If you’ve spent enough time on the Internet, you’ve probably come across OS-tans—unofficial manga mascots for operating systems and other software. They’re sometimes cute, sometimes creepy, and always very Japanese.
Well, believe it or not, Microsoft has used that concept for its latest Internet Explorer marketing campaign. The result is a bewildering two-minute cartoon that you can find here on YouTube. Embedding is disabled for this particular clip, so here’s a screenshot:
The video includes a cheesy transformation scene, a part where the IE mascot uses the SmartScreen Filter icon as a shield to fend off laser blasts, and another scene where she uses what look like Modern UI tabs to kill a bunch of bad guys. Yeah.
The mascot even has a name—Inori Aizawa—and her own Facebook page, where she writes:
Hey everyone! My name is Inori and you can think of me as a personification of Internet Explorer.
When I was younger, I used to be a clumsy, slow and awkward girl.
However, just like the story of ugly duckling, people told me that I have really matured and changed over the years. I feel confident in my abilities now, and I’m eager to show you what I can do.
Why don’t you get to know me a little better?
Apparently, Microsoft Singapore put the video together for this year’s Anime Festival Asia. I assume they did the Facebook page, as well. That makes it somewhat understandable… but I’m still shaking my head and laughing over here.