If you happen to be cruising down the streets of Chiba in Japan, don't be surprised if Batman suddenly appears in your rear-view mirror

The DC Comics superhero has been brought to life with near-perfection by an unknown 41-year-old welder, who regularly hits the streets of Chiba in a full Dark Knight costume along with his custom-built "batpod" trike motorcycle. The recently dubbed "Chibatman" has become a sensation both in the Japanese prefecture and online, where several photos of him went viral last week. According to a BBC report, Chibatman was created as a way to bring joy in the aftermath of the devastating 2011 earthquakes in Japan. 

“The whole reason I’m doing this is because I want to make people smile when they see me on the road,” he explained to Yahoo! Japan news

So popular is Chibatman, that he's even been given a seal of approval by local police. After a friendly meeting, during which they inspected to make sure his batpod adhered to safety rules and his cape was securely fastened, the police encouraged him to continue his crusade.

“You haven’t done anything wrong,” he recalled the police telling him. “You’re going to keep doing this, right? If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact us any time.”

Check out the BBC report below, which features an awesome moment where the interpreter embraces the same gravely voice as Chibatman. Not to be missed. 

Related on MNN: 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Real-life Japanese Batman a hero for those in need of a smile
41-year-old welder becomes an Internet sensation after photos of him patrolling the streets of Chiba, Japan go viral.