art

Taiwanese illustrator gives Dragon Ball characters bizarre, gender-swapped erotic novel cover makeover

While you may be inclined to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon curled up on the couch, binge-watching Game of Thrones and consuming eight entire pints of Chunky Monkey ice cream (just us?), a certain demographic in Japan would much rather stretch out on the tatami with a nice, wholesome… erotic novel.

See, while the romance novel section of a western bookstore is a lonely wasteland, tucked away in the far corner, illuminated by nothing but a single bulb swinging lazily from the ceiling, erotic novels and manga are comparatively more accepted and, dare we say it, widely read in Japan and a handful of other Asian countries, such that the formulaic cover illustration template that near every publisher of the books seems to use has evolved into a kind of cultural shorthand for cheesy, kinky escapades.

So, let’s keep that in mind as we take a look at this Taiwanese illustrator’s collection of cool, gender-swapped Dragon Ball character book covers. You’re welcome to appreciate the raw talent and attention to detail here, just, uh… remember which section of the bookstore you’d be finding these in if they were real.

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Paint your room in Ayanami Blue with official Evangelion paint

While there’s no way you could call the Evangelion franchise underappreciated as a whole, one part of the anime classic that often gets overlooked is its effective use of color. Add a couple of splashes of green and black to a field of purple, for example, and any fan will instantly think of the show’s central robot, Eva Unit-01.

Likewise, it’s impossible to imagine Rei Ayanami, Evangelion’s most famous female character, without the otherworldly fragile aura imparted by her distinctive blue hair. The color is so iconic that one Japanese paint company has even started selling a new shade, Ayanami Blue, that’s an exact match or Rei’s trademark tresses.

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We go hands-on with “Pictuarium”, the virtual aquarium that brings your doodles to life!

Fish may make low-maintenance pets compared to cats and dogs, but they are still fragile creatures, and you may find that neglecting to clean the tank, forgetting to feed them, or letting their water get too warm in the summer months will send Bubbles to an early, watery grave. Even with utmost care, some fish don’t have very long lifespans, and no one likes saying goodbye to a beloved pet.

Well, now you can forgo the aquarium maintenance and not worry about the heartache, by creating your own invincible fishy friends and bringing them to life through your iPhone with Takara Tomy Arts’ new Pictuarium!

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Collection of retro travel posters proves Japan has always been a cool place to visit 【Photos】

Last year, over 13 million foreign visitors took a trip to Japan. Many of the country’s best attractions, though, are actually hundreds of years old. That means that while they’ve been drawing more international travelers than ever in the 21st century, they were hardly being ignored in the 20th, as shown by this collection of retro-cool travel posters from the early and mid-1900s.

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Artist’s rendition of popular Ghibli movies and more will blow you away

Watching a Studio Ghibli movie always leaves you with a lasting impression. Their skills in storytelling and art create masterpieces for the eyes and the heart. If you were to describe the Ghibli style in a few words, magical, whimsical and playful would probably come to mind. Which is why it’s incredible to see the tone shift in these fantastic pieces of art from AJ Frena.

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Want a souvenir from the ocean? Take part of it home with a realistic resin replica!

We’ve seen some amazing things Japanese artists have created out of resin before, but the one problem with them is just that: they’re too amazing. They’re all miniature masterpieces that you’d be too scared to touch, much less carry around with you.

But now artist and Twitter user @tokibo has come up with a solution: creating beautiful, realistic resin replicas of the ocean that you can put in your pocket to feel like you’re at the beach anytime you want. Skeptical? Take a look at some of the pictures; if they don’t make you feel like you’re in an underwater paradise, then your (unspent) money back!

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Samurai cats look awesome, teach us about Japanese history and culture at the same time

Over the years here at RocketNews24, we’ve brought you news of cats in kimonos, kittens in coffees and sushi cats that fly through the air. So as soon as we stumbled upon a collection of mighty samurai cats being awesome, we knew it was our duty to bring them to everyone’s attention.

These warrior felines wrestle with giant fish and ride on tigers but they also teach us a thing or two about history and pop culture in Japan. Can you guess what famous Japanese movie inspired the group of cats in the image above?

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Want to be a manga artist, but can’t draw backgrounds? Website has environments you can download

If you’re a budding manga creator, odds are you spend most of your time working on your character artwork. That’s probably a wise choice, too, as most famous comic artists focus on drawing their stories’ leads, and hand off work on other details, such as background art, to a team of assistants.

Of course, another reality of being a budding manga artist is that you probably don’t have a publisher bankrolling your comic and paying for the abovementioned team of assistants. But thankfully there’s now a way for you to pour your efforts into story and character art and still produce something that looks polished, thanks to a new Japanese website that sells ready-to-use manga backgrounds.

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Rice field art: Star of Ted 2 appears in Japanese rice field this summer

Summer in Japan means festivals, fireworks and a host of annual events designed to bring people together despite the searing heat. And as the sun beats down on fields across the nation, there’s one special rice paddy that’s slowly taking shape, transforming into a very unique piece of art ready to greet crowds of adoring admirers over the next two months.

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Japanese cat and dog clocks with swishing tails make clock-watching more adorable than ever

Honestly, I’ve never really seen the point in hanging a clock on the wall in your home. Between the time displays on my PC, phone, TV, DVD player, PlayStation, and microwave, I’ve got plenty of ways to tell the current hour and minute without a dedicated timepiece taking up space where I could hang other things, like the California license plate in my living room that simultaneously makes me miss my home state and driving whenever I look at it.

I’m just not convinced that having a wall clock makes your home that much more convenient. However, it can make it a lot cuter, if it’s one of these adorable Japanese dog or cat-shaped clocks with an amazingly lifelike wagging tail.

