In Japan, Nissin Cup Noodle has been running a series of commercials titled "Hungry Days" which re-imagines popular anime characters as Japanese high school students in beautifully animated shorts. Their most recent school setting adaptation has been of mega hit anime and manga series One Piece, cleverly working the origin stories of the Straw Hat pirates--Zoro as a kendo club student swearing to top his classmate rival Mihawk, and Nami struggling to balance her studies as a navigator with abuse from her part-time job boss, Arlong.

The latest entry in the "One Piece: Aoharu" (the springtime or heyday of one's youth) series focuses on Nefertari Vivi. It retells her bonding with the Strawhat Pirates during the Alabasta arc, their departure, and her longing to still be considered their "nakama".

The commercial begins with Vivi woefully telling Nami that she is transferring schools, and the Strawhat students reacting in shock.

Vivi is then shown riding a shinkansen as she moves away to a new home, and reflecting on how she first met the Strawhats when she had no friends while scrolling through her phone--Nami calling out to her and inviting her to have a cherry blossom viewing party with them.

Vivi, narrating, says "So much has happened since we first met," and the commercial plays out scenes of Vivi's interactions with the Strawhats---them studying together, Nami protecting her from Sanji's advances, the students (and school nurse Kureha) caring for an ill Nami, and even Luffy standing up to school bully Crocodile at a summer festival.

While reflecting, Vivi narrates that "Those days that I can't go back to, those were my youth."

Now melancholic, she wonders "If we ever meet again, would you still call me your nakama?" while she remembers bonding with the crew at the school sports festival with Cup Noodle and sharing an "X" band on their wrists as part of the same team.

Vivi then receives a surprise message from Luffy that moves her to tears: a recording of the crew posing in one of the most iconic scenes from One Piece--showing off their solidarity as nakama by raising the "X" on their wrists (as well as different flavors of Cup Noodle!)

As with the two previous commercials, the artwork is by manga artist Eisaku Kubonouchi (“Tsurumoku Dokushin Ryo”, “Watanabe” and “Chocolat”) and features a Bump of Chicken soundtrack. It also keeps you busy trying to spot all the One Piece cast as fellow school students in the background.

By - Big Neko.