Acura unveiled its new Type S vehicle lineup with a four-part anime series called “Type S: Chiaki’s Journey,” released on Thursday.
The series, created in collaboration with MullenLowe Los Angeles, debuts as part of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, which Acura is sponsoring for the 12th consecutive year.
Each episode, which clocks in around one-minute long, centers on Chiaki, a young driving protégé. With the help of her uncle Noboru, Chiaki prepares for the race of a lifetime against her nemesis, Erich Kang.
The series features Acura’s new Type S performance vehicles: the 2022 TLX Type S sport sedan, 2022 MDX Type S 3-row SUV and 2022 NSX Type S supercar. The new 2023 Acura Integra also makes a cameo appearance.
The anime — which mimics ’80s and ’90s-era cartoon animation style — includes other nods to Acura’s brand, such as an animated version of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
It was critical for the animated versions of the vehicles to realistically portray their real-life counterparts, said Jon Ikeda, VP Acura brand officer.
“That gives a chance for people that may be really into animation to see our products in a different way,” he added. “They might like the character that they see and associate them with the car that we're selling. It’s a new approach [for Acura] to push characteristics and narrative onto cars.”
Acura is extending the campaign to reach Hispanic audiences with Spanish-language voice-over versions of each episode.
Viewers can watch “Type S: Chiaki’s Journey” on Acura.com, on Acura’s social platforms, throughout Acura activations for the 2022 Virtual Sundance Film Festival and on digital platforms like anime-focused CrunchyRoll, IMDb and YouTube.
The series will also debut on 250 cinema screens and will be featured in out of home placements in major markets including New York and Los Angeles.
“We want to try to have a little fun and expand our way of reaching people,” said Ikeda.
Acura isn’t the first automaker to hop on the anime trend. Earlier this month, Toyota released a set of animated promos for its new GR8 vehicle, featuring the AE86 vehicle from anime series “Initial D.”