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Instruction manuals: the last bastions of hope when your new toy doesn’t seem to be working properly. For those of us who grew up around gadgets like iPods, PCs, games consoles and TVs, the instruction books that come with our latest purchases are rarely even glanced at, often doomed to spend the rest of their days in the back of a dusty cupboard or quickly stuffed into a recycle bin. If all instruction manuals were as cute as Toshiba’s latest offering, though, perhaps a few more of us would be inclined to break them open every once in a while.

Bundled alongside Toshiba’s dynabook series of notebook computers, this illustrated instruction manual features cute and cuddly anthropomorphic seal character Para-chan and school uniform-wearing Mana-chan, who guide us through everything from set-up to getting the most out of our machine.

Reading attentively and following the steps like we’re supposed to just got that little bit more otaku.

To be precise, this manual is actually an “introductory guide” to the accompanied paper and digital instruction manuals included with the company’s newest dynabook laptops. Although the idea of a guide to a guide (to a guide) borders somewhat on the abstract, Toshiba (whose name literally means “east 東” and “lawn 芝”, for all you students of Japanese) is very likely aware that few people actively refer to their instruction books or built-in guides whenever something goes awry. By throwing in a couple of cute cartoon characters, as we’ve seen before, consumers are far more likely to pay attention.

Mana-chan takes the role of teacher. Armed with a pair of intelligent (R) red-rimmed glasses and occasionally a retractable pointer, she warns us all to pay attention while answering the questions Para-chan — who seems have been given the role of feckless techno-boob — asks at frequent intervals.

Check the manual out for yourselves below; it’s pretty cute, we’re sure you’ll agree.

▼ “So, what do you want to do with your dynabook?” Um, I dunno, Facebook and stuff?

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▼Para-chan gets a squeeze.

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▼ You can add your own caption to this one.

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▼ Mana-chan needs a lie down, but Para-chan looks positively ecstatic here.

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▼ Apparently, if we don’t read the manuals properly we’ll be “spanked”. Oh my.

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Japan’s netizens were particularly impressed with the manga-style drawings and likable characters that Toshiba has devised, saying such things as:

“This is so cute!” 

“I wonder who exactly this is aimed at?”

“I’d love to see the meetings where they came up with this stuff.”

“They should totally make a Para-chan doll.”

Then there were a few who spent perhaps a little too much time focusing on Mana-chan’s looks…

“But she’s still probably not fully developed in the chest area…”

“If only there were a few more ‘relaxed’ illustrations of Mana-chan.”

Easy there, fellas.

We’ll leave you now with a couple of shots of the Internet’s latest illustrated love wearing–gasp– a green uniform while being as helpful as ever. Pay attention now, boys and girls; she’s got a pointer and she’s not afraid to use it.

Source: Golden Times (Japanese)

▼ “Read this first, okay?”

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