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Thermae Romae Gets Collaboration Anime Short With Reach Toothbrushes

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Lucius helps out a friend by introducing his sister to a toothbrush in 4-minute short

Toothbrush company Reach sponsored a new original animated short inspired by Mari Yamazaki's Thermae Romae manga series earlier this month.

In the four-minute short, titled "Pietrada's Marriage," Lucius' friend Marcus consults him about a problem. Marcus' younger sister Pietrada has had three cancelled betrothals, and the reason seems to be because Pietrada has a dirty mouth. As Lucius is brooding over how to help Marcus, he time travels again to modern day Japan where three career women are brushing their teeth in a hot-spring hotel (with a poster of Hiroshi Abe, who plays Lucius in the live-action film adaptations, in the background). Lucius then assumes these women are so beautiful and confident because of the toothbrush, and gives one to Pietrada. Afterward, Pietrada is transformed into a beautiful, confident woman, which gives Marcus a whole new set of problems.

Reach is sponsoring a set of "Anime for Women" anime shorts, starting with this first one based on Thermae Romae, for its "Improving Myself for Adult Women" prize campaign. The campaign's prize, which Reach will award to 33 people, includes a 100,000 yen (about US$1,000) travel voucher for JTB and a one-year supply of Reach whitening toothbrushes.

Yamazaki's original manga is a comedy about Lucius — an architect of public bath houses (thermae) in ancient Rome — who time-travels to various modern-day baths in Japan. Through manga and essay passages, Yamazaki explores the two cultures in the world "that have loved baths the most: the Japanese and the Romans!" Yamazaki launched the manga in 2008, and Enterbrain shipped the sixth and final volume last June. Yen Press is publishing the manga in North America.

The manga inspired a three-episode flash anime series by DLE Inc. starring FROGMAN as Lucius in 2012. The manga also inspired a live-action film starring Hiroshi Abe in April 2012 that was the second-highest grossing film in Japan in 2012. A second film opened in Japan on Saturday.

The work won the Manga Taisho (Cartoon Grand Prize) award in 2010, followed by the Short Work Prize in the 14th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes.

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