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Interview with Hiroshi Fujiwara: Thunderbolt Project, Culture, and Design

October 4, 2018 8:00pm
by Eddie Lehecka

There are few figures from Japan who carry as much global significance in mainstream culture as Hiroshi Fujiwara. Considered in some circles to be the godfather of ura-Harajuku culture, he has a long-storied history in the worldwide streetwear scene and is seen by many as an influencer in the most literal sense. From his work as a brand owner, independent designer, and even as a tastemaker in the fashion industry, his presence has been felt through collaborations with some of the biggest brands in the world including Louis Vuitton, Nike, and Levis.

Most recently he has teamed up with The Pokémon Company to bring the world "THUNDERBOLT PROJECT BY  ◼️◼️◼️◼️◼️ & POKÉMON", a collaboration of the highest caliber with one of the world's most recognizable franchises. We were given the opportunity to sit down with him ahead of this weekend's Hypefest event and chat, and as a longtime fan of his work I couldn't help but jump at the opportunity. Continue reading below to see his thoughts about streetwear culture, the internet's impact on the industry, and his upcoming collaboration.

OTAQUEST: Thank you for sitting down with us today, as a longtime fan of your work I appreciate the opportunity to have this conversation. To start things off, many of our readers in America who aren’t familiar with the Japanese streetwear scene may not be familiar with you or your body of work. How would you describe yourself and your design philosophy to someone who isn’t already familiar with your work?

Hiroshi Fujiwara: I’m not good at explaining myself, but I started DJing in the early 80’s and I was really inspired by punk music. I think many people don’t realize that punk and hip-hop have very strong connections, and I was really into that scene. It was the whole culture, music and fashion, which might not be as connected anymore but back then it was a really strong moment for both and I was growing up with it.

OTAQUEST: You started your career in fashion with your clothing brand, GOODENOUGH, and in the early 2000s you shifted from that to being very focused on collaborations with the founding of fragment design. What do you like about the creative process that occurs when collaborating with others?

Fujiwara: I wasn’t really trying to create a collaboration brand or anything, because there was a time where collaboration wasn’t really necessary. No one really cared. It was just based on my friendly relationships with different companies.

When I visited New York my first time in 1982 I went to the Tiffany store, because I liked the movie (Breakfast at Tiffany’s), and there was nothing I wanted to buy but there was a Montblanc pen and Rolex Watches. I wondered to myself “Why are they selling these, they are not Tiffany products”, so I asked the staff and they told me that they recognized Rolex as the number one watch brand and Montblanc makes the number one pen so they decided to carry them. They included a Tiffany logo, and I thought that was a really great concept. It was one of the first collaborations like that which I saw.

Then when I was doing GOODENOUGH I always carried a PORTER bag at the time, so I called up their company and asked if I could make a bag. That was the start of collaborations for me. I continue to try to do the same kind of thing, if I like something then I’ll ask the company to either make something for us or if we can do a collaboration. If they say no then maybe I’ll just make something similar by myself. But basically, when I stopped doing GOODENOUGH I became really independent and decided I would rather just work with other people and companies to do that kind of collaboration product.

OTAQUEST:  You’re known as a key player in bringing hip-hop culture and streetwear to japan. Being that you have been around that scene since the beginning how do you feel it’s different now? What are your thoughts on how the culture has evolved over the years?

Fujiwara: I think information technology changed so much. Now you don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t have to travel. That’s a really big thing. I think the mindset is still the same though, people want to be the first to get a new product and want to get things that are very rare. The mentality is all the same.

OTAQUEST: Do you think the design process or the type of work that comes out now has changed over the years?

Fujiwara: Maybe it became bigger, but not really changed.

OTAQUEST: So in relation to that, is there anyone or any company operating currently who’s work you enjoy right now in either music or fashion?

Fujiwara: I really enjoy everyone, UNDERCOVER, NEIGHBORHOOD, LOUIS VUITTON, etc. They all have their own mind and their own originality. So I’m really lucky to get to work with them, and maybe steal ideas sometimes *laughs*

OTAQUEST: In the past you have said that you feel the internet has taken the experience out of shopping and searching for stuff, and you’re the type of person who has done some very creative pop-up stores like THE POOL and what you’re doing currently with THE CONVENI. Do you think that because of the way the internet has changed behavior that creating an experience is really important in your own work?

Fujiwara: Yeah, I think so. You have to go there or be there in person to really get the whole experience.

OTAQUEST: Do you think that changes the consumer mindset in doing so?

Fujiwara: I really hope so. But you kind of have to explain that you have to be there. People think “I saw it, so I was there” when in truth they only saw a small picture online. Like even The Louvre in Paris, if you go there are so many things to see. Even if you only see the Mona Lisa in person, it’s still different that just seeing it on the internet. I think you really have to go there and feel it.

OTAQUEST: Does that thought about the experience influence your work at all?

Fujiwara: Yeah, I don’t really know how to explain how but I really enjoy doing it. THE CONVENI for example is actually a difficult project, it’s really hard work because you have to keep thinking about what’s next. For example this is a new thing I’ve done *pulls a small coin out of his bag* It’s Bitcoin chocolate. Bitcoin melting in your mouth *laughs*. I had read that the Bitcoin design is public domain so I thought it would be cool to make. This kind of thing is really fun to do.

I also don’t really think so much about when I’m working with a company on a collaboration about how I can make something bigger or sell a ton of product. I just want to give a different image to them, so it doesn’t have to be a huge project, just something different.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

消えてなくなるビットコイン。 #coinchocolate

A post shared by fujiwarahiroshi (@fujiwarahiroshi) on

OTAQUEST: You’ve said in the past that you don’t feel like revival culture or pop-culture really exists anymore thanks to the internet.

Fujiwara: Yeah pop-culture I think was really finished in the 90’s.

OTAQUEST: From my perspective I’ve noticed that as of late younger audiences have had a fascination with time periods that they never had a chance to experience themselves. One that I find to be really interesting is that Bubble Era & City Pop music has been really prominent in the west. A good example is Mariya Takeuchi’s “Plastic Love”. It wasn’t a huge hit when it first came out in Japan but right now it’s all over YouTube and has millions of plays, and it’s helped inspire a genre of music called “Future Funk” that’s been growing worldwide. Do you feel this kind of false nostalgia is creating a different kind of pop-culture then?

Fujiwara: Yeah I think so, it (revival culture) was always kind of like that. Before the internet it was harder to search for things but it was always like that. I’m glad to hear that something like Japanese city pop music is seeing a revival, because I never thought the concept of a true revival was ever going to come back again. It’s really good to know.

OTAQUEST: In the past you’ve talked about the idea of treasure hunting when it pertains to different cultures & experiences. Knowing now that City Pop has had a chance to flourish in another country, do you think that the internet has created a different kind of treasure hunt?

Fujiwara: Yeah, but maybe-not in the most positive way. You’re not really going somewhere to do the treasure hunting so maybe it’s lost the atmosphere and impacted the way people travel. But then again, it’s something else so it’s not actually positive or negative.

When I was traveling around I would think “If I find something I want, and I have the money then I really have to buy it, because I might never see it again”. But now if you wait like 3 months you can find anything on eBay all the time, so it’s kind of losing the what made that buying experience special. In terms of distance, I think it’s like the distance between someone & eBay is no different than the distance between me and my closet. If I have a pair of Jordans in my closet it might take several hours to find them, and it’s a pain in the ass. But then there’s eBay, so if I want something again I can get it easily.

OTAQUEST: Do you think that concept of “nothing is really exclusive anymore” has changed the way that people consume fashion now, in the sense that a lot of brands will make things very limited to keep the demand high?

Fujiwara: Well, you say very limited but I don’t think it’s really like that. Maybe now Nike can make 10,000 pairs of sneakers and someone will still say it’s rare, but that’s not really the case is it?

