Japan is a country famous for food, otaku culture, and strange commercials. So, what happens when all three of those things overlap? Well, it looks like the magical result is Maid Made Omurice, a new product that just launched a very interesting marketing campaign in Japan this February to promote their new product. The commercial itself is enough to catch the eye and make you curious, and the special contest advertised to get people interested just adds to that.
So what is Maid Made Omurice? Why is this product even a thing? What is going on in the commercial? Be sure to give the advertisement a watch and then join us for a simple explanation below!
Maid Made Omurice
Understanding the Context
Most seasoned otaku know at least a little bit about the concept of maid cafes in Japan, but let’s back things up a little and provide some context for understanding Maid Made Omurice. Maid Cafes are basically exactly what they sound like—they are restaurants where the servers are all dressed as maids and do their best to make you feel comfortable and special. Maid cafes have been a staple in otaku culture for years now and while there are a plethora of them across Japan (and increasingly, the world!), they are especially prominent in otaku neighbourhoods like Akihabara in Tokyo and Den Den Town in Osaka. While maid cafes’ main demographic is men, they are happy to host customers of all genders and ages.
There are a few different kinds of maid cafes in Japan but we will briefly just look at the most popular two. The first and most traditional is the “moe moe” style, which heavily emphasises kawaii-style through cute food and girls in shorter skirts who are likely to sing and dance, draw hearts on your food, and adorn customers with cat ears. The second kind of maid cafe is a more mature and classy style with the maids dressed in Victorian-era maid uniforms and with a laidback, calmer atmosphere.
Both of these cafes usually have similar foods, most of which are seen as Japanese comfort foods that a lot of people like and associate with eating at their home. That’s where the omurice comes in!
Omurice (short for “omelette rice”) is a Japanese dish consisting of rice inside or under an omelette, typically with chicken, mushrooms, or other vegetables cooked inside the rice. The most popular topping for omurice is ketchup. Many maid cafes will bring the omurice to the table and allow the customer to choose what the maid draws or writes on the dish, a quintessential part of the maid cafe experience. Customers often ask for hearts, cute animals, or how the maid feels about them.
About the Product
So that brings us to Maid Made Omurice made by Nippon Ham. Its real name is Fukuro no Mama Dekiru Omurice, which translates to “Omurice You Can Make in a Bag” (though we like the Maid Made Omurice name from the campaign!). It’s a microwavable version of omurice that anyone can enjoy at home. The advertisement that has caught the attention of otaku around the world is part of the marketing campaign Nippon Ham is using to draw attention to their new product. The main actress in the advertisement is a well-known cosplayer and gravure model Moe Iori.
In the advertisement, Iori plays the role of a maid cafe-style maid delivering omurice to many people at work, in their homes, on the baseball field, and more with a bright yellow microwave strapped to her back. She visits a lot of famous sites in Japan and even traverses through snow and mountainous terrain on her campaign to bring omurice to everyone! When she delivers the omurice, Iori and the lucky person say “moe moe chin” together, which is a play on the popular phrase “moe moe kyun” usually said in maid cafes. This time, the “chin” is a Japanese onomatopoeia for the chime of a microwave.
While this is already an interesting advertisement on its own, Nippon Ham has also announced a special campaign alongside the ad. Applications are currently being accepted on their website to have a maid delivery service come right to their house. You can check it out here - https://ebx.jp/nh_omurice/ ) but keep in mind the contest is only open to people with a Japanese address. Five lucky people announced on March 20th-22nd will win this special prize. Fukuro no Mama Dekiru Omurice hit the shelves in Japan on February 20th for around $2.50 USD.
There you have it - the Japanese public can now enjoy maid cafe-style omurice in the comfort of their own homes with Maid Made Omurice! And a few very lucky otaku will get the once-in-a-lifetime experience of having a real-life maid cafe maid serve them in their actual home! Will this product appeal to people outside of the otaku community? Maybe not. But has it grabbed the attention of people nonetheless while subsequently making the mouths of the Japan’s otaku populace water? You can count on it!
Did you watch the Maid Made Omurice advertisement? Would you like to try it? How would you feel if you won the contest? Have you ever been to a real maid cafe before, or would you like to go? Be sure to leave a comment or question below!