In conjunction with the launch of IE (Internet Explorer) 11, Microsoft Singapore today unveiled Inori Aizawa (藍澤 祈), an original anime character whose backstory symbolizes the browser's transformation into a contemporary browser. A special anime version of IE11 featuring Inori will also be made available for download starting today.
Created by local art enthusiast group Collateral Damage Studios (CDS), Inori will make her animation debut at AFA (Anime Festival Asia) 2013, happening at the Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre from tomorrow, the 8th, till the 10th November. Fans and Japanese culture lovers can also look forward to a locally produced animation video detailing Inori's transformation from a ragtag past to a modern, attractive, and powerful young lady, mirroring the story of the maturation of the IE browser from past to present and beyond.
An early version of Inori Aizawa’s character was posted online by local art enthusiast group Collateral Damage Studios to their Facebook page earlier in March 2013, partly as a challenge to their own skills. Within a few days, the post was rapidly picked up and shared all over Facebook. Encouraged by this initial success, CDS fleshed out their concept and Inori was born, drawing more than 20,000 likes and comments and close to 2,000 shares across all of Facebook.
This initial success led to an extended partnership between Microsoft Singapore and the Studio to officially adopt the character as a mascot for IE. Additionally, Microsoft also partnered with Nanyang Technological University’s CACANi Animation to develop a short two-minute promotional video introducing Inori. Giving life to Inori is Valerie from Asian Pop Collective, a new and upcoming Asian pop idol group, who will also be cosplaying as the character herself at AFA 2013.