Visited KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Manga + Video Games
Exhibition open Friday, March 13th 2009 until June 14th 2009 at the Japan Society Gallery. See japansociety.org
Alright, so where do I begin with this one? Let’s start by saying that I have never been a big anime or manga fan. Video games, of course, I’m a relatively young guy. But due to a lack of exposure to anime and manga growing up I knew very little and never developed much of an appreciation for them.
So the exhibit opened this past weekend and I said: “Hey, I’m starting this new art blog, checking out new stuff. This is definitely new to me, maybe for others, so let me give it a shot.”
I wouldn’t say I was disappointed so much as I was underwhelmed. The exhibit was little more than some bubbles along the walls displaying pages and covers of classic comics. Some movie screens played a selection of the most popular anime movies. Manga books - huge journals resembling phone books - with dozens of monochromatic comic strips were kept on a book case and were available to flip through. The ones I picked up were in Japanese, though, and I can’t…well, you know…I’m ashamed to say it but I can’t really read Japanese.
The inclusion of video games in the exhibit was little more than a gesture. A wall display said how important they were in Japanese art and a small room had a few Nintendos set up and available to play.
The best part was by far the viewing room, where they showed classic movies on a circular wall, all the films one beside the other. Small cubicles allowed you to sit and view these with audio in a more personal setting. Also available are presentations of movies and television shows in a movie screening room.
At the end of it all I was left with a deep curiosity. The absurd grandness of the characters, the scenarios they were placed in and the gravity by which everything is portrayed is a little bit too much to brush off. The strangeness of it all gets a hook into you.
And so with the very little taste I got I am inspired to beef up a bit on my Japanimation chops, come back an art samurai.