Microsoft pimps Internet Explorer with anime mascot

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?

www.internetexplorertan.com/download

Wow.

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.

Comments closed
    • BIF
    • 7 years ago

    It won’t play on my system.

    In IE, “video unavailable”.
    In FF, it begins to play, then restarts from the beginning, then I get a failure message.

    Hmmm, well it appears to be a problem with my system. No YouTube videos will play. I updated my AMD graphic driver a few days ago. First place to look I guess.

    EDIT: Well, I was having some other weird stuff going on with audio, but I decided it was a faulty/mis-installed driver for the GPU. I ended up uninstalling/reinstalling my Catalyst and drivers (using the latest beta driver because something seemed wrong with the prior one which I had installed right after updating to Windows 8.1).

    Unfortunately, it looks like there was some fallout. My GPU folding slot lost a work unit that it was only an hour away from finishing, grrr!

    But now YouTube videos work and audio seems to be correct.

    Haha, and all for that little anime girl and her cat? Pheh. At least I liked the music. πŸ˜€

    • moose17145
    • 7 years ago

    [url<]http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/2013-10/enhanced/webdr06/24/21/enhanced-buzz-31054-1382665229-1.jpg[/url<]

      • Krogoth
      • 7 years ago

      Nice one, but on a more serious note.

      All mainstream Web browsers in general are all pretty fast. The problem is the add-ons and plug-ins, not even Chrome and other Webkit-based browsers are immune to it.

    • gamoniac
    • 7 years ago

    Judging from negative comments, perhaps most TR readers are not the intended audience. Given the time limitation and the topic, I actually think this was a very well made anime, It also seems most YouTube viewers overwhelmingly like it.

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    Shakespeare, it ain’t.

    OTOH this is about par for the course in an Asian-market production, so presumably it makes sense to them.

    • willmore
    • 7 years ago

    I think I’m legally obligated to kill a puppy, now.

    • firagabird
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]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?[/quote<] Context is everything.

      • dashbarron
      • 7 years ago

      This is the comment of the day.

    • ghomfom
    • 7 years ago

    true windows defender, IE11 is!

    • tipoo
    • 7 years ago

    My brain can’t even brain things after watching that.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    Ok guys. Even I have nothing nice to say about this. Idkwtf is happening here.

      • dpaus
      • 7 years ago

      [i<][b<]This[/i<][/b<] is what it took to get you out of retirement??! Welcome back πŸ™‚

        • dashbarron
        • 7 years ago

        A day late! I suppose it’s nice to see him. He is always cheerful and makes decent arguments.

      • entropy13
      • 7 years ago

      lol ssk.

    • drsauced
    • 7 years ago

    Wait, wait, I got one! How are Dora the Explorer and Internet Explorer similar?

    Wait for it.

    They both take 10 minutes to complete a simple task.

    Hah!

    It was funny to me, anyway.

      • tipoo
      • 7 years ago

      IE11 is actually one of the fastest browsers in a lot of tasks.
      #pedanticasshatruiningthejoke

    • anotherengineer
    • 7 years ago

    well thank goodness they didn’t use this

    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsDDXSmGJZA[/url<]

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    Well, all I can say is that for a while there I thought she’d never get to 7…

    I like the marketing. This is the kind of marketing that Microsoft needs to do more of if they want to reach the core audience that has more or less given up on them. With the core audience goes the mainstream afterward.

    Being less serious and more fun is a great way to make people ignore stupid things like IE6, Windows 8 Metro, Xbone’s bajillion mistakes in marketing, Windows RT, Windows Phone, no start menu, forgetting to QA gaming mice in Windows 8.1, and other assorted things along the way…

    I like the (not so) subtle reference to “androids” surrounding her in small and big varieties. Because that is what is happening. Swarms and swarms of Androids everywhere…

      • Diplomacy42
      • 7 years ago

      Microsoft doesn’t need to do any marketing. they have our interest. people will look at anything they put out.

      What they need to do is put out products that aren’t either junk, or so overpriced that people make fun of you for buying them.

    • chΒ΅ck
    • 7 years ago

    Over 12000hrs in ms paint: [url<]http://i.imgur.com/139xCHD.png[/url<] Original: [url<]http://i.imgur.com/iyHCKuG.png[/url<]

    • Modivated1
    • 7 years ago

    ….Naruto would beat the CRAP out of that Microsoft Ho! She’s a small potato’s Ninja.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 7 years ago

    Eh, I’ve seen worse ads.

    *cough* Burger King *cough*

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    lol! In episode two does she meet a ten tentacle popup monster from a warez site?

