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Sweet with an Aftertaste: The Work of Natalia Fabia

Art, Inspiration, Japan

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Natalia Fabia is an accomplished painter whose work focuses on “hookers”, sultry independent women who are nevertheless real people. Using her friends as reference and painting with an almost obsessive degree of detail Fabia grounds her work . But it’s the reality of Los Angeless , of decadent fantasy made reality: sweet but with an aftertaste.

Check out her official website here.

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Nightmare Landscapes in Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an anime that’s revisited the genre of magical girl anime and taken it to a much darker place. This is reflected in the series distinctive art style; while the normal world is depicted in Shaft’s usual clean style, the girls have to enter nightmarish labyrinths to fight witches.

The trouble taken with the art direction really shows and  each labyrinth has its own distinct look and feel. Unexpected elements are combined and brought together in elaborate collage like images that are both beautiful and disturbing. Even things that should be cute or silly, like moustached cotton balls, become sinister in this environment. It’s sweet surreal eye candy.

 

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Comic Heroes and B-Movies: The Work of Boneface

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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Boneface combines imagery from video games, comics and b-movies to create beautiful work with a bold, pop feel. He’s gotten a lot of attention  with his portraits of beat up superheroes, but his larger portfolio has a lot of other great works as well.

Check out his official website here.

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Extreme Cute: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s PONPONPON

Design, Fashion, Inspiration, Japan

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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (aka Carrie) is a self-made celebrity. She started as a blogger and has quickly rose to fame. She’s now released he first music video  for her début single “PONPONPON”.

The video is an ode to Harakujuku cute, and the quirky celebrity teamed up with  Sebastian Masuda, of the fashion brand 6% DOKIDOKI, to create this eye-popping video. The bright colors and overload of American kitsch are all hallmarks of Masuda’s brand of “extreme kawaii” and blend well with Kyary’s own style of cute with a side of bizarre. The song is also pretty good.

PONPONPON will be featured on Kyary’s debut mini-album “Moshi Moshi Harajuku” (“Hello Harajuku”), which is due to be released August 17, 2011. Till then you can enjoy this video.

Via Tokyo Fashion.

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Beautiful Girls by Range Murata

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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Range Murata is a Japanese illustrator known for the high level of detail and technical skill of his work. He’s also worked as a character designer and done conceptual work for various anime including Last Exile and Blue Submarine No. 6.

Check out his official site here.

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Cute Rooms in Mawaru Penguindrum

Comics, Anime & Manga, Japan

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Mawaru Penguindrum is one of this season’s new anime. I enjoyed the first episode, but more than the plot I can’t help but fall in love with the show’s beautiful artwork. The quirky details make the rooms both adorable and believable.

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Recent Works by Junko Mizuno

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Japan

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I’ve been following Junko Mizuno’s work ever since first being exposed to her work on Japanorama. She’s the queen of the creepy cute or “kawaii noir” and it’s earned her a legion of fans.

These works are from her exhibitions at Gallery  Nucleus including her recent solo exhibition “Flora Delirium”.

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Featured Wallpaper: xxxHolic

Comics, Anime & Manga, Japan

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I’m always struggling to find wallpapers large enough for my monitor. This is one of my favorites featuring the characters from the CLAMP series xxxHolic.

Via Deep Gray Sea.

Japan Trends: Mori Girl

Fashion, Japan

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Mori Girl (lit. “Forest Girl”)  is a new Japanese fashion trend which can be described as “rustic romantic”. It’s an offshoot of Lolita fashion that’s going in the opposite direction to Hime Gyaru. So what does this mean? Well while Hime Gyaru are obsessed with makeup, Mori Girls wear little or none and usually have short nails. They eschew big brands in favor of vintage finds and they’re obsessed with solitary pursuits like reading, baking, antiquing, photography, playing a musical instrument and taking long walks. If you’re still at a loss take a look at their fashion idols Honey & Clover’s Hagu and the beautiful Aoi Yuu.

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Robo Geisha Movie Posters

Japan

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Noboru Iguchi gained popularity after directing the cult classic Machine Girl and is recognised as a master of kitsch Japanese gore films. However Robo Geisha holds a special place in my heart simply because it features a geisha that can transform into a tank. It also scores points for the hilarious trailer.

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