Tokyo Damage Report

New cute characters from Japan

I hate to admit it, but Sanrio has really been sucking lately. Sucking a furry little stuffed penis, with all its corporate might. . they keep their best characters out of print (hangyodon, tuxedo sam, pekkle, marron cream) and instead foist upon us these hideous, waaaaaay too campy monstrosities like Pinki-lili and Ayankey. And what’s up with that little space bunny with balloon ears?? Jesus! I’m not saying this to be anti-sanrio. I’m a HUGE fan, as anyone who has ever written to my email account (eviloverlord at hellokitty dot com) can attest. Or if they’ve met me. Or been upwind. So, if even I am getting all hinkley on them, you can bet they’re really messing up. .

I’m saying it right now in public: sanrio overlords, ignore me at your peril!! This is no empty threat. No, I’m not going to personally go down to their headquarters and sandblast off my tattoos in a bloody protest . . .. no, it’s no threat, it’s a WARNING. As bitter as I am with KittyCorp, I’m trying in my own cranky way to let them know: there’s barbarians at the gates. Legions of fluffy, brightly-colored, stuffed barbarians. While the fat-cats at sanrio, san-x, and other big toy companies have been resting on their laurels like decadent Ceasars, bajillions of hobbyists have been laboring in the darkness,working out of love and inspiration, not money or focus groups . . . creating a whole generation of new characters that are more diverse, as well as cuter, and AT THE SAME TIME MORE FRIGHTENING than a million pinki-lilis (well, maybe not more frightening).

At DESIGN FIESTA there’s TONS of new, up-and-coming characters that are waaay better, and if Sanrio doesn’t start to shape up, (or at least totally co-opt the indies guys), they will get STEAMROLLED by octopus-pandas, stuffed condoms, turd-boys, and bleeding nurse-bunnies.

I’m just saying.

Anyway, in the weeks to come, TOKYO DAMAGE REPORT is going to introduce you to a small fraction of the brilliant new characters. I’ll try to tell you as much as I can about the creators, and where you can buy the toys, and generally try to hype these indies guys to the point where Sanrio has to become cool again or perish.

Furthermore, BOOYAA.

 


nikumaan!!!

nikumaan is the brainchild of fukuda kazuhiro. he’s based on a popular kind of dumpling. he is cute and friendly but people and animals try to eat him. he seems to be frightened of being eaten, but at the same time insulted if someone thinks they’re too good to even try a simple dumpling.

my bad, i guess it’s a she.

new character # 1
Character’s Name NIKUMAAN
Designer fukuda kazuhiro
CUTENESS factor 6
WEIRD quotient 4
Job Tasty dumpling boy
   
URL www.nikumaan.com
Website Content web comics, lots of pictures, well organized!
Merchandise postcard, button, eraser (!), comic, bookmark, keychain
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) fukufuku@abox3.so-net.ne.jp

 

 

 

 

DOPPIO

 

doppio is this AMAZING website-animation cartoon. he’s this total Rod Stewart / The Who / Led Zeppelin – circa 1975 kind of rock star cat that you can count on to ALWAYS wreck the hotel room on tour. except, he doesn’t stop when he leaves the hotel. basically he just smashes everything in his path, and, thanks to some kind of interactive programming, you can HELP HIM smash stuff. I’m talking to you, Mister Smash-Helper.

 

if you love his animation, or just want him to smash some objects in YOUR neighborhood, write to him at : letter@doppioland.com . please tell him you read about his site in TOKYO DAMAGE REPORT .

new character # 2
Character’s Name DOPPIO
Designer Chiba Kazuhisa, Ikeda Sayoko,Sakuta Hazumu
CUTENESS factor 3
WEIRD quotient 4
Job destroying everything, being bad
   
URL www.doppio.com
Website Content massive animated movies, desktop themes.
Merchandise ??
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!)

letter@doppioland.com

http://doppioland.com/guest_book/glight.cgi

 


 

flux flat

 

 

(actually FLUX FLAT is the name of the team of designers that made the characters. I don’t think the characters even have NAMES. they’re more like. . . archetypes!! )

these little kids seem more interested in playing dress-up than in actually saving the bunny. the bunny suffers quietly. so, again this is New Character Trend #1 in action: stuff that looks really cute until you realize it’s actually kind of messed up. And i’m not even going to get into why the nurse has the King Diamond logo instead of the traditional Red Cross!!

.Unlike America, the gothic people here have a huge obsession with nurses, and medical bandages. Like anything Goths touch with a ten foot Goth Pole, it immidiately becomes cliche. FLUX FLAT is one of the only outfits that can make the cliche interesting again. Their art is all about various combinations of bunny / nurse / doctor / chocolate / blood / band-aid / dead bunny. what’s not to like?

their website is – surprise! – in japanese. but, clicking on the picture above will take you directly to the part with some pictures. please visit their BBS if you like their art, and ask them, "excuse me, nice middle aged gothic ladies, i read about your website in TDR, and how can i buy your fine merchandise?"

new character # 3
Character’s Name ???
Designer FLUX FLAT design team
CUTENESS factor 7
WEIRD quotient 3
Job doctor, nurse, dead bunny
   
URL http://fluxflat.net/
Website Content small; just line art and pictures of the Design Fiesta exhibit.
Merchandise cards, calendars, buttons, dollies. . .
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) http://fluxflat.net/cgi-bin/fluxbbs/bbs.cgi

 


 

 

PING!!!

