I’m not sure since when we Japanese started to say 痛い[itai] to describe something pityful, pathetic, awkward, hideous, or ugly although it is supposed to mean hurt or painful. I have heard someone saying like 痛い結末[itai ketsumatsu,”pathetic conclusion] or 痛いコスチューム[itai costume,”ugly costume”]. But 痛い seems to be more modest than any other direct adjectives. Japanese people don’t seem to say things so directly that I assume this 痛い could be classified as a ぼかし言葉[bokashi kotoba,”ambiguous words”] which was the fad years ago.
At any rate, this 痛車[itasha] is, as you can see, abbreviation of 痛い車[itai kuruma]. It means a car that is too painful to see…literally. But in general, 痛車 means a car that is decorated with anime stickers. Before, they used to decorate inside a car mostly, but it’s getting popular to decorate not only inside, but a body. I was wondering why they don’t say オ(ヲ)タ車[otasha]. This would be easier to understand, wouldn’t it? Though some people do, it’s less common than 痛車. Having said that, actually 痛車 puns upon イタ車[itasha] which means a car of Italian make. Incidentally, there’s a similar term, イタ飯[itameshi,”Italian food”] It doesn’t have to be a car. There’s some more equivalent words; 痛単車[itansha] means such a motor bicycle, and 痛チャリ[itachari] means such a bicycle. チャリ is a slang of bicycle.
I have never seen a real one, but the most frequent spot should be near the place where otaku events take place such as Comic Market. Some people say these cars run in Akihabara, but I have never seen…Anyway, if I had more than two cars, I would make one such a 痛車. I can’t definitely use it to pick up someone, but when I go to such an otaku event, I would do for sure. But wait, what if such a taxi travels between the station and the destination? I would definitely catch it and get in. And yes, of course the driver must do the same cosplay as the character of the 痛車. If the driver is,
1. Haruhi: サッサと乗りなさいよっ！[Get in now!] The door doesn’t open automatically, so you have to open. Also, the meter ticks off faster than any other taxis.
2. Mikuru: は、はい～、い、行きますぅ～。[O-Okay, l-let’s go～.] Her driving is not better than anybody else.
3. Yuki: 行き先を。[Tell me where you’re headed.] Her driving is prominently good. She doesn’t speak unless you talk. But if you ask, she would tell you the precise information about what you want to know.
4. Koizumi: どちらへ行かれますか？[Where to,
Miss?] You can have a nice chat with him.
5. Kyon: はーやれやれ、じゃ行くとするか。[Ha～, so here we go.] He seems to be reluctant, but he kindly takes you to the place you’re headed.
6. Asakura: No! Don’t get in her car! You’d be killed!
I know this is all my stupid imagination, but I really hope it could come to pass. Ah, does anyone start this 痛タク[itataku, an abbreviation of 痛いタクシー(itai taxi)] business(sorry, I made up this term)? It sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? Oh, never mind.