If you go to Tokyo’s Akihabara, you’ll be sure to see these “itasha” driving around. Check out this selection of photos of cars born from Japanese otaku culture!
So what exactly is an “itasha“?
Itasha is a Japanese term for an otaku fad of individuals decorating the bodies of their cars with fictional characters of anime, manga, or video games (especially bishōjo games and eroge). These characters are predominately cute and female, and decorations usually involve bright paint schemes and stickers.
Whilst the otaku themselves are clearly extremely proud of these cars, the general publicare scornful of such intense expressions of nerdiness, so the cars are known as “itasha” – a combination of the words for “painful” or (“lame”) and “car”. “Itai” originally just meant “painful” but has recently evolved to include people or actions seen as so stupid and pathetic, they are almost painful to behold.
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