Top 10 Car Cameos of 2012

In no particular order, here are some of the more interesting car cameos we’ve spotted in all the anime we’ve watched this year. We’re unsure as to the real car content of Winter 2012 series, and to be perfectly honest, we haven’t been Johnny-on-the-spot as we’d like with every cameo in every episode, but we’re only human-youkai hybrids. But this post isn’t about regrets, it’s about the celebration of horseless automotivation!

The Principal’s Ferrari F40Girls und Panzer – 02
Later in the series, we learn that Ooarai is in financial trouble and will be shut down due to a lack of accomplishments. Apparently that pain isn’t being felt by the principal, who is wealthy enough to afford one of only 1,315 F40 supercars ever built. In an act of prescient karmic retribution, it is flipped then crushed by Chouno Ami’s surprise tank-drop.

Shrade’s Ferrari CaliforniaAquarion Evol – 07
Shrade is by all accounts a very privileged, cultured young man who comes from money. As such, he drives a red Ferrari despite still being in high school, and tailgates fellow travelers of the road, to boot. “Out of my way, PEASANTS!”

Evangeline Yamamoto’s VW New Beetle Zetsuen no Tempest – 03
Evangeline is friendly, cute, and curvy on the surface, but all business underneath. So too is her tomato-red Volkswagen New Beetle (let’s make it a Turbo, because why not?), which is really just a Golf in retro clothes.

Malloy’s Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v Evoluzione II  – Aquarion Evol – 15
Like we said when we saw it, it’s probably no coincidence that this same, very specific model of car has shown up both here and in another one of Shoji Kawamori’s works, Macross Frontier. No matter where it shows up, it’s one of our all-time favorite cars.

Ao’s Flying Piaggio ApeEureka Seven AO – 01
Okay, it’s not exactly an Ape (Italian for Bee), but it’s pretty clearly inspired by it. Not quite a car, not quite a motorbike, but damned practical all the same. Making one that can fly is the next logical step.

Sakura Ichiko’s Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow – Binbougami-ga! – 01
It’s only seen in for a moment as Ichiko is dropped off at school, but it’s the perfect car for her: something not to drive, but to be driven in, and ruinously expensive.

Mayor Bacchus’ Toyota CenturyMirai Nikki – 19
Bacchus travels in style in perhaps the quirkiest executive car money can buy: a brand-new car that looks thirty years old. It’s still hella cool.

Mr. Tatsuji’s Volvo 240 WagonAnother – 12
Aside from the fact that old boxy Volvo wagons are the mainstay of educators (and cool moms), there’s a certain morbid irony in a Tatsuji driving a car that’s the paragon of safety in a series where no almost no one is safe from a grisly death.

Koko’s Armored Volvo S80Jormungand
We can’t remember if she called it by name (she gave up on “V” trying to name a new car she bought for Ugo, which was incidentally a VW), but one thing’s for sure: while other arms dealers roll in Mercs and BMWs, Koko prefers Swedish Volvo S80s, and while she had to grudgingly abandon one in South Africa, it wasn’t long before she procured another.

Unyuu Rintarou’s Car Collection – Sket Dance – 74
Student Council Treasurer Unyuu Mimori’s family has more money than many developed nations. Among her father’s many possessions is a formidable collection of model cars, along with a collection of the real things. It’s an eclectic, even eccentric mix…but that’s par for the course when you own an underground city. Also, it’s apparent the cars in this episode were hand-drawn, with no shortcut CGI; a nice touch.

BONUS: All of the Background Traffic in K – 01 
It may take teams of video editors years to discover every car cameo in the shiny first episode of K, but it’s not just the volume of vehicles, it’s the quality of the models. They’re shiny, detailed, not all the same color, and add a lot of richness to the background. Sure, they’re mostly CGI models that may have been modeled by a third party and inserted in the animation, but when they’re this pretty, who cares?

Car Cameo Update

RABUJOI is, to our knowledge, the only anime review blog that consistently identifies and catalogues nearly every real-world vehicle that makes an appearence in the anime we watch. (If there’s another blog that does this, please let us know!) Our Car Cameo garage has grown quite a bit since its inception five months ago.

Here are some observations:

• Jormungand dominated in car cameos with 21 in just 12 episodes. What with all the car chases, that’s not all that surprising.

• Hyouka, only half-over, occupies second place with 9 cameos and has a solid chance to beat Jormy, despite the fact cars are only background. This is KyoAni we’re talking about, though, so of course most of those car models are of the highest quality.

• Eureka Seven AO has had 7 cameos so far, while Sket Dance has had 6. All other series have featured five or less in their runs.

• With 23 cameos – and probably a few more we missed, Toyota is the top marque. Not surprising, since Toyota dominates the Japanese domestic market. Of the 19 different Toyota models that appear, the “Crown” family is the most common, followed by the Prius.

• In a distant second and third are Nissan and Honda, with 9 and 8 cameos each, respectively.

• Jormungand featured lots of German marques like BMW and Mercedes, and Volkswagen as well as Frenchies Citroen and Peugeot,  Swedish Volvos and Italian Lancias. Call it the UN of the bunch.

• One of our own cars, an eigth-gen Honda Civic sedan, has a cameo in Hyouka 04. For the record, the car is named Kana-chan, after Hanazawa, the prolific seiyu.

• Strangest Cameos? It’s a tie between the legendary Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v Evoluzione II (quite a mouthful!) from Aquarion Evol 15 and the immense ’75 Chevrolet Caprice Estate Wagon from Eureka Seven AO 11.

• Head-scratchers: Accel World features many real-life cars (like the Prius), but some that are quasi-futuristic mashups we couldn’t identify. We convinced ourselves one such model really existed, and drove ourselves half-mad trying to find it on various Japanese car websites, to no avail. :P

• Tari Tari is off to a good start – automotively, with 5 distinct cameos in its first episode. Looking forward to spotting more cameos in the coming Summer season!