Japan Society has built an otaku playground, with 200 works of doe-eyed art, video-game stations and-heart be still-a manga pod.
Thu Mar 12 2009
Anime The centerpiece of the new “KRAZY!” exhibit is its “Anime Garden,” which screens clips from six cartoons side by side on a 75-foot-long projection panel; included here is Akira’s memorable bike chase through Neo Tokyo. “It’s so rich in meaning,” says Japan Society gallery director Joe Earle. Look for six more screens in the back of the Garden and another room piping in the works of Cowboy Bebop composer Yoko Kannoy.
Video games Sims game designer Will Wright, who helped curate the “KRAZY!” exhibit in Vancouver, counts everyone’s favorite pellet-munching adventure among the most influential video games of the past 30 years. Earle agrees: “Pac-Man marked the moment when everything went from arcade to consoles.” Visitors can gobble ghosts on the gallery’s arcade machine, grab the SNES controller at the Super Mario World demo station or study the advanced graphics of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker on two small screens.
Manga “They’re not just picture books,” swears Earle. “You’ll start seeing more and more of its influence stateside.” Get in the know early by combing through original sketches and toy figures for popular mangas like Afro Samurai and The Five Star Stories, plus cultier picks like Pure Trance and New Engineering. “It’s well drawn, with serious commentary,” says Earle of the latter. “It’s gross, outrageous and set in a postapocalyptic future run by a dominatrix.” After you’ve browsed the ephemera, check into the exhibit’s manga pod, a fortlike library stuffed with 1,000 comic books (half in English, half in Japanese).
GO KRAAAZY! The good people at Japan Society Shop are giving away three pairs of tickets to “KRAZY!,” a stunning exhibition catalog and an action figure from manga series Tekkon Kinkreet, part of the Taiyo Matsumoto Collection. The first reader to tell us how to get infinite lives in Super Mario World wins the swag; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
GET TOONED IN! Kinokuniya (1073 Sixth Ave between 40th and 41st St, 212-869-1700) celebrates Anime Day on Sun 15 from 11am to 6pm. Stop by for raffles, cosplay workshops and more!
GEEK OUT! “KRAZY!: The Delirious World of Anime + Manga + Video Games”: Japan Society, 333 E 47th St between First and Second Aves (212-832-1155, japansociety.org). Tue--Thu 11am--6pm; Fri 11am--9pm; Sat, Sun 11am--5pm. Fri 13--June 14. $10, seniors and students $8, members and children under 16 free. Japan Society will host a cosplay party on March 28 at 5:30pm ($10--$15).
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