News of the death of Steve Jobs last week was a major disappointment to the tech industry and people around the world. As people remember how he and Apple changed the world with products such as the iPod and iPhone, I think it would be interesting to take a look at what kind of influence he has had on anime.
One of the unique things about anime is that a lot of “product placement” is inserted freely by the creators. In order to avoid copyright infringement, they alter the names of companies to get brands like “WcDonald’s” and “Sudohbucks”. When it comes to electronics, homegrown tech giants dominate the anime scene with obvious references such as “Pony” for Sony and “Parasonic” for Panasonic. In recent years, Apple products have been appearing in numerous anime. Below are 5 anime series that clearly love Apple.
Ro-Kyu-Bu is a short anime about a high school boy who ends up coaching an elementary school female basketball team. One of the members on the team is Maho Misawa, an energetic and outgoing girl that’s afraid of the dark. She uses a “Maq” computer as evidenced by the top left icon on her screen. The logo on her monitor is also very similar to the Apple logo.
God’s Memo Pad
Another series that features a computer resembling a Macintosh is God’s Memo Pad. An anime about a group of NEETs (people not employed, in education, or training) who solve crimes with the help of the internet. The ringleader of this group is Alice, a young girl that lives in a dark room on a bed full of teddy bears and surrounded by monitors. She is clearly seen using a computer that closely resembles an iMac running what appears to be OS X.
Ouran High School Host Club
This is one of the earliest anime I’m aware of that features an Apple computer. Apple’s MacBook was first released in 2006. In the same year, a “Pineapple” MacBook appears in Ouran High School Host Club. The anime is about a poor girl who gets admitted into a prestigious academy, only to be forced into dressing as a boy and attending to female clients as a male host to pay off her debts.
We Still Don’t Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day (Ano Hana)
Ano Hana probably has the most infamous Apple product user in anime. The anime is about a group of friends, who after 10 years, reunite after one of them claims to be able to see the ghost of a girl they all loved, Menma. Bitter rivalries and jealousy erupt amongst the group as they realize that Menma had meant more to them than they thought. One of the characters is Yukiatsu, a guy so in love with Menma that he goes as far as pretending to be her. When he’s not cross-dressing, he is often seen whipping out his iPhone in style.
Fractale is set in a fictional futuristic world where parents can have avatars eat at the dinner table for them and everything is controlled by a wondrous network called the Fractale system. In this futuristic world, everything is provided for you and everyone can live a life of comfort. Clain, a boy who obsesses over antiques from the past, is no doubt an Apple fan boy. In the first episode you can see him finding parts to upgrade his iPod.