Let’s be honest. It’s not a matter of if, but when you’ve seen those flashy cars plastered with anime decals. It may have been a Nissan covered in K-On! decor, or the sleek Hatsune Miku BMW Z4 GT3 that races in the Autobacs Super GT series year after year.
These souped up street machines have a name: itasha (literally, “painful car”). The phrase in itself is a delicious pun, blending the idea of painful embarrassment (or price!) with a homophone for the perfectly tuned Italian cars (“Itaria-sha”) that live in the dreams of auto enthusiasts from all walks of life.
Since they first appeared in the ’80s, itasha have become a shockingly large subculture, with fans across the globe tricking their rides out with anime accoutrements. This cute car culture came to a head in 2007, when the first Autosalone itasha convention opened its doors in Ariake, Japan.
For those who don’t want to travel halfway across the planet take in the itasha experience, Crunchyroll has you covered. This year’s Crunchyroll Expo will host an itasha car show, affectionately named “2 Anime 2 Furious.” Several itasha clad cars will be on display on the convention’s main floor this year.
Source: Crunchyroll Expo