Otaku, of course, is a word that’s come to describe aficionados of anime, manga, visual novels and cosplay, although it’s possible to become an otaku for just about anything. I’ve got a Japanese friend who describes herself as “the queen of perfume otaku,” and there are Japanese “tower otakus” who love visiting Tokyo Sky Tree, Tokyo Tower and Yokohama Marine Tower and collecting goods you can only buy there. While most things otakus love is usually considered subculture, not accepted by everyone, one exception is the Mobile Suit Gundam, the hugely popular SF franchise that tells the story of humans emigrating into space and developing “newtype” esper abilities while doing battle in mobile suits. As usual the villains of the Gundam universe are far more interesting than the whiny heroes, and the most popular is the Red Comet Char Aznable, famous for his flamboyant style and signature red mecha. Toyota decided to tap into the popularity of this character by releasing a limited edition version of its Auris hatchback. The car comes in red complete with Char’s signature spike, plus a custom interior with GPS designed to track enemy mobile suits.
A limited edition Toyota for Newtypes.