If you're a Southern California local, or at the very least follow SoCal car culture in print and digital media, then you're well aware of the Nisei Week car show. It's been around for almost two decades and runs in conjunction with the annual Japanese-centric Nisei Week Festival in Little Tokyo, which is the longest-running cultural event in Los Angeles and has over 80 years on its resume.
The car show has seen its fair share of tough times, but year after year it brings out groups of long-term participants and a handful of newcomers. In an attempt to keep up with current trends, the event collaborated with stance enthusiasts in recent years, but this year took the reins back and focused efforts toward a very niche group of fans. Dubbed the Super Sugoi x Dekocar Nisei Car and Anime Art Show (for sure, shorten that up a bit), itasha-themed cars were seen throughout the event. If you're not familiar with itasha, it refers to builds that incorporate livery based on anime, manga characters, and video games.
Though the theme of the event was based around anime design, not all of the cars in attendance wore the specific look. Many of the cars on hand were more traditional, and in terms of variety this year's event seemed to have plenty to offer. A mix of street, show, and track-oriented builds, as well as mini-trucks, lifted off-road vehicles, and more made their way to the Nishi Hongwanji parking lot in downtown L.A.
For years, the Nisei show's future seemed to be in question. Whispers about each year's event being its last grew louder and eventually became a topic of conversation, but in more recent years that talk has slowed greatly. The group's efforts to keep the event relevant and fresh haven't gone unnoticed, and if nothing else, this year's celebration offers a glimpse into an automotive style you might not have ever been properly exposed to.
Beyond the loud, complex livery lies an RSX on Advan TC III's with a massive, chassis-mounted rear wing and extended diffuser.
Aired out and spotless top to bottom, this Lexus sedan made sure the VIP movement was accounted for in Little Tokyo.
His and hers S-chassis couple
Rather than anime themes, these S2000s ravaged the Mugen and Spoon parts catalogs to complete their builds.
The number of modified trucks seems to be increasing at car shows. This example represents IMG of San Diego.
A strictly Japanese car gathering in its early days, Nisei, like almost all cars shows, has seen an influx of European cars like this BMW coupe on Work Wheels.
Forget the livery and the niche market for a moment and take in this group of 90s heroes. The NSX, Supra, and FD RX-7 simply refuse age.
And there were plenty of other NSXs to view, as well.
Nisei Car Shows have always brought out some old-school classics, like this green Corona on Hayashi Mesh...
... And this incredibly clean and tastefully modded Corolla.