Friday, 5 May 2017

Unless You Are In Japan,

not many of us will have seen this cartoon,

or manga series as it is known, Kiyohiko Azuma is a manga artist perhaps best known for his series Yotsuba&! about the naïve 5-year old Yotsuba who humorously stumbles her way through life,

 but here I am looking at the incredibly simple, 

 detailed backgrounds used to the series,

although Yotsuba looks more cartoonish,

 the backgrounds look more like works of art in their own right,

 in a 2014 interview, Azuma talks about realism vs cartoonish characters saying that “I lean toward realism, but at the same time, it’s not like I’m trying to make things actually realistic – what I’m going for is more like having a somewhat strange character within a realistic world. Now, that’s pretty standard in manga, but what I’m aiming for is to strike the right balance of being ‘somewhat’ strange – not too out there, but not too normal, either.”

Azuma’s sketches of urban landscapes can be found over on this Tumblr site and also on DesignStack, they’re typically nondescript locations that are quiet and devoid of people (except for the occasional appearance of Yotsuba) I am guessing that if you’ve ever been to Japan you might easily have seen scenes like these,

goodbye Yotsuba.

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