Toyota’s Connection with AnimeBy maigne on June 23rd, 2017
Toyota is one of the most popular car brands in Asia, especially as the company was founded in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. With models (also available in the Philippines) like the Toyota Fortuner, Vios, and Innova being among of the most popular cars in the market, the highly respectable automative manufacturer continues to be one of the best-selling brands in the world. It comes as no surprise that Toyota vehicles have been featured prominently in various forms of media such as films, television shows, video games, comic books, and even in Japanese anime and manga.
Japanese anime is extremely popular in many parts of the world, which is why some companies like Toyota tend to get featured in various series. From racing anime like Initial D, to being endorsed by some of the most famous mecha franchises, here are some of Toyota’s best moments with anime.
Toyota and Mecha
Mecha is one of the most popular anime genres around, with series like Mobile Suit Gundam, Mazinger Z, Getter Robo, Macross, and Neon Genesis Evangelion gaining a huge following over the past 2-3 decades. It is no wonder that Toyota decided to team up with some of these mecha franchises to advertise some of their new car models. In 2011, the Toyota Prius PHEV was endorsed along with the characters of the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Meanwhile, the Toyota Auris was endorsed by Mobile Suit Gundam’s Char Aznable (the shows main antagonists) with his personal color scheme, and even had its own commercial.
Prius Impossible Girls
The Toyota Prius is one of the most popular cars in the world. A hybrid vehicle, its engine can run on both electricity and gas. Over the years, Toyota has had numerous advertisement campaigns for the Prius (one of which was the aforementioned Neon Genesis Evangelion endorsement). But perhaps one of the most unusual and uncanny ways to market their new Toyota Prius models during 2016 was through the use of anime girls.
These so-called Impossible Girls were meant to be a personification of each part and feature of the Prius. Each of the girls had their own unique look and voice, and were meant to guide the buyer and give details about each part of the car. These girls were not only used to market the car, but they also had their own merchandise and trading card game to top it all off.
Toyota and Initial D
Initial D is one of the most popular racing anime series worldwide. An anime about illegal street racing in Japan (and also influenced the popular Fast and the Furious movie franchise), the anime used real-life car models which gave it an authentic feel. Numerous car brands were featured in the hit series, and Toyota not only has a good number of car models present, like the Celica GT-Four, Altezza, the Supra RZ, and the MR-2, but it also has arguably the most popular car in the show itself which, is the Toyota AE86 Trueno. While being one of the older models in the series, it is one the most iconic. In fact, was one of the cars that laid the foundation for real-life street racing in Japan.
Anime is one of the most popular forms of media that people voluntarily consume all over the world, and is huge part of Japan’s diverse and rich culture. This is why companies like Toyota use anime to get even more exposure, and it has really helped them to market their brand in many ways. It won’t be long before there’s another Toyota and anime crossover anytime soon!