art

Tokyo illustrator’s animated GIFs will get you up and excited about everyday life

Sometimes it’s hard to get your butt in gear. The regular old mundane chores in life just aren’t that inspiring. Don’t you wish you could inject a little bit of excitement into your daily life? Perhaps a little magic?

Luckily, we have found an artist from Tokyo that captures our dull and dreary moments and spices them up with a bit of artistic flare. These whimsical and playful animated GIFs will get your engines running for the day, or trap you as you stare endlessly captivated by their movement.

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Meiji-era vision of Hell is not at all frightening, actually kind of cute

Depicting the horrors of hell through art is a tradition in Buddhism that goes back at least 1,000 years in Japan. By depicting the suffering in store for sinners, the artworks were supposed to scare people onto the straight and narrow.

But if that’s what this late 19th century scroll was for, it might have had the opposite effect. We’ve never seen such a cute hellscape!

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Japanese dance group combines the traditional and modern with cool “Asia’s Got Talent” performance

If a recent spate of performances by Japanese dance groups, “talent” stars and other Japanese artists who brought the house down on Western television is any indication, the west may finally once again be catching on to “Cool Japan” – that tagline the country’s tourism board wants so desperately to sell abroad – after a long hiatus.

Of course, we all know and adore Baby Metal by now, Hatsune Miku had that awkward appearance on Letterman (which arguably may have hurt Japan’s pop culture image more than anything) and our adorable friend Mininja seems poised for foreign fame any day now, but that’s just scratching the surface of Japanese performers catching on abroad. And the number of artists waiting in line for their chance to shine in foreign lands is only growing, as evidenced by an increasing number of Japanese hopefuls on shows like Asia’s Got Talent, such as this super cool dance troupe hailing from Tokyo who recently brought the house down on the show.

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Famed art director Nizo Yamamoto exhibition open in Tokyo – but you’ll need to be quick

If six exhibitions weren’t enough for your Studio Ghibli pilgrimage around Japan, RocketNews24 has another one to add to the list. If you’re a fan of Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke and The Girl Who Leapt through Time then you better pack your bags and head to Tokyo quick, because this exhibition is only open for 10 days.

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Edo Period porn exhibit proves human mating habits remain unchanged for hundreds of years 【NSFW】

If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed over the course of human history, it’s humans. Sure, we like to pretend that we’re above nature and instincts by carrying around fancy phones and sending people into space, but when it really comes down to it, we’re all still mostly interested in the same exact same thing that humans thousands of years ago were interested in.

If you need further proof, then check out the upcoming Shunga Exhibit in Tokyo of erotic Edo Period woodblock prints. The pictures on display there aren’t too far off from what the Japanese adult media world produces today. Just be sure your boss isn’t looking over your shoulder while you get your Japanese history lesson, because these pictures are not safe for work!

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DBZ’s Android saga re-imagined in cheesy but awesome science fiction form

For a lot of us growing up, watching anime on Cartoon Network after school was our version of science fiction pulp stories from the mid-1900s. Given that pulp fiction and anime share some commonalities, it’s a bit odd that they haven’t been mashed-up more often. If the results turn out as good as this Dragon Ball Z x science fiction-style book covers, more artists should be looking to pair the two up.

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A whimsical Ghibli-like world captured in beautiful GIFs you can stare at all day

We talk about Hayao Miyazaki all the time here on RocketNews24, but that’s because the worlds that he created in his films are timeless and fascinating masterpieces. It’s easy to say that his work has inspired thousands of creative individuals around the world who look to him when making their own pieces of art.

That’s what artist SPARROW, who posts her work on Tumblr, seems to do and her animated GIFs are a real treat for anyone looking to lose themselves in Ghibli or Ghibli-like worlds. Join us after the jump for a beautiful tour of her magical GIFs and more!

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Korean actor gets the “sauciest” makeovers in his life, thanks to Lotteria’s tray sheets

You know how fast food joints typically line their trays with disposable tray papers? Well, perhaps some of these fast food chains have yet to realize, but printing a person’s face on them might not be the brightest idea. Or, it could be the best idea ever!

Think along the lines of free entertainment after meals! Check out these saucy makeovers the creative fast food goers in Korea gave this dude on the tray liner!

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“Pop” daruma dolls so popular you’ll have to wait three years to get one

Daruma are a kind of roly-poly wishing doll in Japanese Buddhism. You draw one eye in while making a wish, and then fill in the other when your wish comes true. Given their sweet purpose and blob-like shape, traditional daruma are already pretty charming, but a woodcarving shop in Kagawa Prefecture has found a pop makeover makes them even more attractive, so much so that there is a 3-year waiting list to get one!

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Combine your love of Godzilla, ukiyo-e and fashion with these fresh kicks from TeeFury

Recently, we brought you the news that you can now view an online animated sketchbook version of works by famous Japanese Ukiyo-e artist Hokusai. But what if you’re not content just looking at beautiful art online? What if you could see it every time you look down at your feet? Well, with these awesome printed sneakers from TeeFury.com, you can get some culture into your wardrobe while still looking cool!

Oh, and as an added bonus, they’ve stuck Godzilla’s ugly monster mush into the design, too!

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Young Japanese artist crafts exquisite animal-shaped candy at his shop in Asakusa

Remember those traditional Japanese sweets from last summer that were simply divine? Oh, and let’s not forget those cupcakes that were almost too beautiful to eat!