Ping makes these cute little seamonkey-looking fashion models. Also Stuffed Animals, and wistful, bittersweet, sort-of-ambient flash animations, also with cute sea monkey-looking things.

new character # 4
Character’s Name Some Kind Of Haute Coture Sea Monkey Or Other
Designer Ping
CUTENESS factor 8
WEIRD quotient 4
Job model. probably.
   
URL http://home.catv.ne.jp/ff/pin-sa/ping/
Website Content good movies. also, a guide to the ’12 basic types of stuffed animals’. japanese and english.
Merchandise none?
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) gnipuy@infoseek.jp

 

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poop boy!!

 

Poo Boy is not his real name. I’m not sure if he even HAS a real name. In the humorous postcard above, the owners of the accusing fingers are saying, ‘DOGAAN’ (loosely translated as , ‘who farted?’). this cute little guy is always getting the blame. . . he’s a sort of scatalogical charlie brown.

the same artist also makes little sculptures, change purses, and plush toys! I love the idea of a poo-themed wallet, because that’s exactly what Freud would have wanted. Apparently Poop Boy lives in a turd-shaped hill, and comes popping out to scare intruders. Notice how he’s fertilizing the flowers at the base of the hill. Is that a nice touch or what??? write to the creator, Marilyn, and buy a bunch of shit now!!

new character # 5
Character’s Name poop boy
Designer marilyn creative products
CUTENESS factor 5
WEIRD quotient 6
Job scapegoat
   
URL no website.
Website Content i SAID, no website!
Merchandise dolls, postcards, tiny sculptures.
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) marilyn-genki@ezweb.ne.jp

 

 

 

AYA-CHAN

Aya is the brainchild of Koharu Chie. She’s really one of the best/ worst examples of ‘kawaii/kowaii’ (cute and scary) characters now. in fact, the cute aspect of Chie-san’s illustration is even MORE scary than the ‘scary’ side, is what’s amazing. sort of like the little naked kids from "Love Is…" . . . . but if they changed the title to ‘LOVE IS FRANCIS BACON’ or something. if you’re not an art fag, you’ll just have to assume that that gag was really really witty. sorry.

 

new character # 6
Character’s Name Aya- chan
Designer koharu chie
CUTENESS factor 9
WEIRD quotient 9
Job  
   
URL http://get.to/haru
Website Content tons of illustrations, and illustrated stories in japanese
Merchandise postcards
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) haru@get.to

 

 

 

 

DABUDABU, MY LITTLE BEAR…..AND THEIR FRIENDS

mofa design makes characters that are really tame compared to Aya-chan. Also, they’re all Adobe Illustrator style: clean lines and very very flat. But on the other hand, really cute and, what part of Monkey Chefs DON’T you want to run right out and buy?

My Little Bear lives inside giant floating notes, and flies around to bring happiness. At least, i haven’t heard about any recent maulings. (notice i use the plural there).

 

dorokuma is some kind of rabbit, unless he’s a mouse, or possibly a rat, whose message seems to be "homelessness is fun!". he wears a hobo’s bindle as a hat, carrying all his earthly posessions from one exciting adventure to the next. In the hat, I mean. Or was that obvious? I mean, i didn’t want to assume. . . oh whatever, just go read about Francis Bacon so you can get my art fag joke:

http://www.artquotes.net/masters/bacon/paint_painting.htm

new character # 7
Character’s Name dabudabu, my little bear, etc.
Designer mofa design : rinrin and yasuaki
CUTENESS factor 7
WEIRD quotient 4
Job bear, homeless rodent, etc.
   
URL http://www.mofa-design.com/
Website Content illustrations, photos, in japanese and english. really simple yet creative design.
Merchandise postcards,
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) mail@mofa-design.com

 

 

 

capybara dolls:

i mentioned the ‘capybara invasion’ before. .. . here’s the photoagain, and a link to the website. also a photo of a REAL capybara for reference. they also sell shirts with giant robots yelling ‘STOP THE DIOXIN!!’ (lower right corner of the picture….)

capybaras are the world’s largest rodent. they resemble huge furry peanuts and are about as mobile. the Capybara character has a rose draped around his neck for added pathos.

new character # 8
Character’s Name capybara!
Designer Dropkick designs
CUTENESS factor 8
WEIRD quotient 3
Job world’s largest rodent
   
URL http://www.dropkick.jp/charactor/capybara/top.html
Website Content lots of documentary-style information about the capybara’s lifestyle. in japanese!
Merchandise plush toys, postcards. the merch section of the website isn’t finished yet, but i’m sure you can still order if you email them!
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) http://www.dropkick.jp/mail_mgn.html

 

 

 


hayakawa-san’s sculptures

 

 

if you’re like me, and you often sit around saying, "I really want a 8 pound Stick Insect made from the same substance of Rodin’s THE THINKER" . . . your best bet is Mr. Hayakawa!! because, dig this: not all the cute characters are cute cartoons or fluffy nuigurumi (stuffed animals). Mr. Hayakawa has , for years, been making these excellent Metal animals. everything from men, insects, fish, insects, plankton, hell, what HASN’T he made? His website is easy to read, and use, and there are LOTS of photographs, much better than mine. then this happened:


does anyone have a title for this sculpture? email me!

if no ideas come to mind, just keep watching the hands.

new character # 9
style: SCULPTURE
Designer Hayakawa-san
CUTENESS factor 5
WEIRD quotient 8
Job being copper. full time.
   
