art

Shia LeBeouf’s weird “TED Talk” rant reminds Netizens of Japanese celebrity’s similar pep talk

It’s easy to look at (former?) actor Shia LeBeouf‘s weird transition from child actor to adult superstar everyone assumed would be “the next Tom Hanks,” to an aspiring performance artist who wears bags on his head, stares at journalists in silence for hours and gives frightening “motivational speeches” in front of a green screen, and assume that we’re watching yet another celebrity slowly break down and lose his sanity under the public’s constant gaze.

It turns out, though, that weird green screen one – which was later turned into a TED Talk parody by the Internet – actually seemed bizarrely similar to a different motivational speech given on camera by widely loved Japanese celebrity and retired tennis player Shuzo Matsuoka.

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No plans for the weekend? Free CG animation festival is going on in Tokyo 【Videos】

If you were just looking at the clock and smiling because you’ve reached the end of your workweek, but have since switched to frowning and looking at the Tokyo weather report (clouds or rain all week long), cheer up, because it just so happens there’s a great indoor event going on.

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2015 kicked off earlier this week, and until June 14 will be showcasing the works of talented short film makers from around the globe at venues in Tokyo and Yokohama. Best of all, admission is free, and today we’re taking a peek at some of the festival’s amazing computer animated shorts that are screening this weekend.

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Craftsman combines old and new with Naruto-meets-Yukio-e woodblock print

We think it’s probably a safe bet that fans of Naruto and fans of traditional Japanese culture have a fair amount of overlap.

Naruto, after all, features ninjas flipping around in the air and throwing fireballs and whatnot, which is pretty much what we’re told old-timey Japan was all about. Well, that and, like, crazy, swelling tsunami waves so epic that artists felt the need to document them in Japan’s famed woodblock prints.

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Miyazaki-inspired prints are gorgeous mashup of pop and traditional Japanese art

According to his online profile, when freelance illustrator Bill Mudron is not working on stuff that pays the bills, he “draws ridiculously nerdy stuff that he wants to hang on his walls but hasn’t been made yet by anyone else.” I don’t know about ridiculously nerdy, but he’s definitely not the only one who’s going to want to decorate with these Hayao Miyazaki-inspired illustrations in Japanese woodblock style.

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Absolute territory for ponytails just might be Japan’s newest pinpoint fetish

Sometimes, you can’t help but be impressed with the laser-like precision shown by admirers of the female form in Japan. Take, for example, the county’s fascination with zettai ryoiki. While it literally means “absolute territory,” it actually refers to the strip of exposed skin on the upper thighs between the top of knee-high socks and the hem of a skirt or shorts, and the less-is-more approach to sexiness that some find more effective than just showing off the whole leg with a plain old miniskirt of pair of short shorts.

As appreciation of zettai ryoiki has spread, we’ve seen a number of variations, including its equivalents in men’s and robot fashion. Now, zettai ryoiki is expanding into untested territory, with one artist’s proposal of what constitutes ponytail absolute territory.

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Picture this: a collection of illustrations created from Nintendo’s Splatoon video game

Released only a week ago, Nintendo’s Wii U game Splatoon has definitely been leaving its mark. The hugely popular video game challenges players to a splatter turf war competition as they attempt to ink out their enemies paintball-style in a virtual world.

In a twist to the game’s premise, Splatoon has been drawing a following on Twitter as creative users are turning the tables and posting sketches created inside the game.

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The Ramen Poster, a cute and unique way to show off your love of Japanese cuisine

Who doesn’t love ramen? Not only has this famous Japanese noodle dish won the hearts of many Asian cuisine aficionados, but its instant variety has long been the top pick by college students for satisfying the munchies during late night study binges.

If you, too, consider yourself a ramen lover or know someone who is, we urge you to check out The Ramen Poster by an American artist who has taken her love of hot noodles in broth to the next level.

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Art Aquarium returns to Tokyo with goldfish, beautiful lighting, soothing sounds, delicious sake

As the weather starts to get warmer in Japan, many people will cope by cranking up the air conditioner. But there’re also traditional options for beating the summer heat, such as whipping out a folding fan, and also psychological cooling tricks such as listening to the soothing sounds of a wind chime or taking a few moments to gaze at a tank of water filled with gracefully swimming goldfish.

If that last idea sounds like your kind of thing, you’re in luck, as the Art Aquarium exhibit is returning to Tokyo this July with its unique combination of artistic displays, DJ performances, fine sake to sip, and late-night viewings of aquatic life.

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Awesome Dragon Ball illustrated opinion sheet at university co-op gets equally artistic answer

Universities in Japan typically have a co-op (seikyo) system offering various services to students, including on-campus stores where a wide range of products, from box lunches to everyday stationery items and even electronic appliances in some cases, can be purchased.

It so happens that at these shops, communication between students and the shop staff is encouraged, in particular through opinion sheets which students can fill in with requests or questions. These sheets are usually posted on a message board in the shop with the staff’s response, and one particular opinion sheet containing a very artistically presented request and an equally visually impressive reply has recently been shared on Twitter to the amusement of many internet users.

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Can you spot this art mistake that turns sports anime Prince of Tennis into a horror story?

For many who grew up watching western cartoons on TV, their first experience with anime can make the world of Japanese animation seem impossibly dynamic and artistic. But while anime usually boasts more complex designs, varied perspectives, and generally more polished visuals than its western counterpart, it’s not like Japanese animation is a purely artistic endeavor. As with any other commercial product, the final quality of the project is limited by time and budget constraints.

In other words, sometimes mistakes turn up in the art, like this subtle yet chilling gaffe one Prince of Tennis fan spotted.

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Speak up! Japanese art-sharing site Pixiv now lets you try your hand at voice acting too

If you’re a budding illustrator, there are a number of artwork-sharing sites on the Internet where you can post your creations for all the world to see. Being based in Japan, it’s no surprise that many of the drawings on website Pixiv reflect Japanese animation art trends, and browsing the site you can find hundreds of gorgeously drawn characters that look like they could be starring in their own series.

But to really complete the anime fantasy, a character needs a voice, right? Thankfully, Pixiv now lets you add voice clips to your illustrations. Not only that, artists can also solicit voice samples from other users, so if you can’t draw to save your life, but have always wanted to dip your toes in the amateur voice acting world, now’s your chance!

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Personified emotions from Pixar’s “Inside Out” get nifty kanji makeover in Japanese posters!

Fans of Pixar are sure to be eagerly waiting the release of the studio’s newest movie, Inside Out (or Inside Head as it’s being called in Japan). The film may have caused a slight stir on the Japanese Internet for having a theme that’s noticeably similar to that of the Japanese manga and movie Poison Berry in My Brain (Nonai Poison Berry), but Pixar’s new offering is bound to draw huge crowds when it comes out on June 19 in the U.S. and July 18 in Japan.

And one thing the movie certainly seems to have going for it in Japan is cool poster artwork. Check out these Japanese posters for Inside Out which feature beautiful kanji calligraphy representing each of the emotions that appear in the movie!

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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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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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