THOUGH FAR FROM BEING AN ANIME FANATIC, I am not entirely removed from the culture, having spent many afternoons of my youth watching my own share of those wide-eyed favorites. By heart a lover of classics, I followed Nippon Animation's World Masterpiece Theater series, with the melodramatic Princess Sarah as my daily after-school treat. Other shows I loosely followed include Ranma 1/2, Sailormoon, Daimos, Curious Play, and once I had a baby brother, Dragon Ball. Fun times!
Truth is, back in school at my school, anime was shunned as an interest for dorks and the socially incompetent. As with the many classifications created by the young, who knows why anything is "cool" or "dorky" really?
It was a strange, unfounded stigma to delegate to an animation style beloved the world over by sectors both highbrow and lowbrow, not to mention young and fully grown. Outside of TV series and feature films, anime has been embraced by pop-culture influencers and tastemakers alike, including electronic music duo Daft Punk, who featured in their "One More Time" music video, scenes that eventually formed part of anime film Interstella 5555, as well as Marc Jacobs, who, as creative director of Louis Vuitton, collaborated with artist Takashi Murakami for the Superflat Monogram collection and campaign.
Whatever your impression of the Japanese animation style, there's no shunning Jun Kumaori's artful incorporation of anime elements into impressionist-style scenes. The trailing cat, the humanized teddy bear and the melancholy schoolgirls amidst strokes of shifting light and color. Now how is that for dorks?
Illustration by Jun Kumaori, kumaori.info