An­ime bor­der­ing on fash­ion­able

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS ETHERIDGE

Yi Jong and Des Young grew up watch­ing Naruto and Dragon Ball Z.

Young read Death Note and fol­lowed artist Takashi Obata, while Jong be­came a big fan of Stan­ley Lau, known pro­fes­sion­ally as Art­germ.

The world of an­ime and manga – il­lus­tra­tion styles which orig­i­nated in Ja­pan – is a global mar­ket over­seas but still a niche in­ter­est in New Zealand, the pair says.

‘‘But at the same time it’s also be­come sort of ubiq­ui­tous al­ready,’’ Young, 29, says.

‘‘An­ime has be­come nor­mal for us. It is seep­ing into our cul­ture. It’s almost be­come trendy. It’s not just en­ter­tain­ment now, it’s bor­der­ing on be­ing fash­ion­able,’’ the pro­fes­sional graphic de­signer says.

An­ime il­lus­tra­tion style has caught the eye of ma­jor com­pa­nies, such as Louis Vuit­ton.

The fash­ion la­bel com­mis­sioned well-known an­ime artist Takashi Mu­rakami in 2002 to de­sign hand­bags and a se­ries of videos for the brand.

Mu­rakami also cre­ated some al­bum art­work and a mu­sic video for Amer­i­can rap­per Kanye West.

An­ime was in­tro­duced to main­stream New Zealand in the early 2000s when shows such as Cap­tors vi­sion.

Jong says an­ime and manga shows ap­peal to a wide au­di­ence.

Chil­dren are at­tracted to the bright colours and styles where as adults en­joy the well-scripted sto­ry­lines.

Since age 11, Jong has dab­bled in dif­fer­ent an­i­ma­tion styles as a cre­ative out­let.

She says an­ime can be am­bigu­ous and finds peo­ple have vary­ing in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the art.

Young uses web­site De­viantArt to con­nect with other il­lus­tra­tors. The il­lus­tra­tion web­site is a hub for artists to re­ceive con­struc­tive crit­i­cism and net­work.

The pair will at­tend this year’s Over­load Comic and Poke­mon and Card were shown on tele- Manga Con­ven­tion to meet new artists and friends.

Over­load has been held in Auck­land for the past eight years for il­lus­tra­tors to show their work and meet in­ter­na­tional artists. Ja­panese graphic artist Yoshi­toshi Abe is the spe­cial guest at this year’s Over­load, held at ASB Sta­dium, Ko­hi­marama Rd, on Oc­to­ber 4 from 10am to 6pm. En­try is $5.

Comic, art and cos­play com­pe­ti­tions and work­shops are held dur­ing the event.

Abe’s art will be shown at the New Zealand School of Ed­u­ca­tion, level 3, 131 Queen St, from Septem­ber 22 to Oc­to­ber 2 from 9am to 5pm daily. En­try is free but reg­is­tra­tion is es­sen­tial.

Photo: JESS ETHERIDGE

Draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion: An­ime and manga artists Des Young and cen­tral city res­i­dent Yi Jong at the Graphic Novel Cafe in the city cen­tre.

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