Why does Tokyo have far-wackier concepts than any other show, even Paris? In part, it's because the city is its own crowded planet, one in which designers are challenged to maximize interior space within a small exterior. Many of these cars and tiny vans are designed as rolling apartments for young adults who can't afford to move away from their parents. Add this distinct culture's obsession with gadgets and trends and strict government mandates that encourage small-displacement engines and you have a creative atmosphere much different than in North America or Europe. Here's one more reason: this is Japan letting loose, its stylists allowed to go far beyond designing what is useful and practical. It's art for art's sake, and it's not much different than the Detroit dream cars of the socially repressed 1950s.

Herein, the wackiest from the 35th Tokyo Motor Show, ending with our picks for the most outrageous designs of all.