If you've ever visited Japan or even if you haven't, there's a chance you will have seen Caplis (or Caplico, as it is called in other countries). A beverage with a light, somewhat milky, and slightly acidic flavor, made with water, nonfat dry milk and lactic acid, Calpis can be found, either in concentrated form, mixed with water, or in carbonated beverages in convenience stores, supermarkets and vending machines throughout Japan.

However, you may not realize that Calpis has a very long history behind it. For example, here is an advertisement from the Asahi Shinbun newspaper on June 1, 1950:

Calpis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In fact, Calpis dates from prewar times. It was first marketed in 1919, a century ago, on July 7th, the day of the Tanabata Star Festival. Now, to celebrate its 100th anniversary, Calpis has launched a special advertisement campaign with a series of five animated music videos on the theme of the Star Festival.

Tanabata no Oto

Created through a collaboration between Asahi Beverages (which owns the Calpis brand) and content studio Chocolate Inc., the video series, called Tanabata no Oto (the Sound of the Star Festival), is directed by Toshitaka Shinoda with character designs by Mai Yoneyama (Kiznaiver), based on a story by Saeri Natsuo. Each episode will feature a song by a different musical group and design by different artist.

So far, two episodes have aired, the first featuring the song musubareta omoi 結ばれた想い by idol group Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku and art by manga creator TNSK and the second featuring the song kimi to mitai keshiki 君と見たい景色 by unit Maruri to Ryuga and art by Nagian.

The third episode will feature music by Oisicle Melonpan, the fourth by Kobasolo and the fifth by high school band Toy Cleanse.

Episode 1

High school student Nanase has to move to a new town. A bit of a day-dreamer, her thoughts turn to the story of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (the stars Vega and Altair) separated by the Milky Way, who reunite during Tanabata. However, she is worried that the two heavenly lovers won't be able to reunite under the starless sky of her new town. Maybe she can build the Milky Way by herself! Thus begins a story of Nanase and her three new classmates...

Music: musubareta omoi 結ばれた想い by idol group Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku

Episode 2

As the Tanabata Festival draws nearer, Riko, Mio and Airi try to find ways to help her classmate Nanase achieve her dream of "building the Milky Way." Airi discovers a dusty old unused room in their school, and the four girls decide to convert it into their base of operations.

Music: kimi to mitai keshiki 君と見たい景色 by unit Maruri to Ryuga



VA: Yoshino Aoyama (Wake Up, Girls!)


VA: Reina Ueda (SSSS.Gridman, Little Witch Academia)


VA: Aoi Koga (Kaguya-sama: Love is War)


VA: Kana Asumi (Non Non Biyori, Nisekoi)

If you'd like to see the next episode, you can follow the playlist on Asahi Beverages' YouTube Channel and keep up with the latest information on the ad campaign by following their special Twitter account here.

By - Ben K.