Japan loves trains. It also loves anime. What happens when you combine the two? Long lines and panties.
Popular anime K-On!, which follows the adventures of a schoolgirl band, is getting a feature film this December. In the feature film, the girls go to the United Kingdom.
Japanese trains are prime advertising real estate. It's not uncommon for entire carriages to be covered in a huge ad for everything from chicken ramen to, here, a schoolgirl anime.
Keihan Railway, which runs trains between Kyoto and Osaka, is wrapping carriages in K-On! branding, from the inside out.
Each of the multi-colored carriages proudly display the K-On! characters and also remind passengers of the impending feature film. The "After School Tea Time Train" will run on Keihan's Ishiyama Sakamoto Line.
Inside the train is just as tricked out in K-On! as the outside.
The K-On! train is regularly running. Typical passengers are riding the train like they would a regular one.
This weekend, nearly a thousand fans did line up for limited edition K-On! commemorative passenger tickets. Riding the actual train does not cost more than a typical fare, and this doesn't mean thousands of people lined up to ride the actual train. They lined up to purchase the commemorative ticket and booklet as mementos. Or to sell online. Whichever.
Originally uploaded on 2ch, some dude photographed himself "looking up" the skirts of the characters wrapped on the train. One individual wore panties on his head. This was a wry gag. Much of Japanese otaku humor is dry and outrageous, attempting to outdo others (see otaku Christmas cakes photos).
This desire to be outrageous and over the top manifests itself in more than otaku figure collections, but the country's over-the-top fashion trends Japan is famous for. Fashion photographer Yasumasa Yonehara told me that he thinks the extreme fashion trends are based in the country's working class culture in which people try to one up others, proving their worth. For otakudom, there are elements of that, but typically, it's just silly nerds being, well, silly nerds.
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