Married Couple Buys 1.2 Million Yen Worth of 1,000 Eagle Talon Calendars to Star in Original Anime
posted on by Kim Morrissy
The Eagle Talon comedy anime franchise has been holding an unusual campaign lately. A fan who purchases 1,000 Eagle Talon calendars will become the protagonist of a three-minute original anime created by the Eagle Talon staff. The 2021 calendar costs 1,200 yen, meaning that purchasing 1,000 units would cost 1.2 million yen (consumption tax not included).
Oricon News reported on Sunday that the campaign has had exactly one winner: a married couple in their 30s. The outlet interviewed the campaign manager, who said that they came up with the idea as a kind of self-deprecating joke. The series has always had a tendency to make fun of itself, so there are merch items that are created with self-deprecating catchphrases.
For example, Eagle Talon was officially authorized by the Shimane Prefecture to do PR work for the prefecture, only for the series to print T-shirts saying "The Shimane Prefecture is to the left of the Tottori Prefecture." It was a shock for the prefecture to be promoted in such an "ironic" way, but the shirts actually caught on well and were highlighted by the media at the time.
In fact, Eagle Talon's marketing caught on so well that it became a yearly tradition from 2011 to release calendars in conjunction with the Shimane Prefecture. The calendars are referred to as "Eagle Talon Shimane Self-Deprecating Calendar," and they sell well to this day.
The idea that someone who purchases 1,000 calendars will star in an anime started as a joke, so the campaign manager was surprised to see people actually buy the calendars. The 1,000 calendars would have to be delivered in 10 large cardboard boxes, which would truly test a room's capacity.
The original plan for the campaign was to purchase 50 calendars, but they eventually settled on 1,000 because this would have more "impact." They wanted something that could make a splash on the web because the coronavirus has made it difficult for people to gather in shops. This was the reasoning behind picking an absurdly big number. They also picked this number because they wanted it to be taken as a joke. In fact, the animation production staff expressed reservations about the work it would take to make the winner appear in animation. At the same time, 1.2 million yen is quite a lot of money, so on the off-chance that someone did purchase that many calendars, making an anime would be a good way of showing gratitude.
The campaign organizer said that they were surprised but ultimately delighted that someone took up the challenge. They are really looking forward to seeing how this project turns out because it is not often for the staff to have opportunities to interact with the fans directly. Not only will the winner voice their character in the anime, they will also get to decide what kind of anime it is, which is an exciting prospect.
The winning couple confessed that they bought 1,000 calendars mainly because they thought the campaign idea was really funny. "I love [Eagle Talon]," said the husband. "My wife saw that the news that 1,000 calendars were going on sale, and she thought that it was a pretty fair deal if it results in getting your own anime made... Although that was partially an excuse we made after the fact. Honestly, we thought it was a really funny joke when we bought it."
When asked whether they felt any resistance about splurging 1.2 million yen, the husband said that it was indeed quite a lot of money, but he felt like it was a justifiable purchase considering what he was getting. In fact, he even took a screenshot of the purchase confirmation screen and shared it around to people he knew. As for how he intends to make use of the calendars, for now the couple is just storing them as a stack at home. They are thinking about giving out copies to friends and family at the end of the year. After that, if there's anything left, well, that's part of the joke.
The wife said with a grin: "I'm looking forward to this becoming a joke that I can brag about saying that I did."
The latest television anime in the Eagle Talon franchise, Himitsu Kessha Taka no Tsume: Golden Spell (Secret Society Eagle Talon: Golden Spell), premiered on Tokyo MX, BS11, CS Family Gekijō, J:COM, and other venues on October 4.
The original Eagle Talon Flash anime centers on the titular secret society and its bumbling attempts to take over the world. The production company DLE Inc. launched the first Himitsu Kessha Taka no Tsume (Secret Society Eagle Talon) television series in 2006, and the series spawned nine films. Artist FROGMAN serves as the "director/writer/character designer/sound recording engineer/Flash animator/editor/voice actor."