Inori Aizawa is Microsoft Singapore's official mascot character for Internet Explorer. She has dark blonde hair, and fits into the magical girl archetype. Initially created by Collateral Damage Studios in response to -tan designs for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, she was picked up by Microsoft, where, in partnership with Collateral Damage Studios and Nanyang Technological University’s CACANi Animation, they created a 2 minute anime short introducing Inori, which was shown at Anime Festival Asia 2013, as well as posted on YouTube at the same time. She is also the most recent fan made -tan to be picked up by Microsoft, with Nanami being the last one before her.
Younger Inori (ala-IE6) is depicted as a sort-of nerdy schoolgirl, wearing white socks & sandals, a blue sweatshirt, and a headband. She is seen dropping some of the four colored squares that used to be included in the Windows Logo (such as on the Windows 2000 boot screen) and the IE logo on the about IE dialog, as well as dropping info and error dialog icons. Her overall appearance is meant to symbolize Internet Explorer's earlier days as a clumsy and annoying browser, and her transformation into a magical girl is meant to represent the browser's change, that began with version 9, into a fast, easy to use, secure, and standards compliant browser.
Taken from Inori's Facebook page.
"My name is Inori and I'm an anime personification for Internet Explorer! Shall we explore the web together?
When I was younger, I used to be a clumsy, slow and awkward girl.
However, just like the story of ugly duckling, people told me that I have really matured and changed over the years. I feel confident in my abilities now, and I'm eager to show you what I can do.
Why don't you get to know me a little better?"
Taken from Inori's Facebook page.
Like Nanami Madobe and the fan-made -tans before her, Inori Aizawa was not created by Microsoft, being the creation of Collateral Damage Studios in response to -tans for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari created by "めまして！" and reposted by Danny Choo, or rather, in response to the lack of Internet Explorer in the drawings, to be specific. After posting an early design on facebook and getting massive positive feedback, CDS fleshed out her design and Inori was born. She saw a swift rise to popularity, drawing more than 20,000 likes and comments and close to 2,000 shares across all of Facebook.
Shortly afterwards, Microsoft Singapore took notice of this, and offered an extended partnership to CDS, and additionally partnered with CACANi Animation Studios at NTU to create what has been called the "Internet Explorer Anime", a short, two minute anime video introducing Inori and showing off her magical girl transformation, which was shown to attendees of AFA13, as well as to the world via YouTube.
"This initial success led to an extended partnership between Microsoft Singapore and the Studio to officially adopt the character as a mascot for Internet Explorer. Additionally, Microsoft also partnered with Nanyang Technological University’s CACANi Animation to develop a short two-minute promotional video introducing Inori."
Possibility of an Anime
Collateral Damage Studios has indicated on tumblr and Facebook that they are thinking about making a kickstarter for an anime, and were asking whether people would support it. Whether it will happen is still unknown.