Japanese animation is a bit of a mixed bag nowadays - when it first reached our shores, you could only get hold of Akira and ultra-violent tentacle porn. Nowadays, it's available for all ages and tastes - with TV shows and movies ranging from pre-school simplicity to complex interleaving plotlines.
Pity, then, the poor marketing executive, confused about how to promote the latest DVD release of Naruto - an anime series about "a loud, hyperactive adolescent ninja who constantly searches for approval and recognition" (according to Wikipedia), which comes out today.
Clearly thinking something a little unconventional would bring in a crowd (as well as journalists anxious to fill the pages of the city's many free papers), they've decided to hold a cosplay event at the Virgin Megastore in Oxford Street. What's cosplay, we hear you ask? Well, it's when fans dress up as their favourite character from an animation. So, unless you go to even weirder clubs than we do, this could be your only opportunity this year to see disturbing middle-aged men squeezed into schoolgirl outfits.
If the thought of that is leaving you shuddering, then there are a couple of Japanese bands performing at the event too, which should provide less visual discomfort.
The first volume of the second series of Naruto goes on sale from today. The cosplay event starts at the Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street at 6pm tonight. All attendees get a free gift - early arrivers dressed in cosplay will receive a goody bag. Details here.
The horrifying image comes from chamary's flickr photostream.