Monday, August 26, 2013

Matsuya Department Store Ginza Evangelion 3 - Q Exhibit and Anime Museums

I'm going to have to visit Tokyo one of these days during August.  The heat is totally brutal during the mid-day, but it seems like there are always anime exhibits that only run during this time in Tokyo.  August sales appear in the stores too.  The Obon festival and holiday to commemorate the dead also happens at this time.
Matsuya Department Store in Ginza at night lit in red, but the color cycles!
To beat the heat you can always go inside the many ultra-modern skyscrapers and shopping malls there.  This would be a good time to see places like Gundam Front, Sega Arcades, and the new J-World Tokyo that opened up at Sunshine City in Ikebukuro where you are indoors.  A visit to the Tokyo Skytree and the attached Solomachi Mall, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, the Decks in Odaiba, etc. for shopping would be good.  Visits to museums like the ramen museums in Yokohama, the National Museum, the Muraikan in Odaiba, etc., would also be good to escape the heat.

I digress though.  Today's blog post is about the wonderful anime or just fun exhibits that happen at three venues in particular.  I'm talking about the Matsuya Department Store exhibit space in Ginza, The Tokyo Anime Center, and the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art.  The exhibits at Matsuya and the Museum of Contemporary Art are not always anime themed, but there is often something very interesting going on.

Matsuya Department Store in Ginza
Right now we're in the middle of the buildup to the release of the fourth Evangelion reboot movie Evangelion: Final.  To promote the franchise and the next movie there is a touring exhibit called "Evangelion Exhibit" showing at Matsuya from August 7, 2013 to August 26, 2013 (just ended). About a thousand items from making the movies and shows were on display with nearly 300 previously unpublished items from the Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo movie.  It was a large display with over five thousand fans visiting on the first day along with some voice actresses from the movies.  Matsuya is also a very nice department store with a nice selection of traditional crafts and clothing.



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Matsuya Ginza
3-6-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8130
Telephone: +81-3-3567-1211
http://www.matsuya.com/foreigner/en/m_ginza/

Matsuya has displayed many other exhibits in the past and you can bet that there will be many more in the future.  A few previous exhibits of interest are:
  • Snoopy Japanesque that showcases more than 40 Japanese craftsmen and artists to put a Japanese interpretation on this Charlie Brown character.  Snoopy is very popular in Japan and there is even an entire floor of Peanuts merchandise at Kiddyland.
  • Lupin the 3rd that showed hundreds of original pieces of art from the animated movies and TV series.  Even Miyazaki did a stint on this character with the Castle of Caliostro movie.
Related to all this was the recent Ultra Seven Exhibition to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the second Ultraman exhibit.  This was at the Mitsukoshi department store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo in July and August of this year.  There were many props and other items from the tokusatsu series.  It would have been wonderful to see.


Tokyo Anime Center in Akihabara
This is a fun little shop located in the UDX Center building.  The store is located on the walkway level (2nd level) now and can be easily looked into from the terrace outside.  The exhibition space is inside on the 4th floor and there is signage there.  They have been having a great time showing many an anime exhibit this year and the most recent is the Danganronpa exhibit that ran from August 6 to August 18.


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Danganronpa is a popular anime released this summer and is based on a video game.  NIS is releasing the game over here next year I think.  The show takes place at the elite high school Hope's Peak Academy collects the best students called "Super High School students." Unfortunately they are put through a murder mystery where they are being knocked off by a murderers within their group.  Obviously they are cut off from the outside world and the rules state you have to kill someone and not get caught to be allowed to leave.

The Danganronpa exhibit focuses on materials from the anime and the games, but has a life size mockup of the Class Trial court complete with monochrome teddy bear.  The court determines if the accused murderer is guilty or innocent.  If guilty, the murderer is put to death.  If the murderer is not caught, then they get to go free. Pretty twisted, but I'm sure its entertaining.

In the past year, the center has hosted the following shows:
  • Unbreakable Machine-Doll and Non Non Biyor Exhibition 
  • Uchoten Kazoku
  • Oreimo Exhibition
  • Photo Kano
Some of the shows are not very big, but if you're in Akiba, it might be worthwhile dropping in to have a peek.

Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art
This is a little further off the beaten track in Tokyo, but still very accessible by public transit.  You wouldn't think this museum would interest anime fans, but they have hosted some very interesting exhibits in the last few years.

http://www.mot-art-museum.jp/index.html

The biggest thing was the amazing tokusatsu exhibit in 2012 where you actually walked around in a replica movie set for guys in big rubber monster suits.  There were piles of props from various movies filmed in the heyday of these movies.  See this post for more.  Right now there is an exhibit aimed more at kids, but it allows them to have a spooky museum experience by going inside the art and play with mirrors and more.  For example, you can see a painting with a kids face creepily merged onto it or have arms come out of the painting, etc.  There is also a cloudscape exhibit where they make a real cloud in this special greenhouse room that you can walk through.  All very cool stuff to try out.  Like most exhibits in Tokyo, it is for a limited time only, so if you're lucky, maybe you'll catch a good one!

My Tokyo Highlights Page.

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