URL http://www.cty-net.ne.jp/~daybyday/index1.htm
Website Content photos
Merchandise sculptures!
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) daybyday@cty-net.ne.jp

 


 

DECORATIONS CHARACTER DESIGN STUDIO

DECORATIONS is at least 3 people, who specialize in smooshing together pop icons to make new, or at least horribly mutated, pop icons. for instance, THIS GUY:

or this guy:

(note how the tiny figures conducting the ceremony are ALSO Kewpie Dolls, wearing little Satanic Kewpie Hoods over their grotesquely swollen Kewpie Heads)

and of course who could live without KEWPIE ULTRAMAN???

their website is pretty big, with all kinds OTHER kewpie mutants on it. um. and stuff. just go there.

new character # 10
Character’s Name Dead Panda, Kewpie Ultraman, others…
Designer DECORATIONS Studio: Munehisa Masushi, Yokota Naoya
CUTENESS factor 6
WEIRD quotient 8
Job dying / saving earth from kewpie monsters
   
URL

top page: http://www.ayu.ne.jp/user/decoration/QP.htm

page with the good stuff on it: http://www.ayu.ne.jp/user/decoration/gal-top.htm

other page with amazing paintings and stuff:

http://www.ayu.ne.jp/user/decoration/friendgal1.htm

Website Content lots of illustrations, some photos of weird insects, BBS, diary, and some weird treasure map game tucked away deep somewhere
Merchandise postcards, tiny plastic dolls
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) luckyland@ayu.ne.jp

 

 

 

 

 

inko’s dolls

Ok, it’s time for another new kind of character. not all japanese characters are bronze stick insects or dead pandas, or even google-eyed anime-lookin’ drawings. some are google-eyed, anime-lookin’ DOLLS. these aren’t your barbie dolls. . . these are hand-made, one-of-a-kind designer dolls up to 3 feet high! there’s a whole SUBCULTURE of middle aged hipster women that somehow missed the Yaoi boat and wound up making creepy gothic dolls and getting really good at it. but i almost get the impression that these totally intricate, 500-points-of-articulation dolls aren’t even the main attraction for these women. . .they just make the dolls because they need SOMETHING to wear the MILLIONS OF LITTLE DOLL-SIZED GOTHIC ACCESSORIES that they REALLY love making.

 

Inko’s website is a good place to start learning about these dolls. it’s not super-gothy, it’s not super-elfy, or super-creepy. it’s just middle of the road creepy. and easy to navigate as well: simply click on the japanese word that you don’t know what it means! and you’ll go somewhere!!

new character # 11
Character’s Name dolls
Designer inko
CUTENESS factor 7
WEIRD quotient 8
Job lurking plaintively
   
URL http://www5d.biglobe.ne.jp/~inko/
Website Content lots of photos, and a story book
Merchandise dolls , or at least accessories
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) inko@mud.biglobe.ne.jp

 


another doll site, this time more on the Elf-In-The-Mystic-Forest side of things, is DOLLHOUSE NOAH. it’s in english, but on the other hand there is poetry. i myself could only find 2 pictures there sufficiently amazing to steal, but you’re welcome to go there and poke around looking for more. . .

normally i don’t show things like this, but hey! a woman made it! which makes it totally pc. in your face, dolls that look exactly the same made by evil men!!!

 

 

kanji-san and frog man!!!

frogs. ska. clowns inside hippopotamus suits. these are some of the things that make Mr. KANJI’s art wonderful. Unless his name isn’t Kanji. but i’m pretty sure it is. Maybe. what i am POSITIVE about, though, is the ska . if there’s anything this guy likes more than guys in frog-shaped space-suits exploring the vastness of the Grelm Empire, it’s ska.

his website is good fun, and with a clever design that’s not too-clever (and therefore difficult). you might want to click on all the random little decoration-looking objects, though, to make sure you don’t miss something. he might speak a little english, so if you email him and ask him, "tell me more about this frog-clown-hippo-ska connection!" he might write back.

new character # 11
Character’s Name frog man
Designer kanji?
CUTENESS factor 5
WEIRD quotient 5
Job animal spaceman
   
URL http://www.h4.dion.ne.jp/~knj/
Website Content illustrations, and little 3d movies
Merchandise postcards.
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) kanji_k@k8.dion.ne.jp

 

 

 

touma character laboratory!!

 

the intro to the last product worked so well, i’m going to use the exact same gimmick here:

devil mice. . . . grinning ninjas with zippers bisecting their whole body . . grape colored Zulu warriors . . . . space monkeys with lazers and ill grimaces. . . welcome to the world of Touma.

TOUMA CHARACTER LABS is yet another style of new character: not dolls or cute little anime things, or big sculptures. . . .but a semi-big company who makes a seemingly infinite variety of almost-identical 2 inch tall plastic dolls. there’s a LOT of these companys, but touma is the best. by which i mean, the least likely to charge you $40 bucks for a 2 inch figure because, it’s like, an artistic creation, man.

better yet, most of their characters come with stories attached! stories in Japanese, no less. i tried using Alta Vista in order to get the gist of the Grape Hottentot guy (actually his name is Kabuta-man). and here’s what alta vista said:

The protagonist which succeeds in escaping in the opening ‘ the underground organization ‚Ó ‚Ÿ is with the ‚Þ ‚£ ‘ the one person stands up in order to stop rash act. But changing, the powerless remodelling human who is only power of the tadpole… is, but fighting it is and the protagonist which grew among them power succeeds in raising in the form of the frog! In order that ‘ the underground organization ‚Ó ‚Ÿ are with the ‚Þ ‚£ ‘ the immature world conquest maneuvers are obstructed, the one person the mosquito ale rider who confronts

. . . .and so on.

