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Monday, February 29, 2016

QPop Scares in February? YOKAI: The Horror of Shigeru Mizuki Art Tribute

Ahhhhh! It's all kinds of scary in Q Pop this February and March. Why so early? Why not with the YOKAI: The Horror of Shigeru Mizuki Art Tribute show. Q Pop had another tribute show opening over the weekend we couldn't miss in Little Tokyo. The celebrated artist of Japan featured in the newest show may best be known for his manga GeGeGe no Kitarō translated to Kitarō of the Graveyard. The manga has become synonymous with horror in Japan and has been adapted into multiple anime series and even live action films. The story revolves around a young yokai (Japanese ghost/moster/demon), Kitaro and his friends that include Neko-Musume (a cat-girl), Nezumi-Otoko (rat-man) and Kitaro's father who has become a living eyeball with little arms and legs. With other Yokai the have adventures of helping humans based on Japanese mythology. In earlier incarnations...stories were way more darker. Now the series is kid stuff.

You may also know Shigeru Mizuki for his depictions of the insides of monsters, he has books on yokai that have cutaways to their insides to see what they were made of. This depiction of monsters is still strong today as hero costumes, robots and monsters still have cross-sections of what they're made up of. We were kind of surprised at the show that there wasn't an example of this to be found.

When looking hard we did find peep holes, as did many other fans. Mind out of the gutter, however we did find someone bathing, Kitaro's father the eyeball! He likes taking a lot of hot baths i, as to some joke of being an old Japanese man.

Riyoko Iwamoto was the artist of the peep hole art that made patrons take a gander at the four main characters of the GeGeGe no Kitarō anime. "I kind of like the idea of peeping into the world, instead of having it out in the open," Riyoko told me as we watch the co-owner of the gallery peep while showing fans. When we asked about the anime she told us, "Oh, I loved it, I grew up with it." We were then informed by her that the artist, Shigeru Mizuki just died last November and that she felt it was a great time to pay an overseas tribute to him.

Another artist paying tribute to Shigeru Mizuki was Naoshi who depicted a cute scene between Kitaro and the cat girl Neko-Musume sharing an umbrella monster, a Kasa-obake in Japanese folk-lore, in the rain. She was very happy to be part of the show telling us, "Because it's Japanese/ J-Pop culture it's very comfortable to be here." She then went into explaining the anime as she grew up with a incarnation of it in the 80's and 90's too.

As one of the GeGeGe no Kitarō anime played in the background with spooky music and more fans came in the show still seemed to be going strong as we ventured out of the show.

YOKAI: The Horror of Shigeru Mizuki Art Tribute
Now thru-March 20
319 E 2nd st. #121 LA, CA 90012
(213) 687-7767

Co-Owner of QPop, Christopher Mitchell