The Gallery of Fantastic Art is one of those places in Tokyo that I keep meaning to go by that I never actually bother taking the train to. Either they’ve been in between exhibits or I just plain forget about the place, which is really sad considering that I’ve been checking their website on and off ever since I started being interested in Range Murata.
As the name would suggest, GoFA is a small gallery that displays, well, fantastic art. If you go to AX, you may be familiar with them, because it seems like they run a gallery there every year. Anyway, “fantastic” basically means anime/manga illustrators, mostly from artists who you’re likely to see in Wanimagazine pubs (ROBOT, Gelatin) like Murata, Yoshitoshi ABe, Miggy, Okama, and Kei Toume, but also some older artists such as Go Nagai, Mizuki Shigeru, and, as you probably have guessed by now, Tetsuo Hara. More on that in a second.
The gallery is a bit tucked away, but still incredibly easy to get to. All you have to do is take the subway to Omotesando station and walk straight out the B2 exit until you hit the Aoyama Oval Building, which is a big oval-shaped building (surprise!) with a Citroen showroom on the first floor. Take the door on the left of the elevators and the door after that to get to the stairs, walk up one floor, and you’re there. Entry is only 500y, and the ticket is usable for a free coffee or tea at the cafe downstairs. (A 300 yen value!)
So yeah, Fist of the North Star art exhibit. It was basically everything I could have hoped for, though it’s a fairly small space. There’s a modest merchandising table at the entrance with a few dvds, magazines, and other goods for sale (I bought this), as well as some anime cels and some larger framed works for sale, including prints from the crazy “7 Artist Ten” (展) project. There’s also life-sized Ken and Yuria figures staring you down as you come in. Some pictures can be found here.
As far as the Tetsuo Hara part of the Tetsuo Hara exhibit, they have prints of the original manuscripts for the entire first chapter of the Fist of the North Star manga, as well as some manuscripts of later famous scenes. Some full color prints by Hara are also on display. All of it looks great, although staring at the famous spread of Raoh raising his fist to the sky made me realize that the proportions or maybe the perspective of the scene seems a little off. Oh well.
If you can make it this Sunday, they’re going to be giving away 3 A1-sized promo posters of the event, since it’s the last day of the exhibit. I’d totally show up, but Reitaisai. Future shows include Kei Toume from 3/20-4/5, Takada Akemi (char designer for KOR, UY ovas) from 4/29-5/10, Abyukyo from 5/16-5/24, and Range Murata from 5/29-6/14. It’s a really nice place to spend an hour or so, and the free drink is a great added bonus. I’d consider taking someone there if I had friends. Not to mention, it’s in the Shibuya area, so you can get some shopping done afterwards, at Mandarake of course. Maybe writing this post will remind me to actually go back next time they have an exhibit on and I’m in Tokyo!