art

Test your Ghibli knowledge: Can you identify the films by these minimalist fan-made posters?

Last month we saw one artist’s interpretation of Studio Ghibli films as super-detailed movie posters. This month though we’re feeling a bit more minimalist, so we want to showcase the work of artist Jackman Chiu. His simple yet impactful poster designs of the Ghibli movies are eye-catching, mysterious, and best of all make for a really good game of Guess That Ghibli Film!

So put on your Ghibli fanboy/fangirl hats and get ready to tally some points and see how many minimalist movie posters you can match with the correct title!

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Village in Taiwan has dozens of anime and children’s characters painted on its houses!【Photos】

Don’t you agree that our surroundings influence our mood? Being in a bright, vibrant environment usually makes one feel more positive and happy, and the positive energy in us in turn has the power to influence the mood of others around us.

A small village in Tainan City of Taiwan has been attracting attention online and attracting visitors because of the cheerful vibes that emanate from its brightly colored walls. With walls covered in colorful paintings of SpongeBob, Totoro, Doraemon and other characters and motifs, there’s no doubt this village must be a happy place!

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Photohoku: helping northeastern Japan rebuild, one picture at a time 【Photos】

After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan, Tokyo-based photographers Brian Scott Peterson and Yuko Yoshikawa were frustrated by the limited impact of volunteer options close to home, so they decided to head up to Tohoku with the vague idea that people in temporary housing might be interested in having family portraits taken.

Clearly, that tapped into an unmet need, because four years later that one-off trip has become Photohoku, a ballooning volunteer organization that takes monthly trips to Tohoku, has gifted over 10,000 instant family portraits, and has even inspired similar groups overseas.

Today, as we remember those who lost their lives in the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami four years ago, we take a brief look at how this truly inspired project continues to bring a little bit of extra sunshine into the lives of those who survived one of Japan’s greatest natural disasters.

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Kiss-signed Japanese calligraphy works on sale, get the paperwork for a second mortgage ready

As you may have noticed, KISS have recently made their way back to Japan and it’s always a treat when they do. This year we’ve already seen them make a well-received cross-genre music video with Momoiro Clover Z and release a line of skin smoothing facepacks with the Japanese cosmetic brand Isshin.

If those weren’t surprising enough, now KISS has collaborated with shodo calligrapher Ryugen Sobukawa for a limited collection of KISS-themed works each autographed by a member of the band.

Oh, and they cost a small fortune…

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Hachiko’s new statue is now open to the public, and we’ve got pictures and video from our visit

Last month, we got our first peek at the brand-new statue of Hachiko, in which Japan’s most famous dog is reunited with his loving master after almost a century apart. But while Hachiko’s legendary loyalty is inspiring, we weren’t waiting 100 years to see the statue for ourselves.

With the piece now installed and open to viewing by the public, we made the trip to the campus of the University of Tokyo, and we’ve brought plenty of photos and video that we shot while looking at Hachiko through both our viewfinder and a constant stream of tears.

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Artist helps “entrepreneurial” Pokemon with clever business logos and concepts

Have you ever wondered what comes next for Pokémon after they’ve evolved to their final stage? Some of them, according to one graphic designer, have ventured away from their Poké-world and entered the small business world.

Pictogram, a graphic design company headed by Sebastiaan de With, created business logos for a variety of Pokémon. Each Pokémon’s “company” is also somehow related to its abilities and comes with a back story. Aside from the amusing concept, the logos themselves are top-notch, so along with us and check them out!.

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In Neo Tokyo this weekend? Check out the bizarre “Bartkira” project exhibition

Think of the two greatest animation achievements in history least likely to go together, and you might come up with an incongruous mishmash of The Simpsons and Akira.

Perhaps precisely because of the way these two animated works (with the exception of “Treehouse of Horror”) couldn’t be further apart from each other in style and execution, the “Bartkira” project – which mixes characters from the series and anime film into each others’ universes and animation styles – has been a huge success.

And it’s coming to Tokyo’s Gallery Hakusen on March 7 and 8; this very weekend at time of writing.

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How to double the value of your $10 car: Spend 30 minutes adding racing stripes!

Some of you may remember the fateful day last spring when our Japanese-language reporter Go bought what was probably the cheapest car in Japan by acquiring his current ride for just 980 yen (US $8.30). Nine months later, not only is his 1997 Mitsubishi Minica still firing on all three cylinders under its hood, but it recently passed its mandatory biennial safety inspection, called shaken in Japanese.

In celebration, Go treated the Minica to a wash for the first time since he drove it back to Tokyo from Nagoya. With a fresh coat of wax, it was looking better than ever, but Go still wasn’t 100-percent satisfied with the car’s appearance. See, Go believes the Mini is just an overall cooler car than the Minica, so he set out to transform the latter into the former using the finest vinyl sheets and magic markers he could find.

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When avant-garde fashion meets human anatomy: introducing the rib blouse

The world of eclectic fashion just got even more bizarre with its newest addition of the “rib blouse.”

Originally designed by Tetzco and fashioned into a three-dimensional, wearable piece of clothing by TRMN, the blouse is designed to mimic the bone structure of the human body, complete with ribs and vertebrae. Feel like wearing your ribs and spine like an exoskeleton? Then this could be the perfect new addition to your closet!

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Possible ISIS threat appears to target Taiwan, infringes on copyright

On 24 February a Twitter account named @KhilafahTimes posted a threatening message to the world apparently on behalf of the extremist group known as ISIS, ISIL, or Da’ish. Although it doesn’t directly name a city, the accompanying image depicts the city of Taipei with the landmark Taipei 101 in flames and several other smoldering buildings.

