Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gun Gun Gurt

Gungun Gurt LX is a yogurt-based health drink available in vending machines everywhere, from the Calpis company. 120 yen for a small bottle. Normally, if I get anything from a vending machine, it's can coffee. However, one day, when I was outside and feeling thirsty, I got Gungun on a whim just to see what it was. (It tastes like what you'd expect drinkable yogurt to taste like.) What caught my eye, though, was the picture of the guy in face makeup on the back. The first time I saw Tekken was in the magazine for the Adult Science Flip Clock kit, back about 6 months ago (in April). He's a comic illustrator who specializes in 4-panel gags and huge phonebook-sized flip books. I'd hadn't heard about him before that, and hadn't seen anything about him since then. And now, here he is, drawing one-panel gags on the back of yogurt drink bottles.

The joke is that a salaryman goes to a Japanese-style restaurant, and doesn't realize that he has a hole in his sock until after he takes his shoes off and goes inside. He now really needs Gungun Gurt to bring his energy level back up. If you want to see more of Tekken's comics, visit the Gungun Gurt website.


zillustration said...

I heard from my Japanese boss in the 1980s that Calpis had to change their name for the USA market because it sounds like "Cow Piss" - using the less disgusting and phonetically obscure "Calpico".

TSOTE said...

Hi, z!
Every so often, a comic in the U.S. would target strange foreign product names, and the running gag was "I don't know what a 'cal' is, but I don't want to drink the pis from it". Since Calpis has been on the market in Japan since 1918, it's pretty well established here. According to Wikipedia, the name comes from "calcium" and "sarpis" (Sanskrit word for "butter flavor"). But, since Americans like twisting product names into the nearest gross or insulting word, "cow piss" would be the first logical choice. And since yogurt drinks would be going up against the big dairy corporations, it'd be better to change the name to something less twistable just to give the competition less to work with.