Uma Musume anime’s Top Gun interviews Top Gun star.

This week, Tom Cruise arrived in Japan, making his first visit to the country in four years. While most Hollywood blockbusters don’t come out in Japanese theaters until weeks, or even months, after their American release, Top Gun: Maverick is an exception, making a simultaneous debut in both the U.S. and Japan this Friday.

On Tuesday, a red carpet event was held at Osanbashi, the combination park and international passenger ship terminal at the port of Yokohama. There Cruise greeted fans and the press, and also had a conversation with some horse girls.

Yes, horse girls, and here’s the picture to prove it.

This wasn’t a random group of cosplayers, though, but four members of the voice actress crew for smash hit anime/video game Uma Musume, which has a cross-promotional campaign with Top Gun: Maverick going on right now in Japan. That might seem like an odd partnership, but the characters of Uma Musume are all anthropomorphized versions of actual historical race horses, one of whom is the reborn-as-a-schoolgirl incarnation of Japanese thoroughbred Mayano Top Gun.

▼ Mayano Top Gun (the horse)

Mayano Top Gun, who competed from 1995 to 1997, was named after Cruise’s 1986 pop culture phenomenon Top Gun, bucking the common race horse naming convention of thematically combining the names of the animal’s parents. So naturally, the Mayano Top Gun character in Uma Musume has several aviation-inspired elements to her character design, such as wearing a flight jacker and harness. Because of that, Uma Musume’s Mayano Top Gun, and the franchise in general, have become promotional ambassadors for Top Gun: Maverick.

▼ The official collaboration illustration

The Uma Musume contingent at the red carpet event was made up of Mayano Top Gun’s voice actress Mio Hoshitani, as well as Marika Kono (voice of Silence Suzuka), Machico (Tokai Teio), and Minami Takahashi (El Condor Pasa), who collectively interviewed Cruise.

Cruise, who may or may not have been fully briefed on the partnership, seemed surprised at the appearance of the horse girls, but answered their questions cordially and courteously, even good-naturedly setting up a chance for Hoshitani and her felow voice actresses to say “I copy!”, Mayano Top Gun’s catchphrase.

“I copy,” tweets Hoshitani, while saluting the blue sky of Yokohama

It’s just too bad Cruise’s visit came too late for him to ride the Uma Musume train.

Source: Oricon via Livedoor News via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@uma_musu
Insert image: Wikipedia/Goki
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