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Looking Automobiles At The Anime Matsuri

When the organizers of Anime Matsuri reached out to me earlier within the 12 months with an invitation to their annual conference, I needed to take a second to consider it. I imply, certain, there have been anime about vehicles and vehicles featured in anime, however what different connection is there?

Nicely, one journey to Houston, Texas later, I can positively say that there’s a very apparent cross over, and the underlying facet of all of it is a love for Japan and its tradition.


This isn’t the primary time Speedhunters has attended Anime Matsuri. Again in 2011, Lindbergh Nguyen lined a gathering referred to as Import Reactor, which was a automotive present that ran alongside the merely enormous anime and cosplay conference. Quick ahead 12 years, and right here I used to be in part of the USA I’d by no means ventured to earlier than.


Let me begin by saying that the whole lot you’ve heard about Texas is true. It’s all larger and wilder, and that goes for the climate too. It was scorching in Houston, with the mercury hitting between 38 and 40 levels Celsius each day of my go to. Fortunately, I spent most of my time inside in overly air conditioned areas, or in vehicles with the AC blowing chilly, so I used to be in a position to escape the warmth for probably the most half.

With the four-day occasion already underway once I arrived in Houston, I wasted no time heading over to the George R. Brown Conference Middle – which was handily adjoining to my lodge – to take a look at what Anime Matsuri is all about.


To say I felt like a fish out of water can be an understatement.


However it’s best to by no means be afraid to step out of your consolation zone, proper?


What grew to become very apparent very quick, is simply how large anime and cosplay tradition is within the US. I felt like was like I used to be in Akihabara!


For somebody who has lined Japanese automotive tradition for many of his skilled life, it was good to see how Japan resonates with individuals on different ranges, like popular culture. Take a look at this line up of vintage-style Godzilla film posters.


They even had a helicopter and different army automobiles within the Godzilla sales space.


It wasn’t lengthy although, earlier than I discovered what I had flown midway internationally for. Automobiles.


The primary automotive I got here throughout was a particular GR Corolla that Anime Matsuri and TOM’s have partnered up on. This mission is because of be accomplished initially of subsequent 12 months to coincide with TOM’s fiftieth anniversary, at which era I’ll be taking pictures it in Japan for a full function.


Anime Matsuri additionally partnered with RAYS on a second GR Corolla construct. It’s nice to see these new efficiency Toyotas getting a lot consideration.


Staying within the Toyota camp, I received chatting to the proprietor of this particular Lexus IS300, though I’ll all the time refer to those vehicles as Toyota Altezzas.


This specific IS300 was constructed again within the early 2000s and has largely remained in that type ever since. It nonetheless even wears a Want for Pace Method D sponsorship banner.


It’s a super-clean construct sitting on period-correct chrome SSR Professor SP1.


I noticed a pair of Miatas behind the Lexus, a primary era and the most recent model, highlighting simply how far the mannequin has change into whereas staying the identical. I cherished the ZN6 on Volk Racing F-Zero Problem wheels too.


Having not too long ago spent a superb month utilizing a good friend’s NSX-R as my day by day, I’ve developed an enormous comfortable spot for the Honda/Acura efficiency icon. Each time I lay eyes on one now, I’m reminded of simply how focussed these machines are.


As I made my means by means of the numerous vehicles on present, it grew to become obvious that many Texas fanatics actually know what they’re doing when it involves nailing an genuine JDM appear and feel.


This 326 Energy-kitted zenki Nissan S14 on Panasport G7 wheels is the kind of factor I’d anticipate finding at a soukoukai occasion at Nikko Circuit.


Japan continues to be a mecca for inspiration and seeing abroad interpretations of Japanese kinds is all the time enjoyable once I journey overseas.


I even noticed a Mitsubishi Canter twin hauler straight from Japan. This one is utilized by Oishii Imports to maneuver their vehicles round.


Whereas testing this Prime Secret-built RB26 Nissan S15, I realized that Linhbergh had shot it nonetheless trying the very same means again in 2011. Whereas it now runs a extra trendy turbo setup, the C-West aero and inexperienced RAYS Volk Racing TE37s have remained. How cool!


This pair of Lexus LS400s nailed the bippu look completely.


Besides one wasn’t a Lexus, however a right-hand drive JDM Celsior with an aggressive stance and a lot wheel tuck and adverse camber on the again. I really like the rear spoiler too.


Talking of stance achieved proper…


And suitably boosted within the efficiency division as effectively.


I’m not going to lie; I used to be anticipating to see a number of extra GT-Rs on the occasion, particularly of the R35 selection given all of the half/full-mile drag racing occasions in Texas which have helped push VR38DETT tuning to unbelievable heights. However this lone BCNR33 Skyline held the GT-R flag excessive and powerful with a clear track-ready setup. It jogged my memory of the vehicles that Auto Choose builds in Osaka.


After all of the lowrider takeovers we’ve seen in Shibuya, I’ve change into fairly a fan of the sub-culture, and it was cool to rise up shut with a couple of clear builds in Texas.


This different Acura NSX regarded very cool with pumped fenders and a customized color.


And all of us like a little bit of enjoyable!


The automotive present part continued with a extra home really feel, highlighting one other aspect of tuning and customized tradition in Texas.


The native Aston Martin dealership introduced out a few high-end automobiles to showcase, together with the DBX…


And this loopy Aston Martin Vantage Roadster with an enormous twin-turbo V12 up entrance.


However the greatest shock of the occasion for me was seeing the outdated Goodsmile Racing BMW Z4 Tremendous GT GT300 race automotive, sporting the best race itasha of all time.


This automotive was in fact piloted by Nobuteru ‘Nob’ Taniguchi again within the day, but it surely now lives within the US.


Anime Matsuri turned out to be a very distinctive and funky present to go to, and seeing how vehicles have discovered a means into this popular culture world made the journey a ton of enjoyable. I actually hope the automotive facet of the occasion continues to develop and extra native and out of state fanatics have a probability to convey their builds out to it.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare

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