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In the beginning, motorized vehicles were designed to be the prefect horse. They’d get you from A to B while allowing you to bypass the bowleggedness and poop shoveling that were inherent parts of equestrian transportation. With time, though, things changed. Cars got bigger and comfier. Plush, roomy interiors designed to isolate passengers from outside sounds and elements moved the design target from the perfect horse to the perfect living room.

So how do you communicate the appeal of a motorcycle to younger people who’ve grown up in these conditions? How do you get them excited about something that sacrifices all of those creature comforts and doesn’t insolate the connection between you, the machine, and the road, but enhances it?

If you’re Yamaha, you create a stylish anime series, and put it on YouTube for all to see.

Titled Master of Torque and set in the year 2017, the series follows 27-year-old protagonist and Tokyo resident Dan Amo.

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During the day, Dan is an ordinary employee of the Hyuga Corporation, which like any respectable anime engineering conglomerate isn’t only involved in normal construction projects, but also in the development of powered robot suits. After leaving the office, we see him walk back to the Genesis Café, the restaurant managed by his Aunt Sanae.

▼ Genesis just also happens to be the name of one of Yamaha’s most famous motorcycle engines.

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While eating dinner, Sanae casually asks if Dan can make a delivery for her, since aside from gigantic plates of pasta, his other passion is riding his Yamaha MT-09. He’s even built up a bit of a reputation for himself, earning the nickname Zebra among Tokyo’s motorcycle enthusiasts due to his striped hard-shell backpack.

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As Dan sets out, we cut away to the Hyuga Corporation’s chairman, Mitsukuni, who is reminding his son Kotaro just how critical the success of their secret project is. Kotaro’s role involves donning a prototype powered suit and leading a group of riders who chase after Dan.

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In episode two, we meet Makina, a Yamaha MT-07-riding freelance journalist who suspects something shady is going on at Hyuga.

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And in the newest currently available episode, Makina’s search for a scoop gets her closer to the action than she’d bargained for.

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Episode three is the only installment with English subtitles at the moment, but Yamaha also has an extensive English website for Master of Torque here with a story outline, character bios, and high-quality stills of the slickly designed artwork. There’s also a wealth of information on everything from the real-world settings that appear in the anime to the food its characters eat.

And of course, the website also has spec sheets for the bikes ridden by Dan, Kotaro, Makina, and, Yamaha hopes, someday the viewers.

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What do you make of Yamaha’s anime series? Can its ultimately commercial nature be forgiven when it’s clear that so much time and effort went into creating it? Leave us a comment below.

Related: Master of Torque
Top image: YouTube
Insert images: YouTube (1, 2, 3)