Otaku USA Magazine
Three Times Your Favorite Anime Was Selling You Something

Your favorite anime are selling you something. And not just merch.

It’s no secret that entertainment and advertising go hand-in-hand, especially for anime. Whether it’s celebrities and beloved characters teaming up with brands or a show trying to move its own merch, it’s been part of the landscape for decades. Shows like Precure show off toys you can buy right now, while other series create collectible game tie-ins. And then there are the brand deals that are a little more on the nose—when you can tell where your favorite anime is getting their funding.

Not that it’s a bad thing. Sometimes it’s a sign of what the series’s creator enjoys; other times, it’s ripe for meme material. Either way, here are three times anime series have made no secret of their brand deals.


Code Geass and Pizza Hut

CC digs into some Pizza Hut

Sorry, McDonald’s (or is that WcDonald’s?), Pizza Hut is the king of fast food anime tie-ins. It’s a crown the show nabbed 18 years ago, when Code Geass aired and made the pizza chain central to its whole deal. This isn’t the first time one of our favorite anime has struck a deal with Pizza Hut, with series like Evangelion having done the same. But it’s the most… prominent.

No one knows for sure why Code Geass went all in on the Pizza Hut presence. Rumor has it that the people at Sunrise just thought it would be funny to go overboard with the sponsorship, and we can sort of see that. Sadly, the Netflix release covered up the branding, which isn’t surprising considering Tiger & Bunny got similar treatment for its many, many sponsorships. (Another anime/branding team-up worth mentioning, but listing every company would keep us here all day!) But the series and the pizza are inseparable in our hearts.


Bang Brave Bang Bravern and Kona Beer

Lewis enjoys a Kona beer

Bang Brave Bang Bravern is one of our favorite anime of the current seasons. And it is many things. Mecha anime. BL series. Top Gun tribute (we figure). And Kona Beer commercial. This is hardly surprising. Director Masami Obari loves the brand, with Big Wave Golden Ale being his beer of choice.

While the branding is unsubtle, it also makes sense contextually. The series kicks off in Hawaii, the home of Kona Brewing Co., with an early scene taking place in a bar. In other words, the perfect place for Obari to showcase his favorite brew. And heck… after the twists and turns this series serves up, we could use a drink. (Partake responsibly.)


Tetsujin-28 and Glico

One of our favorite anime of yesteryear was also one of the boldest about its product placement. Forget slapping it into scenes left and right—Tetsujin-28 sang their sponsor as part of the opening theme! Granted, this was much more common for mid-20th century entertainment, with sponsors getting TV and radio jingles in the midst of series they backed. But from a modern standpoint, it’s unusual.

Fans in the U.S. may know the series as Gigantor, minus the sponsor jingle. The same fans may know Glico as the makers of Pocky, the popular cookie stick snack. What you may not know is that Tetsujin-28, and thus this sponsorship, predates the creation of Pocky by three years!

Let’s look ahead to three original anime premiering next month!

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.