Even in the biggest otaku mecca in the world, there’s a limit to how big the anime salutes are.
If you’re an otaku, Tokyo can sometimes seem like an impossibly amazing wonderland. This is, after all, the town with a real-life Metal Gear game, beer-serving manga library, and permanent Pokémon Cafe.
However, there’s a limit to even how far Japan can go in making fans’ dreams come true. Recently, Japanese Twitter user @runndy_music was out and about in Akihabara, the Tokyo neighborhood that serves as the center of the world of otaku culture, when a foreign traveler asked him for directions. But the tourist wasn’t trying to get to the itasha-filled UDX parking garage or Square Enix Cafe. No, his intended destination, as seen in the picture he pulled up and showed to @runndy_music, was this.
“A foreigner in Akihabara asked me where this statue is,” @runndy_music tweeted, “and when I told him that the image is a CG Photoshop, he looked so sad that my heart broke for him.”
Sure enough, there’s no gigantic anime schoolgirl straddling the train overpass of this street (which is actually the same boulevard Jaden Smith is standing in front of in the promotional still for his new Dragon Ball-inspired song).
(@bouzu_3) October 09, 2018
Now, in the traveler’s defense, the schoolgirl in the picture isn’t a CG construction herself. Japanese toy manufacturer Kaiyodo previously made a figure of a girl perched atop the famous Akihabara overpass.
†秀星† (@shusei_k) October 09, 2018
However, the actual figures weren’t anywhere near the colossal scale of the one in the image the foreign traveler thought was an actual Akihabara landmark. Even the largest version in existence, which used to be on dispay at Kaiyodo’s museum in Shiga Prefecture, is only about the size of a regular human being.
らむどら@ヒロぽん (@ramdra475) October 09, 2018
Other Twitter users reacted to the foreigner’s misunderstanding with a mixture of chuckles and genuine sympathy:
“What a sad story…but I still can’t help laughing.”
“Well, at least he managed to get to Akihabara, the place shown in the photo.”
“They should totally make an actual statue like that in Akihabara!”
“That would be a serious treat for overseas visitors.”
On the bright side, if you’re interested enough in the medium’s aesthetics to want to see a giant anime schoolgirl statue, odds are you’re a passionate enough otaku that you’ll enjoy spending a day in Akihabara even after you learn that no such statue exists. And if your main motivation was just to see some giant pop culture art, it’s not that long a train