The Touchstone of Doujinshi: Syd Mead design and Japan’s Restless Designers
This book is a convergence of fan enthusiasm and concern over the course that Gundam has taken in recent years. Because the participants were fans of Gundam and Syd Mead, they came. Because they wished that their views would be heard, the spoke. Because the envisioned designs outside the hegemony of Gundam, they drew. Hence this book is both a showcase of enthusiasm over a bold new design as well as being a celebration over articulating a new path.
While the limited amount of space precludes me from elaborating what doujinshi is or what it represents as a subculture in Japanese society, this book is a wonderful showcase of how the audience and the creators converge through this special medium. Doujinshi is self-publishing conducted within the private sphere of Japanese comic book and animation community, where both professionals and amateurs may meet and interact to produce unique works that are only available through limited distribution channels. It is a uniquely Japanese medium, capable of addressing an unimaginably wide range of subjects, from unrestrained libido to highly structured literary criticism, to a dialectic that pays homage to a well-respected man.
Where industrial design meets entertainment, the shapes of dreams emerge to whisk away the gallery. But when the gallery has difficulty relating to the representations of dreams, a disjunction occurs. The design of Turn A Gundam was neither the first time nor the last time this has happened. But it sparked a fire, which fueled passion toward re-evaluating the world of entertainment, to question the validity of the hegemony of Gundam, and most importantly, compel creators to further elaborate their dreams in specific forms as they are presented in this book.
This book chronicles their efforts. It is hard to imagine a subject more worthy than this to be explored upon through the medium of doujinshi. I hope you will find this book as entertaining as it has been for me translating it into English.