August 21, 2007 at 8:47 am (otaku word)

 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.



  1. w said,

    I’ve always wondered, since it seems like otaku would have to a. be able to afford a car and b. prolly be able to afford *more* than one car to “sacrifice” one as an itasha, then… aren’t they pretty rich?

    Do you think some of them ever use itasha as a way to flaunt their wealth? And if they’re earning that much, chances are they don’t work in an industry made up of people who would admit to liking anime… it must be a real contrast.


  2. ưĶ .info - ߾ : 2007ǯ822θ߾ by admin said,

    […] ˼[itasha]At any rate, this ˼[itasha] is, as you can see, abbreviation of ˤ[itai kuruma]. It means a car that is too painful to seeliterally. But in general, ˼ means a car that is decorated with anime stickers. … […]

  3. ư .info - ߾ : 2007ǯ822θ߾ by admin said,

    […] ˼[itasha]At any rate, this ˼[itasha] is, as you can see, abbreviation of ˤ[itai kuruma]. It means a car that is too painful to seeliterally. But in general, ˼ means a car that is decorated with anime stickers. … […]

  4. ư .info - ߾ : 2007ǯ822θ߾ by admin said,

    […] ˼[itasha]At any rate, this ˼[itasha] is, as you can see, abbreviation of ˤ[itai kuruma]. It means a car that is too painful to seeliterally. But in general, ˼ means a car that is decorated with anime stickers. … […]

  5. Avplaya said,

    w-san, I don’t think those stickers cost too much, plus, there’s rarely a really expensive car there. I think the best one I saw as a STi. A lot of Bbs and Solios. A real otaku would spend money on Haruhi figurines, not an expensive Itasha. ^^

    I wonder if the stickers are easy to remove? that way you can always update your itasha with your latest favorite series, no? Are there shops which sells Itasha graphics? There must be a place where you can take your car to get this done right?

    I don’t think I can do it and I have two cars… So what graphics will you put in your Itasha, bangin-dono?

    Itasha means you have to cosplay? But most itasha drivers are male akiba-kei no? I surely do not want to see an ota cross-play as Nanoha when his car has the sticker of Nanoha showing her pantsu. But a girl cosplaying Kagami driving a Lucky Star Itasha? Hey I’ll hop right in.

  6. bangin said,

    w-dono: Yes, as Avplaya-san said, itasha doesn’t cost that much. It would be approximately around 20,000 yen(about 167 US$) or so. Car itself doesn’t matter. I think figure otaku must be far richer than itasha drivers. I also assume they buy a used car, and make it an itasha. Also, they don’t seem to hesitate to take an itasha even if they just go to a grocery store. And I guess what they want to show off is how much they love the anime or the characters and how well they have decorated.

    Avplaya-san: They might use stickers those have a magnet in order to come off easily just in case. Most itasha drivers get a copy of whatever they want to paste, and make it a sticker by themselves. Or else, they use air brush. But this is quite a hard work. You’re right, they ask such technicians to paint. I wonder how much it takes…

    Itasha drivers don’t have to cosplay, but mostly they do. And you’re right, most itasha drivers could be male akibakei. I don’t think a lot of fujoshi or female otaku want to make their cars itasha because normally they try to hide that they are otaku. Itasha drivers don’t care how other people feel…so that means they have come out of the closet and admitted who they are. People who can do that job is…mostly akibakeis.

    Well, if I make my car an itasha…I would paste either Haruhi or Asuka Rangley stickers. :))

  7. khursten said,

    @bangin: I’m a fujoshi! And I’d like to have an itasha too! :3 If I can afford it. lol. That’s the thing, the otaku life has too many dimensions that if I spend to have an itasha, I won’t have any left for my mangas and figures. ;_; So I’ll spend my money there instead. ^^;;

    But if I had my Itasha. And I’ll put my favorite couples in Gintama there. XD Toushi to Gintoki to Okita to Zura to Elizabeth to… *fufufufu* Or I could choose one of my favorite BL chara for the spread… uooo~~

  8. bi said,

    I think itasha are cute :3 I’d take pictures of every single one I see 😀
    Wow, you mean most itasha drivers do the painting by themselves?? They really are dedicated… I, too, would go everywhere with an itasha without hesitation if I spent that much time customising it by myself!

    And oh, I would totally get on a 痛タク XD
    Someone should really make a business out of it!

  9. Neohybrid_kai said,

    Hi, I’m a new visitor of this blog ^_^ (got here via the link from Iwa ni Hana) just want to say that your blog is great. I don’t have a car, but I put a haruhiism sticker on my motorcycle, though. But maybe that doesn’t count as itansha? because its only a loggo not a character image.

    Btw, I don’t know if I can ask you here, but do you know about the term “sekai-kei”? I have read it somewhere but still doesn’t know what its mean. Maybe you could make an article about it, if you want.

    • Anon said,

      Yeah i know this is 3 years past but anyways. Sekai-kei is a term which roughly means you , me and and the world (not by translation, but what it means now). It’s a genre of anime where the focus is just the main character, the partner and the world. Sekai-kei usually occurs when after a series of events the two partners meet and decide that nothing is important as long as their together (or something along those lines) so they’re free to do as they wish.

      My favorite sekai-kei is Eureka Seven.

      • bangin said,

        You have a point, but this entry is itasha. Have you seen the entry about sekai-kei? I think you can search it in the sidebar.

