Friday, October 19, 2007

Shinji Aramaki and the Appleseed Ex Machina Opening

Got blogged down, I guess, but a few notes here from New York:

I was privileged recently to spend some time conversing with veteran designer and Appleseed director Shinji Aramaki in Tokyo. Aramaki is among the most candid and clear-headed of the folks I've met in the anime industry in Japan; he's also an ambitious and committed artist, one who retains faith in the future of his art form, even as he offers suggestions for its survival.

Portions of our conversation were published in The Daily Yomiuri on the eve of the Japan nationwide theatrical release of Appleseed: Ex Machina, the latest and most visually stunning film in the Appleseed series. The film will be released in the US in the form of a DVD disc set in 2008.

On the same day (Oct. 20, US-time), Kinokuniya will open its largest overseas bookstore in midtown Manhattan. The three-floor outlet will overlook Bryan Park in the very center of the city. Look for expanded offerings of manga, anime, and all books related to those media.
More on this later.

And finally, today marks the opening of a striking new exhibit of anime-inspired art in a gallery in Soho (downtown Manhattan): "How to Cook Docomodake." The exhibit features 16 young Japanese artists whose contributions were inspired by Telecom giant Docomo's mascot--a family of mushrooms with their mouths sewn shut.
(Imagine the same from AT&T: a cell phone mascot in the form of a family of fungi who can't speak.)
The exhibition will run from Oct. 19 to 28.