Watch The Trailer For Grip, Toyota’s New Anime Series

You heard us right: Toyota is producing its own anime, featuring a trio of protagonists fighting evil with the help of the GR range
Toyota GR86 in Grip
Toyota GR86 in Grip

You know the anime series where the hero does a lot of skidding around in a Toyota sports car? No, not Initial D. And not MF Ghost, either. There’s now another one, and somewhat surprisingly, it’s coming from Toyota itself.

Called ‘Grip’, it’s been commissioned by Toyota USA. It takes place in a vague futuristic setting where the roads have been overrun by bland, autonomous vehicles made by a faceless mega-corporation called SynthCorp. The company’s CEO, the mysterious Dr. Aron Synth, was once a famous racing driver but lost a hand (we presume in a racing accident) and is now “hellbent on eradicating human driving” – although his hammy closing gambit of “the future is mine… and nobody can stop me!” suggests he might have some even more nefarious goals.

So who are the unlikely heroes Toyota has come up with to save the day? They’re Jae Kang, “known for his driving skills and fearless demeanour”; Linh “Nitro” Lam, “a young and enthusiastic racer”; and Kumail Jo, “a seasoned racer with a fiery personality.” The trio will take on Dr. Synth (how, exactly, isn’t clear), using their fleet of Toyota GR vehicles: a GR Corolla for Kang, a GR Supra for Lam and a GR86 for Jo.

The 30-second teaser and the info on Toyota’s website alone feature enough clichés for TV Tropes to have a field day: the vast, anonymous corporation with a sinister leader; the young, energetic triumvirate who’ll take on it; the presence of a “wise mentor” called Master Rugu… heck, Jae Kang even has a cool scar “earned in a legendary race.”

Toyota GR Supra in Grip
Toyota GR Supra in Grip

To be honest, the whole thing has a bit of a whiff of the corporate about it (ironically, given the subject matter). It is, after all, basically a glorified five-episode-long advert.

That being said, we’re very big fans of the cars being advertised. Easy as it is to be cynical, it’s hard not to get behind Toyota when it’s positioning its cars as tools with which to rage against the demise of human driving and the rise of the amorphous, self-driving pod. It’s one of the only major manufacturers that seems to still care about what car enthusiasts want, and it should be praised for that, even if the result runs the risk of being a cheese-fest.

Jae Kang, protagonist of Grip
Jae Kang, protagonist of Grip

This isn’t the first time a car company has commissioned its own anime: Acura did something similar a couple of years ago to promote its Type S performance badge with Chiaki’s Journey, which ran for two series.

The first full episode of Grip launches on Toyota USA’s YouTube channel later today, with a further four to follow. We sincerely hope that, in honour of the series that must have provided at least some of the inspiration, it features at least one kansei dorifto.


No comments found.


Sponsored Posts