Takashi Murakami to Illustrate AKB48's Next Single
posted on by Egan Loo
The contemporary artist and occasional anime creator Takashi Murakami (pictured at right) is illustrating the jacket for the AKB48 idol group's June 24 single, "Namida Surprise!" Members of AKB48 also attended the public premiere of Superflat First Love, Murakami's sequel to his Superflat Monogram anime short (2003), at the Louis Vuitton accessory store in Tokyo's Omotesandou fashion district. AKB48 producer Yasushi Akimoto wrote the lyrics for a Superflat First Love tie-in song called "First Love," which AKB48 member Erena Ono (pictured below) sang at the anime's premiere.
Murakami had previously overseen the art for rapper Kanye West's Graduation album, and then directed the music video for the album's "Good Morning" single with animation by Japan's Oriental Light and Magic (Pokémon, Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time's 3D animation). Akimoto is an established manga and anime story creator in his own right, with Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, ICE, and several other manga and anime projects in his credits. Ono is a member of AKB48's Team K sub-group, and she also acted in the live-action Higurashi no Naku Koro ni film and the ICE anime video.