Following vandalism of his beloved otaku ride, owner takes drastic measures to protect it from unwelcome hands.

In Japan, cars decorated with wraparound anime character artwork are referred to as itasha, which literally means “painful car.” The idea is that they’re so overwhelmingly geeky that just looking at them will hurt the eyes of non-otaku.

But as of this week, there’s an itasha in Japan that’s not just painful to look at, but to touch.

Nagano Prefecture resident and Japanese Twitter user @1221tsutui_617’s automotive pride and joy is this Honda CR-Z. But more than the coupe’s hybrid power train or snazzy wheels, his favorite feature is the multiple images of Mei Hoshizaki, one of the eligible bachelorettes from magical girl dating simulator video game Yumekoi.

But while the sight of his 2-D lady love ordinarily gets his heart all aflutter, when he looked at his car on Wednesday morning, his blood was pumping with rage instead.

During the night, someone vandalized his car by pulling on the front license plate and bending it out of shape. Because Japanese laws strictly require front plates, just removing it entirely isn’t an option to avoid becoming a victim again, so instead @1221tsutui_617 decided to go with a pain-inducing way to defend his painful car.

After a quick trip to 100 yen store Daiso, @1221tsutui_617 now had a box of 85 brass thumbtacks and a roll of heavy-duty double-sided tape. First he took the front license plate off his car and straightened it out, then he turned it over and attached a triple-thick row of tacks, ready to pierce the fingers of anyone yanking on the plate with enough force to bend it.

Vicious as his method may be, @1221tsutui_617 seems to have at least a modicum of mercy. When a Twitter commenter suggested he use razor blades instead, he immediately rejected the advice, saying he doesn’t want to actually injure anyone, he just wants to make it impossible for them to grip the plate firmly enough to bend it. He also said that in order to make sure none of the tacks fall out and get stuck in other cars’ tires, he’ll be removing the spiky strip before driving his car anywhere, though ostensibly the pink label saying “I’ll kill you” will stay on as a permanent, though concealed, message of menace.

At first this seems like a simple case of anime-related vandalism, perhaps perpetuated by someone who doesn’t share @1221tsutui_617’s passion for Yumekoi, or maybe disagrees with his boldly expressive claim that Mei is best girl. But if that’s the case, why stop at just bending the plate?

One theory put forth in the tweet’s comment thread is that instead of a prank, someone may have bent the plate to see how long it would take for the car’s owner to notice and fix it. In Japan, it’s not uncommon for car owners to still commute to work or school by train or bicycle, driving their cars only sporadically on weekends or when going somewhere inaccessible by public transportation. In addition, many homes don’t have attached parking spaces, and so owners lease a spot in a local parking lot that might not be visible from their house or apartment. As a result, cars can sometimes sit for weeks at a time in a lot without their owner checking on them, which makes them attractive targets for thieves, and some commenters think a would-be criminal was testing whether or not the itasha might be one such easy mark.

Regardless of the motive, though, the next person who tries to get grabby with the Mei itasha is in for a world of pain.

Source: Twitter/@1221tsutui_617 via Otakomu
Featured image: Twitter/@1221tsutui_617

Follow Casey on Twitter, where Megumi Hayashibara’s “Midnight Blue” remains one of his favorite post-midnight, top-down driving songs.