Another year draws to a close as car manufacturer, Toyota, throws another commercial into the mix for their ReBorn campaign representing their new “Crown” car company. This commercial features French actor, Jean Reno, as lovable Japanese robotic cat, Doraemeon.
The ad also stars comedian/actor/director Beat Takeshi seen in MXC, Battle Royale and Zatochi, as a reborn reincarnation of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, from the Sengoku era.
It’s just been reported that on top of being a highly successful games unit, the humble Nintendo DS is now taking on a new role.
Toyota Japan has reported that the DS is to be used as remote control for the navigation systems found in their range of Smart Navi cars. But in the theme of keeping it safe, the DS is designed to be used by the passenger, not the driver while the car is in transit.
This new system carries the monniker of Kuruma de DS which translates along the lines of “Use the DS in the car.” Passengers will be able to search for destinations which then gives map and popular sightseeing hotspots. You’ll also be able to save these spots on your DS.
The cartridge for the DS which will be driving the whole thing is Bluetooth ready so owners will be able to pair it up with their car with minimal fuss.
The interface itself will be handled by the well known Mii’s familar already to Wii and DS/3DS owners to ensure everything is kept tidy and user friendly. There’s even an on board speedometer. The cart will feature music that will play through the car as well as puzzles and quizzes.
As you can probably imagine, this won’t come cheap with the top of the range Navi going for ¥206, 850 while the Kuruma de DS app cart itseld needs to be bought from Toyota for ¥7, 329 which of course doesn’t include the DS you need to play it in the first place.
So if you’re in Japan and you have the cash to spend, then you could be in for a cutesy navigation experience.
Japan is currently airing an ad on tv featuring a couple of familiar faces, first up there is Hollywood heavyweight Jean Reno alongside Atsuko Maeda from Japanese power group, AKB48.
In the ad, Doraemon shows a young man, Nobita san, how much better life could be if he had a car with Maeda playing the role of Jaiko who hops along for the ride. It’s pretty cute and very Japanese, check it below!
Anime Expo is over and done with for another year and easily Hatsune Miku was a massive stand out. Not just for her event closing concert which was a sellout and a massive success but for the support thrown behind her by Toyota and their itasha cars they had on display. For those in the dark, itasha is the Japanese word used to describe the art of decorating one’s car with decals of their favourite anime/manga characters or characters. The word itasha literally means pain(痛い(itai)) car(車(sha)) as just by driving the car around, people tend to believe that it’s painful to do so from all the decals making the car stand out 🙂 During AX ’11, Toyota teamed up with Hatsune Miku for their Corolla + Hatsune Miku marketing campaign with the end result being two itasha cars that looked absolutely amazing! So there were two different varieties on display consisting of a black car and a white car both plastered with Hatsune images, check the pics below, the cars are looking pretty hot if you ask me 🙂
Toyota love their range of Prius cars and Neon Genesis, this was never made more evident than when they converted the former Sengokuhara Middle School, in Hakone, to look and resemble the Tokyo-3 No. 1 Middle School which is the school Shinji Ikari and his comrades attended. Apparently the Hakone area served as inspiration for the locales used in Neon Genesis Evangelion. You may be wondering what Toyota and Evangelion have in common? Well, the event was to announce that the Toyota Prius PHV (Plug In Hybrid) was the official car of NERV in the recent Evangelion 2.0 movie. Even cooler, Misato Katsuragi, serves as the spokesperson for the campaign as she outlines the various features of the car, nice 🙂 Hit the video below for a video for a look at the AR Evangelion mecha…pretty sweet.