McDonalds’ Anime Crossover

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Recently, McDonalds’ announced its anime-themed “WcDonald’s” campaign. McDonald's locations around the country will adopt custom anime-styled packaging, and weekly animated features will be released every week from February 26 to March 18. (Photo credits: McDonald’s)

Recently, on February 21, McDonald’s announced their new marketing event “Welcome to  WcDonald’s”, an anime-themed promotion based around the appearance of “McDonald’s-inspired ‘WcDonald’s’” in many popular anime and manga.

The event brings many new aspects to McDonald’s products, such as the new “Savory Chili WcDonald’s Sauce,” a sauce made to embody, as McDonalds’ described, “[The] bold, dynamic spirit of your favorite anime heroes.”

During the event, McDonald’s items will also receive new custom packaging, featuring art from Acky Bright, a renowned Japanese illustrator and artist. Bright has previously worked with other big-name brands, notably illustrating variant covers for DC Comics, doing linework for Netflix’s Squid Game coloring book, and collaborating with world-famous rapper Coi Leray for a Meta promotion.

McDonald’s will also release four anime shorts, centered around the world of WcDonald’s. The shorts will be released weekly, and are available on the McDonald’s YouTube channel in Japanese with English subtitles, and in English dub (where the original japanese audio is replaced with english dialogue.)

The “WcDonalds” idea is not new, as manga and anime have been parodying the McDonalds’ name and brand for decades. The first major instance of the McDonald’s parody appearing in an anime was the 48th episode of the anime Cat’s Eye (1983), which spawned a trend of the “WcDonald’s” brand appearing in other anime and manga. 

The parody brand has appeared in popular anime such as Detective Conan (1996), Inuyasha (2006) Gintama (2006), and Assassination Classroom (2016). The most popular representation of McDonald’s in anime is The Devil is a Part-Timer!, the story of a demon lord who finds his way into Tokyo, Japan, and takes a job in a suspiciously McDonald’s-esque fast food restaurant. 

McDonalds’ will be running a WcDonalds’ “multi-sensory dining experience” from March 9 to March10, exclusively in Los Angeles. The event will reportedly feature “…360 projection mapping and immersive tabletop projections,” to give an experience similar to the world of an Isekai anime (a subgenre in which normal people from the real-world are transported to fantasy realms.)

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