 

 

 

their website is huge and a little hard to navigate, but here is my advice: scroll down left menu until you see ‘gallery’ then click an entry at random.. . , THEN scroll down the left menu of THAT entry until you see ‘2d’ or ‘character’. THEN you can see cool characters. Sheesh.

new character # 12
Character’s Name kabuto-man, Zipper Guy, etc.
Designer TOUMA character lab
CUTENESS factor 7
WEIRD quotient 7
Job remodelling human who is only power of the tadpole.‘ apparently
   
URL http://touma.biz/
Website Content millions of pictures of characters
Merchandise tiny plastic figures
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) touma@touma.biz

 

 

 


ALSO seen at design fiesta: i don’t have any information about this guy, but perhaps this is all for the best. . .

 

and you don’t even want to know what those two women are gaping at….

anyway, here’s handsome’s girlfriend?

…or maybe his ex. i’m not sure. i think she used to date John Ashcroft.

 

octopan!!

 

half octopus, half panda : that’s right.

OCTOPAN

in an industry with waaaay too many combination-characters, OCTOPAN stands out as being one of the most brilliantly messed-up one. not content with making something deeply against Nature and God, Miki-san creates a whole series of (for lack of a better word) AVATARS for octopan: Greaser Octopan, Afro Octopan, Boilin’-Hot Octopan. He also has a whole extended family of characters. not, as you’d expect, pandas on his mothers’ side and octopi on his fathers’. . . but just more octopandi. personally i prefer Greaser Octopan.

He doesn’t have a website. if you are a web genius, please make him one and the world will be a better place. not just for OCTOPAN, but for all freaks of nature.

 

new character # 14
Character’s Name octopan
Designer Miki Sakurai
CUTENESS factor 8
WEIRD quotient 8
Job  
   
URL none
Website Content none
Merchandise buttons, postcards
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) ADS26437@nifty.com

 


 

twin order

Tomhisa Tsunoda is the genius behind TWIN ORDER. He’s not so much a character designer (a la sanrio) as an illustrator who rules at everything, including designing characters. Like the band Opeth (if opeth liked wearing spandex bodysuits and drawing insane germs) he has many styles, from ‘HEAVY METAL’ magazine-ish stuff, to weird ergonomic germs, to insane psychedelic stuff. .. . and they’re all good.

 

also, his site is bilingual AND easy to navigate. why are you still looking at MY crappy site??

new character # 15
Character’s Name various
Designer Tomohisa Tsunoda (TWIN ORDER)
CUTENESS factor 2
WEIRD quotient 8
Job  
   
URL http://too.boo.jp/
Website Content tons of illustrations
Merchandise paintings, postcards
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!)

twin.order@jcom.home.ne.jp

 

 

 

 

 

 

telegraph poles!!!!!

this is what art should be about: taking something everyday, ordinary, or just plain boring, and turning it into something totally wacked-out crazy lookin’ just by approaching it in a different way than the average person would approach it.

most people just don’t even SEE telephone poles anymore, but when Masayukisan looks at a telephone pole, he sees this totally terrifying yet beautiful high-tech monster. and so he has made it his mission to take eight billzilion pictures of telephone poles from weird angles, cropped in weird ways, to let us see what HE sees when he looks at them. plus his booth was really well designed too. rock.

 

 

 

new character # 16
Metier photography
Designer Masayuki Kameyama
CUTENESS factor 4
WEIRD quotient 4
Job photographer
   
URL http://homepage3.nifty.com/telegraph-pole/
Website Content gallery, nutty interface.
Merchandise postcards
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) www.bbs1.sekkaku.net/bbs/camem.html

 


 

RIE TAKAHASHIO

Rie-san takes these insanely super-saturated, dreamlike pictures of rock-star looking guys that i guess are just her friends? her style is so distinctive i think even people who aren’t interested in glam rock or jungles will enjoy it. um. OK i’m lame. here’s some pictures.

new character # 17
Metier photography
Designer Takahashio Rie
CUTENESS factor 7
WEIRD quotient 5
Job  
   
URL www.ragannfocus.net
Website Content gallery of photos.
Merchandise postcards.
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) orie@blue.interq.or.jp

 


and, of course, HELLCAT KITTY. i have no context for this.

yes, it’s coitus. i don’t know whether to hug the artist or smack her.

i told her, ‘dude, her boyfriend doesn’t look like that. he’s got a flat top!’

she said, ‘dude, hello kitty has a LOT of boyfriends.’

my hair turned gray and i died a little inside.

