McDonald's Brings WcDonald's Anime Restaurant to Life

McDonald's Brings WcDonald's Anime Restaurant to Life

Published: February 22, 2024

Fast-food giant McDonald's is stirring up excitement in anime fans by bringing the fictional WcDonald's restaurant, a recurring presence in manga and anime, to life.

It is known to fans that manga and anime artists use WcDonald’s, often depicted with an upside-down "M," in their works to circumvent infringing on copyright laws, and the fast-food chain is capitalizing on this fact.

The global campaign spanning over 30 countries, which is set to launch on February 26, will feature a new and limited-edition menu item, specially designed packaging, and even the release of original manga chapters and anime episodes.

A sample of WcDonald's chicken nuggets and sauce.
WcDonald's Chicken Nuggets Meal with Savory Chili Sauce (Source: McDonald's USA)

Available for a limited time, the savory chili “WcDonald's Sauce” will add a new flavor twist to the McDonald's experience.

But the real treat lies in the packaging. Renowned manga artist and illustrator Acky Bright has designed custom boxes and bags featuring original WcDonald's crew and characters.

"From the details of the diverse Crew characters to the manga plot itself, I loved being able to use my artwork to bring to life the dynamic, vibrant world of WcDonald's for people around the world,” Bright stated in a press release.

The first lineup of characters as illustrated by Bright (Source: WcDonalds.com)

Adding another layer of entertainment, the campaign has partnered with legendary animation house Studio Pierrot, known for popular animes “Naruto,” “Bleach” and “Tokyo Ghoul.”

Every week on Mondays, from February 26 to March 18, a new short and original manga will be released online and in select McDonald's restaurants, exploring four popular anime genres: action, romance, mecha and fantasy.

For an immersive experience, McDonald's is hosting a limited-time "WcDonald's Immersive Dining Experience" in Los Angeles.

Fans can reserve seats on the OpenTable app or the WcDonald’s website to enjoy themed decorations, special menu items and interactive activities, truly stepping into the world of their favorite manga staple.

And to cap off the campaign, three aspiring anime artists will receive funding and recognition for their creative McDonald's-inspired artwork.

The grants aim to fuel their upcoming projects, and each artist will also receive personalized mentorship from Bright.

WcDonald's in Anime

WcDonald’s of “WacDonald’s” has been featured in numerous popular manga and anime series over the decades, often as a backdrop for character interactions or plot points.

According to Fandom’s fictional companies wiki, the first known appearance of WcDonald’s in anime was in 1983 in episode 48 of “A Mystery for a Winter Night.”

It has since been featured in numerous mangas and animes. In the hit anime series "Neon Genesis Evangelion," the characters frequently visit WcDonald's, and the restaurant even plays a role in a pivotal scene.

Similarly, in the anime "Your Name," the two main characters share a meal at McDonald's on their first date. Karma Akabane, the main protagonist in “Assassination Classroom,” is also seen eating at the fast-food restaurant.

Karma Akabane eats at WcDonald's.
Akabane is shown eating at WcDonald's in "Assassination Classroom" (Source: Fandom user Machinedramon22). 

These collaborations highlight the enduring popularity of McDonald's in Japanese culture, and its status as a recognizable symbol of Western culture.

More than just a marketing ploy, this campaign shows McDonald's understanding of anime's global influence and its willingness to engage with pop culture in innovative ways.

"Anime is a huge part of today's culture, and we love that our fans have been inviting us into the conversation for years," ]Tariq Hassan, chief marketing and customer experience officer at McDonald's USA, said.

"The WcDonald's universe is a reflection of what fans have created. It honors their vision and celebrates their creativity, while authentically bringing it to life in our restaurants for the first time ever."

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