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Why McDonald’s flipped its ‘M’ to become ‘WcDonald’s’

The new name also comes with a new sauce.

McDonald’s has decided to cosplay as its animated alter ego.

Starting Feb. 26, the fast-food chain launched a manga-inspired makeover, embracing the upside-down golden arches featured in some of anime’s most iconic movies and shows, where it is cheekily known as “WcDonald’s.”

McDonald’s collaborated with some of the biggest names in anime to pluck the manga version of the chain out of the screen and into real life.

WcDonald’s is currently available in more than 30 global markets with a new sauce, manga-inspired packaging, episodic shorts and more.

“Welcome to WcDonald’s. May I take your order?”
“Welcome to WcDonald’s. May I take your order?”Courtesy McDonald’s

What is WcDonald’s?

WcDonald’s is a fictional version of McDonald’s that has appeared in over 100 different anime films and shows. The concept, with its flipped first letter, originates from a 1983 episode of “Cat’s Eye,” a manga and anime franchise.

In the time since, many beloved anime characters have been shown eating, ordering or simply walking past a WcDonald’s location, and its fictional menu includes burgers, french fries, nuggets and even hot dogs. The alternate universe chain has appeared in well-known anime like “Sally the Witch,” “Cowboy Bebop: The Movie,” “InuYasha”  and so many more.

“Anime is a huge part of today’s culture, and we love that our fans have been inviting us into the conversation for years,” said Tariq Hassan, McDonald’s USA’s chief marketing and customer experience officer in a press release. “The WcDonald’s universe is a reflection of what fans have created. It honors their vision and celebrates their creativity, while authentically bringing it to life in our restaurants for the first time ever.”

Here’s what to expect at WcDonald’s:

Savory Chili WcDonald’s Sauce

Savory Chili WcDonald’s Sauce and WcNuggets.
Savory Chili WcDonald’s Sauce and WcNuggets.Courtesy McDonald’s

As part of this new, animated world, McDonald’s dropped a new Savory Chili WcDonald’s Sauce which is now available for a limited time. The sauce combines ginger, garlic, soy and little heat from chili flakes.

McDonald’s suggests pairing the sauce with a 10-piece “WcNuggets” (aka Chicken McNuggets) or any other menu item that calls for dipping.

The sauce is available until later this month, “however with limited supply restaurants may run out,” a spokesperson tells

WcDonald’s manga packaging and fan art initiative

Characters designed by Acky Bright.
Characters designed by Acky Bright.Courtesy McDonald’s

The chain has teamed up with Acky Bright, a Japanese manga artist and illustrator who has worked with DC Comics, Warner Brothers and more, to design custom WcDonald’s packaging. For a limited time, customers can score Bright’s manga-inspired packaging featuring WcDonald’s Crew characters.

Customers can also scan a code on the packaging to access weekly digital manga drops that star a full cast of WcDonald’s Customers and Crew, including Hashirune, a WcDonald’s regular, Mr. Bev, the Crew jokester, and many more.

“I had a great time partnering with McDonald’s to help make WcDonald’s a reality for manga fans who have a genuine love for the brand,” said Bright in a press release. “From the details of the diverse Crew characters to the manga plot itself, I loved being able to use my artwork to bring to life the dynamic, vibrant world of WcDonald’s for people around the world.”

The first-ever official WcDonald’s anime

McDonald’s has also partnered with animation house Studio Pierrot to produce the first official WcDonald’s anime — four episodic shorts about WcDonald’s Sauce and WcNuggets.

Each Monday, starting Feb. 26 until March 18, the following shorts — which honor Action, Romance, Mecha and Fantasy, four of anime’s biggest subgenres — will drop on or via the code on the WcDonald’s bag:

  • The Race to WcDonald’s: Dropping Feb. 26, this short covers a rivalry strong enough to withstand the test of time as our two heroes embark on an epic race to WcDonald’s.
  • Love from Across the Booth: Dropping March 4, the two protagonists discover that WcDonald’s Sauce and WcNuggets aren’t the only perfect pairing.
  • WcNuggets Space Frontier 3000: Dropping March 11, this short covers a team of WcDonald’s pilots who must protect the last WcNugget against an ominous force.
  • The Wisdom of the Sauce: Dropping March 18, this short is about three women who are transported to a distant land to unravel a mystery surrounding WcDonald’s elusive sauce before it’s gone forever.

Immersive dining at the first real WcDonald’s 

McDonald’s built the first ever real-life WcDonald's in West Hollywood, California, as part of a pop-up immersive dining experience.

A painted brick building with Japanese yellow gold and red font and WcDonald's signage.
The exterior of the WcDonald’s pop-up experience.Samantha Kubota / TODAY

When the lucky fans who had reserved a spot on OpenTable arrived, they could see the exterior of a building and signage painted to resemble the anime version of the classic chain restaurant.

A projection of an anime character on a wall as real-life humans sit in white chairs watching.
Diners watch a portion of the WcDonald’s anime pop-up experience.Samantha Kubota / TODAY

Inside, guests were transported to the WcDonald’s universe via 360 projection mapping and tabletop projections inspired by the four WcDonald’s anime episodic shorts.

As the story unfolded, diners were asked to help the story along by moving their sauce around the table.

A group of diners cheers with their cups of Sprite over a white table with a projected map on it.
The immersive projections also included the tables.Samantha Kubota / TODAY

Staff served everyone a 10-piece WcNuggets and fries, as well as a Sprite. Upon exiting into the California sunshine, diners were also handed an Oreo McFlurry.

Chicken McNuggets, fries and WcDonald's Sauce on a red tray.
Diners were served chicken McNuggets and fries alongside the limited-edition sauce.Samantha Kubota / TODAY