Anime = spiky hair. Really.

October 28th, 2009
By

Best Tezuka artwork that could double as a hair gel ad EVER.What is anime? Aside from being a question answered on pretty much every DVD from ADV for a really long time, it’s a question with a clear answer: Anime is animation from Japan that prominently features characters with really spiky hair … hair that everyone secretly wished they had.

No, no, anime fans. Don’t write in and try to convince me otherwise. According to a press release passed along by tag-team partner in fandom Wilma J., one of the greatest characters in anime/manga history and the star of a movie now in theaters, Astro Boy, has a hair style that inspires the launch of hairstyling products. As the release noted:

“L.A. Looks’ participation at the premiere is part of a series of Astro Boy-related initiatives. The first event took place on Oct. 17 and 18 with 50 advance screenings nationwide, where fans were invited to have their hair styled like Astro Boy. Summit Entertainment and Imagi Studios in partnership with L.A. Looks set up shop outside theaters, styling hair in Astro Boy’s signature ‘spiky’ look.  With the brand’s newest product launch, L.A. Looks Power Spikes, stylists will show moviegoers how to get Astro Boy spikes with L.A. Looks!”

Here, have a promotional photo.

While this may be the most recent move to attach the anime wagon to styling gel, it’s by no means the first time this has happened. The first time, as Wilma recalled and I immediately remembered with her, was back in May 2005, when Garnier introduced its Fructis Style Manga Head hair gel in the United Kingdom. The eye-scorching Flash Web site for the gel unfortunately has been lost in the sands of Internet time, but a brief Anime News Network article back in the day shared a few things about what we’re missing now: a site that offered an explanation of “What Manga is all about” and “Why Japan is so cooooooool,” along with seven “rul’z” on how to get that perfect manga look.

And to think that when Cel Shaded debuted a few weeks later, this never came up as a topic. I’m so ashamed.

2 Responses to “Anime = spiky hair. Really.”

  1. AniMatsuri:

    Well, you got to admit, with the possible exception of Speed Racer, just about all major anime that has made a impact here are shows with spiky haired characters.

    Sadly, other than a neat icon, hardly anyone one knows Astroboy anymore. The movie had some neat touches with one of the back ground scientists looking like Osamu Tezuka. The military obsessed character seem obviously clichéd and tired. They also had the boy Astro was based one died in a more dramatic way than in past versions. To top it all off, the movie costing around $65 Million to make took in less than $7 million this weekend and looks to tank even more by next weekend. People were still more interested in Where the Wild Things Are than Astroboy as far as family picks go.

    The only hope is that interest will pick up since there doesn’t seem to be any new major releases this weekend.


  2. Erika Engle:

    I LOVE this column, Jason, esp. the confession at the end. Tooo funny!
    An Astro Boy fan since the days when I only spoke Japanese (most of which, sadly, I have forgotten), I had VERY low expectations upon entering the theater. When I left I was very glad I had seen the film.
    Yes, the animation is different. Yes, I would have preferred to be hearing Japanese voices doing the dialogue and to have had to read subtitles. Yes, I wish I had made my little old-school Astro Boy cell-phone charms (purchased at Kawaii Kon) in to earrings to wear to the movie along w/my Astro Boy T-shirt … but I really, really, really think every Astro Boy fan should go see the flick. You may not love it, but you’ve gotta go see it for yourself.


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