 

 

 

 

 

mara san’s postcard s

 

there’s not much to say about the cartoons of Yamotomoya-san. except that he has like HUNDREDS of these. and they are all available in postcard form. if you haven’t already bought xmas/ new years’ cards, you should consider giving everyone you know a picture of a man hoisting two naked erect babies by their nostrils.

new character # 19
What is it?? joke postcards
Designer Maru Yamatomoya
CUTENESS factor 1
WEIRD quotient 5
Job  
   
URL http://www3.to/s-site
Website Content tons of illustrations. buttons are in english.
Merchandise postcards
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) t-maru@pine.zero.ad.jp illus

 

 

kamata ikuyo’s totally hurt tirls

Kamata Ikuyo is this Tokyo illustrator. She’s as sweet in person as she is totally vile in her artwork. She doesn’t have a website. but you should email her and ask to buy her wonderful cards. oh, and you should learn japanese first.

 

if a guy drew this, you’d call him hentai. i wish i was a girl so i could draw the illist shit ever and have people go, ‘aww, cute!’

 

new character # 20
Character’s Name "That’s Gotta Hurt"
Designer Kamata Ikuyo
CUTENESS factor 7
WEIRD quotient 7
Job  
   
URL no web.
Website Content  
Merchandise postcards.
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) super-star.0194@ezweb.ne.jp

 

 

 

NEW CHARACTER 21:

Ever wondered what would happend if a Panda and Edvard Munch (of ‘The Scream’ fame) had a baby?

WITH A SNAIL??

These are the kinds of important questions that Sion asks himself. And here is his answer:

.

PANDA-SNAIL!

Also, have you noticed that EVERY Japanese restaraunt has a little Beckoning Cat somewhere in it?

His name is ManekiNeko, and he’s a famous icon. He’s supposed to ‘beckon’ customers into the store. But what happens when he gets sick of stupid customers?

he gets all Wolverine on their ass. Pay and get out!!

the Mean Beckoning Cat is also a product of the massive brain of Sion.

Sion is seven years old.

He’s the youngest member of a design outfit called D+POPPERS.

"D+Poppers" seems to be a whole family of graphic designers — mom, dad, son — who all crank out perky and squiggley characters. Tom, the mom, speaks English, so you can email her! and order some of the shiny handmade figures above…

here is more information about them:

new character # 21
Character’s Name Panda-Snail, Waruineko
Designer Sion, / D+Poppers
CUTENESS factor 8
WEIRD quotient 8
Job screaming / killing customers
d+poppers URL http://www1.linkclub.or.jp/~ultra777/
sion’s URL http://www1.linkclub.or.jp/~ultra777/sion/index.html
Website Content drawings
Merchandise graphic design, small figures, buttons
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!)

ultra777@land.linkclub.or.jp

http://8510.teacup.com/tomash/bbs


NEW CHARACTER :22 SOFTYS!!

Is it an eyeball? Is it some genitals? Who knows? All that’s for sure is, Wonder Farms makes them and you want to cuddle them. These ambiguously gendered things are bright and fuzzy and they are sold by anonymous people in eyeball suits.

here’s the gimmick: each of the Softys has furry eyeballs that you shove in and out of the eye-holes in different ways. This is how you communicate with them.I’m not sure which one is Fuzzo and which one is Winky.

Wait, the red one’s winky. While i talked to the salesman, he held WInky gently in his lap and was constantly stroking WInky’s eye-stalk.

here’s how their website explains Winky:

"freshly harvested, Winky is the newest member of the Softys family. Soft and smooth on the outside and furry on the inside, Winky is swollen with love and waiting to share it."

yes, the site is in english.

 

Their website has some amazing animations, as well as big fat photo galleries of design fiesta. here’s one of ther photos of some satisfied customers:

more information about Softys:

new character # 22
Character’s Name fuzzo, coozer, pinky, winky
Designer Wonder Farms
CUTENESS factor 7
WEIRD quotient 8
Job creeping you out
   
URL www.WonderFarms.com
Website Content animations, gallery
Merchandise plush toys
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) hello@wonderfarms.com

 

 

 

 

another installment of the TOKYO NEW CHARACTER REPORT:

for new readers, let me explain about the T.N.C.R.:

at design fiesta (in november 2003) i saw so many cool new characters. so much variety and so funny / scary / cute / nasty.

seeing as how the Japanese Character Goods Industry is in desperate need of a good keel-hauling, i am introducing the new characters, 2 at a time, in the hopes that you guys will love them as much as i do. please tell your friends about them, email them, buy their janky little postcards, help them grow into corporate juggernauts that will totally suck someday!!

new character # 23
Character’s Name ROBOT ALL-STARS
Designer Kei Taro
CUTENESS factor 8
WEIRD quotient 3
Job being human, all too human
URL

http://www.robosta.net/news/caracter.html

http://www.angel.ne.jp/~keitaro/rasukate.html

Website Content pictures
Merchandise books, figurines, greeting cards
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) http://www.robosta.net/mail/index.html

Kei Taro is the king of tiny, cute little clay robots that you just want to hug. His website has pictures of over one hundred of them, and they all live in the same town. His book is in english AND japanese, and you can see it online. . he also has some crazy game about a frog/monkey that is super 3d animated but it’s only japanese, so tough.

 

 

NEW CHARACTER 24

Character’s Name wave machine!!
Designer Teiji, the ‘technology artist’
CUTENESS factor 5
WEIRD quotient 7
Job sloshing futuristically
URL http://www1.sphere.ne.jp/teiwa/
Website Content hella free photos of crazy shit he’s built
Merchandise  
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!)  

