Tag Archives: Manga

It takes many pieces to make One Piece’s Whitebeard

The pirate adventure series One Piece is overflowing with larger-than-life characters, but Edward Newgate, aka Captain Whitebeard, aka “The Strongest Man Alive,” takes excess to new heights. To recreate this honorable ally to the Straw Hats in LEGO, builder lavishlump had to go big. Believe it or not, this model of the 666cm tall pirate emperor is to scale with the custom minifig of the captain’s number one, Marco the Phoenix.  Lavishlump employs tiles to great effect to capture the captain’s chiseled physique, and the slight gap between plates in his head perfectly aproximates Whitebeard’s perpetually squinting eyes. The classic Islander horn piece makes for a dynamite mustache. But my favorite detail has got to be the use of a pearl gold handbag to connect the blade and shaft of Whitebeard’s massive naginata weapon.

Lego Whitebeard

With hundreds of colorful characters, dozens of whimsical pirate ships, and fantastic ports of call, One Piece and LEGO go together like skulls and crossbones. I hope to see many more LEGO tributes to Luffy and crew’s adventures on the Grand Line.

Intrepid LEGO reporter looking to branch out

The first thing I noticed about this wonderful LEGO Shoot the Bullet scene by Sweeps was the nice part usage (NPU) found close at hand. The 3 prong plant element makes a perfect hand for this chibi-style character named Aya Shameimaru (of Touhou Project fame). But the NPU doesn’t stop there. The ground is nicely textured with painters palettes and a nice bit of fall foliage. The recent new curved transparent bar in back is the perfect part to raise the character off the ground.

Real or Fake: Reporter Aya Shameimaru

Have no fear, Chainsaw Man is here! Or something.

For LEGO creations straight from the mind of a weird ten-year old boy, (I know, because I was one once) then look no further than Redverse. Apparently, my ten-year-old self is not the only one to have sketched out something like this. Chainsaw Man is a popular manga series written and illustrated by Tatsuki Fujimoto. This build, against that bold background, depicts the volume one cover. The story features Denji, an impoverished young man, who makes a contract that fuses his body with that of a dog-like devil named Pochita, granting him the ability to transform parts of his body into chainsaws. I mean, what kid hasn’t wanted to do that? Wikipedia goes on to say that Denji eventually joins the Public Safety Devil Hunters, a government agency focused on fighting against devils whenever they become a threat to the world. You see? My parents were wrong; job opportunities abound when you have chainsaws for hands and a face! Now if only I knew how to cash in on my deranged juvenile ideas.

CHAINSAW MAN

I’m Lupin’ you in on some wisdom.

This great character build of Lupin III by Rokan Cheung is titled 自分で決めなきゃ明日は開かれねぇんだぜ, which Google tells me translates to “If you don’t decide by yourself, tomorrow won’t open.” (This YouTube clip shows the delivery of the line, I think.) Pretty profound. And in addition we can admire the great LEGO design work and part usage at play. This is not a tiny build – the 1×2 gold ingot used as a tie bar gives a sense of scale. The graceful shaping of the hands and limbs are echoed by the clean lines of the couch. The character’s expression is also pretty clever, with a friction ram bar creating the perfect smirk.

‘’自分で決めなきゃ明日は開かれねぇんだぜ。‘’

Be sure to check our archives for more great manga and anime themed builds!

The Attack Titan is a smash hit!

Right on cue, Sandro Quattrini has come out with yet another outstanding LEGO build, this one from the Japanese manga/anime Attack on Titan. While I’ll fully admit that I’ve never watched or read any of the source material (I know, but we all have our flaws), I don’t have to be familiar with the show or books to see how impressive this build is! The Titan is caught mid-smash as it bursts through a wall, adding so much movement to a stationary build. All over the arms and chest, you can see the clever use of rods and other long, thin parts. This conveys all the raw power pouring out of this beast, tense muscles heaving forward with so much effort. Couple that bodily strain with an expertly-crafted face and the Titan’s rage seems to radiate out of the screen! Sandro has a reputation for expressive LEGO characters, but the Attack Titan’s excessively-toothed visage is some of their best work to date, in my opinion. And I can’t help but want to start on episode one of AoT thanks to this.

