Happy Halloween! Here Comes The Pain Again!
There are two hobbies I'm most passionate about: cars, as this blog attests to, and anime. When I first started posting in 2015 I decided to commemorate Halloween by discussing the unique confluence of both in the phenomenon known as itasha. I decided to do it again in 2016 so now that I'm back from hiatus and regularly posting again I figured I'd revive the tradition!
Itasha (as I've discussed in a previous post) are cars decorated with large graphics depicting characters from Japanese animation, comics, and video games. The name comes from a contraction of "itai jidosha" which literally translates to "pain car". They're called that because normies in Japan view itasha as both painful to look at and painfully embarrassing to be seen in. Cause we all gotta drive the same grey Corollas, amiright?
Sure, itasha seem geeky to outsiders but it's really no different from people slapping a Packers or Batman themed wrap on their cars over here in the States. They're manifestations of true, unabashed passion for something the owner loves. Most of us have things we fanboy or fangirl about and like to show it off to the world in various ways. I love Nissans, you may adore basketball, while that dude over there may be totally into extreme cat video binge-watching.
With that said, let's commemorate this latest edition of the holiday where everyone likes to dress up as somebody else - yep, Mardi Gras - err, sorry I meant to say Halloween - by looking at some cars costumed up to look like, umm, pretty girls?!?
This is a Nissan-centric blog so it's only fitting we start with a Nissan. And this one just happens to be themed on my absolute favorite anime character, the lovely Sheryl Nome from the famous mecha anime Macross Frontier. I ran into this car while attending the annual Macross convention in LA both last year and in 2019.
The hood had this graphic which was inspired by military aircraft nose art - and is just as NSFW as the stuff it pays homage to. I'm not complaining btw, just making an observation.
The last time I saw this car the owner had installed a big honking wing on the back. Yup, 'cause the half-naked hotties on every body panel weren't attention-getting enough I guess.
At one of our recent local Cars and Coffee meetups this car decided to pay us a visit from LA. Aside from the Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid theme it's got going on on the sides and rear end the hood had a big graphic of Kotori Minami from pop idol show Love Live! At which point I decided to impart my wisdom to the owner of how he had neglected to feature the true best girl of the show: Nozomi Tojo. (Yes, I'm a sad, lonely geek but no, I'm not a wizard :) )
Itasha are few and far between in the States but over in Japan there are enough to have large gatherings. Ironically I didn't run into any on my recent trip to Akihabara but I did find some photos while browsing the web for random anime stuff. Let's keep with the Nissan theme and enjoy some more pain!
|Image credits: nlab.itmedia.co.jp
From one Z to another. These photos were taken at an event last September called EMTG in Nagara where about 300 itasha gathered in Chiba across the bay from Tokyo to share their love for cars and 2D bewbies. This particular car displays the owner's adoration for World War II Japanese heavy cruisers - who just happen to look like gorgeous busty blondes for reasons. Well, the reason is Japanese mobile game Kantai Colection where warships are given a sexy makeover to fleece fans of their precious money. Really, the US Navy should take notes for their recruitment drives. It's not just a job, indeed!
Z's aren't the only Nissans that get the itasha treatment of course. Silvias and kei cars also work nicely.
A Pulsar is a bit more unusual choice of canvas.
Speaking of unusual, I had to throw this in even though it's not a Nissan because, well, LOOK AT IT! It's a lifted kei car on steelies and off-road tires. And ZOMG is that a luggage rack bolted to the back end? I hope the guy who drives this looks like Bear Grylls' Japanese cousin 'cause that would just be awesomely awesome.
Oh, and how about a bloody dump truck for when normal cars are just too casual?
I'm not about to end a post on this blog with a dump truck though. This here is a GT-R blog first and foremost so we gotta have summa dat. Some of you may want to avert your eyes now especially if you're of a weak constitution - you have been warned!
Yes, while us poor saps here in the States are denied the privilege of owning R34s some Japanese dudes are doing this to them. Fair play to the owners, but dear Uncle Sam, let us have our damned R34s already!!!
Interestingly R34 sedans seem to be a popular choice for ita artists. Maybe because the straight-lined styling and large size provide ample space for artistic expression - and the back seats mean more space for hug pillows and blow-up dolls.
I'll sign off with that and let you go back to your Halloween festivities. Enjoy dressing up, eating candy, or scaring the nuts off the neighborhood kids - whatever it is you fancy doing on this crazy holiday!