Kenshin, Shishio, The Rocketeer, and a Giant Pig

Here’s a bunch of assorted drawings with inexplicably long back stories starting with characters from Rurouni Kenshin!

Rurouni Kenshin (also known as Samurai X), a manga and anime about a wandering samurai who vowed never to kill again, was very popular when I was a kid. The Japanese live-action adaptation came out in 2012, and I was blown away by how closely it stuck to the source material. That respect for the story and characters was on display again when the sequel, Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, was released last August.

Kyoto Inferno was about Kenshin Himura’s epic encounter with his greatest foe: Shishio Makoto, a burnt samurai who believed the weak has no purpose but to be fodder for the strong. Watching the movie took me back to those simple days when all I had to think about was school and the anime at home. I did the “chibi”-ish drawing of Shishio above that night after seeing the wonderful movie.

This drawing of Kenshin is actually more precious to me because I did it way back in 2002! In fact, this is my oldest surviving drawing, though it now belongs to my cousin. It came to my attention when my cousin posted it on Facebook and tagged me, saying she used to beg me to draw Kenshin when we were young. I would’ve never remembered I made this drawing if she hadn’t posted it; but I’m just relieved that my oldest surviving drawing is of a timeless anime character and that it was actually well done!

Doing a 360 now with an illustration of one of my most favorite American movie (and comicbook) characters–The Rocketeer. I first saw this movie on one of the late-night Sunday movie programs on TV. I don’t think I finished it the first time because of all the commercial breaks and my mother always threatened to thrash the TV if I didn’t turn it off and go to sleep. Since then, I’ve watched this movie about 2 or 3 times already and it still amazes me like the first time I saw it. Maybe it’s because of the cool steampunk helmet, or the leather jacket, or the pistol, or that barely controllable jetpack. I’m not really sure why I love the character so much but I just had to draw the fan art above (though I had to cut the gun because I–stupidly–picked the wrong pose).

And finally, this one was done as part of a Facebook art challenge where nominees have to draw a pig in any style. The original concept wasn’t political but I thought it was a good opportunity to show my disgust with the poor state of the trains here in the country (the Manila Metro Rail Transit System or MRT). I used to draw editorial cartoons like this back in high school, so it felt really good kind of going back to my roots.

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