Toyota Mirai manga: hydrogen fuel cell beats electric cars, plug-in hybrids


Japanese manga comic about Toyota Mirai [from Motorfan: New Model Special Edition issue 502]

Japanese manga comic about Toyota Mirai [from Motorfan: New Model Special Edition issue 502]

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Manga are comics created in Japan, conforming to a style set more than 100 years ago and still very much a part of popular culture.

While they may look like no more than light entertainment, they're widely read by people of all ages—and sometimes used to market commercial products.

A year ago, one was even used to explain the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car before it was launched in its home market of Japan.

DON'T MISS: 2016 Toyota Mirai: First Drive Of Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Sedan (Dec 2014)

The excerpts you see here come from Japanese auto aficionado magazine Motorfan: New Model Special Edition issue 502, which carries a publication date of January 4th, 27.

Motorfan: New Model Special Edition issue 502, covering Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle

Motorfan: New Model Special Edition issue 502, covering Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle

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That's not a misprint. In a throwback the West hasn't seen since ancient Rome, Japanese companies often use dates based on the year of the current emperor's reign.

This doesn't just apply to publications; this dating system may be used on high-tech components, too.

Motorfan NMSE devotes each issue to an upcoming vehicle; issue 502 happens to be about the Mirai.

Tucked into 80 pages of introductory photos, renderings, specifications, and text is—what else?—a short manga that chronicles the story of a fictionalized Mirai early adopter.

CHECK OUT: Toyota Mirai Spawning Entire Family Of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Models?

We're pleased to translate for its readers' merriment, thanks to the heroic patience of Mrs. Klippenstein.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: We have reproduced only two sections of the first page of this four-page comic, under the U.S. doctrine of fair use. Click on the Motorfan NMSE link to view the entire manga.]

The characters in the Mirai comic are adapted from Doraemon, a popular kids’ comic book, television show, and merchandising empire.

In the comics, Doraemon—a robot cat from the 22nd century—befriends Nobita, a hapless young boy who’s occasionally teased by rich kid Suneo.

Japanese manga comic about Toyota Mirai [from Motorfan: New Model Special Edition issue 502]

Japanese manga comic about Toyota Mirai [from Motorfan: New Model Special Edition issue 502]

Enlarge Photo

In this comic, Mizuemon—a robotic, um, thermos bottle?—helps Sobita, a hapless middle-aged man who’s teased by next-door neighbor Soneo.

Reminder: Japanese comics are read right-to-left, then top-to-bottom: basically, the mirror image of the way you'd read an English comic book.

Note that a clearly recognizable Mirai triumphs over what is clearly a battery-electric Nissan Leaf, as well as a range-extended BMW i3 REx and, surprisingly, Toyota's own Prius Plug-In Hybrid.

Here's our best effort at a translation of the entire manga.


 
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