The iconic Starbucks mermaid is an instantly recognisable commercial symbol, up there with McDonald’s golden arches or Nike’s tick. But don’t you get a little bored sometimes with the same old face peering back at your from the cardboard sleeve lovingly hugging your steamy cup of joe? One artist decided to jazz up the old mermaid design using black pen, featuring everyone from Dragon Ball‘s Goku to The Legend of Zelda‘s Link, and the results are kind of awesome!
4 days ago
Hyungkoo Lee looks beneath the skin of a whole host of Disney and Looney Tunes characters, imagining what their skeletons might look like underneath.
But the Seoul-based artist doesn’t stop at building these realistic-looking constructions. He then displays them in character, giving us a series of tableaux in which Tom chases Jerry, Sylvester reaches out for a flying Tweety Bird, and the Road Runner is (true to form) perpetually running. It’s like a dinosaur museum…with fictional characters.
Sure, they’re pretty creepy and bound to upset small children, but we’re too impressed to care.
4 days ago
The key difference between being an idol singer and a pop diva is warmth. Even if you’ve got perfect pitch and unshakable rhythm, if you want to succeed as an idol, you still need a heart-melting smile. Really, as long as you’ve got the smile, idol fans will even cut you a lot of slack on not having the other two.
So it’s a little unusual to gaze upon this trio of anime idols and feel a chill run down your spine, and not just because they’re made of snow.
Sixteen-year-old Yap Hanzhen of Malaysia apparently suffered through a childhood in which even the most simple of communications was difficult. Hanzhen’s parents say he barely spoke through most of his adolescence.
Like many children who display difficulties communicating during early development, Yap turned out to have a form of autism – a fact that his parents struggled to convince doctors and child psychologists, who were apparently quick to presume simple bad parenting as the source of young Yap’s speech difficulties.
In taking the special needs care of their young son into their own hands, Yap’s parents gave him a sketch book and pencil to help him associate thumbnail drawings with words for everyday objects, inadvertently nurturing a latent talent that would eventually see Yap touring the world, showing off his extraordinary drawings.
Art can appear in the strangest of places and what qualifies as art is as wide and as varied as the works themselves. So, what about a city? Can a city be art? You might not think so, but artist darwinfish105 is about to prove you wrong with his breathtaking shots of Tokyo.
You are about to see the largest city in the world change into a futuristic technological metropolis. In addition, all of this is accomplished with just a camera and some mirrors.
6 days ago
Like clockwork, every winter I get a serious bout of home-sickness. It’s usually triggered by a call or email from someone back home telling me about taking a drive with the top down, watching football on ordinary broadcast TV, going out for some Vietnamese sandwiches, or one of the other things I miss about life in Los Angeles.
“But,” I remind myself, “Japan has lots of cool things too! Where else can you go to the museum and see massive collections of samurai armor, huh?”
Oh, right now you can do that at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art? Touché, L.A.
Chilly January is drawing to a close and that means that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Here in Japan, Valentine chocolates are big business, which means shops pull out all the stops to create delicacies as easy on the eyes as they are sweet in your mouth. We’ve picked our favorites for this year, so whether you are buying for your lover or yourself, check out these dainty nibbles!
Jan 22, 2015
The world is full of amazingly talented artists – people who can take ordinary everyday objects and make something extraordinary. Without question, Japan has its own fair share of talent, what with high school students creating beautiful murals with nothing but a stick of chalk, artists sketching insanely detailed drawings using a simple ball-point pen, and the awe-inspiring snow sculptures that are constructed at Sapporo’s snow festival each year.
Now, we have insanely detailed, hand-carved stamps made from erasers setting the internet abuzz.
Jan 19, 2015
If you’ve been following behind-the-scenes entertainment news for a while, you’ve probably heard the reputation that animators have as low-paid peons that, despite providing a valuable and necessary service for both the obvious animated films as well as any movie that relies heavily on computer animation, often get paid meager wages and work hellishly long hours.
Some, then, might reverse that logic to assume this is all because animators are basically the burger-flippers of the entertainment world; cranking out a desirable product through simple, mindless repetition. Hence the low pay, right?
Well, if this Touei Animation employment exam “question” – among myriad other evidence – shows us anything, it’s that animation is hard work that requires creativity, sure, but also a fair bit of mental agility in addition to all those long hours.
