The Japanese really like giant isopods. Like, really.* Recently there was a lot of buzz around an iPhone case shaped like a super-realistic giant isopod; from what I can gather it was released to commemorate the death of “No. 1,” a giant isopod residing at the Toba Aquarium which gained notoriety by refusing to eat for over five years. The Rhubarb Gusokumushi** case was available in gold or silver. Unfortunately, it was also a limited-edition production run of only 500 units and also had the drawback of only being available in Japan.
Fortunately, all is not lost! There’s at least one other giant isopod iPhone case, manufactured by Strapya (also available here). While not quite so detailed as the limited-edition model, it has the advantage of being, y’know, not limited-edition. And also being available outside of Japan. It doesn’t clutch your phone in little spiky legs–a vast disappointment, to be sure–but would probably be a little easier to fit in a purse or pocket.
I suppose if you were feeling particularly resourceful it might be possible to find a cast-plastic model of an isopod (or another interesting creepy-crawly like a lobster, centipede, or spider) and fit a more conventional phone case into its underside. That would largely depend on whether the amusement value of saying, “Excuse me, my spider is ringing” would offset the inconvenience of lugging around an unwieldy, oversize phone. You have to admit that it’d be fairly entertaining to stroll down the street talking into the abdomen of a giant rubber cockroach and acting like you have no idea why anyone’s staring.
Anyway, giant isopods. Neat.
*It’s a little unclear why they’ve so caught the Japanese imagination; asking Google mainly brought back giant isopod hot dogs, giant isopod plush toys (through which I discovered that there are a bunch of stuffed toys based on Burgess Shale creatures, including Anomalocaris, Hallucigenia, and Opabinia, so that’s neat), and giant isopods sharing a snack. But I also found this list of 18 awesome facts about giant isopods, so let’s just assume that the Japanese simply recognize their intrinsic awesomeness and leave it at that.
**This is what Google Translate insists the name of the phone case is. Searching on that term turns up a lot of hits, but it’s entirely possible that everybody else just ran the same page through Google Translate. If anybody reads Japanese and would care to enlighten us, that’d be swell.