Itasha Car Culture Celebrates Love, Life, And Anime

Itasha-style isn’t popular, but these proud Otaku wouldn’t have it any other way.

byDanny Choy|
Culture photo

They say the car you drive is an extension of your personality. But if you thought bumper stickers say a lot about a driver, wait till you see a FD Mazda RX-7 decked out with bright orange Girl und Panzer anime livery covering every inch of the car.

For readers that aren't familiar, "anime cars" are called Itasha in Japan, which if you enter into Google Translate, literally means "pain car," or a car that causes pain for those who look at it. If you couldn't already tell from its definition, Itasha cars are not popular in Japan (or anywhere, really). However, there are people out there who wouldn't have it any other way.

YouTube channel Tokyo Tuner hosted an Itasha meet to learn a little bit more about the unique tuner subculture, inviting proud owners to share a little about themselves and their car.

There's no profound origin story, though – the owners are simply passionate otaku who also happen to be car enthusiasts. And while the square yards of vinyl cost a lot of money for no performance gains whatsoever (you really thought that sticker adds +5hp, huh?), it only goes to show there's more than one way to enjoy your pride and joy.

Check out Itasha life in the video below: