July 28, 2008

Anime, eh?

My daughter is crazy for anything from Japan. It doesn't matter what -- food, art, people, style -- she loves them all. Her last two haircuts were inspired by Anime characters she likes and she dreams of the day she can go to Japan (though I'm pretty sure she thinks Anime characters walk the streets over there).

So how did this start? I think it may be my fault (not that liking Japan is a bad thing, of course). When she was just a baby, I wanted to paint some characters on her playroom walls. Being a good Dad, I of course painted Barney, in all his purple glory. I also painted a cute character I didn't even know the name of. Little did I know how this character would insinuate itself into our lives in the coming years.

This is Pikachu, of course, a key player in the Pokemon animation series. As my daughter matured, so did her likes. Soon to follow this little yellow sprite, was Sailormoon and Cardcaptors, a more mature girl-oriented type of anime. This was quickly followed up by Yugioh, a more boy-oriented, dark-edge series.

It was around this time that my daughter started to show an extraordinary interest in drawing and art. This lead her beyond the video versions of these series into the incredibly intricate trading cards and soon to the anime graphic novels. Being a writer, her interest in the novels was particularly satisfying to me. Of course, up until then I had only been exposed to English graphic novels (i.e. Neil Gaiman's Sandman series and the like) so the structure of the Japanese graphic novels was interesting to me. While in English, the structure was the same as the Japanese versions, each page's panels being read right-to-left. It's like second nature to her, since she's been doing it so long. Mostly, it gives me a headache. :)

Well, she's since moved on to the more mature anime series like Inuyasha, Deathnote, Full Metal Alchemist, etc., but all the while has kept up her drawing. She used to want to be a Vet when she grew up. Now she wants to be an Anime/Manga artist. I guess some parents would prefer the former. Nothing makes me happier than seeing her creatively express herself. And the kid is good. Here's a couple of her most recent drawings:

If she can do this at 11 years old, I can't wait to see what she'll be drawing once she gets some life on her. I just hope I can help with that. If you hear about a sale on plane tickets to Japan, be sure to let me know.

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