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Microsoft's anime-inspired Internet Explorer ad is its best yet

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Internet Explorer Anime
Internet Explorer Anime

Microsoft has been on a tear with its ad campaigns lately. While no one would say its since-pulled ad attacking the iPhone 5S and 5C was prizeworthy, more recent spots for the Surface 2 that eschew dancing girls for actual product features and an Xbox One ad that nails the company’s next-gen vision have proven more successful. This recent Internet Explorer short, featuring what we can only guess is an anime personification of an IE superheroine, doesn’t hit any nails squarely on the head, but it’s certainly more fun than most of what Redmond has put out in recent months.

This spot, titled "Internet Explorer: The Anime," stars internet freedom fighter Inori Aizawa. Set in the kind of dystopian world you’d find in Akira, Inori finds herself being chased by killer robots. She’s surrounded, but just as she's about to be blasted into oblivion, her "I" pendant activates to protect her. And then things go bananas. What follows is a melange of tributes to Sailor Moon, Chobits, and Neon Genesis Evangelion (and perhaps even some notes of MegaMan X thrown in for good measure). And then there’s a cat.

Internet Explorer meets 'Sailor Moon'

According to her Facebook page, Aizawa describes herself as a former "ugly duckling" looking to show you what she can do. That messaging is in line with the image IE is still struggling to assert as it competes with Chrome.

This ad is lightyears ahead of Microsoft’s earlier anime spot, which strangely starred the cast of Ghost in the Shell using Surfaces. In the end, this is anime for the sake of anime, and it’s fun based on that alone. It may not inspire any users to stow Chrome in favor of IE, but it’s certainly worth the watch.