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HTC One shows up in anime
Okay, so the first thing is that I know a lot of people think anime is really weird. I think it is too haha, and I watch it. But I don't have cable or care about 99% of the shows being aired on US television anyway, and since both The Office and Psych have ended, the list of shows I actually do watch is halved. So I need something to watch, that's funny, or at least somewhat funny, because I think everything's funny. Comedy anime fills that gap. The next thing is that I know this is the M7, instead of the M8. I just figured I'd post here since I'm already somewhat active in these threads, and this post is more about an HTC phone being in popular media, not so much which one.
Anyway, so I was watching tonight's episode of Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin (don't ask me what that means in English) and this scene pops up:
And I totally lost it, because an HTC phone being the protagonist's phone was just so random. In these shows the phones usually aren't defined too much like their physical counterparts, I'd assume so they don't get sued for using an exact likeness without permission. But it's pretty obvious it's an M7. It's square-ish, the camera and sensors are in the right positions, the front facing speakers are just squares but they're in the same spot, the back and home buttons are there, and they replaced the logo probably for the aforementioned reason. Just ignore that it totally looks like it's running Gingerbread for some reason. If you're still skeptical, there's another screenshot a few frames earlier which shows the back of the phone, and it shows the camera, flash, and even the lines across the back exactly the same also. I even went back to episode one (this is two) to see if it made an appearance there, and I just didn't notice it. And sure enough, the One was there for a couple seconds.
Now, why is this so strange? Well, first, when you here "Japan" and "mobile," I'm pretty sure what everyone immediately thinks of is Sony. In fact, usually in recent anime that I've seen, if a character has a phone that they show somewhat it's either 1) actually an Xperia Z device 2) an iPhone 3) a flip phone 4) generic fill-in phone. That's part of the reason why seeing an HTC device is strange. I've increasingly seen Sony phones to the point where they're actually one of the most prevalent, and iPhone's are iconic, so they're used for instant recognition. But those are a give-in. iPhones are a global symbol (one show even has a Steve Jobs cameo, pre and post iPhone era), and Sony is a Japanese company. HTC is still based in Asia, but in Taiwan. When I think "popular smartphone brands in Japan," HTC doesn't cross my mind. What I do think of is Sony, Apple, and Samsung, and heck, I've never seen a Samsung phone in an anime. Nor LG. And those two companies are Korean, which is closer in this culture to Japanese than Taiwan.
So, why is this significant? Even though it's been on the decline, anime is still a big industry in Japan, and it's not purely domestic, as it has spread enough influence to be an international production. The West is actually a large market for anime, and where HTC looks to be spending its effort, and that is honestly the only connection I can think of as to why they used the One. It's also rather noteworthy, because few brands even show up. You aren't seeing product placement everywhere you look, like what car manufacturer this character's vehicle is from, or what kind of cereal they're eating. From what I can remember, the only brands I can recall seeing that were obvious or intentionally stood out were: Sony, Apple, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Nikon, Canon, Disney, Uniqlo, NTT Docomo, Power Rangers (not really a brand), a few American actors (also not a brand), and references to other anime (still not a brand). That's pretty much it, and half of them are Japanese companies. So the inclusion of a product from HTC, which doesn't have the same global presence as nearly all of these, is a pretty big deal in this regard, and I believe it says something about them.
It's late, I'm tired; I've never been great at explaining anything to begin with, but I hope you understand what I'm trying to say. Anyway, thanks for reading!