 

 

here’s teiji, with the wave machine. OK, it’s not really a ‘character’ in the sense of "snoopy" or "bad batz maru" but on the other hand . . .WAVE MACHINE!!!!

Teiji-san creates these elaborate hi-tech sculptures that move, walk, tremble, or blink. or some combination thereof. his website is, what? offline! after i spent an hour making this webpage about him? ahhh!!! anyway he rules, and i’ll try to find a link soon.

 

 

new character # 25
Character’s Name TRADITIONAL MONSTERS
Designer o-hiko-san. from the ‘kwai network’
CUTENESS factor 1
WEIRD quotient 10
Job haunting some fools
   
URL http://www10.ocn.ne.jp/~hiko/
Website Content pictures galore! hundreds of exquisite pictures.
Merchandise cards
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!)  

o-hiko draws traditional monsters in a semi traditional style, plus Photoshop. they are freaky as hell AND a valuable educational tool. . . if ‘cultural diversity= scaring the shit out of people.’ he lives in Kouenji, i think. there are literally HUNDREDS of traditional monsters, and he is dedicating his life to making pictures of all of them. sort of a monster manual , if you will. the only problem is this: he only does postcards. what Homey needs is a BOOK. who can afford 100 postcards? it is insane. also his website’s pictures are all run through some pohotoshop filter to make them look kind of crappy so you don’t steal them. which i understand why he’d do that, but it kind of runs counter to my purpose of convincing you guys that he’s a good artist.

anyway he IS a genius and someday i will interview him.

 

 

 

another installment of the TOKYO NEW CHARACTER REPORT:

for new readers, let me explain about the T.N.C.R.:

at design fiesta (in november 2003) i saw so many cool new characters. so much variety and so funny / scary / cute / nasty.

seeing as how the Japanese Character Goods Industry is in desperate need of a good keel-hauling, i am introducing the new characters, 2 at a time, in the hopes that you guys will love them as much as i do. please tell your friends about them, email them, buy their janky little postcards, help them grow into corporate juggernauts that will totally suck someday!!

 

 

new character # 26
Character’s Name BOO
Designer Kuro-san??
CUTENESS factor 3
WEIRD quotient 8
Job running around a coal mine, falling down
   
URL http://www1.ocn.ne.jp/~yumelon/boomain.htm
Website Content japanese only, but the top button downloads a video preview of the movie. also cool ‘making of the movie’ pictures.
Merchandise amazing monster cigarette lighters . .. but they don’t seem to be available on the website??
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) kuro@cocoa.ocn.ne.jp

boo is this movie. the movie is by Kuro-san. Boo is some kind of little guy with a face like a big speaker, who lives in a coal mine. The website has a video preview of this amazing movie. Kuroo-san also makes amazing Monster Lighters, which i couldn’t find on the movie website. But you should really email him and ask him "please sell me a monster lighter so my smoking can look as scary on the outside as my lungs do inside."

 

 

 

 

new character # 27
Character’s Name ???
Designer Kanazawa-san
CUTENESS factor 1
WEIRD quotient 8
Job paintings!
URL none, yet
Website Content i said, ‘none’, dummy
Merchandise stuffed animals, paintings!
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) sir_end@yahoo.co.jp

Kanazawa-san is the Japanese Jim Woodring.

\

Considering that Woodring is one of the best comic-book artists to walk the planet, I can forgive her for biting his steelo. look — how disturbing is this picture????

or this one??? GENIUSLY disturbing is what. Please email her and order several of her handmade and nasty stuffed animals if you feel you have been sleeping too soundly at night lately.

 

 

 

new character # 28
Character’s Name Cyber-Goth-Bunny-Mummy People
Designer Terry
CUTENESS factor 6
WEIRD quotient 4
Job Smashing things / hanging with Penguins
URL http://www6.plala.or.jp/terrynet/
Website Content free galleries! also, partly English
Merchandise postcards, tshirts
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) terry@lilac.plala.or.jp

Terry is an amazing illustrator. her shit is JUST anime-ish enough to be hip, but still weird enough to be jacked/interesting. Her website is easy to use and her postcards are cheap. so buy some!!

 

 

 

 

new character # 29
Character’s Name DORAMONTE, and her pals
Designer Matahiro of the KATSU ART COMPANY
CUTENESS factor 7
WEIRD quotient 3
Job Looking adorable. . .IN SPACE!
URL http://www5d.biglobe.ne.jp/~matahiro/
Website Content pictures, a few of . . .
Merchandise cards.
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) matahiro@pag.em.nttpnet.ne.jp

Matahirou draws these space – people in this totally distinct, naiive, unmistakeable style that you’d think would get old after 2000 big-eyed astro-waifs but doesn’t. it’s somehow angular AND soft. The style, that is. It would be awesome to get the back-story on all these characters but i can’t read French.

 

 

new character # 30
Character’s Name takusan!
Designer Gundan charadesign
CUTENESS factor 9
WEIRD quotient 9
Job being awesome
URL http://www1.odn.ne.jp/gundan/
Website Content  
Merchandise cards, games, plush toys
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) http://bbs2.sekkaku.net/bbs/gundan.html

Gundan is simply the second-best character designer in the whole country. Not France; Japan. Any further comments should really not be neccessary at all.

homey’s booth at Design Festa.

some of Gundan’s HUNDREDS of characters. What is awesome — aside from the endless creativity and the clearly rendered, non-sucky art, is how all the characters are similar enough to be distinctly in his own personal style, but yet somehow different enough to not be boring. this is genius!! write to his BBS and buy everything he makes.