Attack Titan

Armored Titan keeps moving forwards

“I’m the Armoured Titan and this is the Colossal Titan…” Truer words have never been spoken (unfortunately). After a year since his last Titan build, builder Funnystuffs finally built another one just in time for the final season of hit anime series Attack on Titan. His Armoured Titan is very accurate to its animated counterpart and instantly recognisable for those familiar with the character. Angular pieces represent bonelike armour plating and dark red underneath shows off sinewy muscle. We expect builds of these titans to be more massive, but the scale here is accurate. This titan stands at 15 meters tall and Funnystuffs did a good job translating that to LEGO bricks.

Disclaimer: The pieces here are tan, the lighting makes it look like light nougat.

Wall Maria is breached! The Titans have come!

“Are we the prey? No, we are the hunters!” Attack on Titan, or its original title Shingeki no Kyojin, is a tragic tale which starts out as humanity’s struggle against monsters, but evolves into an exploration of the evils of human nature, war, politics, more. Originally a Manga series that has been adapted into a high quality anime show, it has reached mainstream popularity and will now air its final season. Builder Pieter Dennison commemorates the very first episode with the town of Shiganshina being attacked by Titans.

The Fall of Shinigana from Attack on Titan

This scene is just draws you in with the detailed buildings and uneven streets, forcing you to take a closer look at the way Pieter manipulates LEGO pieces to give this build a rough, aged feel. There is plenty of subtle use of texture and discolouration that doesn’t distract from the action that takes place. Minifigs representing townspeople flee from the Titan, which devours an unlucky soul. The soldiers of the Survey Corps swoop in from above with Spider-Man-esque manoeuvring gear to take down the grotesque monster. But can they save humanity from this mysterious threat?

Mr Titan

This action-packed scene already got one of the opening songs stuck in my head…
“Seid ihr das Essen?
Nein, wir sind die Jäger!”

Journey to Mount Kōya along the path of the gods

I’m watching the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics right now feeling nostalgic both for my hometown and for my trip back to Japan two summers ago before the pandemic, when I spent several days in Kyoto as well as Tokyo, Matsumoto, and Kobe. Just south of Kyoto stands Mount Kōya, where Kōbō Daishi (Kūkai) founded the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism in the 9th century. My father became good friends with the head monk of Kōya-san during our time in Japan, and the temples and pathways there hold a special place in my family’s hearts. Inspired by the Japanese manga Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara, LEGO builder Ted Andes has captured a Buddhist pilgrim pausing at a Shinto shrine in the Okunoin graveyard where Kōbō Daishi is buried.

Way of the Kami 惟神の道

What’s truly wonderful about this scene is that it captures the unique Buddhist-Shinto syncretism that permeates Japanese spirituality, wherein Shinto (literally the “Way of the Gods”) beliefs are practices alongside Buddhism brought from China. In Ted’s LEGO scene, a shrine to a local Shinto deity and the god’s sacred stone — complete with a straw rope with lightning-bolt paper — stand amidst Buddhist graves on a sacred Buddhist mountainside. Well-researched, gorgeously detailed scenes like this are a welcome contrast from the generically “Asian” scenes far too many western builders toss together for build challenges and contests.

As part of the same Summer Joust contest, Ted also shared this atmospheric scene inspired by the same Manga. The same pilgrim from the scene above walks through a bamboo grove at night as ghost tendrils and a spectral hand threaten our protagonist. Rather than relying on LEGO’s bright green bamboo pieces, Ted has recreated the tall stalks using dark tan candles, with just a few leaves entering the frame near the top. This sort of scene is exactly why little kids like me growing up in Japan were afraid of bamboo groves at night!

Mushi-Shi 蟲師

On that day, mankind received a grim reminder. We lived in fear of the Titans...

Shingeki no Kyojin (or Attack on Titan) is regarded as one of the best and most popular manga and anime series. But for some reason, there seems to be a serious lack of LEGO builds of it. Luckily, Funnystuffs built the Attack Titan in great detail, accompanied by custom minifigures of some of the main characters. On the surface, Attack on Titan may appear to be just another kaiju series about cool kids fighting giant monsters, as the original premise has led us to believe. It gradually progressed into “the Game of Thrones of anime,” a dark and heartwrenching series about human nature, war, politics, and so much more. Now that its popularity is at its peak, there is hope for more Attack on Titan creations down the line.

Lego Attack Titan (from Attack on Titan, Shingeki no Kyojin)

Primarily a mech builder, Funnystuffs did a great job with the organic look of the Attack Titan. Covered with tan LEGO elements to represent its skin tone, it is completely accurate and to scale with the minifigures. The only gray bits peeking through are the necessary joints to give the titan full poseability. Funnystuffs gave special attention to the head – its iconic green eyes, grinning jaw, and long hair.

See more pictures of the Attack Titan in this gallery here. (Includes spoilers for those who may care.)

Your dreams will be haunted by this surreal phantom bride

This ethereal bride is brought to us by Xavier Viloria and will be sure to haunt your dreams. He was inspired by a trio of artists who work in such diverse mediums such as anime illustration and doll making.

Phantom Bride

Looking like something that popped out of your favorite manga, this Phantom Bride hits all the right notes. The face is wonderfully expressive and the hair is fantastic, using tentacle and tail pieces to create a flow that seems natural. Things start to get really surreal around the chest and shoulders area with window insets and a headless mini-doll surrounded by blackbirds. The chest resolves into an elegant melted look using bars and dishes giving the illusion that the whole figure is floating in the air. The hands emerging from the water below are elegant and well crafted, a true sign of the builder’s talents. Many artists spend years perfecting the drawing and sculpting of hands and these are spot on. The lavender background uses dimensional plants and flowers that are thoughtful and add to the dreamlike quality of the whole piece. Pale and ghostly, this bride will haunt you long after you’ve woken up.

Delivering tofu with style in a Toyota AE86

This build by Peter Blackert is a throwback to the culture that sparked drifting and made the Toyota AE86 an iconic phenomenon. It’s said that, to date, Toyota AE86’s inflated price is not only because of its rarity but also because of its cult following from fans seeing it featured in the Japanese manga Initial D in the mid-90s and its appearance into the anime scene in the late 90s. The AE86 was popular for its capability to drift with its relatively lightweight and rear-wheel drive combination and also the main premise of the legendary stories in the aforementioned manga. In LEGO, the 10-stud wide design gives it a lot more room for design language compared to the regular 6-stud wide designs from the Speed Champions series from LEGO’s own take on popular cars.

Initial D - Toyota AE86 Trueno Sprinter

Initial D - Toyota AE86 Trueno Sprinter

Devilman fights evil with even more evil

How many of you have had that dream where you’re a muscular and shirtless demon-lord clad in black leather pants and sitting atop a throne of skulls of all the souls you have vanquished? You know….the one where you’re in a hellish, burning landscape and the sky rains kerosene while Motorhead or Mastodon blares at ear-splitting volume from some unknown source. Wait, none of you? Wow, you people are weird! That is like my most recurring dream, besides the one where I’m taking final exams only to find that everyone else is naked except me. I’m sure Cid Hsiao likely knows what I’m talking about as evidenced by this recent creation.

lego_devilman1

Devilman is a Japanese manga series, first written and illustrated by Go Nagai in 1972. The dark storyline made it stand apart from other manga of the time. Here we see Akira/Devilman stepping on the skull of a three-eyed hell-beast. There are multiple horns and sets of bat wings adorning this model but the most impressive by far are the dark red folding dragon wings found only in the Hobbit LEGO set 79018 The Lonely Mountain. While Cid’s days may or may not be fueled by heavy metal music, you should check out the rest of his creations as they are still worthy of my darkest and weirdest dreams.