One of my favorite things is when a new art-related meme explodes on the Internet and is embraced by thousands of artists on Pixiv, who have fun out-doing each other making unique art for it. It happened with the Vertical Turtleneck Sweater meme, which morphed into the Keyhole Turtleneck Sweater soon after. Then came the Cat Keyhole Lingerie explosion, followed by the more recent Virgin Killer Sweater (both of which are in stock on the site). Another fun art explosion was the “Special Feeling” meme: a happy couple walking in the snow was interviewed on TV, and the Internet started recreating the scene with their favorite anime and game characters to make biting commentary on riaju (happy, well-adjusted normies). Last week the American fast food chain’s official Twitter account was getting extra snarky, and the Internet decided to turn their mascot into one of those “smug anime girls,” resulting in a huge explosion of memes as artists around the world get in on the fun. I hope the guy who runs their twitter account got a raise. So, which is your favorite new Wendy’s meme?
One subject I write about a lot is 萌え moé, which can be defined as cute and endearing features designed to elicit feelings of love or protectiveness from fans, a “hack” into the emotional centers in our brains that can turn some of us a little compulsive. Although the term came into use in the early 90s (according to one theory via the popularity of Hotaru Tomoe/Sailor Saturn), I’d known about the concept since the early 1980s, when I found myself unable to resist buying Macross plastic models because of the dreamy box art by Haruhiko Mikimoto. I wouldn’t even put the models together, but would just spend hours looking at the art of Lynn Minmei on the box lovingly. It turns out, humans aren’t the only creatures that can be affected by the power of moé: penguins can, too. The Tobu Zoo in Tokyo is doing a cross-promotion of the surprise hit Kemono Friends CGI anime, placing cut-outs of the animals from the series inside the animal enclosures to encourage fans of the series to visit. In the penguin enclosure, one penguin named Grape-kun seemed to develop an obsession with the penguin cutout, spending hours with her, to the point of not eating. Naturally they’ve become the darlings of social media.
J-List stocks all the best anime magazines from Japan, and we got in the newest issue of Megami, filled with the best free posters for your wall. Recently we’ve been selling out of magazines faster than usual (no doubt it’s the effectiveness of our new blog), so order yours right now!