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Re:Zero's Rem Travels to Japan as Limited-Edition Ukiyo-e

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

Anime News Network's merchandise coverage sponsored by Tokyo Otaku Mode.

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- is the next anime that is inspiring ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), and Kadokawa will begin taking pre-orders this month. The limited-edition "Fugaku Isekai Shōjo Hyakkei Rem" (100 Views of Mt. Fuji and a Girl From Another World: Rem) print will depict Rem as if she somehow found herself in Japan about 400 years ago.

Rem's kimono in the image features morning stars, her weapon of choice. Rem's kimono sash shows the chain of her morning star, and the cord around her waist represents her pink hair ornaments. Rem's twin Ram, as well as Subaru and Emilia, hide in the background of the image.

The anime's character designer and chief animation director Kyuta Sakai provided the original illustration. Carver Kayoko Suga and print artist Kyōko Hirai created the ukiyo-e based on Sakai's design. Suga and Hirai are connected to the Japanese government's association for selecting and preserving intangible cultural assets, and two of the few female members of the ukiyo-e industry.

Each Rem ukiyo-e print requires printing 63 times to compile the image's various colors and patterns. The manufacturing process is completed entirely by hand. The carver first carves the image into wooden printing blocks, each to be used for printing separate colors or designs on a print. The Rem ukiyo-e uses 13 printing blocks. After the blocks are complete, the print artist spends several days printing an image.

The first edition of the prints will be limited to 100 built-to-order copies for 50,000 yen (about US$468) each. Kadokawa's booth at the AnimeJapan event will offer the first pre-orders on March 24-25. The Kadokawa Store online shop will accept pre-orders from March 26 to May 6. Orders are slated to ship in June.

Many manga, anime, and other aspects of Japanese popular culture have already inspired ukiyo-e. Last year, voice actress Sumire Uesaka, the first Eureka Seven: Hi - Evolution film, and Leiji Matsumoto's works became woodblock prints.

Sources: Anime! Anime! (Taichirō Onose), Animate Times

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