Do you know what the creator of Naruto, Masahi Kishimoto, looks like? How about Hello Kitty‘s artist, Yuko Shimizu? Despite their drawings being prevalent all over the world, most people have probably never seen the true faces of these famous artists. With this in mind, amateur artists around Japan have been tweeting #イラストと描いた人 (an illustration and the artist who drew it), including their own picture beside a work of their art.
Unfortunately, a lot of people choose to hide their faces behind cosplay masks, editing techniques or just facing away from the camera. Some don’t even post a real photo! However, the artist behind the really cute drawings above decided to post a real, unhindered picture, but it might not be what you’re expecting…
Our fingers are each a special snowflake, the ridges and whorls on the pads creating a unique pattern that sets us apart from anyone else. Criminals go to great lengths to make sure not so much as a pinky touches the scene to leave incriminating evidence, but if they get careless and leave a print behind perhaps they could give some of the following disguises a try.
Jan 15, 2015
Naoko Tachibana is a photographer and professional ‘josou’ specialist who has helped over 1,000 men to try out crossdressing, giving styling and fashion advice as well as shooting stunning photos of the completed transformation. And josou itself – male to female crossdressing – is the theme of a new solo exhibition of Tachibana’s photographic work, which opens at the Vanilla Gallery in Ginza, Tokyo this month.
Join us after the jump for a peek at the promotional shots for the exhibition, featuring Ladybeard and more!
Jan 15, 2015
Some rather peculiar, sticker-altered street signs have been popping up in Osaka or Kyoto over the last month. The eye-catching addendums are the work of French guerrilla artist Clet Abraham, who has done similar projects around the globe. While local residents are largely bemused, the police are not at all amused and are investigating whether charges can be filed.
Jan 14, 2015
As we’ve already seen photobooks and exhibitions dedicated to images of women wearing knee-high socks underwater and a calendar that simulates flipping up a skirt, it should come as no surprise that there is a photo exhibition dedicated to “panchira” (the Japanese term for “panty-shot“) opening in Tokyo next month.
Jan 13, 2015
Tao Liu has a knack for capturing split-second moments that reveal funny configurations or striking parallels, and embody the essence of the hectic and haphazard Chinese streets where he and countless others live and work.
His work has gone viral in China, and is now spreading across the world thanks to people sharing his images across the net. Street photography is about capturing poignant and fleeting points in time, which say something about the human condition, even if that something cannot be put into words, and Tao Liu’s photographs speak across languages and cultures.
Jan 12, 2015
For most of us growing up in the US in the early 2000s, there was one thing we looked forward to after school: episodes of Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon. While DBZ glued us to the TV with its excruciatingly long but always awesome fight scenes, Sailor Moon gave us powerful girls with prism power. These shows were the gateway to the land of anime, where love, sacrifice and training for more power had us positively transfixed for more hours than I’d care to count.
Is it any wonder that there is an entire fandom dedicated to Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon crossovers? What’s the story behind the Saiyans and the Sailor Soldiers? Do these two series secretly belong together? Find out this time on Dragon Sailor Ball Soldiers…Z!
Jan 8, 2015
While I was growing up, my family never got that involved in the discussion over whether the idolization of Disney princesses is a healthy thing or not. With three boys and no girls in the family, most of my parents’ time was instead channeled towards more immediate topics like telling their sons not to aim for the face during their regular battles in the backyard with their stockpiled arsenal of plastic battleaxes and broadswords.
As an adult, I can sort of understand both sides of the debate. On one hand, a little fantasizing seems harmless, and in and of itself, there’s nothing inherently wrong with little girls being drawn to such trappings of the princess lifestyle as a luxurious home and elegant clothes. On the other hand, criticisms about overemphasizing the value of comfort and beauty have some validity too, as if left unchecked those desires can turn into sloth and vanity.
As a matter of fact, one talented artist thinks Disney’s leading ladies make excellent stand-ins for all of the seven deadly sins.
Jan 8, 2015
All through high school and for the first part of college, I didn’t use Microsoft Word, or any dedicated word processing software, for that matter, to write my reports. Instead, I did everything using Lotus 1-2-3, a spreadsheet program.
While that might sound incredibly inconvenient, it actually wasn’t too bad. Having a dad who’s an accountant and was well-versed in the program was a big help, but once I got the hang of it, I could produce written reports just about as easily as my Word-equipped classmates.
