10 Most Common Japanese Brands Spotted In Anime
Despite owing its conception to the American studio Disney anime is a full-fledged Japanese medium. As such it often mirrors the life style of the common Japanese person, and that includes his or her commercial items of choice. It's easier to show a known brand that every Japanese person can relate to than invent new names for drinks or stores in every show so brands tend to appear quite often in anime. Relatively few series will feature brands with their name unaltered but those with a keen eye can always spot the brands being referenced. Here is a list of the 10 most common Japanese brands spotted in anime.
A soft lemony drink from Suntory, C.C. Lemon can be seen in many anime series. This drink comes in small and large bottles and in cans. Its bright yellow color and simple name makes it immediately identifiable. Look out for this drink whenever a the character buys a can from the nearby vending machine.
The Mono Plastic Eraser by Tombo is the prevalent eraser used in Japan. It might seem odd that everyone will conform to one eraser company, but the dominance of Mono in both Japanese schools and universities cannot be overlooked. It's fairly easy to recognize this eraser because of its blue and black stripes. The name Mono is always scrambled on purpose and written as Nono, Momo or Nomo.
Just like the Mono eraser it seems Japanese have a special affinity toward notebooks made by Campus. If you see a notebook in your anime 99% of the time the word Campus (or a variation of it) will be written on it.
Sony (electronic goods in general)
No surprise here. Sony is one of the biggest Japanese conglomerates around so it makes sense a lot of electronic appliances in anime bear the Sony mark. Sony also invented the Blu-ray disc – the favorite media storage device of the modern otaku.
Ramune is a carbonated soft drink that comes in an oddly shaped bottle and is manufactured by either Sangaria or Morinaga. It is often drunk during festivals but can be bought all year long. The bottle is either made of glass or plastic but always retains its peculiar shape. One feature of Ramune that makes it extremely popular among children is the transparent marble that is placed inside the bottle-neck. In anime Ramune is often used to signify nostalgia or that magical period of childhood.
A common Japanese snack that you can always find in every party or gathering. Since its debut in 1966 Pocky has become an undisputable part of Japan's culinary culture. So much so that an unofficial day called Pokey Day is celebrated in Japan and Korea every year on November 11th. You can be sure anime characters also enjoy munching on Pocky from time to time.
Softbank and Docomo (Cellphones Service Providers)
Two companies stand at the top of Japan's cellphone service providers' chain – Softbank and Docomo. However, for some reason or the other Docomo is less referenced in anime than Softbank. Today smartphones are seldom branded in Japan, but in the past when you bought a phone from Softbank or Docomo it would always carry the company brand on the front or back cover. When you see a cellphone in your anime series of choice look closely at the phone's design. There's a chance you will see a Softbank or Docomo reference.
Family Restaurants and Convenience Stores
Convenience stores (or "Combini" in Japanese) and family restaurants play an indispensable part in every Japanese life and often provide the background for both anime series and TV shows. The family restaurants you are bound to encounter if you watch anime are Jonathan's, Denny's and (less often) Royal Host. There are many convenience store chains in Japan but in the anime world 7 Eleven easily takes the cake.
The Japanese love their beer and drink it often. There certainly is no shortage of beer companies in Japan. That said Kirin is the champion when it comes to featuring in anime series and movies. It seems directors and animators have a soft spot for this particular beer brand.
Yes, the old familiar neighborhood Starbucks. Japan may be an economic powerhouse but as many Americans and Europeans living in Japan will openly tell you it offers little choice when you get the urge for a cup o' joe. It's baffling when you first arrive in Japan and find out there are no Japanese coffee chains. The only big coffee chains around are Starbucks Coffee and Tully's Coffee – both of which are American companies. In anime Starbucks Coffee rules supreme. Tully's Coffee can also be seen from time to time, but usually when your favorite anime characters crave themselves some coffee they sit at the nearby Starbucks clone.
More on Japan and Japanese popular culture:
- Anime's Influence On The Japanese Society
A short look on the ways in which anime has influenced the society in Japan.
- Believe It: Anime Sells More Copies In The U.S. Than It Does In Japan
Examaning why Western fans are not the supporting pillar of the Japanese anime industry but nonetheless buy more anime DVDs than their Japanese counterparts.
- 6 Japanese Snacks And Dishes Prominently Shown In Anime
Another Hub Page focusing on food types that appear regularly in anime.
This Hub was last updated on January 1, 2013
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