Art Design Web

Tokyo Soup

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My first reaction when I saw the beautiful new site Tokyo Soup was that, hey, this is what I’ve been trying to do my entire life, but done better. At least on a visual level. Created by Tokyo-based art director Michele Angeloro, it’s a beautiful curated guide to the best that Tokyo has to offer in terms of art and design, presented in a slick and image-heavy package. Definitely something to follow if you’re on the lookout for delicious Tokyo eye candy. Hat tip to my buddy Gueorgui, whose Turbulence zine you should pick up.


Hiroshi Yoshida


Thanks to this tweet by illustrator Kevin Hong, I’ve fallen in love with the work of 20th century painter Hiroshi Yoshida. Just take a moment to take in the beautiful pieces in this Google image search result.

Anime Film

Makoto Shinkai


I first heard the name Mokoto Shinkai the other day when my wife mentioned that his latest film, the animated Your Name (reviewed here by The Japan Times), had scored a huge box office opening since its release last week in Japan (grossing close to $40 million during its first 10 days). Not really knowing anything about him and his films, I did some digging, and decided to watch some of his work last night. I started with the film 5 Centimeters Per Second, which is made up of 3 slightly-interlocking chapters. The story of young love didn’t really grab me, but what did grab me was the stunningly beautiful animated world we’re presented with, both in terms of its hyper-real portrayal (it’s a Japan you recognize as true) and its inspired use of color. Add to this an intriguing structure and edits, and it resulted in a film I loved taking in. I then followed this up with a 6-minute short film he also directed, called Dareka no Manazashi, which I loved as well. I can’t wait to watch the rest of what he’s produced so far.

Games Technology Tokyo Walking



When I was still living in Tokyo, near Shibuya, it happened a few times that I was having a coffee at Starbucks with my dog, and in front of me I saw a line of people dressed up as Nintendo characters (Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach) drive by in supped up go-karts — Mario Kart come to life. Turns out you can now go for a spin yourself courtesy of Maricar. The prices are quite decent (starting at around 1500 yen for 30 minutes), and it must be a blast to go karting through the streets of Tokyo. A driver’s license is required though — I first learned of the service when I saw a tweet from my friend Kyle about getting an international driver’s license during a recent visit back home to the US, with the express purpose of doing this when back in Tokyo.

Events Manga

Tabling at Comiket


I’m embarrassed to say that despite my absolute love of manga (and comics in general), I’ve never once made it out to Comiket (“Comic Market”), the world’s largest comics convention, focusing on fan/unlicensed comics, and held twice annually at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center. I have plenty of friends who have gone, but reading this post from American comic creator Caleb Goellner was fascinating, as it was the first time I’d read about the experience of actually tabling and selling your books at Comiket. His extensive post goes through every aspect of taking part in the show, and also includes a bunch of tips based on what he learned — and the experience was positive enough to make him want to take part again.

Art Magazines Web

The Tokyoiter


The Tokyoiter is a fictional tribute to the great covers of The New Yorker, done as a project to celebrate the love illustrators have for the city of Tokyo. It was started by a couple of friends of mine, Andrew Joyce and David Robert, along with Tatsushi Eto. A new cover is shared on the site every Sunday, and you can watch this PechaKucha presentation to hear Andrew and David talk about the project. The cover in this post is by Tilly (aka Running for Crayons).


Design Film Games Music Web

Shiny Shiny 2&3

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Another entry I quite enjoyed from the Dotmov festival is the music video for Chikyunokiki’s “Shiny Shiny 2&3,” which takes inspiration from classic shooter Xevious. It was directed by Patanica, who also directed Qrion‘s “Crystal” music video I mentioned last month.

Design Events Film Games Music Web

Controller of Controller

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Yesterday I wrote about this year’s edition of the Dotmov digital film festival, and I just watched one of the entries which I quite enjoyed, Controller of Controller. Directed by Densuke28, it’s an Inception-like experience of a player playing a game, and then playing a game within that game (see, told you it was Inception-like). It also features a great soundtrack by Takaaki Kawai.

Books Fashion Magazines Web

Ametora Extended


This post serves as a reminder that W. David Marx has continued to support his fantastic book, Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style, since release through the Ametora Dispatches monthly newsletter — with each missive including an essay and links of interest — as well as footnotes to the book, that he posts on Medium (here are the footnotes for Chapter 4, and you’ll find the rest in the “Ametora Extended” collection). The Japanese edition of the book (out in July of next year) now has a page on Amazon Japan, and a monthly serialization in Popeye magazine is starting in this month’s issue (September 2016).

Design Events Film Magazines Web

Dotmov Festival 2016


As I go through my site’s archives, I’m reminded of how much I loved annual digital short film festivals — like Resfest and Onedotzero. Most of these don’t exist anymore, but one that still continues with its annual showing is Shift magazine‘s Dotmov, with the 2016 edition about to hit the road. Although the best experience remains attending one in a hall/theater with an audience, a great development that’s happened over the years is that you can now watch all of these online as well (you’ll find links to all of this year’s Dotmov films here).