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Are You Hangry & Angry?

A stuffed animal transformed into a nuclear bomb to destroy the world. A hospital from which patients leave in coffins. Welcome to the world of Japanese designer Gashicon

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Gashicon’s charming smile and soft voice disarm. The stronger the impact of the stories she tells.

This almost shy Japanese designer from Iwate Prefecture, who studied graphic design at VANTAN DESIGN INSTITUTE in Tokyo, has created a world where cute and creepy intersect and mix in such a masterful way that you feel entranced, delighted and horrified all at the same time.

“Hangry looks really cool,” explains Goshicon, as she shows a character with a spiffy red mohawk, “but he is very weak and is always being bullied by Angry.” She picks up a character with a black hood and a prominent scar on the right cheek.

“Angry looks really cute,” she continues to explain, “but he is incredibly strong and scary. He always bullies Hangry.”

Goshicon decide to create Hangry and Angry because she got upset with today’s disposable mentality. “People want to have all kinds of things, and collect them. They collect different things like characters and stuffed animals. But as soon as they don’t like them anymore, they throw them away.”

The designer finds it difficult to understand that you can throw away something for which you have cared so much. “I think it’s really cruel.”

So she created a back story about a mad scientist who couldn’t bear to watch all these abandoned stuffed animals. He took them and remodeled them into weapons of mass destruction to revenge the abandoned toys.

Hangry became a ticking time bomb. “Angry bullies Hangry,” explains Goshicon, “and when Hangry’s bullied, he saves up more and more negative energy.”

When that energy exceeds a certain limit, Hangry explodes like a nuclear bomb and destroys the world. Boom. The ultimate revenge.

“I believe that we should really take better care of our things,” says Goshicon, “and because I want people to take better care of things, I made these characters”

What makes the Hangry and Angry characters especially entertaining and attractive are the many sub plots. There is for example the Hospital of Darkness.

“It is a very shady hospital and really a dangerous place,” says Goshicon with a charming smile. “Hangry and Angry were hospitalized here, but they became violent and turned themselves into doctors.”

Actually, it looks like Angry does most of the doctoring. His patients all turn up dead. “You can’t get out alive,” says the designer with a nod of the head to show how much she enjoys her feast of horror.

“I really like horror movies,” she explains with the smile now taking over her whole face. “Like splatter movies. I watch these a lot.”

She likes the thrill, excitement, and lack of reality, she reveals. “When I see such movies, I mix what I see with what I feel, and that’s what I expressed in this character.”

Goshicon entered S.INC because she was a great fan of h.Naoto. “He was doing graphic design at the time, and I was really attracted to that. So I decided that I wanted to do that kind of work, too.”

As part of the h.Naoto line there was a brand called Channel h, which featured “monster-like clothes.” Using h.Naoto’s image of Goth Lolli and Punk, Goshicon created her charming, yet violent, characters.

Interestingly, from this line of stuffed animals eventually a band was born, hANGRY & ANGRY which this Summer tours the US.

Just shows, you need to keep on dreaming. You never know where it leads you.

Kjeld Duits About the Author

Inspired by the stunningly creative street fashion that exploded on the streets of Tokyo and Osaka in the late 1990’s, photo-journalist Kjeld Duits launched JAPANESE STREETS in 2002. This makes JS one of the first fashion blogs on the net, and the very first to cover Japanese street fashion.

Recent articles by Kjeld Duits:

Comment (日本語もOK)

Thank you so much for this interview. I really enjoyed it and have learned a lot of new things about Hangry & Angry. ^^

gionbaby
May 12, 2010 (4185 days ago)

@gionbaby: Glad you liked it! I really enjoyed finding out the back stories myself, so it’s nice to find out that you find it interesting, too.

Kjeld Duits (author)
May 12, 2010 (4185 days ago)

This really makes me respect the Hangry and Angry line a lot more. At first, I thought it seemed rather contrived, but once I found out that this is one person’s story, one person’s characters, it somehow seemed a lot less corporate.

I can’t abide with the band though. Arggghhh…

kagitsune
May 20, 2010 (4177 days ago)

@kagitsune: Glad you liked the interview. I totally get what you mean. Because S.INC has a very business like approach, the individual people behind the lines can get a bit obscured. But as you can see in this interview, there is quite a lot of individuality there. I really enjoyed talking with Goshicon.

Kjeld Duits (author)
May 20, 2010 (4177 days ago)

Inspiring!!
Thanks for bringing us fantastic interviews!!

Teretetetet
Jun 5, 2010 (4161 days ago)

HANGRY AND ANGRY ARE NOT BOYS!!!!!!! ANYONE CAN TELL THAT THEY’RE GIRLS!!!!!

julia
Jan 13, 2011 (3938 days ago)

@Julia: Actually, I always thought the two characters were genderless. During the many hours that I spoke with Gashicon, she never ever said he or she when referring to Hangry and Angry. She was extremely careful to use genderless expressions. Unfortunately, in English you do have to choose a gender, so I ended up using he. Unless you are talking about the singers Hangry and Angry of course. They are clearly girls.

Anyway, next time I meet Gashicon I will ask her about the gender of these two characters.

Kjeld Duits (author)
Jan 13, 2011 (3938 days ago)

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