  10. w said,

    @bangin / Avplaya

    Ahh! Thanks. Okay, I don’t know much about cars so I didn’t realise that the cars themselves aren’t that expensive.
    I guess I always have this presumption that otaku are spending so much on anime/figures etc. that they surely wouldn’t have so much to get a car and maintain it, but I guess they do. >_<

    If I had a car I might put a very subtle sticker on it or something but that’s the most I’d do. I probably wouldn’t get a car, it’s not good for the environment and is not an efficient use of energy…

    Oh yeah, and I think I’d like an explanation of sekai kei like Neohybrid_kai says. I’ve asked about it before but I think I only have a vague understanding of it and I don’t know how to express it properly at all.

  11. bangin said,

    khursten: Ahahahaha, so you can lead all the fujoshi in Japan! If you start, more and more fujoshi would be willing to be an itasha drivers! 🙂 Would the time when I can see loads of BL itashas crossing roads come? :))

    bi: Pasting stickers is far eaiser than air brushing. But the car would be tainted unless you paste it so well…I guess some itasha drivers might hold a convention for it in the future.
    When an otaku event takes place such as Comic Market or Chara Hobby, they should prepare 痛タク between the station and the destination. I think they could make a killing, though. XD

    Neohybrid_kai: Welcome to my blog, and thank you for coming! Let’s see…that depends upon how big and gorgeous the logo is. If it is not so large, and simply says “Haruhism,” that wouldn’ t count as an itasha. But if it’s so huge that anyone can see it from a far distance, and it says like “SOS 団員募集中!(SOS needs more members!)”or “そこの宇宙人、止まりなさい!(Hey you alien, stop!),” it would be definitely an itansha. I’m planning make my bike an itachari. 🙂

    w-dono: Used cars aren’t a big deal. A used car shop near my place even handles just 180,000 yen(about 1500 US$) one whereas a full-length Kenshiro(Fist of the Northen Star) figure is about 700,000 yen(about 5833 US$). (;゜д゜)

    (this is also at Neohybrid_kai): Ah, sekai-kei. It’s a kind of genre for anime or manga…Yes, it is as difficult to explain this as オタ魂. I need time to investigate and think how to write in English. Even in Japanese, the explanation sounds difficult. But I’ll give it a try! :))

  12. Neohybrid_kai said,

    Actually, I’m more interested at itachari. Bicycle is so small that I wonder how to put pictures and words to impress people.

    Is there any picture of itachari out there?

  13. bangin said,

    There’s not many itachari sites, but why don’t you try this? If you have seen this already, it wouldn’t be intersting, though.

    I hope you enjoy it!

  14. Neohybrid_kai said,

    thank you ^^
    I guess even a bicycle can looks great too

    and that “tsundere in car” sticker is quite inspiring btw ^^

  15. markofando said,

    Want to start your private office arms race right now?

    I just got my own USB rocket launcher 🙂 Awsome thing.

    Plug into your computer and you got a remote controlled office missile launcher with 360 degrees horizontal and 45 degree vertival rotation with a range of more than 6 meters – which gives you a coverage of 113 square meters round your workplace.
    You can get the gadget here: http://tinyurl.com/2qul3c

    Check out the video they have on the page.


    Marko Fando

  16. khursten said,

    Bangin-san! I remembered this post when I saw this.

    Hora! Moe Taxi Service!!! XDD It’s getting closer to have a cosplay taxi service! :3

  17. bangin said,

    OMG! Darn it. This service has already started…I should have come up with much earlier! 😀

  18. goodyfun said,

    痛車 only have stickers of new shows. Nobody remembers the old ones anymore! I would have an 痛車 with a classic anime just to show them. 😉

    And I have a friend named… Natasha. The names sound sooo much like each other that I think of her when I hear “itasha”.



    …but they look nothing like each other. ^^;

  19. bangin said,

    It doesn’t sound that similar to me, natasha and itasha? Maybe because I am Japanese?

    Maybe some people would make an itasha with old series like Gundam ZZ.

  20. Marius Mink said,

    I sooo want an itasha, itansha, or itachari! The thing is, I can imagine driving to work and people treating me like I’m immature. T.T I would never get taken seriously. In America, being an adult otaku is really looked down on. Anime is popular with kids here but not with the rest of America. T.T It doesn’t have as much presence as it does in Japan. It’s gotten better though. I remember when NO ONE (including kids) knew what anime and manga was. Now, just about everyone knows what both those terms mean. Even middle-aged people. My otakon spirit says “Do it! Get an itasha!” but my professional-minded self says “Don’t, you won’t be taken seriously.”

    I don’t know, it’s a hard decision. I really hope those stickers are easy to take off so I could change them every once in a while.

    I am fujoshi too and would put tons of boys love on my bike (if I could!). Thank you so much for this blog!!!

  21. Marius Mink said,

    Also, the prices are a big problem for me. T.T US$167 is WAY more than I could afford for a sticker. I’m such a poor anime fan. Hopefully I will get a good job once I graduate from university and get paid a lot (but probably not if I went to job interviews or work with an itansha; I’d never get hired!).

  22. bangin said,

    I thought it would be more liberal about this. I saw a lot of itashas parked at the Comic Market Forum. But I am afriad I have an itasha because some bad people would do a prank to my itasha. I think itasha is cool, but at the same time it has some risk to get some pranks. So the best one is an itachari, I think.

  23. wes said,

  24. bangin said,

    Thank you for the info.

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