When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Japan's Automakers Turn To Anime To Help Sell Cars



TOKYO – What do Japanese animated films (anime) and automobile industries have in common? They are joining forces together, bringing product placement (in this case Japanese cars and motorcycles) to animation.

Carmaker Subaru and famous anime studio Gainax collaborated on the web series Hōkago no Pleiades (Wish Upon the Pleiades), a story about a young girl named Subaru who discovers that her best friend has magical powers. No Subaru cars are shown in the series, but the goal of the series was to show what Subaru cars were about: its "essence."

In another production, Rinne no Lagrange (Lagrange: the flower of Rin-ne), the big robot was designed by Nissan Motors.

Movies sometimes also use real car or motorcycle models. Junichi Sato's series One Off is about a young girl who "loves her Honda Giorno scooter."

This kind of collaboration has proved profitable for both sides.

In another anime series, PES: Peace Eco Smile, a romantic comedy featuring an alien named PES, Toyota wanted its cars to be featured "in a casual manner," says sales and marketing coordinator Takao Mirai.

Today in Japan, the younger generation is less and less interested in cars. Carmakers are scrambling to find new ways to appeal to this market and collaborating with anime studios is one of them.

"We don't mind if people do not buy our cars directly after watching the anime. The important thing is for our image to be associated with a company which is doing cool things," says Mirai.

Such partnerships are already common for motorcycle industry. Popular superhero Kamen Rider (The masked rider) has been running Honda bikes for decades.

(One Off: A young lady and her Honda scooter. Photo- 7th Style)

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


Inside Ralston College, Jordan Peterson's Quiet New Weapon In The Culture Wars

The Canadian-born psychologist Jordan B. Peterson is one of the most prominent opponents of what's been termed: left-wing cancel culture and "wokism." As part of his mission , he serves as chancellor of Ralston College in Savannah, Georgia, a picturesque setting for a unique experiment that contrasts with his image of provocateur par excellence.

Photo of Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson greeting someone at Ralston College, Savannah

Jordan B. Peterson at Ralston College

Sandra Ward

This article was updated Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. with corrections*

SAVANNAH — Savannah is almost unbelievably beautiful. Fountains splash and babble in the well-tended front gardens of its town houses, which are straight out of Gone with the Wind. As you wander through its historic center, on sidewalks encrusted with oyster shells, past its countless parks, under the shadows cast by palm trees, magnolias and ancient oaks, it's as if you are walking back in time through centuries past.

Hidden behind two magnificent façades here is a sanctuary for people who want to travel even further back: to ancient Europe.

In this city of 147,000 in the U.S. state of Georgia, most locals have no idea what's inside this building. There is no sign – either on the wrought-iron gate to the front garden or on the entrance door – to suggest that this is the headquarters of a unique experiment. The motto of Ralston College, which was founded around a year ago, is "Free Speech is Life Itself."

The university's chancellor is one of the best-known figures in America’s culture wars: Jordan B. Peterson. Since 2016, the Canadian psychologist has made a name for himself with his sharp-worded attacks on feminism and gender politics, becoming public enemy No. 1 for those in the left-wing progressive camp.

Provocation and polemics, Peterson is a master of these arts, with a long list of controversies — and 4.6 million followers on X (formerly Twitter), and whose YouTube videos have been viewed by millions. Last year on Twitter he commented on a photo of a plus-size swimsuit model that she was "not beautiful," adding that "no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that."

A few years ago he sparked outrage with a tweet contesting the existence of "white privilege," the idea that all white people, whether they are aware of it or not, have unearned advantages. "There is nothing more racist," he said than this concept. He was even temporarily banned from the platform for an anti-trans tweet.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest