Look: Pinoy komiks’ reinterpretation of Your Name, Pokemon, and One Piece

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Pinoy Komiks anime

Pinoy komiks has gone through so much change since its golden age in the ’50s. Many of us today may not be able recognize the iconic covers from Mars Ravelo and Pablo S. Gomez, two of the many iconic komiks writers of their time. 

Pinoy komiks
Darna and Captain Barbell became iconic Pinoy komiks superheroes, thanks to Mars Ravelo. (Images from Comic Vine)

But while the style, medium, and culture of komiks reading have changed so much in the last decades, one thing is for sure: Pinoy komiks is still very much alive today. 

Jether Amar is a senior artist, art director, and animator currently working at Rocketsheep Studio. He is behind the viral Pinoy komiks versions of famous anime shows and movies.

Pinoy Komiks
Komiks version of One Piece

The Japanese movie Your Name by Makoto Shinkai was transported to the urban and rural sites of the Philippines as Iyong Pangalan. The shounen anime series One Piece was literally translated to Isang Piraso. And the lovable show Pokémon starring Ash Ketchum, Pikachu, and the first-generation starter pokémon became Debulsang Halimaw, which from the font alone makes us feel it’s not going to be very child-friendly.

Pinoy Komiks
Komiks version of Pokemon

“I’ve loved illustrating since I started schooling. I’d fill every page of my notebooks and textbooks with drawings. I also love Pinoy komiks. I always rent classics like Funny Komiks and Kick Fighter. I remember copying the characters from those komiks,” Jether shares as he looks back on his love affair with Pinoy komiks

Komiks version of Your Name

His renditions indeed racked up a lot of likes and shares on social media, many people asking him to do more like Ang Kasinungalingan mo sa Abril (Your Lie in April), Buko ng Tagapagligtas Eskwelehan (Boku no Hero Academia), Ang Gumagalaw na Kastilyo ni Tahol (Howl’s Moving Castle), and more funny literal translations of popular anime series and movies. Jether reveals it was all just for laughs, a way for him to make fun of his anime-loving peers who would always redraw their favorite anime characters and even draw anime versions of real people. But because of the interest and requests from people, he promises to create more.

Jesther Amar’s entry to the SixFanarts challenge on social media

“I wouldn’t say that I’m a huge anime fan. But I’ve watched a lot anime since childhood. Until now, I still watch some of the most popular ones like Demon Slayer, Boku no Hero Academia, and One Punch Man. I was really just joking when I decided to create komiks version of Pokemon, One Piece, and Kimi no Nawa. A lot of my peers draw anime, so I decided to draw the Pinoy version of anime,” he shares.

On art style and Pinoy komiks

Jether’s expert reimagining of Pinoy komiks is brilliant; his art brings us back to the distorted facial features and flat washed-out colors of old komiks. And the secret to Jether’s masterful resurrection of this old art style is that he, personally, has no personal art style—yet. He has this ability to morph his art to whatever is required of him, thanks to his rigorous art training in school and at work.

A look at Jether Amar’s various art styles

“I personally feel that I really don’t have my own art style, as I was trained to create and conceptualize different styles for different projects. Kinda sad, but I’m good. Maybe I’ll get there someday,” he says.

Although we rarely see this art style in media nowadays, Jether underlines that it’s not the art per se but the spirit of komiks books that continue to live in this generation. We may be reading more modern interpretations, better colored, and more softly drawn art, but the interest and passion for the art of komiks remain.

One of Jether Amar’s works: a poster for the film Ang Pangarap kong Holdap

Komiks gave us Darna, Captain Barbell, Lastikman, Panday, and bunch of cool Pinoy superheroes. We are blessed we have them. And right now, we have tons of indie komiks. Every Komikon I visit is crowded with fans and artists. Komiks is not dead.”

Words Jovi Figueroa

Read more: 7 cool anime shows to watch on Netflix

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