Saturday, August 27, 2016

Cute Shit: The Ghibli Expo

Let's take a break from this new series about the time I spent in Romania 5 years ago and enjoy a little Ghibli interlude, shall we? Yes, we shall. 

I met NiQui and Rejon at the spider on Friday night to finally hit the Ghibli Expo, the latest in what I can imagine is a longer-than-I-realise series of wildly successful pop art exhibitions put on by the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills and aimed directly at our demographic.

At the very beginning of the year Hannes and I went with our friend Patrick - who was visiting and staying with us before returning to the States from Seoul for good - to the Takashi Murakami one, and a couple of months ago, a former coworker of mine was visiting from Sydney, so we hit up the Sailormoon one together:

So as I was saying, for this most recent one that everyone and their mother's gone to, we met at the spider, and even though it's starting to cool down slightly - almost imperceptibly - it's still pretty muggy and awful out. But we had ourselves a really nice time.

I mean, the view alone is pretty much worth the price of admission.
Knowing I'd definitely end up going to this thing, I had been hoping it'd be at night.

As with the other exhibits, of course, there is no photo-taking allowed except in a few designated and of course heavily crowded spots, but NiQui and I managed to get a couple of the large round room of Ghibli merch somewhere in the middle of this thing before a small woman who appeared out of nowhere stopped us:

-heavy creeper breathing-

Designated Photo Spot #1: The Adult-Sized Catbus

It was basically a race against time to get pictures, and the staff/curators left this entirely up to the paying visitors, assigning no one to do it for us. So a natural system of asking people or trading with them quickly sorted itself out. 
I said in a recent post and about a well-researched and heavily critical book I'm reading about Japanese society that echoes and elaborates upon all of my major complaints about it that the country has "almost no redeeming qualities", but that doesn't stop me from appreciating this type of nostalgia bomb exhibit or this natural sense of orderliness and cooperation. Of course, these types of things are great, and it's these subtle cultural nuances that drew me in in the first place.

The exhibit's finale is the art museum's high vaulted ceiling space (not quite an atrium but basically like that), which has been filled with cutouts of the realistic and fantastical aircraft that are a recurrent Ghibli motif, with the crown jewel being of course the illuminated, moving airship from Laputa: Castle in the Sky.

It hovers over a luminaria-like city that is really very simplistic but wonderfully textured and soothing to watch as it glows and fades.

such pleasant. many pleasant. wow
Seriously though, I said at the time that I wanted it attached to my ceiling as a light.

To top it all off, at least on this particularly busy night, they had live music.
We didn't stay to appreciate it because it was so crowded and after a busy day we were all pretty much dead on our feet, but this woman you can see at the bottom right had a lovely voice - one of the other characteristic aspects of all these beloved films.

"The End!"

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