Japan sure knows how to elevate its food to an unparalleled level of art, and today we’d like to introduce you to the works of another master Japanese craftsman of sweets. His life’s passion is creating exquisitely detailed animal-shaped candy, which are so astoundingly intricate that it probably won’t be long before a museum asks to put them on display!

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Stirring animated version of Hokusai paintings is like watching anime from the Edo period 【Video】

If there’s one Japanese artist just about everyone is familiar with, it’s Hokusai. Even if they don’t know the late Edo-period painter by name, his landscape series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji is instantly recognizable, with The Great Wave off Kanagawa and South Wind, Clear Sky, better known as Red Fuji, perhaps the most famous works in all of Japanese painting.

Hokusai passed away in 1849, meaning he never got the chance to work in the mediums of motion pictures. Had he been born a bit later though, and had the desire to move into animation, perhaps the result would have looked a little something like this video.

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Tokaido ukiyoe series by Hiroshige now free to share, we celebrate with five favourites

Lovers of Japanese art and history will be familiar with the world-famous set of ukiyo-e woodblock prints known as “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido.” Created in the 1800s by famed artist Utagawa Hiroshige, the collection is a series of landscape paintings from each of the post stations on the ancient coastal walking route from Edo (Tokyo) to Kyoto and is frequently praised for the way it captures the spirit and essence of old Japan.

While the masterful works have garnered fans around the world, when it comes to sharing the images online, things haven’t been so easy. Now, limitations have been lifted and the beautiful series is free to share without copyright restrictions. What better way to celebrate the good news than to share some of the best with you, our dear readers?

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Warning! You may never see drawings of cherry blossoms the same way after this

What do you see when you look at the Batman logo? To most people, it’s clearly a black bat, spreading its wings against a yellow background. But others interpret the design a little differently. To them, it’s a set of yellow teeth and tonsils staring back from the inky darkness of a gaping mouth.

Surprisingly, what works with bats apparently can work with sakura, too, as one Japanese Twitter says that instead of a single cherry blossom, the etching on this manhole cover looks like a cluster of five cute surprises.

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You know what? An Alice in Wonderland/Spirited Away mashup actually kind of works!

Artist and T-shirt designer Saqman, who, despite his pen-name inadvertently reminding this writer of genitals, actually seems like a pretty wholesome guy, recently put together this spiffy and kind of spookily appropriate-looking mashup of Spirited Away and Alice in Wonderland, and it really works on a level we never really thought about!

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Book shows the art of the Hayao Miyazaki Pippi Longstocking anime we never got

Sometimes they might be princesses, and other times they might be fish, but a recurring theme in the works of anime legend Hayao Miyazaki is “resilient, strong-willed girl gets tangled up in an adventure.”

But no matter how many times he goes to that well, Miyazaki always seems to come up with something unique. The character arc of Castle in the Sky Laputa’s Sheeta is different from that of Spirited Away’s Chihiro, which is again unlike the one which little witch Kiki goes through in starting her fledgling delivery service.

So it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed that there’s one plucky heroine Miyazaki never got to bring to life in anime form: Pippi Longstocking. Thankfully, there is a book that details the plan to do so and shows some of the imaginative concept art Miyazaki created for his anime that never was.

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Look again! This isn’t a drawing, it’s an amazing mecha model! 【Photos】

One of the things that separates great comic artists from merely good ones is the ability to apply screentone. By using sheets of flexible material that transfer ink to a flat surface, such as paper, a skilled artist can add texture and shadowing effects beyond those achievable with ordinary line art.

But while the technique is generally used to make a flat drawing look a three-dimensional object, it turns out the opposite is possible too, as demonstrated by these amazing photos of a model kit colored with screentone to look like exactly a 2-D manga sketch.

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Amazing Japan Model Expo shows off creations creepy, cute, and undeniably gorgeous

It’s no exaggeration to sat that Japan is the plastic model capital of the world. There’s a tiny decorative version of pretty much anything you can imagine, from Gundam figures covered in actual moss to build-your-own gyoza.

To celebrate their love of all things models, Amazing Japan Model Expo 2015 invited model-crafters and sculptors from all over Japan to show off their goods built from a variety of materials, not just plastic. “Amazing Japan Model Expo” may be a bit of a silly name, but once you take a look at some of the incredible detail in these models, you’ll see that they easily lived up to the “amazing” part of the promise.

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The Mother’s Day portraits at 7-Eleven in Japan are amazing…and hilarious!

For many of us, Mother’s Day is just around the corner. We’re sure you’ve already got a present picked out, but just in case you forgot, here’s a friendly reminder: Get your mother something nice to say thank you for wiping your butt when you were a baby!

Of course, we’re not the only ones getting ready to celebrate Mother’s Day. 7-Eleven Japan is also making the most of the holiday with their annual Mother’s Day art exhibitions. While most of the drawings are done by young children, some of them are impressive illustrations by much older artists…and others are just down-right hilarious!

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Check out cool artwork of monsters that could have been in the Godzilla 2014 movie!

Godzilla, the gargantuan dinosaur-like creature that has starred in roughly 30 movies to date, has to be one of the most famous characters to ever come out of Japan. Since its first appearance on the screen in 1954, Godzilla has captured the fascination of fans around the world and has become one of the most recognizable symbols of Japan. Yes, there just seems to be something about Godzilla that we can’t get enough of, and even if you’re not a hard-core kaiju fan, we’re guessing that many of you saw the Hollywood movie that was released last year.

Now, the monster action in that movie was certainly spectacular to look at, but don’t you think it would be interesting to see some ideas for monsters that didn’t appear in the film? Well, that’s exactly what we’re sharing with you here today!

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