Upcoming anime 夏のあらし！ / Natsu no Arashi! (Storm of Summer), airing April 5th, has succeeded in attracting attention to itself for all the wrong reasons.
Preview images show Asread Quality in evidence, and as if to inadvertently draw attention to this, the producer Starchild has incited a storm of criticism after retaining the services of a marketing firm (“Blogscout”) whose innovative PR move was to offer bloggers a paltry ¥1,000 Amazon gift voucher if they would write about the show on their blogs, subject to several conditions.
Even (or perhaps especially) fans of the original were disgusted by this “yarase”, or shilling.
The deal in this case was a 1,000 Amazon voucher if unprincipled bloggers would offer a link to the anime’s homepage (Google would not be amused), a 300 character article and a “web bug”, or 1×1 invisible .gif to allow the marketing company to track users.
Such bankrupt marketing tactics seem to have backfired, as the coverage naturally all centred on the offering of the bribe, and speculation soon centred on the preview pictures you can see below, compared against the original manga character designs:
Could this be an effort to distract attention from the lacking anime itself?
Source Neko to Negima amusingly applied for the reward after writing up a highly critical expose of the affair. He awaits a reply.
Disclosure: we will not be applying for the 1000 special reward, placing any web bugs or otherwise, although it would certainly be most amusing to do so.