The city of Chiba, in Japan, is home to a real-life superhero who looks almost exactly like the famous Dark Knight of Gotham city.
He even wears Batman’s iconic suit and travels on a custom-made Batpod, but his mission is rather different – to bring happiness to the people of Japan.
‘Chibatman’, as our superhero has come to be known, prefers to keep his identity a secret. But we do know that he’s a 41-year-old local welder who likes to fight crime – or in this case, unhappiness – in his spare time.
While his costume is store-bought, he built the three-wheeled ‘Chibatpod’ himself, with imported parts worth around $5,700.
Photographs of the caped crusader have been doing the rounds on Twitter for the past three years now.
Everytime the citizens of Chiba catch a glimpse of their very own Chibatman, they immediately post a photograph or video of him on various social networks.
Most of these photographs show him behaving like a model citizen – he waits patiently at traffic lights, or stops to chat with people and poses for his fans. That’s pretty much in line with his goal – to keep people happy in the aftermath of the devastating tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.
“I started doing this three years ago,” he told reporters in perfect imitation of batman’s signature raspy voice. “As for my reasons, during the great earthquake, people forgot how to smile. I wanted to help bring the smile back, and that’s why I started.”