Wikipedia page also briefly gives this information:

    4. Hello, Daemonskald, and thanks very much for the information. Give credit where credit is due!

  2. Hello J-Canuck,

    I know this is a very late comment to an even older post but I have an update. While spending my Sunday morning watching Youtube videos I find a history of Pepsi-Man.

    Very interesting and entertaining.

    Although the video delves heavily into the game history of Pepsi Man (Yes there was a video game!) it also gives a good general history of the character as well.

    1. Hello, Chasing Showa!

      Thanks very much for the link, and no, it's never too old to place a comment on one of the older articles since I'm always checking the comments feed.

      I think Ibbertson's dialect is entertaining in itself.:) I will place your link into the main article. Thanks again! P.S. I think Japan got the better end of the deal with Pepsiman than with the Spice Girls. :)


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