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Artificial Intelligence: Japan installs its first LED illuminated manholes with anime motifs

Tokorozawa, JapanA Japanese city neighbouring Tokyo has spruced up its manhole covers with fans' favourite anime characters.

Since August 1, manhole covers across the city were illuminated with solar-powered LED lights in designs borrowed from popular anime television series such a "Neon Genesis Evangelion" and "Gundam", the city's Waterworks and Sewerage department said. The 27 designs that cover a total of 28 manholes were installed by a Japanese publishing firm and were specifically made to drum up anticipation for the November opening of the city's new entertainment complex "Tokorozawa Sakura Town". 

The designs can be found on manholes stretching from the local Higashi Tokorozawa train station and light up from 5:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. in the morning every evening. Residents such as 22-year-old Kotaro Kodaira said they made daily commutes enjoyable.

"I can look at them on the ground so the (walk) time seems shorter than before," he said. City officials said they hope the illuminated manhole covers will help minimize crime and contribute to the neighbourhood's safety at night.

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