Still, my spreadsheet skills aren’t in the same league as Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi, who’s been making beautiful landscapes and portraits with Microsoft Excel for years, including a New Year’s card that’s just as cute as any made with paint and brush.
Jan 7, 2015
Nail art is something that’s increasingly popular among Japan’s ladies due to the fact that it’s an easy way to express your individual style. As well as DIY-ing it at home with 100 yen store nail polishes and nail stickers, you can also get reasonably affordable yet super-durable gel manicures in a salon which are set by UV light and last for at least a month. Nail art trends tend to come and go depending on the season and whatever’s in style, but occasionally there’s a “boom” for a certain kind of design, with more and more people jumping on the bandwagon. First came anime nail art, and now it’s the turn of traditional Japanese performance art, Kabuki!
The beautiful and imposing samurai armour from the Warring States period (sengoku jidai) still fascinates people today, and there are historians who have dedicated their lives to finding out as much about ancient warfare as possible. We know that warriors often rode horseback, but did samurai also use armoured cats and mice in their epic battles?!
- Woman’s best friend: Possibly the sweetest photos of a grandma and her cat you will ever see1
- Friends too busy to go to the Pokémon Cafe? No problem! Pikachu himself will sit with you2
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time3
- Do clothes make the man or the man make the clothes? Japanese Twitter user tries to find out4
- Japanese wasp-filled crackers: Their sting is far worse than a bite5
- Is Japan’s “Daughter in a box” a myth?【Myth-Busters Series】6
- The first videos ever shared on YouTube & Niconico leave us feeling rather… confused? 【Videos】7
- This ‘Rock Climbing’ ramen will make a man out of you!8
- The cat hairband, for when cat ears just aren’t enough9
- Power of soybeans turns Bean-Throwing Festival into sexy action flick in awesome commercial10
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”1
- No more photo retouches! New makeup for cosplayers claims to create photo-perfect skin2
- The cat hairband, for when cat ears just aren’t enough3
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time4
- Cross-dressing Cosplay Idol Group a Huge Hit in China5
- Cross-dressing talent Matsuko Deluxe: AKB opening the Tokyo Olympics “would embarrass Japan”6
- Chinese netizens left reeling after father of slain Japanese hostage apologizes to the public7
- Attack on Titan’s Universal Studios Japan attraction opens8
- Do clothes make the man or the man make the clothes? Japanese Twitter user tries to find out9
- Fushigi Yugi stage adaptation gets cast and schedule as Mysterious Play becomes a real one10
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”1
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing2
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】3
- Internet ready to shut up and take your money as preorders finally start for Cat Ear Headphones4
- Edo era Samurai were pretty gay5
- Ugly-cute makeup genius feeds off negative troll comments on Twitter6
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time7
- Teacher draws over students’ doodles to make red pen masterpieces8
- Photos of people lining up outside of the Sapporo Apple Store make us feel positively frozen9
- Netizens hatch adorable baby birds from supermarket eggs, provide evidence10
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”1
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood2
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin3
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours4
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】5
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school6
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”7
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing8
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises9
- Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit10
- Is Japan’s “Daughter in a box” a myth?【Myth-Busters Series】
- The first videos ever shared on YouTube & Niconico leave us feeling rather… confused? 【Videos】
- This ‘Rock Climbing’ ramen will make a man out of you!
- The cat hairband, for when cat ears just aren’t enough
- Power of soybeans turns Bean-Throwing Festival into sexy action flick in awesome commercial
- Forget shuriken: 10 stealthy and dangerous ninja tools you didn’t know existed
- Side-boob Shirt is the useless evolution of last year’s Boob Turtleneck
- Tokyo Disneyland raising admission, because it’s the Happiest Place on Earth, not the cheapest
- Ninja-cats are hiding in homes around the world and we have 20 photos to prove it
- From San-X to Attack on Titan, yummy cake rolls take over Bean-Throwing Festival’s sushi custom
- Steam Garden: Tokyo’s steampunk festival might be better than a Victorian time machine
- First Kit Kat Chocolatery shop with cafe opens in Kyoto! New Chocolatery items released too
- Kitties, doggies, bunnies, and deer – even more stuff balanced on Japan’s pets!