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Taiwan has their cute rail mascot, and now China’s getting in on the act, too. Originally doujinshi characters, these anthropomorphised moe anime versions of high-speed trains have now made their debut at an official rail event. Read on to see the cosplaying cuties and their 2-D counterparts.

The event in question was held in December as a PR event for the opening of the Nanning-Guangzhou high-speed railway. It aimed to raise awareness of the high-speed rail services on offer and show off their convenience, especially for people heading back to their home areas for the New Year. They must have thought that standard advertising methods just wouldn’t cut it this time, or perhaps someone on the PR team is an otaku, because their strategy included cute cosplaying girls!

These characters are actually anthropomorphised versions of trains! Whether they actually resemble the trains in any way is dubious, but perhaps it’s obvious to people more in tune with the personality traits of individual trains than I am. They were originally created by doujinshi circle Moe North Railway who draw adorable anime-style girls based on trains against gorgeous backgrounds. Their designs are super high quality and they’re popular in Japan too; the circle as sold their illustration books and dakimakura covers at Comiket. And now they’ve collaborated with the China Railway Corporation to debut their characters in an official setting.

▼This beautiful image is the cover of one of Moe North Railway’s illustration books.

[tweet https://twitter.com/moerail/status/517949169718149120 align=center]

Each character is based on a particular train and has her own name, and interestingly these names include Western and Japanese names as well as Chinese names. Chinese anime fans seem to have welcomed the collaboration and, although it seems like the collaboration only covered this one particular event, it’s plausible to think that China Rail might officially take on the characters as mascots in the future. Just think of the potential for merch!

Below you can check out the photos of the cosplaying ladies, as well as the original illustrations they’re based on. Which character is your favourite?

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Source: Sina GamesSina Weibo, Moe Rail Blog
Images: Cosplay photos: Sina Weibo, Illustrations: Moe Rail Blog

[ Read in Japanese ]