Toyota’s perennially popular Corolla cemented its status as the best-selling nameplate in the world by crossing the 50-million mark in 2021. Reaching that milestone took 55 years, and the company celebrated its achievement by releasing a manga series in Japan.
Spotted by Japanese Nostalgic Car, the comic strip highlights key moments in the Corolla’s illustrious history. It starts in the 1960s, when a father comes home in a first-generation model (called E10 internally) and takes his family out for a drive. In the 1970s, the manga shows a father and a son having what looks like a serious discussion while driving in an E20-generation model. The page dedicated to the 1980s highlights the rear-wheel-drive AE86, which stands proud as one of the best-known and most sought-after Corolla variants.
The following page shows a family going out for ice cream in an E100-generation Corolla from the 1990s. Toyota skipped the 2000s and the 2010s (not really hard to guess why) and jumped to the 2020s with a comic strip that focuses on technology, like the Corolla’s touchscreen-based infotainment system.
While the text is in Japanese, the series is worth scrolling through for the illustrations alone. The stories were inspired by photos submitted by current and former Corolla owners, according to Japanese Nostalgic Car, and each decade’s images were draw in a period-correct style. As of this writing, the manga series is only available online; there’s no word yet on whether Toyota will release a printed version of it.
Toyota also marked the 50 millionth Corolla by releasing three special-edition variants of the car in Japan. While nothing suggests similar versions will be sold in America, we’re about to get an all-wheel-drive Corolla hot hatch and that’s not bad for a consolation prize.