Illustration: Shusei Nagaoka. (Mitsubishi)

Oh, Mitsubishi. How can I describe the state of Mitsubishi today, especially its presence here in the United States? Because when I start comparing what I see today with the way it wanted people to see it back in the ‘80s, I get very sad.

The year was 1984. Japanese Illustrator Shusei Nagaoka, whose past work at that point included the album cover art for Raise! by Earth, Wind & Fire and Out of the Blue by Electric Light Orchestra, was commissioned by Mitsubishi to create a series of ads for the Japanese automaker.

Clearly, it was drawn to Nagaoka’s futuristic, interstellar and science-fiction style. I don’t blame them, they were incredible. These beautiful ads were brought to my attention by a tweet from Priscilla Page. This is what they look like.

“Birth” for the Mitsubishi Starion GSR-X:

Illustration: Shusei Nagaoka. (Mitsubishi)

Advertisement

“Station” for the Mitsubishi Cordia XP:

Illustration: Shusei Nagaoka. (Mitsubishi)

“Bridge” for the Mitsubishi Cordia XG:

Illustration: Shusei Nagaoka. (Mitsubishi)

Advertisement

By comparison, what does a Mitsubishi ad look like now, in 2018? Well, there was that Outlander ad that popped up on Instagram with its front tire perched on a little spit of rock like the meh-est thing you’ve ever seen.

Soooooooo yeah.

Here’s a Starion commercial to cheer you up.