OTAQUEST: That’s true. But there’s also a movement, and it’s always kind of existed but I think it’s probably more apparent now than it used to be, where people will buy collaboration items or rare streetwear items and they’ll keep them unused and display them. Almost like appreciating fine art. What do you think about that kind of mentality?

Fujiwara: I kind of understand, because I’ve always been like that. Maybe the tastes are different but I’ve always had that kind of otaku mind. I want to collect, or maybe not really collect, but keep things if I really like them. So I understand if people buy Supreme or something like that and just want to keep it.

OTAQUEST: Do you think that’s changed how designers create though? Like maybe some people are looking at their work in fashion as being more like art, rather than specifically fashion.

Fujiwara: I don’t know, I hope not. Personally, if I buy something I want to wear it or use it.

OTAQUEST: Considering things like THE CONVENI or your recent work with LOTTE’s Bikkuriman, you’ve collaborated on a lot of different products over the years, and of course you’re known for fashion. Is there any medium you haven’t had a chance to work in or a product that you haven’t designed that you want to have an opportunity to try your hand at?

Fujiwara: I would love to design something like one floor of a luxury hotel.

OTAQUEST: There’s been a trend in the west lately where a lot of Japanese properties have been used for collaboration recently. Supreme did Akira, Adidas is doing Dragonball. What do you think about that idea of using something born from Japan that might not be as well known to the mainstream for a collaboration, and do you think it’s a trend that will continue?

Fujiwara: It’s not like Japan is so “Far East” anymore. It’s really part of the international scene now so it’s bound to happen. It’s the same as us using Mickey Mouse or Snoopy, instead it’s Akira or Hayao Miyazaki. So I think the idea is very similar now.

OTAQUEST: Moving onto some questions about the Pokémon collaboration, THUNDERBOLT PROJECT,  how did the project come to be and what was the process to getting it all started?

Fujiwara: The Pokémon Company asked me if I was interested in doing a collaboration, and I wondered “What can I do for Pokémon?” I saw Pikachu and its theme is thunder or lightning. So I thought, I can use my logo for Fragment with things like the Pokémon tails, and then I got back to them and we talked about it.

OTAQUEST: Were you familiar with the franchise or played any of the games prior to them reaching out to you?

Fujiwara: Yeah, I had been playing Pokémon Go a bit.

OTAQUEST: Since you play Pokémon Go what do you think about the Augmented Reality experience it provides?

Fujiwara: I didn’t know much about Pokémon before I started playing it, but as a game Pokémon Go is amazing. Using the latest technology and incorporating it into a game that anyone can pick up and play, I think that’s amazing to be able to go anywhere and catch what you want.

OTAQUEST: Do you think there’s an application for AR in fashion?

Fujiwara: Yeah definitely, I’ve always wanted to do that kind of orientating thing. It never happened, but I wanted to something like that with Nike using all of the Nike stores around the world. Something that would have made you go to many locations and scan a QR code to see how many you could visit. It may be on a different scale, but it’s kind of the same thing with Pokémon Go. You really have to go all over the world to catch everything.

OTAQUEST: Is there something about the Pokémon franchise that you think lends itself to doing a streetwear or high fashion collaboration?

Fujiwara: I think there’s a lot of potential with it. I’ve been asked by a few luxury brands about using Pokémon characters, so I think it’s similar to Mickey Mouse or Snoopy in that way. I wasn’t really sure if I would use Pokémon for myself, I had never thought about wearing something with Pokémon, but once I did it I was happy with the result. I kind of surprised myself *laughs*

OTAQUEST: You’ve collaborated with so many really famous brands in the past but most of them were fashion or lifestyle oriented and Pokémon is more of a pop-culture icon in a different way. How does the experience in collaboration with a high end fashion property differ from working with something like Pokémon?

Fujiwara: I think of it more like hitting a balance, if you do something really high fashion then it’s good to do something like Bikkuriman or Pokémon. It didn’t really change how I approach the design, I just though it was something I needed to do. I really like so many different things.

