Otaku USA Magazine
These Online Anime Are Also Commercials… But They Sure Are Fun

Check out some easy-to-watch online anime... that are also commercials.

Online anime is a game-changer, from streaming media to made-for-Internet titles. You can get your fill on YouTube, Netflix, and any number of other streaming sites. Some are even made specifically for online distribution. And of those… some are technically commercials. But darned if they aren’t pretty.

Here’s a trio of animated advertisements that want you to buy zippers, tires, and cars. Whether you do or not, you’ve still got a nice time ahead of you.


Fastening Days is all about the magic of zippers.

Fastening Days, from YKK

Just about anything can be a magical item in anime — lipstick, scissors, you name it. Even zippers — especially if your show happens to be a long-form commercial.

Fastening Days is a multi-part online anime hailing from zipper manufacturer YKK. In it, schoolkids Yoji and Kei use zippers to repair swimming pools, race across town, and even fix a friendly robot. The wild items you see even have some basis in reality. Some shorts feature products currently available, while others showcase items in development — like one-handed and self-fastening zips.


ROAD TO YOU has snow tires to get you home.

ROAD TO YOU, from Dunlop Tires Japan

Winter is an ironic time of year: full of family holidays, but also prone to weather that makes travel dangerous. Dunlop Tires knows this, and they know right where to hit as they promote their Winter MAXX tires each year. To that end, we have ROAD TO YOU.

The multi-part online anime is made in collaboration with Sunrise, and showcases characters making their way to loved ones for the holidays. This is (of course) with help from Dunlop’s own product. But the short subjects also have some frankly gorgeous animation, and some very sweet stories about relationships of all kinds. Even if you’re not in the market for new shoes for your car, these are still a lovely watch.


Wish Upon the Pleiades has car-branded magical girls.

Wish Upon the Pleiades, from Subaru

When Gainax and Subaru collaborate, you get a… magical girl show? This online anime is a lot less on-the-nose about wanting you to buy, but the branding is inescapable. Not that it’s all that odd for a magical girl to have a mechanical broom that sounds like a car, but you follow.

Wish Upon the Pleiades started as a four-episode ONA about a girl named Subaru (yes, exactly) joining a group of star-themed magical girls. The girls are helping an alien known as the Pleiadian — “Subaru” being the Japanese name for the Pleiades — repair the engine of his spaceship. The car-centric series clearly had some magic to it, as Gainax expanded it out into a full-length 12-episode series in 2015.

How sold are you on these series?

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.