a friend of a friend emailed this explanation of the hilarious kikkoman anime commercial that was linked below to the amusement of many of our chowhound posters. i'm not sure it makes any more sense to me now, but i thought you all would be interested in the fact that it has some japanese pop-cultural symbolic and historical meaning after all:
About the cat who's hung himself on the film: Just before the cat has ended up himself on a lope, he had a hard time to choose between soy sauce or worstershire sauce for pouring on his omelet. Then Kikkoman got angry and yelled, I told you!! Soy sauce for omelet!! Because of that, the cat got depressed and has hung himself. This also comes from an AA which is common in 2-Channel. It is typically used when somebody got depressed with reply. The other heroes: The one with squash-shaped yellow bottle on his head (who stands left side of Kikkoman at the end of film) named "Suman" that means vinegar-man in Japanese. His weapon is vinegar as well. Another one with white cubic thing on his head (who also appears on the right side of Kikkoman at the end of film) named "Sugar-man". It should be very obvious that the thing on his head is a cubed sugar. Because of that, he is weak against heat (sugar will melt down!).
About Kikkoman: Kikkoman was originally appeared in the big Japanese forum (message board) named "2-Channel"(www.2ch.net), just as an AA (AA=Ascii Art). A fish-shaped head of Kikkoman is a traditional Japanese small soy sauce bottle which is used for a lunch-box. Kikkoman is the hero who beats his emenies by pouring soy sauce over them. Sometimes it works well, and sometimes doesn't. The logo on his breast is a trademark of the Japanese soy sauce company, not the Tao. About Kagome (a girl who sleeps with Kikkoman:) Her name comes from the Japanese company which produces worcestershire sauce. A banana-shaped cat and fried shrimps are their enemies, so sometimes they're beaten by Kikkoman.
for those of you that missed the wacky kikkoman commercial discussed earlier, see the link is below.
and here is another link to a similar panasonic hi-ho commercial: