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Ran Ran Ru (Japanese: らんらんるー (hiragana) or ランランルー (katakana)) is a series of MAD video remixes based on Japanese commercials involving Ronald McDonald (known in Japan as “Donald McDonald” (ドナルド・マクドナルド)). “Ran Ran Ru” is a gimmicky expression used by Ronald, usually in combination with hand gestures to signify happiness.
Between 2004 and 2007, a series of small ads named “Ronald Rumors” (Japanese: ドナルドのうわさ – Donald no uwasa) were broadcast on Japanese television. They featured a Japanese version of Ronald McDonald asking trivial questions about himself. The answers were then posted on the official McDonald’s website. These ads were mostly targeted towards children and, in most of them, Ronald is doing his infamous “Ran Ran Ru”
The following video is one of the original Ronald Rumors commercials where Ronald uses Ran Ran Ru.
Donald’s Rumors! Donald sneezes
What is “Ran Ran Ru”?
Ran Ran Ru!
When Ronald gets happy
I always have to do this.
Come on everyone, join in!
Here we go!
RAN RAN RUU!
Early MADs and Remixes
Seeing a huge potential in these short commercials, Nico Nico Douga (NND) users were the first to jump on the remixes. Some created liquidized versions of the Ran Ran Ru commercial to make the MADs either scarier or funnier.
However, the most infamous MAD that exposed Ran Ran Ru and popularized U.N. Owen Was Her in western audiences was uploaded to NND on January 1st, 2008. The video was reuploaded to YouTube the same day by YouTube user mrhorseshoe, which has accumulated over 5 million views:
These videos would then lead to a new trend of remixes on YouTube.
The irrational fear towards clowns often developed by people contributed to the popularity of this meme gained outside of Japan. In a March 11, 2010 an article on the Australian site PC World listed Ronald McDonald Insanity as one of the most disturbing YouTube videos of all time.
Therefore, many people outside of Japan started uploading duplicate copies of related videos to YouTube. “Ronald McDonald Insanity” and sometimes other related videos would often be used mostly by U.S. Internet users as a bait and switch similar to the practice of Rickrolling and would be dubbed the “McRoll’d”.
Meme Crossovers / Meme Mash-ups
While this meme gained a massive popularity, it crossed over one or more other Japanese memes.
Often, the remixes involve charaters or songs from the Touhou Project games series:
Remixes with levan Polkka :
Sand Canyon remix:
Ronald McDonald was also represented as a reference to his meme in some videos showing many other memes seen on NND:
Ronald McDonald has been a character often used in Shift-Jis art on Japanese Bulletin boards since 2006.
Ronald was introduced as a playable character in the customizing freeware fighting game engine M.U.G.E.N on December 17th 2007 by a Japanese M.U.G.E.N contributor kishio. Some of Ronald’s voice samples are borrowed directly from the commercials, while his sprites were borrowed and modified from Dio Brando’s sprites in Capcom’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure fighting game for the Sony PlayStation.
A Ran Ran Ru MAD showing Ronald syncing to the BGM heard at the first part of the final boss character Giygas from the SNES game EarthBound, was recently made to contribute to the Ran Ran Ru meme.
The MAD was originally uploaded on NND, but when this Ronald “counterpart” appeared on the Western web, several native English speakers (especially the ones in North America) referred to it as “McGiygas”.
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PC World Australia – “The most disturbing YouTube videos of all time”http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/339251/most_disturbing_youtube_videos_all_time/