My friend Heath alerted me to this trend of Japanese young people sharing photographic interpretations of manga/anime energy cannons. I love so much about it: the appropriation of the theme and its translation to a new medium, the ironic juxtaposition of prim, restrained school uniforms and dynamic, energetic composition, and the contagious fun. Just look. For all of their serious machinations, they can’t help but grin. It’s no surprise that it’s catching on quick. It’s like planking only interesting.
My favorite thing, though, is its expressive process of story. All of this began with books, books that made a mark on the cultural consciousness that these kids feel the need to explore and share. In 2013, in a world suffused with gadgetry, this is how stories perpetuate themselves. We get so distracted by sensational arguments about the end of publishing and fling ourselves on the funeral pyre of the printed book, and miss the truth staring us in the face. Stories are there. Right in front of us, telling us something about ourselves, just like they always have. We just have to remember to look.