As we face the approaching summer, more and more people bare their skin, a trend that in turn is followed in Japan by an incredible increase in the number of young people sporting nail art.

And to meet the expectations of these young people, Japan’s nail art scene has made extraordinary steps forward. One such nail art, characterized by its sparkling sense of individuality, is what we will be focusing on this time: ita-neiru.
It’s part of the manga and anime culture Japan boasts to the world.

There are lots of different ways to show your love for your favorite character, from cosplay to celebrating the birthday of a character from an anime you adore.

One such way to express that love is ita-neiru! You can show the ultimate expression of love by using part of your body, your nails, to do character art, and be with that character 24 hours a day.

For starters, ita-neiru is using your favorite anime, manga, or game character as a motif for nail art, using your small nail as a canvas to pour out the love you have for that character, a most difficult expression of love and a craft that not just anyone can do.

But why is this expression of love known as ita-neiru?

Otaku are people who love anime characters and are addicted to anime. In Japanese society they are generally seen as embarrassing, and even painful to see, and so anime character art became known as ita-neiru (“ita”from itai, or painful).

Even if it’s called ita-neiru, nail art is nail art. It’s a part of fashion.

No matter how much you may love a character, it is hard to match the character nails with your clothes, so there is a fair amount of people who are unable to take up the challenge of ita-neiru.

So, we decided to experience ita-neiru first-hand at the otaku pilgrimage site of Akihabara, and report how much we enjoyed it!

I gave the ita-neiru salon in Akihabara a try!

The salon we had the honor of visiting today is called “VenusRico”, and is a three-minute walk from Akihabara Station, Electric Town Exit.

With a fashionable exterior adorned with original manga illustrations, this store-front is anything but painful to look at!

Wow, as expected of the fashionable ita-neiru salon!


The inside of the store also uses white as its underlying base color, creating a sick space that is very stylish.


This high-grade salon doesn’t just do ita-neiru, but a huge range of genres, including casual nails and trendy nails.

Let’s get right to our manicure!!


As I love anime and manga very much, there were too many characters I wanted to make into ita-neiru. So, beforehand, I thought up different kinds of design plans, took them with me, and asked for advice!! I have experienced a nail salon before, but it was my first time doing ita-neiru, so my heart was beating fast.

I was told they were good at copying images, so I decided to have them draw what would have the biggest impact, Bruno Buccellati from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure!


JoJo is known for its famous lines, so I asked them to put Buccellati’s words on my nails in a cool style. I wonder what the finished product will look like…


First, they prep the nail’s shape and clean the cuticles.

By the way, during your treatment you can watch anime on a huge screen, allowing you to relax as you become immersed in the world of anime.

And before you know it, they are done with your cuticles and are already working on your ita-neiru.


Take a look!

Steadily Buccellati’s face appears…


For this job, they draw the characters by hand, all in one go. It’s so detailed! Even now, he already looks like himself! The lines are added one by one. On my thumb a powerful existence appears…

The thing that is so amazing about this art, is that everything is drawn without a hitch, free-hand.

More than fitting to its nickname of “god’s work”, they are as speedy as Sensei Rohan! During this time I was watching both the anime and them paint my nails, but even though I had to do both, I was so shocked by the degree of perfection of this ita-neiru (Buccellati), that in the end all I could do was stare in amazement.

Truth be told, the whole time I wanted to say “Bene!”, but as a Japanese with a pure soul, it’s funny that the only thing I could say was “amazing.”


As I went along with everything, the words on my left hand were already completed.


The typeface was exactly like this! Without using any stickers or anything, they really wrote the “Arri-Arri-Arri-Arrivederci! (This is farewell) line well -so moved-!


And now it’s complete!



To make the illustration and the character’s lines stand out, I took the risk of going with a simple and cool look for the rest of the nails! I wanted to bring out a gold-like color, so we sealed it with a single silver layer that is so cute!


And this is the picture of the result! It really looks exactly the same! Regardless of who looks at it, it’s obviously Bruno Buccellati! Whenever I see a friend I’m probably going to brag. I am extremely satisfied with this end-product!!

Venus Rico’s Nail art Gallery

Now we would like to show you their wonderful sample gallery.High-quality designs that will surely shock you! Just looking at them gets us excited.



The manga loved by the general people from all generations, girls and guys, One Piece nail art! Every scene brought back to life faithfully. The story continues at the end of the fingertips!



Ever-popular with girls, Sailor Moon nail art! Her brooch and wands are drawn inconspicuously with a pretty choice of colors!



The anime series with a movie coming out really soon, Attack on Titan nail art! The motif is so cool! Combining it with french nails leaves a cool impression!

How was it?While relaxing in a stylish salon, you can enjoy having your nails done!From cute designs to cool designs, high-end nail salon Venus Rico offers a huge selection of designs they specialize in.Please try ita-neiru at this salon if you get the chance!

【Place】〒101-0021 Akihabara ST Building 1F, Sotokanda 4-13-6, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Huge Picture Collection! See everyone’s ita-kyara nail art!!

Please check out more of Japan’s ita-neiru that are sure to surprise!



With sculpture you can add length to your nails, making the possibilities for your art endless! A huge character ita-neiru that will catch eyes with a design so unique, no one else will be wearing the same thing!



Cute nail art with character costumes as the motif, one on each of your 10 nails to express your love!



With the character you love on your fingernails, you’re bound to be in a good mood! For girls, using pink is very cute, and using jewels and flower designs along with your character can also make for a nice, girly fashion statement!

Ita-neiru came about from manga and anime culture, but it is not “itai” as the names suggests. Rather, we felt the word “sugoi” expresses the quality that is rising for Japan’s ita-neiru.

When I look down at my ita-neiru as I type on my computer, I feel like I am working together with that character.

And whenever I meet people, they are always brought in by my nails, so much so that it really made me realize these are conversation starters.

With ita-neiru, you can be with your favorite character 24 hours a day, really putting you in a good mood1

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