Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Skull Panda & Yo Gabba Gabba

One of my students has an ipod-cover that looks like raw meat. It's very cute and very gross, and it made me think of the gurlesque and it occurs to me that I really want to quiz some of my students, especially my Japanese students, about different kinds of kawaii--I vaguely remember someone once using the term "kawaii-noir." But also, maybe the most relevant pop culture to gurlesque isn't so much Wonder Woman and Charlies Angels as it is Happy Tree Friends or South Park's "Woodland Critter Christmas" or Skull Panda (I so want a Skull Panda T-Shirt!) or, or yo gabba gabba:

or Teen Girl Squad:


D said...

I love me some Teen Girl Squad, Lorraine!

And what about that repulsive mid-nineties Nick/MTV toons style animation--Ren & Stimpy, SpongeBob--especially when they feature a doe-eyed character with nasty mucous or dribbly chin.

Have you read anything by Natsuo Kirino? Don't know if she fits into kawaii anywhere, but I just read Real World, which is very Babysitters Club gone noir. There's a moment of synechdoce when a teenaged girl characters dies, and we see her "pink cell phone" abandonned on the side of the road. Bitty pink cell phone as corpse! Or Audition? When the girlish killer makes that horribly adorable little noise as she slices up her victim with a wire that can "easily cut meat and bone [giggle]?"

K. Lorraine Graham said...

Hi Danielle,

Yes, Ren and Stimpy, SpongeBob for sure. Wasn't there one called Cow and Chicken, too?

Thanks for the Natsuo Kirino recommendation...sounds like it's worth checking out.

jeannine said...

In fact, a group of female Japanese pop artists (some of whom were students of Takashi Murakami) have a "branded" group of products called "Drop Dead Cute" exactly in this kind of kawaii/macabre genre. (Other note - Love it!)(
Also check out for work by the artist who did the art on my web site - she also works in that genre...

Ridiculous Human Things said...

Bah, Teen Girl Squad kills. I love it. That's all I got, sorry.

word verification: preston

tmorange said...

"i got jimmies!"

[word verification: probia]