Every one know the coolest stuff comes out of Japan right? Like, that’s just an established fact. Saying you’re into Japanese stuff carries that edge of refinement that you don’t get from basic bitch US or Australian culture, without the pretension of Europe or the alienation factor of other areas of Asia.
You know why that is? Japan is better than the Western world at producing Western culture (also, by Western I mean American). You know what’s better than American denim? Japanese denim. You know what’s cooler than Mickey Mouse? Pikachu. This situation exists for a huge variety of complex reasons, which are far too complicated to cover in a flippant blog post – but if you’re inclined to believe in the superflat theory as championed by contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, it might have something to do with the cultural vacuum that existed in Japan after World War II and the subsequent influx of American consumer driven business that irrevocably changed the landscape of the country. This, coupled with a generation that were confronted with the psychic trauma of coming to terms with the reality of living in a nation that was dealing with aftermath of a nuclear attack may or may not have led to a generation of young people who are infatuated with fantasy representations of an alternate American-influenced Japanese future. Or something like that.
So when Murakami teams up with an artist of cultural significance like Pharrell Williams and asks him to remix the theme song to his first feature film Jellyfish Eyes, and produces a film clip that features Hatsune Miku, a 16 year old pop vixen WHO IS LITERALLY A COMPUTER PROGRAM AND DOESN’T EXIST IRL – you know something pretty special is happening. Watch the video above to see Miku stir the cold steel hearts of an army of emotionless robots with her lilting vocals, dance with a 2D Pharrell replete with his hat, and catch a cameo by Murakami himself.
What a time to be alive.