Hoozuki no Reitetsu’s Okō, my new favourite female character. I love her class and power on top of her awesome look and the fact she’s a demon. Traditional geisha meets modern lolita, class and innocence meets the devil, she’s the ultimate ying/yang character. Although being fairly new she’s picking up a following already…
Usually I only blog about characters and anime I have seen, Fate/Stay Night however – I am yet to watch. I’ve been recommended it by friends but have never given it a chance; however after seeing these great cosplays of a character called Rider I might start. Character design is a big part of why I and a lot of others watch anime, I tend to like the more obscure edgy looks, rather than the frilly dresses or school uniforms. Rider ticks all the boxes, I only hope the FSN lives up to the style of Rider.
I’ve been back from Japan for 4 days now, and have spent that time going through my images, choosing the final ones and attempting to edit them. I had a very clear image of what I wanted each photo to look like in my mind before I left so the images I came back with didn’t vary much, but thats a good thing, I knew what I wanted and I planned it so much that I didn’t need to shoot any other options. However the poses and slight angles make all the difference so I need to select my finals and start printing them.
All images have had a quick edit to hint more towards the colours desired.
I had high hopes for the magical girl shoot, the location and outfit were my favourites out of all the shoots. Positioning was something I struggled with, finding a pose, I found that the best ones were faceless from behind, the magical girl over looking the city empowered almost ready to fly.
The 3 poses I like the most are…
This pose is quite reflective, it may not be as openly empowering as the two below but it appears as if she is overlooking Tokyo, protecting it.
The two poses above are nearly identical, it’s just a change in position of the arm. I am so used to staring at them both I have no idea which one work better, I will have to spread them around and get some opinions.
Another issue is wether I wanted other people in the shoot too? So I did both. Generally people stayed away if we were shooting so I stood back for a while and let people sit down and then went in their whilst they were sitting. I think the images with the public in add a greater sense of reality, it almost adds a weirdness to the images, asking questions about why the character is doing this in public. Taking the setting from a secluded platform to a tourist attraction.
There is an in between as well, in some images you can see reflections of people, so without being in your face it is obvious that this is a public space. Some of which you can see above.
Any of your thoughts would be very helpful, I have seen the images so much they have lost their initial impact.
Today I was able to scan in large format images of the purikura stickers for my trading cards. All thats left to do is research the aesthetics of trading cards and test out some materials. I am really happy with these images, they are exactly what I had in mind, tacky, sickly, over the top and perfect for trading cards.
All images below ©Daisy Ware-Jarrett
I’m feeling disheartened by the lack of City streets in coventry, I cannot test with skyscrapers and an abundance of light because there is none. So I am on a hunt to find some photo inspiration of Tokyo. I already have a tokyo book with check lists for shoot props and images to make, after this I will have a collection of images for reference. Click the image to see the source.
I feel a bit more at ease that I will be able to find locations and work with more heavy lights than in coventry.
When I think about character design for my protagonist in my final piece one existing character comes to mind. Leeloo from fifth element is the perfect example of a deadpan (not emotionless but glazed over eyes, surreal, uncanny) character who is “an outsider” and has difficulty interacting with our world. Also fifth element as a whole, the concept of the future and the character design really inspires me to be as imaginative and creative as possible.
Another character who inspired me doesn’t play a big part, but the fifth element fans seem to love her. Zorg’s receptionist.
Both characters are meticulously planned, down to the colour of there eyelashes. This is how I want my character to be, colour co-ordinated to create an identity or a brand with every single hair in the right place, doing the right thing. This is just an initial brainstorm of influences, but i’m sure LeeLoo will have a big impact on my final piece.
This fan made video shows the best bits of Leeloo from fifth element:
Video by TheViva11
‘Japanese Schoolgirl confidential – How teenage girls made a nation cool’ – Brian Ashcraft with Shoko Ueda
I bought this book at Hyper Japan in February 2012 just out of interest to read. However there is one chapter in particular which is very relevant to my symposium research project. The Japanese school girl is at the center of Popular Culture and has helped to define Japan as the eccentric, youthful and energetic nation it is today.
Chapter 6 – Art
This chapter gives an insight into the way Japanese school girls are represented within art and photography, including themes of sex, innocence and violence.
The chapter starts by talking about one of Japans most famous modern artists “Mr.” and his role with the school girl.