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PanTea? This pair of granny panties in a teapot can be yours for only 1 million yen!

If you’re like me, then you certainly love gazing at a piece of modern art while sipping white wine out of a vinegar dispenser with a wilted rose floating inside. But if you’re one of those weirdos who doesn’t, then you may wonder why this pair of granny panties soaking in a teapot is on sale with an asking price of 1,081,728 yen (US$8,753).

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Epic Studio Ghibli exhibit to feature 3-D sets, artwork from every Ghibli film spanning 30 years

Regular readers will remember that we recently reported about an exhibit featuring life-size recreations of sets from the most recent Studio Ghibli film, When Marnie Was There. Well, the exhibit has proved to be so popular that they’ve decided to do it all over again, this time in Aichi Prefecture.

But being Ghibli, they can’t just do the exact same exhibit twice. This time, in addition to featuring life-size sets, they’ll also have artwork and props from every single Ghibli film, going back 30 years all the way to Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

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Artist depicts kill count of major Dragon Ball heroes in cool illustrations

Insofar as you can say that a character in the Dragon Ball  universe can really “die” (Krillin has supposedly “died” so many times we’re suspicious he’s actually a Terminator) there have been a lot of major deaths in the franchise, and the large majority of those kills are, unsurprisingly, at the hands of the series’ primary protagonists.

Even though the series is ostensibly a kids’ show, the weighty subject matter, with battles often fought to determine whether or not entire worlds and/or solar systems will be blown up, basically demands that somebody’s gotta give up the ghost once in a while. But it’s hard to get a handle on the true extent of the carnage, given that every major death is typically punctuated by nine episodes of people yelling and grunting.

Now, though, we can finally get an at-a-glance picture of how many kills each hero in the series has racked up, thanks to these neat illustrations by DeviantArtist, Alberto Cubatas.

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Three fantastic Japan-themed exhibits at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts set to end soon

2015 has been a good year for lovers of Japanese art in Boston. The city’s phenomenal Museum of Fine Arts has hosted not just one, but three special exhibitions of Japanese art so far this year, along with its newly restored Japanese garden outside. The most hyped of all of these is an exhibition dedicated solely to Katsushika Hokusai, one of the most important ukiyo-e painters and printmakers of the Edo period who’s best known as the creator of The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

Besides the Hokusai collection, the museum is also hosting a particularly powerful exhibit displaying the work of 17 photographers in the wake of the 2011 Tohoku triple disasters, along with a lighthearted exhibit showcasing prints of some whimsical Japanese toys and games. As all three of the exhibitions are preparing to wind down within the next few weeks after hosting thousands of visitors over the past months, we thought we’d take a moment to share some of their highlights with you!

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Artist’s amazing colored pencil drawings of Tokyo scenes look like actual photographs

Remember the joy of getting a fresh new pack of coloured pencils when you were a kid? The artistic possibilities! You were going to make masterpieces with those things, weren’t you? Unfortunately, coloured pencils are kind of a difficult tool to wield. For one thing, they’re hard to erase, meaning that whatever mistakes you make wind up lasting forever.

But this Japanese artist can make serious magic with nothing but paper and those same humble art supplies. In fact, his artwork depicting Tokyo street scenes looks so photo-realistic, we were almost fooled at first…

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Japan’s Amazon Prime Day sale offering huge discounts on million-dollar artwork and more

Around the world, 15 July is Prime Day over at the online retailer Amazon. This is the day when members of their subscription service Amazon Prime get in on one big sale that they claim is as big as it gets.

And it certainly is looking big, according to a sneak peak of four items that will be on sale come Prime Day. One of them is a set of 12 original works by Final Fantasy artist Yoshitaka Amano valued at 260,000,000 yen (US$2,150,000) on every day except Prime Day!

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Meguro Gajoen, a traditional event space in Tokyo and its stairway of 100 steps

Meguro Gajoen is one of the tangible properties of Tokyo, established in 1931 originally as a venue for wedding banquets. Now all that remains of the original architecture is a series of rooms connected by the “stairway of 100 steps“. In 2009 these rooms were classified as one of the cultural assets of Japan.

We recently visited the establishment to get a look at the traditional party rooms for ourselves, since they were open to the public for a very short window of time and we figured this would be our only chance. We were even permitted to take photos, so come and join us for a guided tour!

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Anime tombstone would let fans keep loving <em>Love Live!</em> even in death

A while back, we took a look at the top 20 anime that fans want to be watching as they leave the mortal realm. But what if it’s not enough to spend the last moment of your life watching your favorite series?

Then maybe what you need is a way to express your love of Japanese animation from beyond the grave…and through the grave, for that matter, with an anime tombstone like the one this craftsman made.

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Venus de Milo gets her arms back thanks to Japanese figure company

Even if you know nothing about classical art, there’s a good chance you’ve at least seen photos of the Venus de Milo, the Greek statue of a lovely woman without arms. With a height of 203 centimeters (6 feet, 8 inches), the statue is larger than life in every sense of the phrase, save her missing limbs. What happened to her appendages remains a mystery to this day, and, we imagine, it will likely continue to be that way for approximately forever.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t imagine what the sculpture looked like! And thanks to FREEing, a Kanagawa-based company, we won’t even have to stretch our imaginations too much, as they’re producing a “Venus de Milo” figure…with arms!

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“Hong Kong is not China” illustrations cause controversy online

A set of infographics claiming to show differences between Hong Kong and China has been attracting attention online – much of it negative.

The striking images, which were created by a Hong Kong artist and posted to the Facebook page of Local Studio HK (本土工作室), cover topics such as cultural differences, politics, habits and censorship. As you might expect, it’s ruffled more than a few feathers.

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