clothing

A Me-Colored Sky: Aikatsu! and Artistic Inspiration

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Creativity springs from familiar and unlikely places. As an artist, of any medium, one can fluctuate between immediate compulsive reactions to life experiences in addition to falling back on a comfortable style or source of inspiration. In painting, and additionally while writing for this blog, there are times where I work on crafting the familiar, and other times where I see something and am suddenly compelled to produce something.

Aikatsu! is a series that assigns inspiration to each of its characters fairly neatly, while accounting for both of these sources. Main heroine Ichigo Hoshimiya is a perfect example of this. She carries with her the love and support of her mother, represented by a rice paddle from her mother’s bento shop that Ichigo often brandishes, along with her own love of food. Initially, Ichigo is influenced after attending a Mizuki Kanzaki concert, but later finds out that her mother was also an idol prior to opening the bento shop. This revelation allows her to move forward with her own idol career, now using her mother as an additional source of motivation.

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Fashioning a Life From Fiber

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“Humans are clothes-wearing pigs. In that case, I will dominate them. Rule over them.”

-Satsuki Kiryuin, Kill la Kill

When I was in my last year of junior high school, I bumbled my way through a grueling week of standardized tests for various preparatory schools. I ended up choosing none of them, and attended the town public school as originally intended – regardless of whether I would have presumably had a better education – in order to be with my friends.

Upon graduating, my only regret in not attending a private institution, much like my decision on where I would receive my high school diploma from, was based solely on fashion. I wanted to have worn a school uniform.

Yes, I was one of those disgusting “pigs in clothing” that Satsuki Kiryuin loathes.

Kill la Kill continues to have interesting thoughts on clothing, how it affects the attitude of the wearer, and how the attitude of the wearer affects the way that article of clothing is presented, and received by, a viewer. In episode five, the series shows Ryuko Matoi has come to accept Senketsu, her vampiric sailor uniform, as a friend. Likewise, Senketsu is shown to care for Ryuko’s life above his own. This is opposed to Satsuki’s viewpoint, which requires dominion over Junketsu.

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