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All These Summertime Vibes Have Us Thinking About Our Favorite Kinds of Anime Promotional Art

You too can pose dynamically with ice cream

My Hero Academia Summertime

Summer’s here, and with that comes blistering heat that needs to take it down a notch, a desire to live in the vicinity of a swimming pool, and any excuse to put anime characters in summer clothes while duel-wielding summertime treats.

One of my favorite things about anime is the promotional art that gets released, more specifically, the art that puts the characters in different situations outside of their series. Sure, you’ll see supernatural artwork about a guy who swallows a finger and becomes the host of a malevolent curse, but you’ll also see that guy taking hold of a guitar to start a band with his friends because… um… Tower Records said so, I think?

Is it just a cute little AU for the heck of it?

Is it upcoming merchandise you can buy?

Yes to all and I love every second of it!

  • Makin’ the Band

I already hinted at it, but yes, there are all sorts of fun promo images of anime characters in a band. If your anime series has a soundtrack released, there’s a chance that the image will be of the characters in a band as if they’re the ones who made the music. Maybe they’re on the cover of a music magazine, or maybe the creator REALLY needed to see the guy with the slick pompadour on drums.

Either way, that band AU is right there waiting for you.

  • Home for the Holidays

My Hero Halloween

Christmas. Halloween. Valentine’s Day. If there’s a major holiday that’s celebrated in Japan you’ll probably see some anime characters celebrating the occasion. Halloween art has always been a personal favorite, but see characters in Santa gear is always fun, too.

Though that’s also something that tends to happen in anime itself.


  • Embracing Japanese Traditions

There are plenty of anime series that reflect traditional Japanese elements, but for those series that don’t, this is both a chance to see those characters in traditional Japanese clothing and a chance to see them embracing traditional Japanese traditions.


  • Summer Summer Summertime

Summer brings about all kinds of anime art, from going to the beach to heading to a summer festival. Much like Christmas, you’re likely to see that beach motif in the anime itself depending on the series you’re watching.

Summer isn’t the only season that gets acknowledged in promotional art. You’re likely to see anime characters in casual clothing that fits the theme of a variety of seasons, from the changing of the leaves to signify fall, to the cherry blossoms coming to bloom.

  • Masquerades

Not to be confused with Halloween, this promotional art has characters adorning masquerade masks so they can attend an event that probably never happened in their respective series. An evening of champagne, dancing, and, if you have the friend group I do, a murder mystery where the lights go out and someone is found “dead” on the dramatic fainting sofa.

  • Slumber Party

Who sleeps with a teddy bear? Who has footie pajamas? Who wears a bonnet? All of this and more is revealed in promo art that lets your favorite anime characters finally get some rest.


Depending on the series.

A moment to be happy as a full team.

  • Welcome to the Cafe

Probably the only promotional art I’m legitimately jealous of, anime characters tend to get cafe art because their series is getting a real-life pop-up cafe in Japan. Not only do you get to see your favorite characters dressed in cute cafe uniforms, but there are also themed foods, drinks, and merchandise for the series.

I need anime pop-up cafes to be a thing here, please.

  • Crossovers With Other Series

Magazines like Shonen Jump are notorious for having characters from different series hanging out with each other, wearing each other’s outfits, imitating each other’s moves, or being drawn in a different mangaka’s art style.

Sometimes, if you look closely, you’ll see characters appear in someone else’s work.

That’s Chainsaw Man appearing in a chapter of My Hero Academia!

What are some of your favorite pieces of anime promotional art? More importantly, what AUs are you putting your favorite anime characters in?

(Image: Kohei Horikoshi)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)