Also troubling is that despite the brutal acts of violence this group has become known for, their list of offences has just grown even longer. Now they are also guilty of the worst crime known to the MPAA: unauthorized usage of another’s work.

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Artist’s new posters for classic movies will inspire you to watch them all over again

Making movie posters is tough. You not only have to catch the eye of people passing by, but also get them excited and inform them on what the movie is about, all at the same time. When a poster is done well, it can be just as memorable as the movie itself. And when it’s done badly, well, it can be memorable in a different kind of way.

Artist Olly Moss however, whom we’ve met before with his amazing video game-inspired ceramic plates, is a master of the poster medium. He’s recently been picked up by Japanese websites for creating new posters of classic movies, including Studio Ghibli films. Get ready: your nostalgia meter is about to be cranked up to 10, and you’re going to go hunting through your old DVDs very soon.

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Naruto art exhibition coming to Tokyo and Osaka with free, new manga for all attendees

The rumors of Naruto’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Sure, last November marked the end of creator Masashi Kishimoto’s manga, after an amazing 15 years of serialization collected into 72 volumes. But while manga fans no longer get to see their ninja pals in the pages of weekly anthology Shonen Jump, elsewhere Naruto and company have been popping up all over the place.

The anime TV series is still ongoing, and last December’s The Last: Naruto the Movie isn’t as conclusive as it sounds, as there’s another Naruto theatrical feature scheduled for release in August. Then, of course, there’s the highly anticipated stage adaptation of the series.

And if all that’s still not enough for you, there’s an exhibition of Naruto artwork set to open in Tokyo and Osaka soon, with a sneak peak just a week away.

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Stunning montage takes viewers through Japan’s own hidden wine country: Koshu, Yamanashi

With the long Golden Week holiday only a couple of months away, many residents of Japan may well be wondering where best to use their precious vacation days. Tokyo? Kyoto? Perhaps a traditional Japanese hotel? How about Koshu City, Yamanashi Prefecture?

A new video introducing the relatively small city of Koshu might just make people reconsider their travel plans. With stunning views of Mount Fuji, world-famous vineyards, and a wealth of cultural events, Koshu is the perfect place for both escaping the bustle of big city life and getting a glimpse of traditional Japan.

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Anime is real, says Obama, in definitely-not-at-all-faked photos

Well ok, maybe a little bit faked.

Here at RocketNews24, there’s only one thing we like better than badly photoshopped pictures, and that’s brilliantly edited photos that make the President of the United States look like a massive otaku.

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She likes cooking and Final Fantasy; web series brings young woman the gift to end all gifts

Harry’s wand; Luke’s lightsaber; Eren’s 3D maneuver gear. Surely more than a few fans have at some point pictured themselves wielding one of these iconic objects. While some must be content with imagining, others may find themselves the happy owners of something straight out of the realm of fantasy.

Such was the case with one Final Fantasy super-fan named Brittany Walloch. Unbeknownst to her, Brittany’s fiancé got in touch with the minds behind Super-Fan Builds, a popular web series that creates custom items for die-hard film and video game fans. The crafting wizards at Tim Baker Productions then went to work designing a one-of-a-kind gift. Let’s just say chopping vegetables will never be the same.

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“Panchira,” the Japanese word for “panty-shot,” usually conjures up images of creepy guys on the train trying to angle their smartphone cameras under the skirts of schoolgirls. But to be fair, while that’s certainly an unfortunate part of panchira culture, that’s not all there is to it. When panchira is done tastefully, it can be considered art, just like any other form of photography.

To prove that point, “Panchira 2015,” a photography exhibition devoted exclusively to pictures of panty-shots, was held last week, and they recently announced that they had over 20,000 attendees. With the incredible enthusiasm of both the guests and the people running it, it’s not hard to see why.

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High-speed photos of waves remind us of certain famous Japanese wood-block print

It’s almost guaranteed to adorn the walls of every study abroad student in Japan, plus the living room of your worldly, “enlightened” friend that minored in East Asian studies.

Of course, we’re talking about “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” – legendary ukiyo-e woodblock painter Hokusai’s most renowned work that depicts a fearsome-looking wave battering old-timey fishing boats off the coast of Kanagawa, Japan.

With its claw-like foam signaling impending doom for the fisherman and other artistic flourishes, one would think that the wave depicted is strictly artistic license, but one French photographer has captured strikingly similar-looking waves in real life.

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Tenga toy-themed robots take over Valentine’s Day 【Pics】

At first glance, they seem like Transformers, or perhaps unusually flashy Gundam. Then you notice the color scheme, followed by a number of cylindrical trimmings and its unusual shape. “I feel like I’ve seen that somewhere before…” you wonder to yourself. Then it clicks. “Oh.”

While Tenga toys may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks “Valentine’s Day,” some highly imaginative artists capitalized on the romantic holiday to recast the popular adult products as robots. Don’t think of them as mere joke drawings, however; these creations are the real deal. We take a look at some of the spectacular art below.

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From characters to skies, anime tutorial YouTube channel makes an artist out of anyone 【Videos】

Like us, you’ve probably wondered from time to time what life as a badass anime illustrator might be like.

If a life of awesomely detailed backgrounds, fluidly animated characters, chain smoking, and endless cups of instant noodles is something you long for, Japanese anime tutorial YouTube channel, Palmie, is just for you.

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Tokyo artist creates photo-realistic drawings with colored pencils

Hey that’s a nice photograph of a peaceful oasis in Tokyo. Wait, it’s not a photograph? It’s a drawing? Made with colored pencils?!

Ryota Hayashi has been bringing the Nakano Ward of Tokyo to life for the past several years through his breathtakingly realistic colored pencil renditions. He’s recently been getting a lot of attention on social media, and it’s not at all hard to see why.

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