Gundam's 'Last Shooting' Memorialized as Woodblock Print
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
The last shot fired by the RX-78-2 Gundam at the end of Mobile Suit Gundam is forever memorialized as a limited edition woodblock (ukiyo-e) print. This print, created by Japan's traditional art craftsman, replicates Hokusai's The Dragon of Smoke Escaping From Mount Fuji print.
Hokusai's original was long thought to have been destroyed in an air raid during World War II and was one of his last works before his death. The parallels between the master artist's work and the story depicted in the Gundam recreation is fitting.
The prints are available for pre-order from Premium Bandai until November 18 for 54,000 yen (US$480). The image was painted by Ken Shiozaki who previously blended pop-culture and traditional art for a series of Star Wars, Devilman and Spider-Man ukiyo-e paintings. Traditional craftsman Kazuo Watanabe carved the wood and living national treasure Iwano Ichibee (ninth generation) created the washi (Japanese paper) for the prints.
Japan's traditional arts are finding new inspiration from popular anime series and even idols. Re:Zero's Rem was transported to 400 years in the past for a ukiyo-e print and characters from One Piece are a returning subject for ukiyo-e art. Craftsman have also created prints from Ghost in the Shell, Lupin the 3rd, voice actress Sumire Uesaka, Eureka Seven, Leiji Matsumoto's work, Dragon Ball, and Momoiro Clover Z.
Disclosure: Bandai Namco Rights Marketing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings Inc., is a non-controlling, minority shareholder in Anime News Network Inc.