 

new character # 31
Character’s Name MANDALA
Designer "Y3"
CUTENESS factor 7
WEIRD quotient 5
Job meditating on the universe
URL http://www.doubutuya.com/*002.html
Website Content big, easy, free, fun, good.
Merchandise cards
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) doubutuya@yahoo.co.jp

Doubutuya of the Y3 group does these postcards called ‘Mandalas.’ he is your ‘one stop shop’ for all your meditating, snot-encrusted squid needs.

 

 

 

another installment of the TOKYO NEW CHARACTER REPORT:

for new readers, let me explain about the T.N.C.R.:

at design fiesta (in november 2003) i saw so many cool new characters. so much variety and so funny / scary / cute / nasty.

seeing as how the Japanese Character Goods Industry is in desperate need of a good keel-hauling, i am introducing the new characters, 2 at a time, in the hopes that you guys will love them as much as i do. please tell your friends about them, email them, buy their janky little postcards, help them grow into corporate juggernauts that will totally suck someday!!

 

new character # 32
Character’s Name Melty Baby Lala Morphing Face Kids Or Something
Designer NON
CUTENESS factor 8
WEIRD quotient 8
Job dissipating quietly into the ether, leaving behind trails of tears and lip gloss???
URL http://members.at.infoseek.co.jp/doremihaso/shop.html
Website Content galleries
Merchandise cards
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!)  

i like these because they’re half ‘Love Is..’ kind of saccharine cuteness, but you don’t notice until later that the kids are actually melting and have big deformed crab tentacles and stuff.

 

 

new character # 33
Character’s Name lalamoomoo
Designer lalamoomoo
CUTENESS factor 4
WEIRD quotient 5
Job Flailing spastically with many arms
   
URL http://www.cute.to/~lalamoo/
Website Content animation, galleries
Merchandise posters, cards
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) la_lamoomoo@hotmail.com <la_lamoomoo@hotmail.com>

this guy is a professional illustrator who specializes in adapting Duchamp’s "nude decending a staircase" aesthetic to space-age gun-totin’ anime babes, where it belongs.

 

 

new character # 34
Character’s Name xiang xiang
Designer xiang xiang.
CUTENESS factor 8
WEIRD quotient 3
Job winking and twinkling and selling stuff.
   
URL www.xiang-xiang.com
Website Content shopping center, galleries, character descriptions
Merchandise cards, shirts? dolls?
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) http://www.style-21.com/web/superpop/

 

what? it’s fucking cute. whaddaya want, a novel everytime??

 

 

 

 

introducing new, non-famous-but-good-and-hopefully-cute-and-weird Japanese Character Goods!!!

 

new character # 35
Character’s Name which one? there are millions!
Designer Minoru Sugiyama!!!
CUTENESS factor 2
WEIRD quotient 9
Job making Hieronimus Bosch look like Beatrix Potter
URL

HUGE site . . . www.interq.or.jp/yellow/sugiyama/ plan on spending all day.

in my opinion, the best gallery is here. no wait, here.

Website Content tons of galleries.
Merchandise postcards only???
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) http://www2.rocketbbs.com/620/puubbs.html

 

 

minoru Sugiyama is THE BEST illustrator in japan. He has been around a long time so he’s developed a lot of different styles. but even his kid-friendly mechanical bunny-cow-monsters and such are kind of creepy.

 

mostly his amazing stuff is like lithographs from the mid-90s that are just totally horrific, enervating, turgid Bosch-like depictions of dark and monstrous dystopian futures. everything is swollen and big and just nasty. the only bad thing i can say about Minoru-sensei is that he only sells postcards. these things need to be posters!! the detail work is so fine, for crying out loud.

 

 

new character # 36
Character’s Name Destroy Egg, Jetpanda, etc.
Designer GO and Mari
CUTENESS factor 5
WEIRD quotient 8
Job bringing the pain to inferior buttons
   
URL none?
Website Content none.
Merchandise buttons!!!
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) none, dammit!!!

 

GO and Mari are these wonderfully warped button-makers that invented these characters:

(to see the image larger, please click here)

unfortunately i don’t know now to contact them. if you find out, tell me, ok?

i mean, AFRO-GASMASK. why is this not more famous than fucking LINUS??

 

new character # 37
Character’s Name DOLL DISCIPLINE
Designer Lili
CUTENESS factor 8
WEIRD quotient 8
Job lurking in the forest with ceramic fangs
   
URL http://www.h5.dion.ne.jp/~fukuju/
Website Content free pictures
Merchandise expensive (2-300$) dolls you can buy.
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) fukuju-riri@k6.dion.ne.jp

Lili makes dolls. so what? every mid 30s japanese woman who’s given up on boyfriends is making dolls. but what makes Lili’s dolls so um er special is that they have really creepy animal faces and fur glued to them. i mean, any goth person can make a ‘little lolita vampire nurse super wacky’ doll and claim it is scary. but Lili’s dolls are not scary in some cliche obvious way. they are scary in the old-fashioned way of making you deeply unnerved by violating some kind of aesthetic norm that you didn’t even know existed until you saw them and thought, ‘this is SO WROING.’

