"DEATH IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ADORABLE."
- user_undefined, reacting to news of Japan's new military mascot, Prince Pickles
A new, bizarre meme is taking Japan by storm! Remember the OS-tans, which depicted Microsoft operating systems as meticulously designed, highly stylized anime girls? And the Gundam Girls, which simplified the highly complex designs of giant anime robots down to cute, swimsuit-like costumes? Well, it was only a matter of time before Japanese military geeks tried their hand at the anthropomorphization craze, and brought us some of the most adorably badass art ever.
This is an M4 Sherman tank, the mainstay of American ground forces during World War II...drawn as a plucky blonde catgirl with aviator goggles. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Toy collectors like oddtodd and saberslashalpha may be pleased to hear that the feisty miss M4 is part of an entire series of figurine kits by artist Shimada Humikane, which depict some of the most iconic military hardware of World War II as cute national-stereotype anime girls. The venerable Soviet T34 tank, which famously brought Hitler's advance into Russia to a standstill, is a defiant little Russian girl with a sloped skirt and a fuzzy hat. The British RAF Spitfire, which made a desperate last stand against the Luftwaffe over the skies of London, is a stoic (and slightly worried?) British lass with two submachineguns, dual propeller-legs, and a "BRING IT, BITCH" expression. (Compare with the cold, grim visage of its natural enemy, the elegant but terrifying Messerschmitt Bf109, which shot down more aircraft than any other plane in the war.) There's even what appears to be a German U-boat, which is extremely silly.
This stuff was made for the gunporn tag.
Notably, there are no Japanese Zero fighters. I guess Humikane felt he was already stepping on toes reminding Japan that World War II happened at all. A depiction of the Zero as a scared, hyperactive little Japanese girl with the Imperial Sun painted across her face and an about-to-explode jet engine on her back probably wouldn't fly with Japanese right-wingers. (So to speak.)
Since "mecha" encompasses not only robots and military hardware, but all technology, imageboard posters have taken things one step further and are starting to anthropomorphize everything. Mozilla Firefox, Cup Noodle, Gibson electric guitars, even the allegedly carcinogenic Pepsi Blue...nothing is sacred.
Even Takashi Murakami has taken notice of the phenomenon; his Brooklyn Museum exhibit features a nearly life-size sculpture of a naked woman transforming into a starfighter (with the vagina being the nose cannon). Worth seeing.
Also, for no reason, have this image of French maids kicking the Boston Dynamics Big Dog a lot.
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