Tired of listening to the same, soulless car navigation systems while you drive? Wouldn’t you rather listen to someone a little cuter while you’re trying to track down your nearest Guns ‘n’ Ammo store? Wouldn’t it be fun if your favourite animated high-school girls could be the voice of sense and direction!?

If you’re a K-On! fan, you’re in luck- a new portable car navigation system has just arrived in stores, ready to drive you home and everyone else up the wall.

K-On!, or Kei-On! (lit. “light music”), is an animated TV series based on the original four-panel comic of the same name. The story follows five female high schoolers who join their school’s hōkago (after school) light music club band, only to find that there are no other members. Needless to say, adventure and hilarity follow…

Since its original release in 2009, the series has amassed a huge fan-base and spawned a plethora of K-On! branded merchandise. The latest, this portable navigation system, however, is perhaps the most extravagant to date.

Designed to look like a rather awesome old-school cassette-tape, the navigation system, or “navi” as they’re known here in Japan, sits snugly in a packaged plastic stand that can be affixed to the car’s dashboard. Before it’s activated, the unit’s main screen displays the cassette-tape’s spindles and “label”, complete with the band’s name, “After-School Tea-Time”, written in faux handwriting.

Although I’m not the biggest K-On! fan in the world, it’s clear from the outset that this navigation unit’s design does a great job of capturing the original manga and anime’s art style.

The unit’s box itself is well-made and resembles, appropriately, a box of teabags. Before it’s even connected up, this product is sure to win over K-On! fans and window-shoppers alike.

As well as looking the part, the unit reportedly does a good job of entertaining drivers, as the five characters sporadically chat among themselves and make little quips. And with an extensive library of pre-recorded comments, it would probably be a while before even the most frequent driver hears the same phrase uttered twice.

Naturally, this being a Japanese-made product, the girls make a point of warning the driver not to play around with or focus too much attention on the screen while operating a vehicle. Very sensible indeed; when I was a high schooler, the girls used to sit in the park drinking cheap cider…

But what’s the use of a portable navigation system in Tokyo, where the vast majority of the population would rather take out a second mortgage on their home than deal with the hassle of owning a car and finding a place to keep it? The girls have got you covered; the unit also comes with an ‘on-foot’ mode, so you can join the masses of people walking around the city not looking where they’re going…

Personally, I’m still hanging on for a navigation unit voiced by some of my favourite comedians, or perhaps good old Super Mario: “Let’s-a-go! Turn-a-left-a-here!”


The K-On! portable navigation unit is available to buy now, costing around ¥39,800 / around US$500

Source: IT Media