Daikichi Amano brings tentacle erotica to life

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Japanese photographer Daikichi Amano explores the gruesome connection between Japan’s metaphorical and literal consumption of both the female form and creatures of the sea. Octopus carcasses embrace women’s naked bodies, dripping across their skin and morphing into weird appendages that blur the line between woman and animal. Or in other words, Amano loves to depict live action tentacle porn (another mainstay of Japanese anime).

Here are some photos that are borderline NSFW. For the real hentai stuff, you can head over to Juxtapoz to check out the rest of the photos.

Annnnnddddd…Exhale! A Recap of the 2014 Consortium of Asian American Theatre Artists Conference/Festival

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Roger Tang wears hats. Lots of hats. So many hats he needs to check them to see what he needs to do at any given moment. Last he checked, he wrote two scenes for Revealed, a site specific piece for SIS Productions. Next time he checks, he might be producing the Northwest premiere of Carla Ching’s Fast Company for Pork Filled Productions. And if he checks again, he might realize he needs to update the Asian American Theatre Revue with even more news and events in Asian American theatre across the country. Hats. Sigh.

kt Shorb, Kat Evasco, Viet Nguyen, Anu Yadav, Traci Akemi Kato-kiriyama

kt Shorb, Kat Evasco, Viet Nguyen, Anu Yadav, Traci Akemi Kato-kiriyama

EVENTThe book is closed on the 2014 Consortium of Asian American Theatre Artists Conference/Festival (that’s CAATA and ConFest for short), the fourth of its kind. Like other Asian American theatre artists, I leave feeling both drained and energized. Drained, because it was constantly go-go-go: watching panels, catching new pieces, networking with fellow professionals, etc. etc. etc. Energized because making art can be lonely, especially for Asian American artists; knowing that you’re not alone, that you have peers that support you is simply exhilarating.

I’ve been to previous conferences (plus the convening in Seattle in 1999), wearing many hats. I write, first with the Pork Filled Players, then with SIS Productions in Seattle. I’m also a producer/administrator, having served as a fundraiser for the late Northwest Asian American Theatre and as founder/Executive Director of Pork Filled Players/Productions. And finally, I am the editor of the Asian American Theatre Revue, the online calendar and news journal about Asian American theatre events that virtually binds, connects and informs Asian American theatre artists around the world (I’m literally the reason the conference knew some groups even existed).

Film Festival Dispatch: Busan International Film Festival 2014

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This year’s Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) was an overall, solid edition of the very best in Asian cinema. Dubbed “the Cannes of Asia” BIFF has built a reputation of presenting the latest films from around the world, with strong focuses on Asian films, as well as nurturing talent and filmmakers through its Asian Project Market, and also a destination to conduct business through its concurrent Asian Film Market.

Hatsune Miku Appearance on David Letterman or How I Wish She Were Cooler

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Blue-haired hologram superstar from Japan, Hatsune Miku performs repugnant songs that fail in any arena of pop. Would you thump this in your car? No, it only works with the gimmick of her likeness in 3D. I’ve seen awful J-Pop live and somehow the all Japanese audience eats it up, knowing every hand gesture and move. It’s simply bad music with throngs of fans – a mysterious phenomenon everywhere.

I respect the greatness of the technology that goes into a character like Hatsune Miku. It’s an improvement on the 80s “virtual star” concept that turned into a TV show, Max Headroom. But Hatsune Miku is taken to a new level, except with no sense of humor or weirdness. It brings the concept of a sci-fi, cyber-punk, William Gibson-like, 22nd century idol to the present day. It’s neat… for a second.

Pig

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My mom’s Zodiac animal is Pig, so I like pigs.  She loves them.  Whenever I see a pig thingamajig, I always stop and eye it as a possible gift.

Mom is my free art director.  She gives a solid thumbs-down to nearly everything I draw, which I find kind of hilarious and occasionally painful.  Her feedback is usually a raised eyebrow-frown (sometimes combined with her walking away) or just an “UGGH.”  To an extent, I trust her eye since she was an architect and is pretty good at looking for - and distilling something down to - the basics.

I was afraid she’d disapprove of this drawing, but she actually said, “Cute.”

Relief (pig bias works in my favor)!

Happy October, everyone!

Talk Back: What did everyone think about SELFIE?

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So what did everyone think of the series premiere of SELFIE? It’s been online for about a month and had its broadcast premiere last night on ABC, where it debuted with soft but not terrible ratings, and actually edged out Fox’s comedy lineup of NEW GIRL and THE MINDY PROJECT.

