It’s a good time to be a geek. Marvel, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones are the prime properties in Hollywood. Even the subset of geek culture known as otakudom is even getting in the game. As much as Ghost in the Shell was maligned (though I thought it was enjoyable), it’s amazing that property was even green lit for big screen treatment in the states, and Alita will be following up this year. There’s a growing mainstream appeal of anime, but maybe even more importantly, companies are understanding that they can market toward otaku and that doing so doesn’t hurt their appeal toward others; in fact, in can grow their presence.
Arby’s has run full force at anime fans and geeks in general with their social media accounts. They started with a real simple post aimed at Legend of Zelda fans. Based on that success, the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the restaurant have focused on nerd subculture, and more specifically on anime fans. What’s been fantastic is that the accounts haven’t just focused on more popular series and movies, like this fantastic post for My Neighbor Totoro (which didn’t make my top ten list—but no worries, Ghibli fans, there are other entries from that company below), but they’ve also dug a little deeper. There’s a knowledge base there, and Arby’s isn’t afraid to use it as their social marketing team manipulates the company’s food, wrapping, and even sauces to recreate characters and scenes from anime.
Here are my favorites—the ten anime posts from Arby’s that I think are the absolute best.
I love, love, LOVE how Arby’s plays with one of the most famous gags in all anime, Kagome’s osuwari power. Sit, boy!!
It’s the Meowth Balloon! Can’t you just imagine Team Rocket trying to steal some Arby’s roast beef sandwiches?
8. Tenchi Muyo
So, I thought of skipping this one entirely, thinking, do I just like it cause it’s Tenchi Muyo, a series largely responsible for ushering me into the world of anime? But no, there’s more to it—this is sooo Toonami old school, catering to us early 2000’s fans by not just going Tenchi, but Tenchi Universe. And Azaka and Kamidake as milkshakes? PERFECT.
7. Evangelion / Kill la Kill
I’ll cheat here and call this a tie—I promise, it’s the only one. Sleek and minimal, these capture two famed weapons in anime, the Lance of Longinus and one of the Scissor Blades.
6. Porco Rosso
Can I just say, I love this one—most of the other posts don’t make much use of food, but Porco is there, front and center, in all his sandwich glory. It feels right. But remember he’s not just a pig—and his Savoia S.21 in the background reminds us of that.
5. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Despite her antagonism toward the very subject at the center of this blog, I couldn’t help but put Tohru fifth on the list. Can’t get much cuter than a dragon maid presenting that monstrous sandwich!
4. Princess Mononoke
San’s mask? YESSSSSSSS. And the old shaman woman’s quote as if it’s about Ashitaka getting some curly fries? Double YES.
3. Gurren Lagann
When a restaurant’s Twitter account makes you cry (if you can’t “see it,” here’s the pose that is being imitated).
2. One Piece
Arby’s hits Facebook with just as much tenacity as it does Twitter—in fact, both number one and two come from their FB account. Don’t you just want to have this Thousand Sunny on display on your desk at home? Maybe someone will do a how-to on making this marvel.
1. Howl’s Moving Castle
Here it is, baby, number one! Howl’s Moving Castle! This is sooo dead-on, and it’s so sleekly done. How many hours must it have taken the artist to build it? Just…speechless.
All that said, there are lots of other amazing ones I didn’t mention—my runners-up include Laboon from One Piece, a Yuri on Ice valentine, Meow from Space Dandy, and this cool FLCL video. All just as remarkable, as are the non-anime nerd posts from Arby’s, too.
Awesome job, ye preparers of roast beef goodness. I hope the anime fans are as nice to you as you’ve been to them!