Monday, August 24, 2015

Plenty of Fan Service: Q Pop's Gainax Tribute Art Show

The Pillows played in the background as Gunbuster played at the back of the store, projected up high on a wall. There was little space for it, most of it had been taken up by a huge assortment of tribute art for one of the most powerful anime studios to ever exist, Gainax. Neon Genesis Evangelion, Panty & Stocking, Gurren Lagann, FLCL; all filled Q 2's walls with robots, hot girls and at least one daicon (misspelled on purpose) radish. All from the invaluable studio that started in 1984 and now has fledgling studios coming out of it keeping up the quality of it's animation. Gainax is still around today, producing animation for Japan, but many are waiting for a new break through hit series.

Scores of fans poured in and were as shocked as I was to see the so many fond memories from Toonami, ancient DVD's and networks that no longer exist. If a fan of FLCL, Eva or P&S you were instantly floored by the volume of art. Christoper Lee, co-owner of the gallery, couldn't tell me which series had more pieces in the show. Even rarer shows shared the spotlight like "His and Her Circumstances" and even the work for a video game, "Princess Maker, " never released in the US.

"Why Gainax, why now?, " Chris, co-owner of Q Pop, repeated after me. "Because I'm a huge fan of Gainax, so any time is a good time for Gainax." He was wearing a Panty & Stocking tee with a sperm trooper on it, that had permanent fake "spew" on it.

If you want to get really "meta" about the show for a moment you might like to know that Christopher is a well known animator who worked on the Powerpuff Girls. The style of that show was highly influenced by anime. Panty & Stocking was a dirty anime heavily inspired by The Powerpuff Girls in look alongside many other American animated shows, however Powerpuff Girls was the closes connection. If Chris, who sadly didn't do it, made a piece for the show of Panty and Stocking it would be a full circle back. We hope at TTDILA he does one day and maybe tries to convince some of the old team from the show to do some doodles.

When I asked Chris what piece stood out to him, he told me, "Every time someone asks me that I'll give them a different answer." As we then looked at Eastwood Wong's Asuka X Rei and gave it praise done with layered transparency films for an amazing look.

Jean Liang was surprise entry under her Fangrrlz label with specially themed Evangelion T-shirts, only in size medium and at $60 a pop. The congratulations simulation game tee, had one girl going, "Oohh, " as I made my rounds of the show.

"Pyui?!" was the unmistakable sound and name of Kyle Carrozza piece for the show. The creator of Mighty Magiswords was added to the roster of artists after we at TTDILA mentioned our favorite anime, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi on Q Pop's Facebook page. Kyle sprang up online and yelled out Abenonbashi and was quickly added to the roster. It was the only other piece from that anime other than Mariko Yamashin's "Pinball!!, " because with anything related to Abenonbashi needs at least one, "!" "Pyui," is a made-up cutesy nonsense word from a Pokemon-reject goblin that two Japanese kids have to get back stolen panties.

Kyle chose the piece out of the big impact Hiroyuki Yamaga, director of Abenonbashi, had on him. By the third episode of the show Kyle was going, "What it going on, this is nuts!" He continued, "There's a bunch of shots where Sasshi is in the foreground making some sort of horrible face and there's just the stupidest possible drawing of Arumi in the back." Those two are the series little kid protagonists on a insane adventure that goes all over anime, to magical fantasy lands and all the way to outer space. "I don't know if I've ever laughed so hard at one shot."

We continued to discuss the work of Hiroyuki Yamaga work, including Gurren Lagann and the annoyance of the non-sencisal word "pyui."

Ganaix Girls are lining the walls of Q Pop in magazine ad positions. Robots stand tall, gleaming the sun off their shiny frames. Off in the distance, a pink-haired girl is stuck in the motion of having her  guitar crashing down to the earth. Fans will have a field day and flip out at the sight of all Ganaix's work set before them.

You can still catch the show until the middle of September.

Check out the art online

Q Pop's Ganaix Tribute Art Show
August 22 - September 14
312 Little Tokyo Mall ste# 121
Los Angeles,  CA