Sunday, April 27, 2008


I'm working on organizing the 600+ photos I took on my recent Japan trip, and hoping to start posting a recap (with tons of pics of manga, t-shirts and other Same Hat-related oddities) this week. But before that, I wanted to first blog a flyer I scanned today featuring an illustration by Suehiro Maruo.

While at the Tower Records in Shinjuku, I came across a free flyer featuring Maruo's art and grabbed a pile of them. This piece is from a similar set of drawings in the opening section of Panorama-tou Kidan. (I'm hoping to send flyers to folks that buy Electric Ant or win a future Same Hat contest of some sort).

Here is a tour flyer, featuring Suehiro Maruo's cover illustration for the CD/DVD 呪恋 by the band 犬神サーカス団 (Inugami Circus Troupe):

I feel like I've read the name before (also known as Dog-God Circus Troupe online), but never heard their music. For more info you can visit Inugami Circus Troupe's website, or check out their videos on YouTube. Interesting to note, Wikipedia says that "They started in 1994 when Kyoko placed an advertisement in Garo, a manga magazine."

Other album covers by Inugami Circus Troupe include a parody of King Crimson's famous In The Court Of The Crimson King cover, and an album called Panorama of Hell, with a cover illustrated by Hideshi Hino:


Anonymous said...

This is too perfect! I'm a huge fan of Inugami Circus-Dan and I've actually described them as "the Suehiro Maruo of rock" before. They've both got the juxtaposition of traditional Japanese with modern styles going on, and on a good day their lyrics can definitely match Maruo's subject matter.

I'm not as into J-rock/VK as I used to be, but Angura-kei still has a soft spot in my heart and Circus-Dan take up a lot of real estate. If you haven't heard them, try to get your hands on the album "Hebigami-Hime" sometime.

And I'm sure I'll do whatever I need to do to score one of those flyers!

Anonymous said...

Whoa, I didn't realize that was actually by Maruo. I saw the cover in thumbnail form and thought it looked like his style, but it was really too small to see much.
Awesome stuff, thanks for the larger scan!

Anonymous said...

Is that King Crimson cover Yoshikazu Ebisu?

bryan reynolds said...

you don't have any extra flyers, do ya?
a pile was mentioned..

Ryan said...

@johnny: I'm glad you dig it! When I was reading about the band yesterday (and heard their Taisho Democracy-esque manifesto) I figured there was some connection to Maruo's aesthetic, at very least. Seems interesting...

I used to be really into Jpop and Jrock back in high school... not so much visual-kei, but I did listen to basically only HIDE for about 18 months there (he will always have a warm place in my heart).

I'll look for some MP3s and email you separately about a flyer.

Ryan said...

@anonymous: yeah, I was surprised too. I was there buying a copy of the Perfume album and listening to 8-bit stuff, and saw these flyers right by the elevator.

Ryan said...

The original King Crimson cover was famously by Barry Godber, but I'm not sure who did this parody cover... The band seems to have a bunch of connection to indie manga, so Ebisu seems like a good guess :)

Ryan said...

@bryan: I do have some extras that I'm hoping to use to incentivise SHers to buy our zine. But I'll put one in with your copy of Vice (see the new post) thanks!

Anonymous said...

@ryan: You're the boss, applesauce. It's nineissix at, by the way.

I really wish I'd seen Circus-Dan "back in the day;" I hear they used to promote their shows by putting up flyers that looked like Taisho-era funeral announcements in the neighborhood around the venue, and then they'd doll up the venue and make a big processional entrance.

Anonymous said...

Amazing! I couldn't pester you to throw one in with my VICE, could I?

How does one purchase your zine (Electric Ant, with a Fred Scholdt inty, right? Or am I confusing two things...)

Anonymous said...

Hello there! Just happened to chance upon your blog when I was looking for Maruo CD covers and what a great find this is! In fact, other than Inugami Cricus Troupe, Maruo also did CD covers for this eroguro band called メリー ( and I was wondering if you happen to have scans of these CD covers (or any other CD covers he has done) cos those I could find are grainy and small. The CD covers are less bloody than most of his other work but no less disturbing.

Thanks in advance!


Ryan S said...

@Tim: Thanks for the comment! I found the album you mentioned "個性派ブレンド クラシック" the best version of the cover I could find is:

But you're right, it's a bit wimpy. I'll post on the blog and ask for anyone who has a better version to post a link :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the prompt reply and help, Ryan! Yup, I went to that site before and it has fairly decent scans of CD covers. well, this is the cover to the band's DVD release last Dec:

Pretty recent stuff and its one of those "limited fan club editions" gimmick that artistes in Japan LOVE to employ to get higher sales (by making them buy Type A that has a DVD to Type Z that has an extra song) so this is the best picture I could get of it. Its from yahoo auctions; its not even on the band's official website! It did not specify whether its by Maruo tho; ut the style is unmistakenly his. Correct me if I'm wrong about it.

And here's my favourite:

Grotesque and romantic (at least to me), all at the same time. What's not to love?

Real Estate Flyer said...

Is that King Crimson cover Yoshikazu Ebisu? Real Estate Flyer