If They Were REAL – Buruma (Bulma)

This was probably the hardest one to draw. Not because of the difficulty but because of not knowing how Bulma would look like in real life. In my view she could go either way in terms of looks (Asian or Caucasian). So I decided to do some research to help me decide. Much to my surprise that added more to my confusion. As it turn out it seems that Buruma was meant to represent Xuanzang, the Chinese monk (and protagonist) from “Journey to the West”. One would think that it would all end like that and I would just draw her as a Chinese girl, but after examining the original drawings for what would later become Buruma, I found out that he (Akira Toriyama) had a Western girl in mind

link: http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20101014203835/dragonball/images/f/f1/Firstdraftdbgang.jpg

So, did that image still carry over to the Buruma that we all know? I was really contemplating and reaching the same conclusion that it could go either way. And since I pretty much imagine Trunks as seeming Caucasian for some reason as well as seeing her family which is made up of one blonde mom. At the very least she could be half and half. But to not complicate things, I will just make her a white girl. With that in mind I’d say that was probably the only character I feel they casted right in that horrible live action movie (too bad they did not give her the full light blue or in some eyes light purple hair). Of course since it was supposed to be based on the original Dragon Ball then they would need a younger actress (or at the very least, make her look , girlier). Not that the right casting would have changed the outcome of the film…

I also tried to pinpoint the source of the name. That of course would lead me no where. After all, as most fans know, Buruma means Bloomers. And again this would not give me a definitive answer since these are/were widely used in both Japan and Western countries. The origins of the garments would not help out much either. So I scrapped this as a deciding factor.

Any way, that is how I came to the conclusion of how to draw Buruma. I infact did use a model to draw this interpretation (from a picture I found in the internet of course, after searching for hours…). Here is the picture of said cosplayer:

As you can tell I borrowed greatly, and mostly just added the bunny suit, as well changed her hairstyle. I’d say she fits the part perfectly. She not only looks like her but also has that youthful look that reminds me of the early days of Dragon Ball.

I also had some other images in mind of course. Some that I personally preferred and would have used if I decided to go the other way. here are the links:
pic 1

pic 2

And so, there you have it. What do you guys think?

Hope you enjoy it,

– XERO

SPECIAL – A present to JunJun (Li Chun)

Let me start off by saying, that just like JunJun’s mother I seemed to have messed up JunJun’s birthday by a whole month… (yeah, really smooth…) But better late than never, and in a way this is kind of like her Morning Musume birthday (yeah, I’m just making excuses now). Now back to the description.

JunJun is one of the only two foreign members on Morning Musume (would that also include all of Hello! Project ???). I really feel she along with LinLin had it tough. For one, they both had to master a new language, adapt to a new culture away from their families, go through the difficulties of adjusting to the hardships that come from being a Momusu (learning how to; sing, dance etc), and to top it all off, also trying their best to over come and tolerate some of the hate that came from some of the racist fans. Truly a lot of hardships. It really is easy for one to not pay attention to such details, specially when some girls from outside of Japan would do anything to join Morning Musume.

Although her time in the group was short, I’d say she did make quite an impression on a lot of people. I really cannot say what the full plan was when Tsunku decided to incorporate two members from China. He kept saying things along the lines of expanding to Asia. But I wonder if he also had some other plans to go along with it? I wonder if in some way he was trying to change the image that people had of Japan out in the Mainland? Whenever I start reading about Japan, people always seem to make them out to be as racists who think of themselves as more than (or above) the rest of the people on their continent. All I have to say is that like in many countries (if not all), there will always be racists. It just seems to be a very sad truth about humans. But what people just don’t seem to understand is that just because there appears to be a large group of people who speak of hate to other countries and/or ethnicities, you should not group a whole country as if it is filled with these types of people. In many cases (if not all) the groups are actually very small, but they appear to be big because they just happen to be the loudest (in other words they are big loudmouths). It is these types of groups of people that ruin the reputation of people that can range from a small group to a whole country. I should know, there are a lot of these types of people in my home country of Mexico. A beautiful place filled with really nice people, but there always happens to be some idiot who ruins the image for everyone.

Kind of off topic again… In any case I found her to be a hard worker, who tried her best to get incorporated into the group. She also seemed to be a really funny person from what I saw on Haro!Moni (too bad it ended so soon).

Now that she has moved back to China I noticed that she has gotten far too thin. When in Morning Musume she was already thin to begin with, but looked really healthy. Now she seems so fragile. She’s also not the only one, it seems that Ogawa Makoto has also slimmed even further, and just like JunJun, she seems extremely frail. Maybe this was the reason Hello!Morning and Haro!Moni always seemed to incorporate food into the show. Like most man I do prefer a women who is in shape, but there really is a thing as too thin.

I also hear that she now has a boyfriend (one of the perks of graduating from Morning Musume). I’m happy to hear that. I think she is the first of the Platinum Era.

In any case.
If you happen to see this message:

お誕生日おめでとうございます.

Happy Birthday.

FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS.
Hope you enjoy it,

– XERO

If They Were REAL – (kid) Son Goku

I disappeared for quite a while again haven’t I? Sorry things have been getting hectic on my end. But I was finally able to start up my new project “If They Were REAL”. I had a really hard time figuring out which character I should choose for the very first video. Seeing as I mainly focused on girls all the time, I figured that I should start it off with a man this time. But even then, who?

That’s when I started to go through nostalgia and looked through a handbag where I happen to have my the early drawings (well most of them) I have accumulated since I was a child. That’s when I remembered my original idea of not only doing renditions of current anime characters but to also bring some of my favorites from my childhood. Despite that I still could not come up with a character that told me, this is the one.

But eventually I just decided to start off with Dragon Ball, pretty much the anime most kids grow up with (even now). Although I do not have a problem at all with Dragon Ball Z, in my mind it will never compare to the original Dragon Ball story. I feel that Akira Toriyama was really forcing himself on the series since the end of the Piccolo saga. I’m sure some of you have heard that although Akira Toriyama wanted to end Dragon Ball fans did not allow it, not once but several times (I hear he wanted to end it all at the end of the Freeza saga), and then kill off Goku at the Cell saga (something that did not pan out yet again). Though despite all this, he created something that even to this day has become a phenomenon that we all know and love. Yes despite liking the original series more (even as a child) I won’t deny that Dragon Ball Z was awesome. And seeing Goku transcend everyone on Earth and eventually the universe was inspiring.

Now lets move on to the drawing and the reason I decided to draw him as he is. As most of you know (I hope), Dragon ball is very loosely based on the story of “Journey to the West” or “Monkey”. In short, a monk and a couple of heroes (Sun Wukong/ Son Goku included) go on a journey to retrieve sutras. Like in Dragon Ball, Sun Wukong is the strongest of the group just like Goku. In an case let’s go back to Goku. Many people have been “debating” on whether Goku comes from Asia or whether he should be any other ethnicity (although most who argue this point want Goku to be white, more on that later). But since Dragon Ball is extremely influenced by Chinese cultural themes (as well as Japanese of course), and “Journey to the West” starts on China, or at least on the mainland of Asia. I can easily say that Son Goku is not white. And since Dragon Ball was a Japanese story, I’m sure the author wanted to not only entertain the audience but also to some degree (as it is with most shonen manga-ka’s) inspire it’s readers. So I’m sure he had a Japanese boy in mind (who was crossed with a monkey…).

Later in the series (when the Dragon Ball Z series began), it was quickly revealed that Goku was not of this world. Instead of being an Earthling and somewhat a freak of nature (I don’t mean that in a bad way), Goku was instead an alien from the planet Vegeta. Many Western fans like to use this fact to say that Goku is white. But lets not forget that this was only added because Goku was far too strong to fight anyone on Earth. So it would really get boring if he had to fight the same people over and over. The obvious solution was to expand the field of possibilities. I’d say there were only two options. Fight in the heavens or in space. Of course as the story progresses both options are actually used, but Space enemies seemed to be the main focus.

Sorry for sidetracking a little. Even assuming that Dragon Ball was started right when Raditz showed up on Earth, what? All aliens have to be white right off the bat? There can’t be other aliens that look like any other ethnicity? Then if Goku could not be “Asian” then why not have him be Mexican instead (that would have been cool by the way)? I’d like think that planet Vegeta much like Earth, has many different variations on it’s inhabitants much like Earth. But because the story was not even meant to be this way in the original I still believe that Goku is of the main land of Asia, most likely China (if not Japanese, since it is a Japanese story, written by a Japanese manga-ka). I really don’t see why many fans try to argue that all characters are white because they “look white”. Instead just get their personal background and make decisions that way. I’ts not like there aren’t many foreign characters in the many anime’s that exist to this day any way.

This statement is of course not to say that if someone wants to cosplay as a character they should not be allowed to do it. No, cosplay is for fun. Do some people better fit the character? Well, YES. But that should still not give the right for people to prohibit others from doing it. I really don’t understand these wars that are going over the internet. What I’m trying to say is, don’t try to change the ethnicity and nationality of a character just because of the way YOU see things. And don’t try to stop someone from cosplaying or admiring someone just because they happen to not be of the same ethnicity or nationality.

That was rather long I know, but I was hoping to only write this once (at least extensively). Going back to the drawing, I’m sure that some of you if not most have seen Goku in this pose before, if not here it is:

http://www.anime.gs/artbook/Akira%20Toriyama/big/jpg/Akira_Toriyama_013.htm

I had others in mind, but in the end I went with this one.

I feel that I should probably get memorable and easy to identify poses (usually from the creators original work). If you guys have read or seen the manga/anime starting from the beginning and skipping right to about the end, you will notice that Akira Toriyama’s style changed quite a bit. For instance, later in the series the characters have somewhat longer faces compared to the original more round ones (which I personally prefer). So with that in mind, I used the original art style and made Goku quite cheeky and a bit chubby as well as short. What came out was an extremely young looking Goku (I’d say it was the cheeks that gave him such a young look). But that was a characteristic used widely in the story, which is why many didn’t take him so seriously at the beginning. I could have changed his hairstyle a bit, but I felt that I should try and make it look in the same iconic way we know and love, while still trying to give it a sense of realism. Sadly the picture I took made some light areas look much brighter than they should so you can’t see the actual drawing I have in my sketch book. But you should get the idea of the final drawing.

This has been the first installment, I really hope you enjoyed it, and if you have read through the whole thing. THANK YOU.

Hope you enjoy it,

– XERO