    Putting all of this aside, something seemed off about the animation. It sorta looks like it was cheaply made and they didn’t use enough frames to give it good fluidity.

    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    Well at least Microsoft is targeting a specific audience.

    • entropy13
    • 7 years ago

    It all started with Windows 7.

    Albeit restricted to Japan and versions sold there, Madobe Nanami (i.e. Windows 7) ran commercials for Windows 7…er, herself.

    I’m currently using her soundpack in Windows 7 too. ‘Pirorin!’ ‘Cha-ran!’ ‘Pi-po!’, etc. instead of the dull default sounds when there are errors, you minimized a window, or emptied the recycle bin.

      • Voldenuit
      • 7 years ago

      Any chance Valve will jump on that bandwagon? I’d love to see Japanese TV ads featuring SteamOS as Mikasa Ackerman cutting down a giant naked man-eating Steve Ballmer.

        • LostCat
        • 7 years ago

        You may be the only person on Earth who wants to see him naked.

          • Voldenuit
          • 7 years ago

          It’s a thing from Attack on Titan, an anime where mindless naked giants terrorize the remnants of humanity.

        • dragontamer5788
        • 7 years ago

        [url<]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v493/Gecko3/ku-medium.gif[/url<]

      • RtFusion
      • 7 years ago

      Just listening to some of them now on a YouTube video . . . Ja Jaaan~!

      Love watching anime and reading manga . . . but that was too much hahaha. Didn’t know such sound packs existed!

        • entropy13
        • 7 years ago

        The [url=http://myanimelist.net/anime/8792/Madobe_Nanami_no_Windows_7_de_PC_Jisaku_Ouen_Commercial!!<]Windows 7 commercial[/url<] is actually considered an anime OVA by MyAnimeList...

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      I’m a fan of the w7 theme too, albeit with the most common effect turned off because it’s used way too often.

    • Star Brood
    • 7 years ago

    Now I’ve seen everything from Microsoft.

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      It’s not a new thing. I’ve even seen a software sound synthesizer have a manga mascot.

    • Flying Fox
    • 7 years ago

    Doesn’t Facebook prohibit fake entities?

      • ClickClick5
      • 7 years ago

      She is real. Just as all the other anime characters, they are real. I have been corrected on this topic many times.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      It’s a fan page, not an actual Facebook account. So anything goes here.

      • albundy
      • 7 years ago

      how would they know?

    • JosiahBradley
    • 7 years ago

    My calendar is broken, it isn’t displaying April 1. Maybe I messed it up during the time change.

      • Klimax
      • 7 years ago

      Just time warp…. (Or Scotty again cold jump started Warp engines again)

    • Voldenuit
    • 7 years ago

    In related news, MS is offering ppl who trade in their XP machines an additional 5000 yen to upgrade to Windows 8…

    [url<]http://www.asahi.com/articles/TKY201311060536.html[/url<] Use google translate as needed

    • odizzido
    • 7 years ago

    I think for an anime convention this was a great way to advertise.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    15 posts and not one complaint about the lack of tentacles!?!?!??!! I am disappoint. My mouth is a tiny slit of anger and my eyes are ridiculously oversized with frustration.

      • Flying Fox
      • 7 years ago

      This is just anime, not hentai/ecchi.

        • fantastic
        • 7 years ago

        9 out of 10 Americans don’t know what those words mean. I’m one of them.

          • Krogoth
          • 7 years ago

          For those who aren’t familar with the terms.

          Ecchi = soft-core

          Hentai = hard-core

          • standingmammoth
          • 7 years ago

          9 out of 10 Americans know how to use Google. You’re not one of them.

            • Diplomacy42
            • 7 years ago

            1 in 10 Americans use duck duck go. they are actually able to find things not in wikipedia.

            and no, probably about 3 in 10 Americans have had the proper lecture on how to perform a Boolean search and have even a halfway decent understanding of how to use google.

            • BIF
            • 7 years ago

            Some people know better than to do a search for terms when such search could end up earning them unemployment and/or a divorce.

            -1 for not understanding reality. With a smile because I give you credit for a possible attempt at humor. πŸ™‚

    • Krogoth
    • 7 years ago

    >slowpoke.jpg

    This is what Microsoft’s division in Japan came up with in 2010…..

    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nngGGBkjMpU[/url<] I will not be surprised if Microsoft in the USA/CN will try to use the current pony craze in their adverts.

    • RhysAndrews
    • 7 years ago

    I wouldn’t mind a sexy manga revamp for Clippy.

      • Kurkotain
      • 7 years ago

      Someone get this to Redmond ASAP

      Or a badass clippy revamp. Using his err, clip powers? (organizing? being annoying?) to defeat the evils of free software and his arch enemy: libreoffice.

