Anime is REAL!
Don't worry, Undyne. Anime is real. At least with C. Scenic.
One of our latest projects has been bringing two beloved anime series to life for fans of all ages with Lucid Experience's Manga on Main pop-up bar in Houston. There, visitors are able to live out their dreams of being ninja in Konohagakure, eating ramen at Naruto Uzumaki's favorite spot Ichiraku, stand between the statues of the First and Second Hokage at the Valley of the End, attend the illustrious UA High School, hang out in the League of Villains' lair, and participate in the UA Sports Festival. The place is full of references to the action-packed shows Naruto and My Hero Academia, so here's a little breakdown of how they were brought to life!
Foam Standees and Construction
In order to bring the 2D world to the 3D, we often use EPS foam to carve our sculptures. This lightweight material is ideal for its flexibility and helps to ease both transport and install since we work on projects all around the country. In the case of Manga on Main, the commute for Deku and Uravity's school uniforms wasn't too far from home base in Dallas to their Houston field trip, but this material is still perfect for giving that extra 3-dimensional POP like they've come right off the screen. Extra detail is paid when painting to emulate the cel-shading and bold, crisp illusions of lineart to really sell the anime-inspired look.
Just like the UA High School uniform standees, the Valley of the End from Naruto was constructed similarly. But on a much larger scale! While not quite as large as the cliffside waterfall at the edge of the Land of Fire, the First and Second Hokage stand towering before you as you enter the Manga on Main experience. Visitors can stand between Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju and re-enact that fateful battle between NARUTOOOOO and SAAAASUKEEE as the last Uchiha forsakes his village to join the ranks of Orochimaru. Though, we don't exactly recommend duking it out in the restaurant area. Instead, might we recommend...
Graphics and Setting the Scene
...competing in the UA Sports Festival? You can also check out the stadium where many iconic battles between aspiring Pro Heroes took place. Show off the half-ice and half-fire power of Shoto Todoroki or the Full Cowling of Deku and One for All. After all, IT'S YOUR POWER, ISN'T IT?
These Quirk demonstrations have been fully recreated and printed on glass for visitors to stand behind and release their inner hero for fun and interactive photo ops with a fully crowded UA stadium as the backdrop.
Another exciting photo opportunity for guests is with the team of Rogue Ninja, the Akatsuki. This band of criminals is known not just for being outlaws but also incredibly fashionable, enrobed in all black with the red clouds that signify their namesake of "daybreak." What makes these standees especially fun is their removable faces.
Because so much focus was to be given to their faces, a lot of extra special attention had to be given to upscaling the details of the original reference image. Thankfully, all this took was a simple face lift from high quality stills from the anime in order to operate on characters like Sasori, who was in desperate need of an eye transplant after some unknown battle.
Thanks to surgeries like this, you can take a step behind the group and put yourself in the shoes of your favorite villain and join their ranks!
If the Akatsuki isn't quite your style, you can always join the League of Villains. We hear they're always taking recruits.
One thing we care about most is really setting the scene of each place and atmosphere. The dark and dingy abandoned bar that was the first League of Villains hideout is an iconic place in the series. It's where Shigaraki made his plans to attack UA High School, where we were introduced to All for One, and most notably, where they held Bakugo hostage to lure out All Might for his final battle that would send him to retirement. This meant making sure that not only was the potential presence of All for One meant to be suggested through the television he used to communicate with his lackeys but also making sure that Shigaraki's torn All Might poster was included.
Attention to Detail
There are a lot of other fun details to highlight throughout the bar but if we kept going, we'd spoil the fun, so we'll leave off with a small breakdown of one of the main attractions.
Manga on Main is first and foremost an experience, but part of that experience is getting to feel like an anime character yourself. Just like Naruto, you can enjoy a giant bowl of ramen at Ichiraku and live life the ninja way in Konohagakure firsthand.
The columns of the bar have been outfitted with facades that are directly inspired by the architecture found throughout Naruto. Once the design has been finalized, it's mocked up in 3D and then broken down into the pieces that will be constructed by our build team. Those pieces are painted using plenty of reference from the anime's color palette and then installed onto the existing columns of the space.
Along with the buildings, Hokage Rock stands tall as the backdrop to give an authentic Konoha feel to the bar, and tabletops are covered with graphics designed after the rooftops of the village, as well. And some tables in particular have some incredibly fun easter eggs for those intimately familiar with the series.
The easiest one to spot is, of course, the residence of the Hokage themselves with the kanji for "fire" painted on top. Other iconic locations featured on the tables include Konoha's graveyard (including headstones for many recognizable characters,) the outdoors stadium where Naruto fought Neji, and the hospital roof where Naruto and Sasuke first clashed using the Rasengan and Chidori.
Every detail was considered for this location, from the cement rooftop tiling and fenceline to the hospital bedsheets hanging out to dry. But even more than that, the battle damage to the environment AFTER the fight was recreated with a little tender, loving care. The small and twisted puncture caused by Sasuke's Chidori can be seen in the gold water tank while the massive blowout from Naruto's Rasengan can be seen along the back of the silver tank.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what you can see and experience at Manga on Main in Houston. This project was a load of fun and we hope that everyone gets the chance to see it for themselves before it's too late! If you go, make sure to tag us @c.scenic on Instagram with what cool things you find and enjoy!