Have always wanted to have our trusty March given the Ita-treatment with out mascot character Mirai Suenaga for many moons now but didn't know how to go about making it happen. One of the Culture Japan production members just happened to know a man with a dog and before I knew it our car was Itarized ^^; Wifey and I absolutely love it!
Before we proceed however, a quick explanation of what an Itasha is. The word Itasha [痛車] describes a car that has been plastered with huge sheet stickers of anime or game characters/mascots. Itasha literally means "pain[痛] car[車]" - the reason is that its supposedly embarrassing painful to drive around in one.
However, myself and thousands of other Itasha drivers all over Japan are not embarrassed at all to share our passion. Through sharing ones passion, one can connect to others who share the same interests which brings about friendship that enriches our lives. In a single day at the "Ita G Festa" alone, I met a load of new comrades and also discovered that some of them were comrades of existing comrades - tis a small world!
Zooming back to this time yesterday - a factory located in Aoto in the east end of Tokyo. This place belongs to Nakamura-san - a businessman who owns a company which prints road and shop signs. Being an otaku himself, he then set up a company called Moeshaoh [萌車王] (The King of Moe Cars) which will Itarize your car for you. He uses the exact same equipment that he does for making the road/shop signs.
This is what the front of the car looks like with the bonnet illustration by Kurot.
And this is what the back looks like. Looks like our Mirai Itasha will be attending many Itasha festivals so we were also given some Culture Japan logos to hide the numberplates.
And this is the reversed illustration of Mirai-chan. The standard thing to do in the Itasha world is to reverse the sticker on the other side. In this case the d becomes a b. Banny Choo. Could have prepared an illustration with the "d" reversed but didn't have much time ^^;
In order for Nakamura-san to do his magic, he needs me to do some homework first. Nabbed some images of our Nissan March from the Internets and blew them up in Adobe Fireworks. I set the images as a separate layer and then go to measure the dimensions of the car and state how big the stickers should be.
My first Itasha design and look forward to doing more ^^;
Folks overseas who want to Itarize their car should do everything I done above and wait 2 weeks where Nakamura-san will set up an English page that will enable you to order your sheet stickers - will let you know when its up.
The rough prices are 10,000 yen for a 130cm x 80cm sheet. The largest they can print is 130cm x 200cm @.@ The price may increase a wee bit depending on the design you want.
As for the logo type stickers you see on the car - the bonnet, side and rear stickers would amount to something like 5,000 yen. Folks overseas will be sent the sheet stickers and you will have to cut and lay them down yourself.
Folks in Japan will have to leave their car with Nakamura-san for a day.
If you speak Japanese and want to know more then you can contact Nakamura-san directly on [moesyaoh at yahoo.co.jp]
For some reason or another, I got the logo size completely wrong and it came out tiny! Will ask Nakamura-san to print and send me a larger logo.
Nakamura-san left the final piece for me to stick on. The material is the same as the roadsigns used in Japan so its strong against color fading. Should last 3 years before it needs another change of stickers.
If I wanted I could have requested them to cut around the Nissan logo but decided to keep it as is. A hair dryer is used to heat up the plastic sheet so that it clings around those bits n bobs that stick out.
This is what out Itasha looks like from the side. While the sheet sticker is cut so that the back windows can be opened, Nakamura-san recommends that we don't as it can get caught on the edge. Its usually only wifey and I who use the car anyway so not bothered.
Could have plastered the entire car with stickers but decided to go with a simple design this time round. Nakamura-san didn't have time to do the roof this time round which is the most difficult part.
The whole car took 3 people and 6 hours to put together. The sheet stickers are huge and requires a lot of work to get rid of wrinkles and air bubbles.
I've uploaded all the original PSD and AI files that I sent to Nakamura-san to make the sheet stickers - feel free to make your own Itasha with them!
Nakamura-san and I will be working together on a few projects soon ^^;
This is Nakamura-sans van. The sheet sticker on the back window is a see-through sheet with holes in it to enable the driver to see if s/he is being chased by police for some reason.
Final touches to the Itasha. Hmmmm oppai rubbing.
Our lovely Itasha back to base.
Our new Itasha just in time for the Ita G Festa that took place in Odaiba a few hours later ^^;
Only got The Mirai Dakimakura and Saber Mirai for now but will have a load of Mirai Figma's all over the place for the next event ^^;
The Itasha world is not only about the stickers and design on the outside of the car but also about whats on the inside.
Mirai-chan cuuuuute! If you want more info and PSD files of mirai-chan then you can find them in her page.
The event started off with a load of rain but then cleared up to be a gorgeous evening. Will post more photos of the event tomorrow.
How many of you would like to Itarize your car and what character/s would you choose? Maybe upload some of your designs to Figure.fm ?
Sorry I went overboard with taking pictures of the Mirai Itasha. But I love it ^^;