Japan's bullet trains are already the envy of much of the world thanks to their incredible speed and reliability, but I guess nothing exceeds like excess, and now we have themed bullet trains.
It all started with a Neon Genesis Evangelion-themed bullet train that entered service late in 2015 and will discontinue its run in May 2018. It's packed with all the giant robot vs. aliens hotness one could ask for, but the Japanese are never ones to rest on their laurels and have decided to up the ante considerably by creating a Hello Kitty-themed train.
All we have currently are renderings of the train's exterior, but it's safe to say that the pink and bows theme will carry over to the train's interior much as the exterior color scheme of the Evangelion train did to its interior. We'd also be shocked if there wasn't a veritable boatload of Hello Kitty merchandise available for purchase in addition to the total Sanrio-ization of all the food wrappers, drink containers, etc.
The train will enter service on June 30th and will make daily round trips between Shin-Osaka Station in Osaka Prefecture and Hakata in Fukuoka Prefecture. The train will also play host to a big Hello Kitty doll, which passengers can opt to pose with for photos.
While the Hello Kitty train will be new to Japan, Taiwan already got a high-speed pink cat-not-cat express train in 2016. Given just how cute and pink everything involved in that train was, we're pretty sure you'll need sunglasses just to tone down the twee inside the Japanese version.
Representatives for Sanrio's Shinkansen anthropomorphic bullet train characters could not be reached for comment, but we think it's safe to assume that they are pissed about this encroachment on their IP territory and that a Japanese cartoon turf war is imminent.
Update 5/18 3:14 P.M.: This article has been updated with the train's projected start date and new images.