Post- War social and business life in Japan

Giant and Toys is a 1958 Japanese satirical film on corporate culture. Directed by Yasuzo Masumura, Giant and Toys criticizes the emergence of a ruthless business culture that doesn’t care about personal life and everyone’s individual. Giant and Toys was made during the post-war days of Japan when the country was getting into the capitalist society.   Most of time Giant and toys shows the roles of, business ethics, commodities and popular culture interact within Japanese society.

The plot of Giants and Toys involves in three candy companies: World, Apollo, and Giant. Each company tries to use modern culture to attract their consumers. The story unfolds with the characters of two main employees of World: Goda and his assistant Nishi. Nishi is an advertising executive for a caramel company that is planning to launch a new product. World Caramels use a lower-class girl with bad teeth to be their new model. The two of them meet Kyokoa, a down-home girl and she also has terrible teeth. Both of them come up with a marketing campaign in which they plan to use Kyoko as a sex symbol to promote their new line of caramels. Meanwhile, Nishi wants get some key information from his girlfriend and an old friend who work for two rival companies. Kyoko develops a liking towards Nishi while he is assigned to look after her. To everyone’s surprise, Kyoko becomes an overnight star through the campaign.

Kyoko’s image is imitated several times to indicate that she has become commodity

Kyoko turns out to be even more ruthless that she does not want to go along with the plans of World and want pursue the dream of being a singer in the new medium of television. Meantime, Nishi finds himself falling for Kyoko.

Throughout the movie, caramel is represented as a commodity that is used to make profit for company.

The production of caramel superimposed with the image of Goda’s lighter

In this film, food is viewed more as a desire and not a basic necessity. For instance, people rush to buy chocolates despite knowing there is no nutritional value in it. The way that chocolate is described in this film represents the social restructuring in Japan during the post-war period. Manufacture of chocolates in Japan can be seen as the country’s attempt to keep itself alive in the global.  Thus, Giant and Toys represents food as a commercialized product with major companies fighting it out against each other to make profit. Food in the film “Giants and Toys” describes a post- modern period where Japan had to undergo economic and social change in order to compete with other companies.

In conclusion, the film brings out the rivalry, opportunism, and betrayal that exist in the business world for attaining power.


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