A new superhero has arrived to save the people of Osaka from evildoers. This is great because just the other day some savage left an empty can in my bicycle’s basket while I parked it.

Unfortunately for me, his beat is just on the Rapi:t express train running between downtown’s Namba Station and Kansai International Airport. But if you happen to find trouble on the way to or from KIX there’s only one name to call out for help: Rapi…Ra…Rapee-itl-dee-yer!!?

Thanks to the Japanese spelling we can get a good sense of his name. In Japanese the “t” is pronounced like “toe” so the ending would be like “-toldier” very similar to “soldier.” However, even knowing this it’s still a bit of a mouthful to say “Ra-pee-tol-jer” and without a working knowledge of Japanese katakana one would be even more in the dark.

Also, as you probably assumed, the errant colon in his name is because of the Rapi:t train that he represents. This is a rapid service from Namba to the airport that will get you there or back in a little over 30 minutes. Its name is German for “rapid” and the “i:” is an approximation of the International Phonetic Alphabet symbol for an “ee” sound.

Of course when making a mascot aimed at foreigners it’s important to have a catchy name that takes two paragraphs to explain. But that’s not all to Rapi:tldier’s charm! His head is also modeled after the locomotive of the Rapi:t and he’s sporting a cape with leopard print lining. This is a pattern beloved by many an upper-middle-aged Osaka woman.

Okay! Now that we’re all up to speed, please watch this 20 minute video showing us The Birth of Rapi:tldier.

Pretty awesome, right? In the off chance that you didn’t watch the entire video, Rapi:tldier was built by Doctor H of the Osaka Secret Police. (Hey, if they’re good enough for Nazi Germany, Nigeria and North Korea, why not Osaka too?)

▼ You know it’s the secret police because they have a sign on on the gate and flags that say “welcome.”

This cyborg’s prime directive is “to defeat goblins.” Osaka residents probably recall Mayor Hashimoto’s campaign promise to reduce goblin shenanigans by at least 27% throughout the city.

Then, one day an idol named Yumi was asking a man in blackface directions to the airport.

Little did she know, that was just a mild-mannered racist disguise to lure her in. He was actually Gokibler, the goblin king of cockroaches. He and his Mexican wrestler thugs injected Yumi with cockroach extract to make her into his love-slave.

▼ Rent on hideouts in downtown Osaka is through the roof at the moment forcing villains to do their evil deeds out on the street in broad daylight.

Then a bunch of stuff happens and Rapi:tldier is forced into early action. He dashes to the scene while passing by many of the lovely facilities and attractions Namba Station has to offer potential tourists.

Then he reserves a seat on the Rapi:t and all of its efficient luxuriousness.

They fight.

And the cockgoblin is defeated causing Yumi to revert back to her regular self.

In all seriousness if you haven’t watched the video, it’s very cute and I do seriously recommend it. It’s endearing that the staff of Nankai Electric Railway (at least I hope that’s just the Nankai staff) did the entire production in English.

In the meantime Rapi:tldier will be making appearances at various international travel events to promote Osaka and their train. Keep an eye out for him and be sure to practice how to pronounce his name in case you ever do run into him.

▼ By the way, we’ve been receiving thousands of emails wondering how to get a Rapi:tldier wallpaper for your iPhone or Android device. Don’t worry, they’re available on his website!

Source: How To Enjoy Osaka, Namba Keizai Shimbun (Japanese)
Video: YouTube – How to Enjoy Osaka (Nankai Railway)