OTAQUEST: You mentioned Pikachu earlier as an idea that inspired your designs but are there any other characters that you think have an interesting design?

Fujiwara: This project will keep going on for maybe like 2 years, so we have a lot more to come.

OTAQUEST: You’re on the board for Hypefest, and I thought it was really interesting that they reached out to represent the Japanese side of fashion especially since streetwear is so prominent in America and there are already so many brands to work with. What was the process like working with them to select who to include for the event?

Fujiwara: Kevin (Ma, founder of Hypebeast) had asked me to be a member of the board, along with Sarah (Andelman, of colette). I don’t quite think the idea was about being tired of the same things, but I think they just wanted to bring something else to the event. Maybe not everything at hypefest will be what real street kids want, it’s not specifically just sneakers or anything like that, it’s more about sharing fashion and culture.

OTAQUEST: So maybe it’s like the idea of forcing people to leave their comfort zone?

Fujiwara: Yeah, I think that education is really important and also interesting. To know what’s behind street culture, or really what’s going on right now in different places.

OTAQUEST: Talking about Hypefest in relation to THUNDERBOLT PROJECT, and about the idea of education and bringing things that people might not expect, was there a specific thought process behind using Hypefest as the place to debut your collaboration with Pokémon?

Fujiwara: It was really just the timing. When Pokémon had asked me to do it I had Hypefest going on as well so I asked them if we could debut it there. It was just perfect timing.

OTAQUEST: Do you have a hope for what the response will be for something like this at Hypefest?

Fujiwara: Surprise. I like to surprise people.

OTAQUEST: What can we look forward to seeing from you next? Or is there anything you’re working on that you’re excited about?

Fujiwara: I’ve been working with Moncler, that’s a two year project, so there are a few more collections I’m doing. I have a few projects with other luxury brands in progress. Steiff, the Teddy Bear, that’s really cool and coming out next month.

We'll be following Hiroshi Fujiwara's exploits down the line in full here on OTAQUEST, starting this weekend with the multiple activities he has going on at Hypefest in Brooklyn, New York. We're beyond excited to see the more than 30 pieces being dropped at the event from his new collaboration, as well as THE COVENI popup and other collaborations he has going on during the weekend! Be sure to also enter our contest for your chance to win a Pokémon Let's Go  Nintendo Switch Bundle, complete with the exclusive pre-order bonuses from Pokémon Center Japan!

About THUNDERBOLT PROJECT BY  ◼️◼️◼️◼️◼️ & POKÉMON

A joint project between Pokémon and Hiroshi Fujiwara called the THUNDERBOLT PROJECT has begun. This project will sell limited-edition items in a variety of regions, starting with an October release at the HYPEFEST event in New York. With this unprecedented collaboration, we will send a “Thunderbolt” throughout the world! This project is scheduled to continue into 2019 and beyond. 

THUNDERBOLT PROJECT © 2018 Pokémon

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Sony Flaunts Their PlayStation VR Library in New Montage Trailer

December 14, 2018 3:47pm
by Paul Hartling

PlayStation Europe has hit the ground running with a new montage trailer featuring new and previously released (but still relevant) PlayStation VR titles. Sony’s PlayStation VR lineup has come a long way since the peripherals release back in 2016 and the new bundles for the Holiday season have hit quite the mark. With over 200 compatible games along with genres ranging from shooting, puzzle, and platforming, it’s obvious that now is the time to join in on virtual reality as the form of entertainment with the headset continues to expand at a steady rate.
 


With the many games shown in the montage that include favorites such as Moss, Beat Saber, Astro Bot Rescue Mission, Tetris Effect, Borderlands 2 VR and SUPERHOT VR, Sony has hit the right nerve on what people are looking for in terms of support in a VR headset and not packing in extra accessories that you ordinarily just wouldn’t use for some games. Playing both Moss at E3 2017 and Tetris Effect during E3 2018, along with a few other titles within the past year, has cemented my believing in VR.

