In a move I would have been angry about if no one ended up doing it, Japanese taco chain Taco Derio has decided to start using the face of this year’s most popular taco enthusiast in Japan, Kataoka Yuuki from Saki. Order at a Taco Derio and you can get a Yuuki-themed tray mat to show off to your friends and co-workers, and score hot dates with taco-loving ladies. The mat, by the way, says, “With Tacos Power, Victory is a Cinch!”
For those who don’t know, Saki is a manga and recent anime about girls who play Mahjong and possibly definitely like other girls, a one-two punch that few dare to attempt. In it, Kataoka Yuuki is a supporting character, voiced by Kugimiya Rie, who is a strong and aggressive player despite her diminutive stature, and is mostly characterized by her love of tacos. So great is her taco addiction that she cannot play at full strength unless she has a steady supply to keep her going.
To put it simply, this is an awesome idea and everything that I want out of anime cross-promotions. Code Geass and its Pizza Hut angle was great and all, especially with all the imagery of CC chowing down on pizza, but that was practically built in during conception. It’s almost cheating, in a way. But with this, Yuuki was originally from a manga and so the tacos thing was designed not so much to promote tacos but to add an additional moe aspect to Yuuki (as if the cat belt wasn’t enough already).
It’s not quite as extreme as the rise in sales of left-handed basses caused by the popularity of K-On! or the increase in tourism to one Japanese town due to Lucky Star, but it’s a step in the right shameless propaganda direction. And there’s no propaganda like shameless propaganda.
I’m going to end off on a personal message directed at something significant: Akikan.
You totally missed the boat! Why didn’t I hear of any soft drinks sporting Akikan characters, or custom Akikan flavors that are just the older flavors with new names, e.g. Akikan Cooler?
For shame. Learn your lessons from those mahjong-playing tribades and try again!