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Nissan is Now Investing in Manga

The Japanese auto giant is going all-in on homegrown Japanese television.

Nissan just created self-parking slippers, so it should be no surprise that its latest business venture has nothing to do with cars. Next, the company will sponsor the popular Japanese anime, Sazae-san, a show that revolves around a 24-year-old woman, Sazae, and her family that takes place in Japanese suburbs.

Sazae-san was originally a manga series created by Machiko Hasegawa in 1946 and it first aired on Japanese TV in 1969.  It is run by Fuji TV, a network that houses other anime programs like Dragonball Super and the Monster Hunter series. 

As the main sponsor, Nissan will replace Toshiba, which announced it would end its 18-year-partnership with the show in November amidst financial woes. Toshiba reportedly lost $8.4 billion in 2017 and owes billions to different Japanese banks after years of false bookkeeping. Ten other companies—including Amazon Japan, Nishimatsuya Chain Co., and Daiwa House Industry—will join Nissan as sponsors for the show.

Toshiba will officially end its sponsorship in March, and the other companies will begin their partnership with the show in April. 

The show, which airs on Sunday nights, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019. It continues to hold the Guinness World Record for the longest-running animated TV series.