I was going to correct that ‘wroing’ but now that i think about it, it’s a very apt term for something that goes beyond simple ‘wrongness’ into a whole other realm of ineffable, un-speakable-about wrongness.

 

 

 

introducing new, non-famous-but-good-and-hopefully-cute-and-weird Japanese Character Goods!!!

 

new character # 38
Character’s Name Nyancosu, Supermilk, etc.
Designer TOMY TEC
CUTENESS factor 7
WEIRD quotient 5
Job colonizing everywhere.
URL www.tomytec.co.jp/hobby/
Website Content  
Merchandise figurines
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) ???? i don’t know.

TOMY TEC is a fairly mainstream company compared to most of the stuff i’m showing. their characters (such as Super Milk) appear on cellphone screensavers, for christ’s sake. but what the hey, it’s cute so let’s give them some props. the weird thing is, despite being really successful, i can’t find any way on the group’s website to actuallY BUY the stuff. you’re on your own, pardner.

 

new character # 39
Character’s Name  
Designer mad barbarians
CUTENESS factor 3
WEIRD quotient 6
Job making curry
   
URL www.madbarbarians.com
Website Content animation, galleries
Merchandise figures, posters, cards, buttons…
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!)  

Mad Barbarians is a married couple who live in tokyo and are just getting famous as figure designers. actually, i think most of the characters they just get their friends to make and then they design the figurines and sell them. the website has hella animation so look out.

 

 

new character # 40
Character’s Name IKENIE
Designer MASANORI HANDA aka. MARICHAN
CUTENESS factor 10
WEIRD quotient 10
Job BEING THE BEST CHARACTER DESIGNER IN ALL JAPAN IN ALL CAPS
   
URL http://www.marichan.com/indexe.html
Website Content galleries
Merchandise postcards, stuffed animals, posters, graphic design, notebooks, comicbooks, shirts…
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) mari@marichan.com

ok, you know opeth? i’m going to assume that you do, both because it makes the following metaphor easier to understand and also because if you don’t know opeth i don’t want you reading my webpage anyway. Marichan is just the Opeth of Japanese character design. while it might seem strange to compare a stuffed-animal big-eyed toy designer to the brutal Swedish heavy metal band, the similarities are obvious: both artists are just hands-down the best at what they do, by several orders of magnitude.

 

marichan just has the ultimate combination of kawaii/kowaii (cute/scary) in his designs, thus making them cute and subversive, childishly innocent yet adult-ly intriguing, AND he executes them with really elegant clean lines that are not smeary or lame. Plus he’s creative and stuff.

this character, IKENIE, has a whole backstory. this cuddly teddy bear is actually filled with sucidal angst all the time. he makes Samuel Beckett look like George Michael. more so. read more about him on the website.

 

this is one of his best paintings, called ‘menstrual dream.’

 

 

 

introducing new, non-famous-but-good-and-hopefully-cute-and-weird Japanese Character Goods!!!

 

new character # 41
Character’s Name PSYCHEDELIC GUY GOES NUTS DUDE
Designer TAMIO TESHIMA
CUTENESS factor 2
WEIRD quotient 7
Job being all experimental and junk
URL www.geocities.jp/tamon_gra
Website Content animation, galleries of fine art
Merchandise none?
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!)  

Tamio Teshima does some jacked, hallucinated paintings. OK, it is not technically ‘character design’ but since i met him at the same event (DESIGN FESTA) at which i met the character designers, i’m including him here. not only are his paintings just odd, but his WEBSITE is so severly designed, i must say, "hey everyone! look at this freaking website and junk!" like, it’s got crazy little animations and little hidden buttons and stuff, but it’s not done in a ‘design whore’ way. in fact it looks like NOTHING ELSE I’VE EVER SEEN ON THE WEB. ok, maybe that is because i am high as a horse. wait, no, i’m not. he is. jesus, is he ever high.

 

 

new character # 42
Character’s Name oh hush now
Designer TAMASO.
CUTENESS factor varies
WEIRD quotient varies
Job getting jobs for the artists in their ‘stable’
   
URL http://www.tamaso.com/gallery/index_ill.html
Website Content illustrations by various illustrators that illustrate stuff which is all illustrated.
Merchandise cards, and illustration/design work.
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) http://www.tamaso.com/petit/petit.cgi

TAMASO is this network of artists/illustrators. While you are probably not going to hire them to design your wedding announcement / ass-wuppin’ invitation / Lost Cat poster, you WILL enjoy looking at the free pictures. They must have a stable of 20 fools all showing pretty awesome pictures for free, with all different kinds of styles! go nuts!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

new character # 43
Character’s Name many
Designer Rica
CUTENESS factor 9
WEIRD quotient 2
Job imitating Superflat
   
URL

officially the site is here..

http://299dayori.com/frame.html

…but the good stuff is here.

Website Content diary, pitchers, animation, dog’s butts
Merchandise i. have. no. idea.
Email / BBS, ( please tell them Tokyo Damage Report sent you!) rica@299dayori.com

Rica is an illustrator who draws kind of generic, bright, flat, hip characters. I have no idea if the characters have any ‘back-story’ or plot or whatever, but her stuff is SO generic that it functions as a good introduction to all the current happy shiny flat Adobe Illustrator stuff coming out of Japan now. Plus it’s cute.

 

3 comments

3 Comments so far

  1. chanelle January 9th, 2012 10:19 pm

    i love your use of colours

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