Fanart Friday returns, claiming to be sick of the heat and begging for the freezing cold--don't worry though, you're gonna hear the exact opposite in like two months. Last week, we learned to be like water with our favorite martial artists, but this week, we close out the season with a look at summer--specifically, the symbols of Japanese summer, suggested by CR's very own Yomimaid!
For a lot of you, your experience with Japanese summer has been through anime, manga, and dramas, and they get a lot of the ineffable feel right. I spent all three years of middle school in Okinawa, a blazing-hot perma-summer island that's quite different culturally from mainland Japan, but there's still something special about a Japanese summer compared to one here in not-as-sunny-as-the-songs-say California. Let's get started!
DISCLAIMER: None of the art presented is the property of myself or Crunchyroll. All characters and series are tm and © their respective creators and corporate owners. All art is the creative property of their respective artists. Any artists who wish to have their work removed from this article may contact me, and appropriate action will be immediately taken.
Let's start with a title we missed in last week's martial arts-themed installment--Ranma 1/2! Let me tell you something about Japanese summers: they're hot as hell. But it's not the dry heat you'd get in a desert area like Las Vegas or San Jose--no, no. Japanese summer is hot and humid and sticky, even at night sometimes. Fun!
With the high school baseball season wrapping up in summertime, it's only natural that the great baseball titles of anime and manga have a very summery feel to them, like Cross Game.
What, you guys are tired already?! We just started! It never seems to rain in Free!, and it just makes the water seem a whole hell of a lot more inviting because of it. It's fun getting to take a dip in the pool on a stupidly hot day!
Or if there's one nearby, just head to the beach, like the cast of Baka & Test here! In Okinawa, most beaches were actually right up next to the seawall, leaving the only good swimming/vacationing spots at resorts like Okuma.
Hell, it's right in the title, and by that I mean "natsu," (夏) the Japanese word for summer: Natsume Yujin-cho has that summer feel because it's mellow and relaxing, but also because it deals in spirits and ghosts, which I'll explain in more detail later.
The girls from A Certain Scientific Railgun look like they've decided on a place for lunch! I made myself pretty hungry reading about specific summer foods in Japan--cold dishes like zarusoba (cold buckwheat noodles) and rei-shabu (cold pork and vegetables) rule the roost on hot days, but one that really sounded awesome to me was age-bitashi--marinated vegetables that are then deep-fried.
I can't be the only one who misses seeing Fairy Tail on the Crunchyroll library list. Anyways, I thought it would be too easy to have FT lead Natsu here, so I went for this cool pic of Gajeel and Levy! Oh yeah, and tiny badass Pantherlily in the back there.
"Beetle sumo" is a popular tradition among Japanese kids that involves catching a rhinoceros (or kabuto) beetle, and then sticking pairs of them in a box and letting 'em knock heads. Official "beetle sumo" tournaments are also held, where competing beetles race to the top of a wooden pole. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there a filler episode in the first Naruto series about catching beetles?
NOW THAT'S HOW YOU SPLIT A WATERMELON! A favorite beach game in Japan, suikawari (スイカ割り, or watermelon splitting) involves putting on a blindfold and trying to smash a watermelon with a stick. This picture is making me want to watch Summer Wars again, because there are so few anime that are perfectly suited to this season.
Cross Game is awesome and all, but my favorite baseball series is still Big Windup. Going into the technical side of baseball, Big Windup also tends to take place on bright, sunny days (like Free!), instantly taking me back to that magical time of year when I didn't have to worry about school.
On that note, while it does sometimes rain in Squid Girl, the series takes place on the beach, and deals in the on-and-off-season antics of the people who depend on tourism for a living. Growing up in Hawaii, where the beach is accessible all year, I'm always surprised to think of an "off season" for tourists.
by minshall428 READER SUBMISSION!
The gang's all here for this great reader-submitted piece! While I'm not surprised to see Lambo catching one in the face, I am surprised that Sanji didn't make an appearance--how do you think he'd react to Lucy (or any female Fairy Tail mage, for that matter)?
Ano Natsu de Matteru wasn't just about the heat of summer (weather-wise and romance-wise) but it also covered something that I'm familiar with: the drive to get creative with all the free time summer gives you. I started working on my comic again--have any of you picked up projects over the summer?
by 歌舞伎揚 昌子
Last week, a reader requested Kingdom Hearts' Roxas chilling with his friends--I think Roxas relaxing with Sora is a good way to start the "nighttime" portion of this Fanart Friday! Is anyone here going to be picking up Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMix when it hits next month?
