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Sega’s revival of its Saturn mascot just got way more dramatic

The dark middle chapter of Segata Sanshiro’s return

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

In March, Sega revealed a new mascot character in the lead up to the company’s 60th anniversary. Known as Sega Shiro, the handsome young high school student is — or rather appeared to be — the fictional son of Segata Sanshiro, a Saturn-era mascot created for the Japanese market. The actor who plays Sega Shiro also happens to be the real-life son of the man who portrayed Segata Sanshiro, Hiroshi Fujioka.

The reveal of Sega Shiro was little more than an amusing tease. But in a new video, things are starting to get real — and we get confirmation of Sega Shiro’s parentage.

Sega released the second “chapter” of Sega Shiro’s story on Thursday, which starts off with a pretty good gag. Sega Shiro’s classmates ask him “Is that a Switch?” only for him to dramatically reveal he’s playing a Sega Game Gear. Then they ask him about his sunglasses, which turn out to be Sega Master System 3D glasses. Sega Shiro’s response (“Sega dayo!”) is simply “It’s Sega!” every time.

But then one of his classmates asks about his judo gi, and Sega Shiro has an animated flashback to his father training him. We are reminded of Segata Sanshiro’s death, when he saved Sega’s corporate headquarters from being destroyed by a missile, which he rode into space. Sega was saved at the launch of the Dreamcast, but Sanshiro was apparently killed. Young Sega Shiro reflects on his father’s training and his family’s loss, only to then be confronted by an evil force: the mask and black gi-wearing menace who identifies himself as Sega Hatanshiro. (“Hatan” can mean bankruptcy or failure in Japanese.)

Surely that’s got to be Segata Sanshiro under that costume, which could mean things are about to get pretty heavy for young Sega Shiro.

Sega says it has “special content” planned for June 3, 2020, the official 60th anniversary of the founding of Sega. The Sanshiro family saga will continue.