Standing Out Fitting In

Manga & Anime

Japanese youth use eccentric looks to stake out their individuality: for these subjects, anything goes – attracting attention, escaping the ordinary, even aggressing and wounding the plainness of everyday life. More than perfunctory accoutrement or standard trendiness, this is genuinely voluntary affirmation, an authentic action of ownership. The resulting photographs offer echoes from the worlds of Manga and Anime, two typically Japanese media, both artistic and literary, which for more than a century have been used to expose the deepest recesses of the culture and soul of Nippon: a desire for escape, rebellion, rejection of repressive sameness, and above all a dream of being different and unique. For the past few decades, the character and caricature distortions so typical to Manga and Anime have been taken to the streets in the form of young people morphed into a Lolita, Kei, Kuro or Shiro.