But to be honest, I have no idea what's going on here. Is The Pet Girl of Sakurasou really this shameless?
C'mon, Ledo, you big baby! You handle high explosives in a built-for-war mecha, and you're that concerned about a sparkler? Amy's tougher than you! While it got pretty heavy sometimes, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet's sun, sea and surf kept the atmosphere nice and light for the rest of the time.
by 千楽 senraku
One thing I really like about Gintama is how characters are rotated, so it's not like we're getting too much exposure on a handful of super-popular characters. Even with that said, I'd watch a show that just focused on the Shinsengumi, because those guys are nuts.
Gumi may not be the most popular of the Vocaloids, but I try and spread the love, instead of just focusing on Miku. Fireworks are part of the summer tradition in Japan, with spectacular displays shown at festivals, originally used to ward off evil.
That's right, summer is the time for ghosts and scary stories! Because of the Obon (or just Bon) Festival, where family members clean graves and ancestors are said to visit from the spirit realm, there's apparently a lot of spiritual activity in Japan during the summer! Don't worry, though--Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan's Kejoro and Kubinashi won't be causing any much trouble.
In some parts of Japan, you'll also get to see fireflies, like Yuki here! The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya had a few great summer episodes--eight of them, to be exact--and it was all about the "perfect summer day." Didn't that "perfect summer day" cap off with fireflies, too?
It's okay, Chopper, we're almost done! I know you're tired, but there's just one more very important thing...
Since this theme was her idea, Yomimaid also found some awesome additions for this week, and had a bit to say on each one! Check 'em out!
Yomimaid: If only these guys from Gintama had time to relax like this in Joi times....the artist used the Japanese kimono texture on the yukata making this piece look very authentic and sexy.
Yomimaid: This summer is all about these guys and Free! for some of us! Hold on Makoto, don't wave water in front of Haru like that, he might try to jump into that tiny little plastic bag!
Yomimaid: Although Team Touou from Kuroko's Basketball does not have its light and shadow (because Aomine's light is TOO bright), the artist's use of light-shadow contrast is superb in this piece. Awww, this is like a summer night's dream. I am imagining Momoi taking this picture of the guys saying Happy Birthday to Dai-chan since his birthday is tomorrow (Aug. 31st). Hope you guys finished your homework!
Yomimaid: I wonder if the world of Attack On Titan has the knowledge of summer festivals? Hey Levi, where can I find that fan of yours?? It says "the strongest of the humans"! Although technically Levi should be shorter than Eren, I love how Mikasa is holding on to Eren, as if to say"DO NOT GET ANY CLOSER TO HIM".
Yomimaid: It must be love to go to this extent to finish this piece. Impressive and impressed.
Yomimaid: Am I the only one who imagined a Kirby Smashing Contest by accident?? Watch out, people are blindfolded around here, Kirby!!
And that's everything for this week! Much like the last summer-themed installment, there aren't any real set-in-stone must-haves for this theme--what anime, manga, games, movies, etc. remind you of summer?
Like I say every week, your work is always welcome here on Fanart Friday, regardless of your skill level or experience. Just PM me a link to your work, and I'll be sure to include it in a future installment! For those of you wanting to get something together for the coming weeks, here are the next three upcoming themes for Fanart Friday:
-Next week, on SEPTEMBER 6th, we head BACK TO SCHOOL with characters and series set (obviously) in school! A lot of anime and manga take place in schools, so thinking of titles you want to see shouldn't be too hard! THIS IS THE ONLY THEME I'M TAKING REQUESTS FOR THIS WEEK!
-Then, on SEPTEMBER 13th, we're suiting up and practicing our poses for a TOKUSATSU AND SUPER SENTAI installment! Along with heroes like Ultraman and Kamen Rider, you'll also see tokusatsu and sentai-inspired characters! CR user Zindakku asked for this way back in February--sorry it took me so long, dude!
-On SEPTEMBER 20th, Fanart Friday celebrates its two-year anniversary with a RECAP EPISODE of the past six months' installments! While I won't be taking any requests for this week, ALL SUBMISSIONS ARE WELCOME, so draw whatever you'd like (within reason, of course) and I'll proudly show it off here!
Thanks again for dropping by here on Fanart Friday! Have an awesome weekend, and we hope to see you next time!