With PlayStation VR FINALLY being affordable to the market with impressive bundles that have just the right amount of content for anybody, plus the patched PSVR content included into games already by developers that you might already own, PSVR can safely be adoptable by the masses. With bundles ranging from $199 to $349 at most retailers, consumers have quite an option here. Bundling the PSVR together with a couple of interesting games isn’t bad for the cheaper SKU and even if VR isn’t going to catapult into popularity as many had hoped, it’s always some good fun to mess around with for a while. It also means you get to play other excellent games as VR experiences such as Resident Evil VII and Gran Turismo Sport.

Is PlayStation VR on your Holiday wishlist?

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Release Date for Masaaki Yuasa’s 'Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara' Revealed

December 14, 2018 2:51pm
by Petrit Elshani

Solidifying the June-July period as an exciting period for anime movie fans, Masaaki Yuasa’s upcoming film Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara has been slated for a June 21, 2019 release in Japan. Placing it less than a month before Makoto Shinkai's Tenki no Ko: Weathering into You (July 19) makes this perhaps the most promising month for anime movies in recent history. With Reiko Yoshida (Liz and the Blue Bird, A Silent Voice) penning the script and Michiru Oshima (Lu Over the Wall, Little Witch Academia) conducting the score, this film is certainly not one to miss. 

“The story centers on the relationship between Hinako, who has moved to a coastal town upon entering university and Minato, a young firefighter with a strong sense of justice. Hinako loves surfing and while fearless on the sea, she's still uncertain about her future. Following a fire mishap in the town, Hinako and Minato encounter each other. As they spend more time surfing together, Hinako feels drawn to Minato, who dedicates himself to help others.” 

Masaaki Yuasa is perhaps one of only a few truly distinct auteurs in the Japanese animation industry today. With classics like Kaiba, Tatami Galaxy, and Ping Pong the Animation behind his back, as well as recent hits such as Lu Over the Wall, and Night is Short, Walk on Girl, and this year’s Devilman Crybaby, this movie is almost guaranteed to be good. For those of you who may not be sure what to expect, Yuasa is particularly renowned for pushing the boundaries of what animation has to offer. Constantly changing up the art direction and style of his works, he doesn’t shy away from whatever does his stories the most justice on screen. In some sense, he’s the opposite of Makoto Shinkai, who wants to deliver on a highly refined and polish visual experience as opposed to a raw and emotional one like Yuasa is known for. 

It’s almost profound that Yuasa is able to consistently put out new projects. Considering that both of his recent movies were released in 2017, with Devilman Crybaby hitting Netflix so soon after, it’s amazing that we’re getting another feature film so soon. Yuasa’s team previously reported some delays in the production at the time when Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara was first unveiled in October, so the fact that it’s still hitting the cinemas so soon is quite a surprise. Hopefully, this doesn’t mean that the team is clambering to finish in too short of time. 

Those interested in checking out further information on the upcoming film, be sure to check out Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara's official website.

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New Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 Trailer Unleashed

December 14, 2018 1:45pm
by Petrit Elshani

With Mob Psycho 100's explosive second season 2 just around the corner, there is absolutely no better time to hype people up than right now -- and that’s precisely what Studio Bones have decided to do by dropping an incredible all-new trailer today. With some breathtaking action cuts, coupled with the return of MOB CHOIR for the new opening “99.9 (feat. sajou no hana)", Mob Psycho is coming in hot. Set to air on January 7, 2019, this trailer has effectively solidified Mob Psycho 100 as being one of next season’s biggest shows. 
 


After the light-hearted and somewhat unremarkable first trailer that was released at the end of October, this new, brilliantly choreographed trailer reminds fans why exactly they love this series. Starting with a number of cuts featuring almost all of the notable characters, the trailer manages to remind everyone of the sincere aspects of the series without making it mellow. After all, it wouldn’t be a good Mob Psycho 100 trailer if it didn’t feature its fair share of fan-favorite character Arataka Reigen.

