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[SAS'12] The Art of Itasha Panel


Kicking off our Sac Anime Summer 2012 coverage with our very own panel that commenced at 6:30pm last Friday. This panel was the latest RA:N x Team LoveHate collaboration, the last one being "Cosplay Fiesta" (which I'll have photos of up soon for you) back in June. It also served as the next installment of "Run Around:Sacramento"- an event or meet-up that I hold during Sacramento conventions or RA:N exclusive events where you can meet and talk to me, while meeting and speaking with other bloggers, techies, industry folk, press, and fellow geeks. Although we had to make it short this time, I had a great time meeting many of you, including people who attended the panel. Read on to learn about our panel and watch the video recorded live from SAS'12! 

Watch our panel:

Its a custom of mine and a Run Around:Network tradition to give away goodies to those who attend our events. This time I had a 1/24 scale Vertex JZX100 Chaser Umineko itasha model for you. 

The panel mainly focused on explaining Itasha (痛車) which are cars that are decked out with graphics of anime, manga, and game characters. It also centered around Team LoveHate's work. I presented extensive information on the history of Itasha and the present Itasha culture, and Team LoveHate spoke about their business, experience, and answered questions from the crowd. Above from left to right, is Jazel, Steve Crain, and J.V. who have been around since they began itarizing (the term used to make an itasha) cars in 2008. Steve Crain is also the vinyl mastermind who works for Signs By Tomorrow- all of their Itasha's graphics are made with vinyl at Steve's shop which happens to be around the corner from where SAS'12 was held. 

After-panel group photo above. I have been working with Team LoveHate since the summer of 2009 when their first Itasha- the "World's First Itasha Styled G35" that you may have heard about back then, began showing up internationally on pop-culture news sites. From time to time we team up to spead and share the Itasha culture which I believe to be one of the more overlooked otaku sub-cultures. Others have tried and made Itasha outside of Japan before, but Team LoveHate has to have some of the highest quality I've seen. Since 2009 they have grown tremendously, opening several new chapters in places like New York and other areas, and attending countless charity events. Some of their most popular Itasha include the Black Rock Shooter G35, the Panty and Stocking G35, Burst Angel Toyota Matrix, Hatsune Miku 350z, and the upcoming Culture Japan/Mirai Millenium G35 recently announced between blogger Danny Choo and Team LoveHate via Instagram. Also during the panel they announced that they will also be doing more Itasha related to western games and comics, and even ones sporting original artwork. Check out the video I did with Jazel back in January to see an example of the Panty and Stocking Itasha:

Congrats to John on winning the Itasha model! Find out more about Team LoveHate here. I want to point out that the rest of the SAS'12 and PAX Prime 2012 coverage is coming over the course of this weekend! So look forward to more awesome photos from the two events! And don't forget to keep an eye on my Instagram feed, I'll have a bunch of PAX Prime 2012 and SAS'12 stuff popping in there too from time to time as we head into next week! -Hikaru Kazushime

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