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Nissan Joins the Straw Hat Crew!

  The Thousand Sunny
 The Thousand Sunny
Do you want to live the life of an adventuring pirate, but are sadly landlocked? No great sea to explore? Well, a rather peculiar corporate collaboration may help you explore the Grand Highway in a new mini van. The Nissan company has joined forces with One Piece's own Luffy to bring you a unique model for the redesigned Nissan Serena on November 29th. This vehicle was specially decorated to look similar to the Straw Hats' latest pirate ship, the Thousand Sunny.

Back on Nov. 19th on the island of Odaiba in Tokyo's bay, a costumed Luffy with announcer Mika Sugisaki revealed the car to be called the "Thousand Serena". It's decorated to mimic the Thousand Sunny with the lion-figurehead on the hood, the docking system ports on the side, and the Straw Hats' jolly roger adoring the roof, rear view mirrors, and hubcaps.
 
Reveal Ceremony on Odaiba Island

To further the promotion of this van, a 15 sec. anime commercial produced by Toei Animation was release on December 5th, and Nissan has a website currently live where you can watch the commercial (see links below). In the commercial, Franky, the Straw Hat Pirates' shipwright; reveals the Thousand Serena from the docking system of the Sunny. The whole crew is excited until Franky mentions how it seats for eight, but there are nine Straw Hat Pirates. A quick game of Rock, Paper, Scissors decides the loser, and poor Usopp is left riding Nami's White Hobby Horse along side.
 
Commercialism is hardly a new concept in manga and anime, or anything for that matter. You can always find commercials starring anime characters for sodas, snacks, and other sorts of products. This just feels a little different. This is a car, a major investment. Though, I have seen the price of some figures that get pretty damn steep for something that sits around gathering dust.

Source: animeanime.jp / Car Watch / Nissan promo site
 

One Piece Restaurant

  One Piece Restaurant - Going Merry
 One Piece Restaurant - Going Merry
So, you have a nice van to take all your friends out. Now, you just need somewhere to go. Well, there is always the One Piece restaurant named after the Going Merry, the crew's first ship. Though it met it's fate in the Grand Line. It lives on in the streets of Tokyo at the Ginza Meza Marche complex and opened it's doors on December 11th. The restaurant was funded by Fuji TV, that airs One Piece in Japan. The interior is all suppose to be decorated as if you are inside the actual Going Merry.
 
The menu consists of a sixteen separate dishes that are all themed after members of the One Piece cast or are meals that have appears in the series made by Sanji. There is Luffy's favorite meat on the bone, a Nami mikan-yogurt parfait, and Zoro's three grilled beef skewers. Even down the the cherry pie that Blackbeard loved in Mocktown on Jaya Island. The price of each dish is shown on the website for the Going Merry Restaurant as shown in Berries (One Piece world currency).
 
Reservations will at first be by ticket holders, but will become available for walk-in customers on December 18th. Diners of this Going Merry will also be given a special prize "pop-up coaster" that you can dispplay on your computer through a webcam and see a the whole of the Straw Hat crew in 3D on the coaster due to the display software. This same design is also being used in greetings cards with year. Special events are planned for the diner's run that will include guest appearances by the voice actors from One Piece.
 
  Luffy's meat on bone / Nami's Parfait / Zoro's beef skewers
 Luffy's meat on bone / Nami's Parfait / Zoro's beef skewers

  Straw Hat  omelet / Sanji's soup / Going Merry dessert
 Straw Hat  omelet / Sanji's soup / Going Merry dessert

It's only opened for a limited time and will close on May 11th 2011. So, if you are craving some of Luffy's meat. You better get going. .......Wait a tick, that sounded weird.
 
We may not get a Straw Hat restaurant here in the U.S., by gang over at FUNimation found their own Straw Hat Pizza in Texas to celebrate the opening of the Going Merry restaurant and the release of the One Piece season 3 DVD. Check out this video of the people responsible for bringing One Piece to North America.
 
Their FUNimation youtube channel also recently hit 200,000 subscribers. Honestly, it's free-legit anime online. Why isn't that number a lot bigger?
  

Source: Inside Games / Going Merry Restaurant website / FUNimation Blogs

-Kristoffer Remmell ( FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.- Follow for news updates: @ animevice / @ FoxxFireArt
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