Toyota Mirai gets 'manga' treatment in Japan

Hydrogen fuel-cell presented as the superior alt-fuel option in comic strip.

Chalk another one up to the Japanese and their unique way of pitching their cars. This time, it's in the form of the age-old cartoon style of 'manga,' and Green Car Reports was sharp enough to spot an example from last year. The Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle is front and center in Motorfan: New Model Special Edition issue 502, which came out last January. Like all of Motorfan issues, this one was dedicated to a single model, and with the Toyota Mirai being introduced in Japan at the time, the fuel-cell car got the honors.

An explanation (in Japanese, unfortunately for those of us who can't read it) involves a middle-aged Japanese guy looking to ditch his clunker for an advanced-powertrain vehicle and being convinced that the Mirai is superior to other alt-fuel options such as the Nissan Leaf battery electric, BMW range-extended i3 and the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid. He also experiences a slight detour when his wife slaps him after he says how much the car costs. Nothing lost in translation there.

The great thing about this approach is that no one in Japan has to worry about crossing the line when it comes to weird or odd depictions of Toyota's vehicles. That's because Toyota's done a pretty good job of that itself. Earlier this year, Toyota started pitching its Toyota Prius with a campaign that included 40 girls in 'anime' graphics (10 in a Japanese TV ad, and another 30 on Toyota's Japanese website). They were called the Impossible Girls, and each girl "personified" various amenities ranging from the engine to door chimes.

And that's mild compared to an ad Toyota put out in Japan for its pickup trucks in the summer of 2014. "Jungle Wakudoki" involves a bunch of Japanese businessmen driving into the jungle, coming face to face with a gorilla, and engaging in a dance-off with the beast, kind of like Psy's "Gangnam Style" (remember that one, folks?). It's memorable, very strange, and if you watch the video, the jingle will get stuck in your head, so don't say we didn't warn you.

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Toyota Mirai Information

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