Otaku USA Magazine
Toyota Prius Goes Moe

If you’re a Japanese car manufacturer, how do you get a generation raised on manga interested in your latest vehicular offering?

How about transforming all of your car’s parts into anthropomorphized moe-style characters? That’s what Toyota has gone about doing with the ad campaign for their new Prius, dubbed Prius! Impossible Girls.

There are currently 40 Prius! Impossible Girls, or Pri-gaa, for short, each representing a piece of new model of Toyota’s hybrid car, each with a unique character design and catch phrase. Some of them are even voiced by professional voice actors.

Girl 01, for example, is the car’s 2ZR-FXE engine, whose slogan is “let’s take a drive together.” She’s voiced by Kana Hanazawa (Durarara, Prison School).

Number 03, Power Control Unit, is voiced by Misaki Kuno (Lupin the 3rd), who implores potential Prius purchasers “just because I’m small don’t take me lightly!”

Our favorite might be number 39: Door Sound. Slogan: “I hope you come to like my voice.”

Coming soon: a theme song and game.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Pri-gaa campaign is making a splash on social media in Japan. What do you think? Could an ad campaign like this work in the States?

Source: WSJ

Matt Schley

Matt Schley (rhymes with "guy") lives in Tokyo, and has been OUSA's "man in Japan" since 2012. He's also written about anime and Japanese film for the Japan Times, Screen Daily and more.