“Itasha” (literally, “painful cars”) don’t have to look painful at all when done by the right pros!
Over the years, we’ve seen our fair share of itasha, or “painful cars“, so named because they’re unabashedly decorated with illustrations or pictures, usually of cute anime girls, making the vehicles almost painful to look at. In fact, the staff at our Japanese-language site even made their very own Mr. Sato itasha last year, so we’re no strangers to the concept.
But last weekend, we happened upon an event at the Roppongi Hills Shopping and Entertainment Complex that showed us how a car covered with manga images doesn’t necessarily have to be painful to look at if done properly. The event was part of a tie-in between the Honda Fit, which recently got a makeover, and Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year. To our delight, the collaboration included a display of a special “wrapped” models decorated with illustrations of some of the most popular manga characters from Weekly Shonen Jump!
▼ Yes, an itasha that actually looks kind of cool!
▼ Some of the characters are from quite a while ago and made us feel a bit nostalgic, like Captain Tsubasa and Kinnikuman.
▼ Of course, the mega-hits One Piece and Naruto had to be featured.
▼ Long-standing international hits Dragon Ball and Hunter x Hunter were prominently featured on the front.
▼ Characters from other long-time favorites like Bleach, The Prince of Tennis and Ruroni Kenshin were also shown.
▼ Even Goku’s Great Ape form from Dragon Ball makes an appearance!
▼ And we also got a reminder of how cute Goku’s son Gohan was as a child!
▼ Yup, not many cars are this much fun to look at!
▼ Of course, they had the actual new Fit (without the itasha treatment) on display.
And for even more entertainment, they also offered a “virtual drive experience“, where visitors could sit in the new Fit and participate in a driving game while viewing artwork from one of 15 Shonen Jump comics on a screen.
▼ People were waiting in line to play the virtual driving game.
▼ They also set up multiple “photo spots” with illustrated panels where visitors could take pictures with their favorite Shonen Jump characters. A real treat for Jump fans!
▼ It was quite a large set-up with huge panels in an outside courtyard area.
▼ And here’s a video of the special “New Fit x Weekly Shone Jump 50th Anniversary” version commercial for the revamped Fit model.
The event in the courtyard area is now over, but it will resume in the Hills Cafe, also in Roppongi Hills, from July 15 to August 27, so manga fans visiting Roppongi this summer can take a look at this “ultimate itasha” !