Hybrid Cars For Justice! And Fuel Efficiency!

Hikounin Sentai AkibarangerJapan loves, among many things, its giant battle robots, wacky cartoons, and colorful superheroes. A new group of heroic role models, Hikounen Sentai Akibaranger, hit the silver screen last weekend, and this one is particularly colorful.

Enter the Akibarangers, a group of nerds living in Akihabara Electric Town. The area is well known for its wide variety of super cool (or super nerdy or just plain weird) electronic gadgets and games, and it’s been noted on Gas2 for its new EV porter service.

The Akibarangers transform into superheroes as part of Japan’s 36-year-running and culturally important Super Sentai Series (think Power Rangers, which is the American adaptation). They’re not this year’s official group; they’re the shadow side of an affectionate (mostly fan-made) parody.

But Charis, You Say, What Does This Have To Do With Green Cars?

Part of any superhero show in Japan is some kind of battle robot; the Super Sentai groups usually have some sort of massive mecha. The Akibarangers have a Prius. Read that last sentence again, I’ll wait. I’ll even say it again.

The battle robot for the Akibarangers is a Prius.

It’s not an ordinary Prius, either; it’s been painted all over with cartoon characters and logos to properly reflect its owners love for geeky subculture. And yes, it does indeed transform into a fighting (but not giant, because that wouldn’t make sense) battle robot. With lasers.

One might wonder if the Prius’s reputation for being super reliable and not breaking down much holds up when the car in question is turning into a battle robot and shooting lasers at moving targets after driving around explosions, or what kind of mileage the fighting Prius gets (does it even run on gas?), but only one episode has broadcast so far and the car isn’t in it.

No, I’m Not Making This Up

This is the first spot (and the only one with the car):


Then there’s the preview for this week’s episode (which airs Saturday morning at 1:00 am):


There’s also a walk-around fan video of the Prius used on the show, available here. Check out the gallery below for pictures of the fighting Prius, most of them capped from the show’s opening sequence:

Source | Gallery: Japan Hikounen Sentai Akibaranger


Charis Michelsen

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.