ROAD TO YOU -Kioku Ni Mau Konayuki-, or ‘Powder Snow Dancing In Memory’, is the third in the ROAD TO YOU series of animated shorts made by Dunlop. Who’s Dunlop you might ask? Well, they’re a tire company and not even a Japanese one at that. This series of shorts first debuted in 2017 which was followed up last year and now we’ve got the third in our trilogy. Each 2-to-3-minute piece is standalone so you don’t have to worry about seeing them all. Interestingly this latest short is the most nicely and experimentally made of the pack yet it’s also the one that most prominently features Dunlop tires.
This latest Road To You, as well as the previous two, take place in the winter. Weirdly they’ve traditionally come out in October when most of Japan doesn’t see snow until January at the very least. Not that I mind though, I love a good snowy cityscape in my animation. A bittersweet tale between two lovers who aren’t quite seeing eye to eye, this piece is accentuated by two smaller sub-segments that incorporate a not so anime animation style. Like the couple’s hands reaching out in front of The Dunlop Tire and having it delve into swirls of colors. Genius. Really adds to the eye candy and small emotional punch of the work.
Japan really loves going far and above what’s necessary for their commercials sometimes. The Road To You series isn’t the only thing that’s come out of advertisement to impress us recently. This pair of One Piece High School commercials for Cup Noodles are way better than they have any right to be. Not to mention this delightful advertisement and tribute for Weekly Young Jump that Tofubeats was tapped to make an original track for. I’m the type to generally despise this type of thing but Japan does it so well that I can’t resist.