From May 31 to June 23, 2019, an exhibition was held to commemorate Shoji Kawamori’s 40th anniversary as a designer. Titled “Shoji Kawamori Expo“, it was held at Gallery AaMo at Tokyo Dome City and included samples of many works spanning the last 40 years of his career, including many which had never previously ben shown to the public.
Several members of the SpeakerPODcast Crew, and special guests Karice and Kim, were fortunate enough to participate in private tours of the Expo by Shoji Kawamori himself and managed to ask him about the VF-4, the origin of the Milky Dolls, and most importantly, whether or not he likes frogs…
The Akihabara Container is fast gaining a reputation for holding popup shops and doing limited-time merchandise collaborations for older and lesser-known (in Japan, at least) anime. In the past they’ve help popup shops for franchises such as SNK video games, Gridman and Cowboy Bebop.
From May 11-22 this year though, they pulled off the unimaginable – a Megazone 23 popup shop. Dedicated primarily to the first Megazone 23 OVA (with a small section at the back for the teaser trailer and related merchandise for Megazone 23 XI ) the shop included everything from original t-shirts to pencil cases, with many items actually selling out. The inside of the shop also featured screenshots and production designs from the OVA which was playing on loop for much of the time. Lasting less than 2 weeks, the following gallery wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the sharp eye of Adrian, who was on the scene first thing in the morning opening day to scope the place out.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Rumiko Takahashi’s Urusei Yatsura manga, a collaboration cafe was held at Ikebukuro Parco Department Store from January 11 to March 31, 2019. Much like the Ranma 1/2 Cafe held at the same location in 2018, the Urusei Yatsura Cafe offered patrons themed food and beverages while surrounded by their favorite characters and watching the openings and endings to the animated series on monitors and projector screens. While the collaboration menu was not quite as inspired as the Ranma 1/2 one was, it was still rather unique (Cherry pancakes, anyone?) and fun for fans and casual diners alike.
A message board on the premises was full of messages and sketches from fans – as well as one from Rumiko Takahashi herself. “Lum the Forever” indeed 🙂