First-come, first-served in promotion for upcoming anime TV series.
The late-night TV anime boom has been sort of a double-edged sword for studios and producers. On the plus side, more content is being produced than ever before, thanks to a distribution system that makes it easier for creators to get their work in front of audiences’ eyeballs than ever before. The drawback, though, has been with so much more content being produced than at any other time in the industry’s history, it’s increasingly difficult to make your series stand out.
So the marketing team for Love and Lies, the upcoming anime adaptation of the currently ongoing manga of the same name, have decided to go with a very outside-the-box plan: They’re handing out “super-ultra-rare” Love and Lies condoms in Tokyo’s Akihabara neighborhood to promote the show.
▼ The condoms’ wrappers feature one of three designs.
▼ Preview video for Love and Lies (no condoms shown)
Love and Lies is set in a near-future Japan in which the government forcibly assigns marriage partners to boys when they turn 16, somehow of the opinion that this will increase the country’s birthrate. When protagonist Yukari receives his notification, he’s heartbroken that it seemingly spells the end of his budding mutual romance with classmate Misaki, as he’s been designated to marry a different girl, named Ririna. However, with Ririna’s blessing, Yukari and Misaki continue their romance in secret, with the now-illegal consummation of their relationship an increasing likelihood.
So sex is, in fact, a critical part of the storyline. However, giving away condoms is still a pretty bizarre way to promote the show, and not because of any hoary “If anime fans actually had anyone to have sex with, they wouldn’t be anime fans in the first place!” notions.
The real issue is that, while it’s unclear if there’s anything special about the condoms themselves, the wrappers are decorated with illustrations of raven-tressed Misaki and blond-haired Ririna. As such, if the prophylactics are actually going to be used, the user will be looking at the anime girls right before strapping one on, which seems like it would make the atmosphere between him and his real-life physical partner a little awkward.
But, as with any limited-edition memorabilia, true fans will of course want to keep the condoms in their original packaging. This is an odd fit for a series whose premise hinges on a society-wide plan to cause pregnancies, the exact opposite of what condoms are designed to do. Maybe the appeal is in imagining yourself as having a secret tryst with the character on the condom, and needing to use protection to avoid getting her pregnant and the government finding out?
Fans who have sorted out why/how they could use Love and Lies condoms will be able to obtain them at three anime specialty stores in Akihabara on July 2, one day before the series’ broadcast premiere. Distribution will take place at Akihabara Gamers at 1 p.m., Melon Books Akihabara Branch 1 at 1:30, and Tora no Ana Akihabara Branch B at two o’clock.
Oh, and the condoms will be distributed randomly, just like spouses in the anime.