Sadly, we have to have two sitcoms fronted by Asian Americans in the leads against each other essentially (John Cho in SELFIE and Mindy Kaling in THE MINDY PROJECT), but that’s beside the point. Whatever. But, my initial thoughts on SELFIE: John Cho is great, as an affable, sensible male lead and I can see the chemistry brewing between him and Karen Gillan as his My Fair Lady. It’s nothing revolutionary, even though it deals with social media and the way we interact with people in the digital age. In a way, it follows the same old tropes of usual romantic sitcoms.

Film Festival Dispatch: Toronto International Film Festival 2014

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Ah, SHERLOCK’s Benedict Cumberbatch meeting his “cumberbitches” before the gala screening of THE IMITATION GAME at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last week. A biopic about the great mathematician Alan Turing who was enlisted by MI6 to crack the Nazis’ enigma code but was years later, convicted of homosexuality (outlawed in UK law at the time) and lived the rest of his days in misery, the film won the coveted People’s Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature, an industry designation and, perhaps, prognosticator of a Best Picture Oscar (previous winners A KING’S SPEECH, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK would win Oscar gold). The film is quite good and Cumberbatch will definitely be nominated for a Best Actor.

Watch the first episode of SELFIE online now!

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We are all very excited for the new fall TV season because of the actual Asian representation we’re seeing on many of the network’s major new shows, ranging from the mid-season FRESH OFF THE BOAT (based on Eddie Huang’s memoir), to the leads in SCORPION (executive produced by Justin Lin, who also directed the pilot), Maggie Q is back in the crime procedural STALKER, and John Cho’s romantic comedic lead role in SELFIE opposite former DOCTOR WHO companion Karen Gillan!

Granted, rattling off JUST four shows on network TV may be nothing to crow about, but it is incremental progress, and the fact that these shows have Asians in the lead roles, is a pretty big deal. Of course, in the end, it’s all about how good the content is, and we’re hoping that these shows are good and do survive the Nielsen ratings and find their audiences.

So Tom Cruise’s ‘The Last Samurai’ was Actually Historically Accurate?

Take a look at this image from a 13th Century Japanese scroll:

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Some in Japan are convinced that is a drawing of a white guy. Dating back to the Kamakura Era (1185-1333), the scroll depicts a samurai battle with what appears to be the white guy engaged in the fighting:

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The Portuguese didn’t land in Japan until the 16th Century and there are examples of Japanese art starting from that time that depicts both white and black guys:

Satoshi Kon – Editing for Space & Time by Tony Zhou

Bay area-based editor Tony Zhou produces some amazing and very informative short videos showcasing the editing prowess and style of master filmmakers around the world. I like his videos because they’re succinct, has strong examples, and his elucidates ideas very well. I personally like his video on Edgar Wright’s visual comedy style and his series on Steven Spielberg’s many famous “oners”.

Zhou knows his stuff. Case-in-point, the video above, highlighting the transcendent editing of the late and great animator Satoshi Kon. His works are some of the most seminal and amazing milestones of Japanese anime, including PERFECT BLUE, MILLENNIUM ACTRESS, TOKYO GODFATHERS and PAPRIKA. Although his output was not abundant, Kon’s work influenced the likes of Darren Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan (PAPRIKA in particular, is a major inspiration of INCEPTION).

YouTube Stars More Popular (and Diverse) with American Teens Than “Mainstream” Counterparts

Hollywood trade publication Variety found the results of their most recent survey “surprising”, but for those of us familiar with the digital world, what they discovered is old news. Variety surveyed American teens ages 13-18 to find out who their most influential celebrities were and YouTube personalities handily beat out their “mainstream” counterparts. Here’s the ranking of the top 20 in order:

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The top five most influential to this demographic are all homegrown YouTube stars including our YOMYOMF Network partner Ryan Higa at #5. The most popular “mainstream” star, Paul Walker, doesn’t clock in until #6, followed by Jennifer Lawrence at #7.

Not only that, but if you compare the YouTubers vs. the traditional celebrities, you’ll see that the YouTubers represent a much more diverse line-up. The mainstreamers are fairly lily white while the YouTubers include several people of color including two who are Asian American: Higa and Michelle Phan at #17. Yup, two of the most popular celebrities among American teens are Asian American and like the other YouTube talent on this list, they are mostly unknown to the mainstream population hence the “surprising” findings. But, frankly, it’s only surprising to those who don’t have their hands on the pulse of youth culture.

Daytripping Vietnamese Hipsters


The power of the internet and globalization is so powerful and influential that countries like Vietnam have there own brand of hipsters. I really dig this short film called THE DAY DREAMERS chronicling a simple gathering of what looks like Vietnam’s brand of aimless youth, hanging out, riding their fixed gear bikes and then, tripping out as they see something truly fantastical right out of a Haruki Murakami novel. You can see the influences of other Asian cultures, especially Shibuya street-wear and Japanese indie rock. All in all, pretty fun and would be great to see other youth subcultures from other countries around the world.