        • Klimax
        • 7 years ago

        You don’t want to get clipped now, do you…

        It would be bad if something clipped it…

      • Buzzard44
      • 7 years ago

      I rarely actually login to TR – mostly just browse anonymously.

      This made me laugh for so long that I had to sign in to +1 you.

      • Deijya
      • 7 years ago

      Zone-sama would do that flash

      • Diplomacy42
      • 7 years ago

      here, let me show you how to write a business letter. *bends over.

    • Wildchild
    • 7 years ago

    Guess they’re trying to win over the Linux crowd.

      • Goofus Maximus
      • 7 years ago

      No, I think they’re aiming for the Hikkikomori crowd! (google it)

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        If Wildchild isn’t interested in Googling it, they could head over to Netflix and watch “Welcome to the NHK.” I’m not responsible for any mental anguish that may cause.

          • Goofus Maximus
          • 7 years ago

          Hulu has the first 8 episodes available as well. I’m disappointed that Crunchyroll doesn’t, though.

          My otakutude is showing! πŸ˜‰

        • entropy13
        • 7 years ago

        Yep, they’re aiming for the likes of me who loves this kind of things.

        I’m at work right now, my girlfriend works here as well but has a different shift.

        tl;dr: not everyone who will like it are shut-ins.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 7 years ago

        Or the weeabu crowd.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    If only Microsoft spent as much effort listening to its users.

    I mean IE10 for [s<]Metro[/s<] ModernUI is just unbelievably awful in so many ways that it's hard to think of what demographic it was even [i<]aimed[/i<] at. ...which is kind of a shame, since the IE team has made some decent progress over the years after the mistake that was IE6.

    • cegras
    • 7 years ago

    Sounds like cultural ignorance on your part? It’s a pretty big part of asian culture. I’m sure there has been ‘absurd’ western advertisement as well.

    • Blazex
    • 7 years ago

    microsoft has their own magical girl now, in the form of IE-tan.
    haha

    • ShadowTiger
    • 7 years ago

    They have used anime mascots before, but mostly targeted towards asian audiences. Its cool that they did a fully animated sequence like this, but the quality is not so great and it is super cliche. Then again, they don’t really have anything especially cool about windows to market in the first place, so I guess it is appropriately bland.

    I guess I feel like Chobits would be a better direction than magical girl saving the world, though that might be a little bit edgy for mass marketing purposes.

      • Modivated1
      • 7 years ago

      Considering the Advertising content that they have to work with I thought it was very cool. It’s not like we are authentically looking at a anime mascot that is going to represent Internet Explorer from now on.

      ….At least not yet, they gotta work the Kinks out πŸ™‚ .

    • Ryu Connor
    • 7 years ago

    [quote=”Cyril”<]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.[/quote<] Her flying was powered by [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trident_(layout_engine)<]Trident[/url<]. πŸ˜‰ The end scene with her at the computer also mimic a modern UI gesture to move an app. The hiragana at the end said "To be continued" All in all I am [i<]greatly[/i<] amused.

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    How long until Inori Aizawa transitions to Hentai to make a buck?

      • allreadydead
      • 7 years ago

      According to the news title first two words, shouldn’t take long…

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      If you believe the comments on TR, Windows 8 is f*’d soo it’s already been done.

      • Krogoth
      • 7 years ago

      I give it 24-hours before “Rule 34” hits this one.

        • Milo Burke
        • 7 years ago

        What is Rule 34?

          • Meadows
          • 7 years ago

          Something like “If it exists, there is porn of it. If there isn’t, there will be.”

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Think it will be titled “This is NOT your Internet Explorer”?

        • Krogoth
        • 7 years ago

        Unfortunately, it looks like I’m right on this one.

        It is around if you know where to look.

        • rika13
        • 7 years ago

        That long? Might be because of the Veteran’s Day weekend and such.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 7 years ago

    Well I had a fun time watching that video on my Chrome browser. I love how… unblinkingly [i<]genuine[/i<] it is? It's like a good B-movie: crappy but earnest. Never tongue-in-cheek.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 7 years ago

    Slow news day?

      • Geonerd
      • 7 years ago

      Yea, this is almost Ars worthy. C’mon, TR, you can do better! πŸ™‚

      • albundy
      • 7 years ago

      there’s been alot of these. its not TR, its just the lack of new products and innovations.

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    It could have been a lot worse.

      • UberGerbil
      • 7 years ago

      Which, for Microsoft (and especially their marketing), is really quite an accomplishment

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