Taco Bell’s brilliant new “Fry Force” commercial has captured the attention of hungry anime enthusiasts – but we want more.
In an era of all-too available late-night snacking fueling nights of anime binge-watching, companies are jumping on trends to up our junk food supply. Among the most perceptive are the ad masters at Taco Bell. The newly released “Fry Force,” advertising a limited-run menu item, is… nacho average ad. First airing during the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, this clever commercial is practically begging to be made into an actual thing — and “Fry Force” deserves it.
From the cryptic “Belluminati” video to the horror-themed “The Craving,” Taco Bell has put out some pretty creative commercials in its time. But now the Mexcian-inspired food chain has gone above and beyond to make us buy cheap tacos – or, more specifically, Nacho Fries. To up the hype for the return of their popular (but temporary) Nacho Fries menu item, Taco Bell introduced an anime-inspired ad in which the mecha pilot group Fry Force must face evil in order to “save Nacho Fries and the world.”
The impressively animated commercial checks all the boxes on the mecha anime trope list. The quirky-haired protagonist Rei leads an elite squad of mecha pilots who fend off giant invading monsters that will stop at nothing to devour all of the Nacho Fries in the world. Rei’s character is complete with a tragic backstory, with her brother Kosuke taken by the Nacho Fry monsters before suddenly reappearing under their thrall. Dual-wielding glowing green blades, the fighter is last shown running at her fry-munching brother for an epic battle.
Reminiscent of many classic mecha anime like Evangelion and Gundam, Fry Force presents an array of well-designed, vibrant robot soldiers and pilots with plenty of potential for development. Pulling out all the stops, the Taco Bell commercial even features voicework from Steve Blum, famous for voicing Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop’s English dub. Virtual YouTuber Gawr Gura also makes a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo, proving how far Taco Bell’s Live Más Productions will go to make a crowd-pleaser.
Unlike the majority of mecha anime, however, “Fry Force” doesn’t take itself so seriously. It’s packed with hilarious fast food-themed one-liners like “Order up!” and “I’m getting fried here!” The protagonist even proclaims that she’s “hungry for hope.” The perfectly punny and cheesy tone of the commercial hits just right – it’s a well-crafted parody that could easily transition into something more.
Shortly before the release of the animated video, Taco Bell presented a short Fry Force manga introducing their ad campaign’s idea. In the announcement, Taco Bell calls out otakus who will ingest endless anime, insisting that Nacho Fries are an “o-tacos’” dream.
With such a hilarious and elaborate introduction and premise, anime enthusiasts are calling for Taco Bell to turn their anime ad into a fully-fledged series. This commercial alone is just as tragically short as the limited availability of the Nacho Fries themselves. Much like the otherworldly kaiju that Fry Force battles, we can’t get enough – make it real!
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