The Aesthetics behind Eyes Concealment: Long Bangs

by Kai and Yi.

Mirai Nikki Yuno Gasai

Anime has always been a world filled with visuals of thorough imaginations. There are quite a number of interesting anime looks, like the presence of fangs for one, or animal ears. There is however, one other intriguing thing—the art of “eyes concealment”—through the use of long bangs.

Among an anime characters’ physical features, none is more expressive than the eyes. The range of emotions and information contained in one’s eyes supersedes other non-verbal signals. Particularly, in a medium often limited by and styled through simplification, characteristic distortion, and constrained motions, anime relies heavily on the eyes to convey the subtle details that may otherwise be lost. Disgust, for instance, is a universal expression that presents a very distinguished, but relatively understated look—a wrinkled nose and raised upper lips and cheeks. Yet, anime aesthetics forgo the details that a disgusted face wants. The alternative: a simple distortion of the eyes (and perhaps with some shadows for added effect). If eyes are so important for expression, what then does concealing them do?

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Tales from Egypt

This gallery contains 49 photos.

I had a busy traveling schedule this past month. A few days after my return from the States, I got on a plane for a twenty-two hour flight for Cairo, stopping in Singapore and Dubai for hours along the way. … Continue reading

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Natsuiro Kiseski: A Summer-Colored Miracle

aizawa natsumi hanaki yuka mizukoshi saki natsuiro kiseki tamaki rinko tatsuhiko

Two seasons ago was summer—and seeing as the year just ended and that I am behind on most of my backlogs—it seems appropriate to reminisce a bit on the warmer, easier times now. Last summer marked a year I have been in Taiwan since my recent move. Much has happened, and among them is a significant dwindling of my anime-related activities. In fact, I only viewed two series over the summer. One of them included a small, relatively unknown title: Natsuiro Kiseki.

aizawa natsumi hanaki yuka mizukoshi saki natsuiro kiseki tamaki rinko

There was little talk leading up to Natsuiro Kiseki’s release. As another anime that rode the idol train this year, the series is comparably quieter and less glamorous than the other idol-themed anime. Its loose role as a promotion for the popular SPHERE helped little to generate hype. This is surprising, perhaps, but understandable—Natsuiro Kiseki is short, lacks high-quality production values, and sports an unexciting premise: Four young best friends from a beautiful island town strive for their idol dreams before one of them moves to the big city… And miracles happen. It sounded snazzy, but overwrought.

Yet, the execution is stellar!
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Bespectacled: Clearly Seeing the Appeal of Megane

by Shance and Yi.

Megane Reimu Touhou Glasses

Yi: Shance and I are back to chat a bit about another element of anime couture and character designs. In the past, we have discussed Nekomimi and Hime Cut. In this colloquium, we will talk about something just as popular and perhaps with a more relevant tie to real life fashion: glasses.

Shance: Glasses, huh? In my opinion, glasses rely on the same level of fashion sense as someone would for clothes. Couture-wise, we see glasses that cater to a wide range of needs, fashion being one of them. There are glasses that serve their intended purpose, while there are some that achieve this while also looking pretty good.

For example, glasses that have thick lenses and square frames give out a very nerdy look if worn by the youth, but this suddenly changes if an adult wears this as it gives off an aura of professionalism and adult-like finesse. Another example would be the rimless glasses, which give off a very tech-savvy look if worn with professional clothes, but also look pretty good when worn with casual clothing. A subtle change in color on the frames and it can easily denote a person’s personality, favorite color, or even moods. Even the shape of the lenses can be considered a fashion statement.
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Personal Note: My Weekend in California

Alice Margatroid Hourai Oto Taku Shanghai Touhou

I spent the last weekend back in California. This trip was not an easy one to make. I left on Friday morning—following a string midterms before—exhausted, sleepy, and worried about the unfinished paperwork that needed to be done already and that still came ahead. The flight stopped briefly in Hong Kong before completing its fifteen hours in the air. Fortunately, the ride was a comfortable one with both plenty of room and good companionship; it is not often I have conversations with another passenger on one side, or have an empty seat on the other. Customs, however, is as insufferable as ever.

Once I arrived in San Francisco, I was immediately greeted by the cold air and warm company. I spent the next few days snuggled up in sweaters and blankets. It was easy to push away any serious thoughts, and simply relax and bath in the ambience and Spanish, country-inspired decor of my sister’s home.

Saturday morning, I went with my brother to the farmer’s market in downtown Palo Alto, where we picked up some greens and some grapes, and where we stood under the chilly, sunny sky listening to a few quick tunes of a street band—an ensemble of guitar, violin, and accordion. We then sat down with a friend at a local café. We wrote out a menu and picked up a few more grocery items we needed before parting. That night, a delectable vegetarian four-course meal was had, and my family and I delighted in the presence of my brother’s special guest.

I slept through most of Sunday. I really needed that long, long rest. I also did some things and met some people.

On Monday, my sister drove my brother and me to get a few gifts for friends and family in Taiwan. After lunch, my brother went back to school, while my sister and I looked for a particular sensual massage oil and strawberry flavored cream. Then, I accompanied my sister to a luxurious salon in downtown Saratoga. The place is beautiful, and my sister’s hair, adorable. When the sunset, we spent the evening at a vibrant, lush shopping mall.

I missed the bay dearly—its European veneer, Bohemian moxie, and gorgeous streets. The weekend getaway was a much desired and subtly-necessary moment to unwind before diving back into the fast-paced lifestyle of Taipei and of a medical student.

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