Ninja is using the power of anime to sell a gaming mouse

Ninja has partnered with esports-focused gaming brand Finalmouse to create the most bizarre, grandiose marketing campaign of the year. It starts with the words "Based on a true story," which is typically either a prelude to a movie that's going to make you cry or some completely unbelievable nonsense. In this case, it's completely unbelievable anime nonsense.

Cue the promotional video: Ninja is playing computer games, when his mouse transforms into a giant mystical bird, flies out of the window, and takes Ninja on a journey to a magical cherry blossom tree. He touches it, and some pretty lights spread through the forest below. It's a lot.

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Tyler Blevins, despite his streamer handle, is not an actual ninja, but this ad really leans into it. The side of Ninja's house evokes a classical Japanese onsen; there's a landscape shot clearly inspired by Mount Fuji; and in front of the cherry blossom tree, there's a single torii gate, which screams "this mountain is very sacred!!" Alternatively, the entire video screams: We got high, watched every Studio Ghibli film, and then stretched a generic anime skin over a product announcement while whispering dude, this is so deep.

Again: this is for a gaming mouse. I'm really into gaming mice: I like learning about the minute technical differences between sensors, about the iteration that goes into the shape of a mouse and the plastics used in its construction. I do believe a better mouse can help you play a game better. I don't believe it's going to give you a spiritual awakening but uh, I'll let Finalmouse take it from here.

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This is our time. To sell you a mouse.

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Starry Night is a museum piece. Pretty sure this is going to be a mouse.

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One picture, and the LA pop-up event would be mobbed with ravenous gamers.

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Would you like to purchase our mouse? May I recommend spending a night at The Waldorf?

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Do you ever go for a walk and think about the utter sexuality of your computer peripherals? 

There's also "living legend Ninja" and "we are taking the world to a whole different level" which I can't even formulate a joke about because I'm still processing "This is the story of how we discovered the truth alongside Ninja and finally bridged two worlds. On December 1 we will share this truth with you in person and shift the consciousness."

Have fun with your marketing. Be playful. Tell me what makes your product special. But don't promise a spiritual awakening or show me your mouse turning into a magic bird, because I'll roll my eyes so hard I'll shatter the fabric of reality, and at that point I'll be too busy living through some kind of interdimensional crisis to worry about buying a $90 gaming mouse.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).