As a staple of entertainment in nightlife and go-to for hanging out in groups in Japan, it's no wonder we've seen so many karaoke chains try to spruce up their stores with side attractions such as rock-climbing karaoke or skateboard karaoke. A recent campaign by Joysound Karaoke, however, seems to be aimed at those who prefer to karaoke on their own, particularly those in need of a duet partner that happens to be a life-size anime character.

For the entirety of November, the Ikebukuro Nishiguchi Park of Joysound will be renting out cardboard cutouts of characters from King of Prism: Pride the Hero, in a series of 12 life-size character cutouts that can be rented for 500 yen for 30 minutes. While anyone can rent the panels and they can be used anyway you wish, Joysound seems to be marketing these "Panel Boys" towards women who karaoke alone or in small groups, and what to experience a party-karaoke experience that includes dashing anime boys. They're also being advertised as "huggable", and customers can pay for a photo op with the cutouts as well.

Most karaoke shops in Japan come stocked with tambourines, props, and sometimes even costumes to let guests have a little extra fun, but these cutouts are essentially being marketed as full-on partners to liven up your karaoke experiences with.

Currently only available at the Ikebukuro Nishiguchi Park location, one might see this as a trial collaboration run, with further campaigns introducing female character cutouts, and even bigger franchises involved.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.