‘Nobody Dies’ is a short film which embodies all the aspects of the school girl. Teenage girls with airsoft guns depicting war as fun, cute and harmless. It is based on one of his paintings from 2007 called ‘It hurts when it hits the bare skin’. Directly influenced from the role of young women in Anime Mr.’s work has helped push the assumption that the best age for a woman in life is 14/15, no children, no work and no husbands, an idea that to us might seem absurd, but in Japan the pressure of marrying and having children for young women equivalents that of 50’s Britain.
Time out new york describes Mr.’s work and ‘Nobody Dies’…
Mr. is an unabashed fan of otaku, a geek-driven fantasy world whose denizens include pubescent girls with saucer eyes engaging in Lolita-like scenarios. His first solo exhibition portrayed these doll-like cuties as giant candy-colored sculptures that exaggerated their peekaboo innocence. Perhaps to distance himself a bit from Murakami, Mr.’s second solo exhibition, “Nobody Dies,” presents a video starring live girls “discovered” on the streets of Tokyo, along with a series of related photographs and a panoramic acid-hued painting, which seems to depict Akihabara, the massive, arcade-filled Tokyo neighborhood that is otaku’s subcultural epicenter.
The video follows the story of five tween schoolgirls who plan their revenge against a team of punk chicks who beat them in a mock survival game reminiscent of paintball. More than a half hour long, the tedious narrative weaves together silly flashbacks with a plethora of crotch shots. The accompanying photos depict the girls in front of various locales in elaborate costumes—from gingham uniform skirts to fashionista camo—designed by Mr. and Kaikai Kiki. What the viewer is supposed to get out of “Nobody Dies” is anybody’s guess, but if Mr. hopes to entice more than just otaku geeks, he’d better start giving a clue, or his own career may expire.
The next artists which is discussed in the book is Makoto Aida, who’s work I had come across before but only on anonymous bloging sites. As an adult man Makoto Aida is fascinated with the idea of the Japanese school girl.
These artists had grown up after the war, while the process of rebuilding Japan was in full swing. they experienced the rapid ascent of the japanese economy during the heady 1980’s, and came of age surrounded by pop-culutre. They drew inspiration form this-using the language of manga and anime to convey their message.
-page 128/129 Talking about Makoto Aida, Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara.
The book continues to write about how Aida uses the combination of innocence and sex to make his subject feel uncomfortable,.
“At the age of fourteen, I became obsessed with the magical quality young girls have,” he says. “As I get older, the age difference gets wider, and yet the almost magnetic attraction to these girls gets stronger and stronger.” But the artist emphasises it’s not a romantic interest. Rather, it is a reminder of his youth and his ageing.
Tomoko Sawada is a key photographer is understanding life as a Japanese School girl, understanding the abilities appearances can have for young girls. Individuality is a huge problem for Japanese school girls, living in a country with so many people how do you stand out?
In the late 1990’s Sawada used subway station photo booths to take passport-style portraits of herself. In each photo her hairdo or expression was different. Ultimately, the four hundred monochrome photos she took made us her work entitled ‘ID400’. The point was that although these were ID photos, none of them identified Sawada.
The passport-style photo is a key part of japanese life, it’s sent along with job applications, used for marriage match making, and remembering the “best” part of their lives, School.
Sawada then went on to create a ‘school days’ series which pushed her identity project further.
At first is appears that this is a normal school photo, but when you look closely you see that each character is the same person, Sawada. This is her exploration of individuality and shows how teenagers have the ability to be individual in the most structured environment. Maybe that is the appeal of teenagers, the freedom and individuality they possess.
Sawada, Koide, and Aida, and many other Japanese artists today, use schoolgirls in their work much in the same way French Realists like Millet and Courbet painted pheasants – schoolgirls represent the common people, they are the soul of the country and bear the brunt of society, they are the ones who keep it going. And sometimes that stress can take its toll.
Photographer Motoyuki Kobayashi also uses the school photo to present his thoughts on society, but in a different way.
‘I feel that if society looks at the purity of schoolgirls, it can see the future,” says Koboyashi. There’s hope. These girls represent the Japan of tomorrow. “The purity of young girls’ hearts is a common theme in Japan.”
Roughly half of Japans 120 million residents either were, are or will be school girls. They represent the mass. “Schoolgirls are a symbol of Japanese culture.” – Says Kobayashi
His books depict innocent, hopeful images of japanese school girls.
Keitai Girl is an image made by photographer Noriko Yamaguchi it looks at school girls and their relationship with “Keitai Denwa (portable phone)”. Her photos are self-portrait, she has covered herself in hundreds of mobile phone key pads which concern the desire to touch.
Chapter 6 End
Here are some pictures that myself and Genea Bailey took at London Anime Con 5 a few weeks ago, enjoy.