Picture It – Something simple, and complicated!

The one thing I love more than anime is a cross-over! Well that and cross-dressers, though that’s for another blog post series. For this Picture It I decided to take a break from screenshot discussion and instead do something a little more esoteric!

Firstly, to the cross-dressing thing. Wait no, cross-over thing. I apologise, I get easily distracted by our club president’s legs. I cross dressed for an anime convention, but I substituted a skirt for pants. He didn’t. Well, to be fair it was a dress. And it was lovely. But I digress.

I like logos!

Since I was young (presumably not earlier than when I was born, mind) I’ve had an odd obsession with corporate logos. The idea that a symbol consisting of little more than a few shapes, colours and some custom text can instantly be recognised as a product, company or complete obsession absolutely fascinated me. I used to cut them out of magazines and keep them in scrapbooks. When we got the internet I had a folder called “logos”. For my year 10 school certificate thingy I flirted with the idea of doing corporate design instead of IT by taking art and D&T, and did a huge study on the legendary Paul Rand. He’s the guy behind the IBM logo, among others. Even today, if I couldn’t be an informatician or information scientist, I’d want to be a logo designer.

So what does this have to do with today’s Picture It? I forget, all I can think about are Alex’s legs. No wait, I can do this! BE ONE WITH THE KEYBOARD.

My point (and I make it a habit of having one sometimes), is that much as logos can be used to distill the essence of a company or brand down into its bare [oh my] essentials, so to can art be derived from anime that’s so abstract, so high level… but that an obsessive otaku still knows what it is! I call this a crossover between anime fandom and logo design! Clever, right? Legs.

That entire introduction could be cut off

I first noticed such a minimalistic derivative of an anime when I observed the following motivational poster online in 2006:

An anime connoisseur would instantly recognise what series that’s from. If not, here’s a hint: it’s someone’s uniform and their hair. If you don’t get it, Kyon will be most disappointment!

Since then I’ve kept my eye out for such minimalistic, artistic distillations. I’m sure I have all my terminology wrong, I’m sure our club art director Kirishima could tell me why I’m dumb and what terms I should be using!

Well to cut an unreasonably long story short, I came across an artist on Pixiv (via a certain anime image board that I’ll leave to your imagination!) that has done an entire series of such images in the form of textbook covers. I had such a severe logo nerdgasm after seeing these, I had to take a long cold shower and administer several defibrillator shocks… true story!

O-23 on The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

The image on the left is an image from The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and the right is an interpretation by the illustrious O-23. If you saw the movie (or even just the art for it!) you could instantly recognise it, though someone who didn’t watch any anime at all (those sad, sad people) would have no idea. Brilliant, right?!

O-23 on Azumanga Daioh

Here’s another one!

Now that we have the hang of it, why not try something a little more abstract? No comparison image to start with this time, I want to see if you can figure it out first. No scrolling down past the art and peeking at the answer!

O-23 on Moeblob

As the club’s resident moeblob expert, I felt it was my duty to include at least one K-On image! :D

Can you see it? It’s the girl’s winter uniform, and Gitah, Yui’s guitar! Don’t believe me?

She’s so cute, I just want to hug her and have cake and and and…! Okay, calm down!

O-23 on Hatsune Miku

Now let’s see if you’re really paying attention! Given last week’s Picture It was written by the illustrious Kirishima and included an image of everyone’s favourite Vocaloid character and pop idol (heh), we have this image of Hatsune Miku!

Talk about abstract, right!? If you can’t see it, maybe an image would help. Because we’re always short of funds in this club, I was tempted to recycle an image that Kirishima uploaded last week for her post, but alas it doesn’t have all the required clothing depicted here! This one does:

All the details are there, right!? Is it showing that I fun researching this!? This sentence also ends with exclamation and question marks!?

Explore O-23’s profile on Pixiv for dozens more examples. Try and figure them out for yourself before hitting the image boards to give you hints. Think of them as Quick Draw but for your mind! ^_^;