Much like Mob himself, this trailer goes from 0 to 100. After gradually building up for the first 30 seconds, the trailer finally unleashes it’s pent-up collection of spectacularly animated cuts and, oh boy, does it not disappoint. Ranging from grueling transformations sequences, dramatic character moments, stunning action, and mind-blowing effect animation, this trailer really gives a taste of what the animated series has to offer. 

The way it wraps things up really keeps the audience wanting more. Ending on such a dramatic moment with the tagline “World becomes something else from a different point of view” coming across the screen, the trailer leads the audience in strongly as to what they can expect from Mob and his upcoming internal struggles. 

Additionally “Memo Sepia” by sajou no hana has been revealed as the ED, as well as Akira Ishida doing the voicework for upcoming major character “Keiji Mogami”. If you are intrigued for more, be sure to check out Mob Psycho 100’s official website.

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GAME FREAK's Junichi Masuda and Kensaku Nabana Play 'Who's That Pokémon?'

December 14, 2018 12:17pm
by Mike Tamburelli

I think that I speak for many when saying that the “Who’s That Pokémon” segments in the original Pokémon anime were among my favorite moments in the show every week. The anime was airing at exactly the right time in North America when the hype for the new series was at a fever pitch after the release of both Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue on the Game Boy in 1998.

Pokémon truly became one of those rare franchises wherein multiple media projects worked in synergy with each other; the fanbase was truly hooked. The concept existed in the Japanese version as well, known as the “Silhouette Game,” and the concept was quite simple: audience members were tasked with identifying a Pokémon based only a blacked-out version of a piece of artwork, sometimes with clever angular tricks thrown in. 

Now, two of the franchise’s most important creatives take a stab at a slightly modified version of the game for our enjoyment -- the silhouettes are made from the pixel models of the Pokémon in both the Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! releases on Switch. Exactly how well do series director Junichi Masuda and graphic designer Kensaku Nabana do at identifying the creatures in their own games? Let’s take a look.

Things start off on a pretty sarcastic clip, a tone that never really subsides throughout the entirety of the almost eight-minute video.


The video was way more entertaining than I thought it would be, with the two guys ribbing each other at a nice clip, complete with some quite surprising failures. You’ll have to check out the whole video above for the rest of their fun. How’d you do? Did you end up beating the masters at (literally) their own game?

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! released for the Nintendo Switch on November 16, 2018, worldwide and is available both digitally and physically.

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VIZ Media Releases Final Volume of Nishio Yuhta's Essential 'After Hours'

December 14, 2018 11:09am
by Lachlan Johnston

Easily one of my most recommended manga series of the past few years, Nishio Yuhta's incredible After Hours is a masterpiece of its genre and an incredible representation of Tokyo's vivid club scene. Though the final volume of this incredible series saw an early-2018 release here in Japan, fans in the West are finally now able to see just how the series concludes with VIZ Media earlier this week publishing After Hours Vol. 3 in English. 
 


Already an established name within Tokyo's club music circuit, Nishio Yuhta has been closely associated with artists such as Mikeneko Homeless and DJ WILDPARTY for some time now, as well as being the designer behind some of MOGRA's most iconic event imagery. For someone already so established within the club scene, you really couldn't ask for anyone better to introduce these cultures to international audiences through After Hours, and boy what an introduction it is. 

For those unfamiliar, After Hours finds itself centered around Emi Asahina, a girl who is by every definition of the word, ordinary. After being invited to a club event by a good friend, Emi's life takes a surprising turn after her chance encounter with DJ and club frequent Kei. Throughout the course of the rest of the manga, we see both Emi's feelings towards Kei flourish, as well as her love of DJ'ing start to bloom. 

Filled to the brim with references to iconic moments in modern club culture, as well as the people that pioneered them, After Hours is absolutely not to be slept on. It's no secret that Yuhta is quite the fan of both internet-age musicians, as well as early pioneers in the French House scene, giving the series a much more authentic appeal. 

