Itasha brings the pain to plushie from rival of owner’s favorite anime series.


In Japan, cars with jumbo-sized graphics of anime characters plastered across the bodywork are called “itasha,” a mashup of the Japanese terms itai (“painful”) and sha (“car”). The implication is that these nerdmobiles are so geeky that it actually hurts the eyes of anyone outside of the fan community to look at them.

Of course, that’s just a bit of self-deprecating otaku humor. There’s no real pain involved in itasha…well, except for maybe this one.

Japanese Twitter user @SPC_pile_jp was taking a taxi through the city of Yokosuka, about an hour south of Tokyo, when a white Subaru Impreza WRX STI, covered in artwork from idol anime/video game franchise The Idolmaster, pulled up in the next lane. But as the Impreza moved ahead of the cab, something really grabbed @SPC_pile_jp’s attention, and it wasn’t the rally-bred Subaru’s giant rear wing.

Looking down below the car’s rear bumper, @SPC_pile_jp saw this.

That’s a plushie of Rin Hoshizora, who’s a different anime idol than the one on the side of the itasha. As a matter of fact, Rin isn’t even from The Idolmaster. She’s one of the main characters in Love Live!, the other schoolgirl idol anime, and The Idolmaster’s eternal rival.

▼ Rin Hoshizora

While The Idolmaster franchise, which began as a video game, predates Love Live! by several years, ever since Love Live! launched in 2012, The Idolmaster has been living in its sizable shadow. Apparently it’s all a bit too much for this Idolmaster fan to bear, so he’s decided to literally take his frustration to the streets, tying a plushie of Rin onto his car’s rear racing tow hook and dragging her along the tarmac.

The car, which was also spotted in Tokyo’s Ota Ward, has a license plate from Okazaki, which is near Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture. It’s roughly 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Okazaki to Ota, and it’s hard to imagine the Impreza didn’t keep going north another 10 kilometers or so to Akihabara to congregate with all the other itasha that gather in the otaku mecca, so that’s about 310 kilometers of automotive spite, no doubt with cheerfully peppy Idolmaster songs pumping through the car’s speaker system the whole way.

Source: Twitter/@SPC_pile_jp via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@P10PRIMERA_Tm

Follow Casey on Twitter, where his car has no anime decals, but he does have a Final Fantasy key chain.