In Japan, you can now earn money for turning your car into an anime itasha

New service pays drivers to promote the otaku media they love while driving around.

In Japan, if you cover your car with anime-character graphics you’re said to have turned it into an “itasha,” literally a “painful car,” since it’s now such an eyesore that it’s painful for non-otaku to gaze upon. But itasha are no longer just painful, but profitable too, thanks to Cheer Drive.

Cheer Drive flips the itasha script in that instead of drivers paying to get custom stickers made, the company itself sends out stickers to applicant drivers, then pays them for driving around with them on their car. It’s essentially a turn-your-car-into-a-paid-ad service, but with the twist that it’s focusing on otaku media, and counting on drivers themselves, while obviously appreciating having some extra money in their pocket, also being happy to show their love for the series being promoted (in Japanese, the word ouen can mean both “cheer” and “support”).

For example, right now Cheer Drive is looking for drivers interested in making their car a BanG Dream! itasha, in celebration of the upcoming BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia, the newest theatrical anime in the franchise, which opens later this month.

Another option is Vanguard overDress, the soon-to-premier anime with Clamp character designs that didn’t get cancelled.

To get started, drivers download the Cheer Drive app, which gives them access to a list of currently recruiting campaigns. After you apply and are selected, you’ll receive three stickers in the mail, …continue reading