Available now both physically and digitally, you absolutely do not want to miss the wave on this one. Those interested in checking out even more on the English-language release of Nishio Yuhta's incredible After Hours, be sure to check out VIZ Media's official website.

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Asobi System Launches Monthly Tokyo Street Fashion Magazine 'weam'

December 14, 2018 10:12am
by Lachlan Johnston

Asobi System is a company that has long been on the pulse of Harajuku's ever-evolving street fashion and music culture, dating all the way back to when they first came onto the scene over ten years ago. They're the team behind some of Harajuku and Shibuya's most iconic exports, including both Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Yasutaka Nakata, and have dedicated a large stake of their time into the continued output of culture in the area. Acting as both creators and curators, Asobi System tends to have a pretty significant amount of knowledge about the streets that they call home.

In February 2017 the global fashion scene was taken by surprise with the announcement that effective immediately, FRUiTS Magazine would be ceasing publication due to the lack of "cool kids" to photograph. It was an announcement that left the world questioning where Harajuku culture had gone, as well as just how long Japan's "fashion capital" would be able to keep their title. But while I maintain nothing but respect for Shoichi Aoki and his 20 years of photography work within Harajuku, the concept of there being no more "cool kids" to photograph couldn't be more disconnected.



Apparently, I'm not the only one to think this either, with Asobi System earlier this month launching their latest project -- "weam". Revitalizing the concept of a monthly street snap magazine, weam takes to the streets of both Harajuku and Shibuya to give a voice to the next generation of "cool kids" that define the cities modern street fashion sensibilities. The forced foreign concept that Harajuku needs to remain this hyper-colorful capital couldn't be further removed from reality, with little-to-no knowledge shared amongst international onlookers as to the very real modern street culture sweeping the area.

With the first volume going into print and publication earlier this month, the significance of "weam" magazine is immediately visible, yet the concept isn't necessarily anything new. Each issue contains roughly 77 different co-ord photos, as well as a breakdown of the name, age, occupation, and IDs on each item worn by the photographed outfit. The end result is an easy to digest, hyper-relevant look at just what the youth of today are hitting the streets with, all while allowing readers to be inspired to try out their own looks.

While the magazine is still very much in its early days, it'll be interesting to see just how much staying power weam holds in comparison to other street snap magazines before it. With the backing of such a firmly-embedded company like Asobi System, however, I can certainly see this magazine continuing to expand and inform for years to come. Available now in bookstores across Japan, further details on weam can be found via Asobi System's official website.

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Makoto Shinkai Announces His Next Project, Tenki no Ko: Weathering With You

December 13, 2018 6:30pm
by Eddie Lehecka

While now-legendary anime director Makoto Shinkai is anything but a new face in the industry, it wouldn't be until 2016 that he was truly able to captivate the world with his game-changing film, "Your Name.". Now over two years later, he's finally setting the stage for his grand return with today's announcement of his all-new original film "Tenki no Ko: Weathering With You". Set to hit theaters across Japan on July 19, 2019, the upcoming film sees Makoto's return to form alongside studio CoMix Wave Films.



Credited as director of the original project, Makoto Shinkai will also be penning the film's script, while "Your Name." character designer Masayoshi Tanaka will be making a return to again handle character design. Makoto Shinkai originally began teasing the film earlier this year, stating that he'd like his next feature film to tell the story of adolescence.

While it comes as little surprise, the film has already been confirmed for international theatrical screenings, with confirmation locked in for Asia, North America, South America, and Europe. Following the massive global success of "Your Name.", I can only imagine how quick publishers must have had to snap this one up. With that being said, screening dates have yet to be announced for any of these countries, though it would be great to see a simultaneous release if possible.

Though we're yet to see the film in motion, we're sure we'll start seeing all sorts of teasers and trailers in the coming few months to really drum up hype. When that day does come, we'll be sure to deliver the news as it breaks. Until then, however, CoMix Wave Films have launched an official website for the upcoming film that can be found here.

What do you think, are you excited for an all-new Makoto Shinkai adventure, and what are you hoping to see throughout the film? 

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