Legitimate art that makes me UNCOMFORTABLE

Kinokuniya Books is an independent bookstore located on 6th Avenue across from Bryant Park. [Remember independent bookstores? May Jeff Bezos rot in Hades for slaughtering them.] There’s a healthy dose of mainstream literature on the ground floor but the basement and second floor are devoted to Japanese books, Manga and Anime—their specialty.

On the second floor, there’s a glass case that contains delicate porcelain statuettes of characters, mainly female, culled from anime books and films. They’re priced at around $80-$100 each. They are, in my humble opinion, beautiful works of art. But there’s something disconcerting about them.

statue5To my aged eyes, they look to be very young girls who are highly sexualized. The common threads that run through each piece are large, oversized eyes, flowing, windswept hair, young, cherubic faces and robust, mature bodies. With 0% body fat, I might add.

statue4You have to see these in person to appreciate the artistry. These photos don’t do them justice. They don’t capture the soft, almost blurry texture of the skin, the vibrant colors and dramatic flow and movement.

statue1Some of the figures are warriors, but some of them have hints of bondage and girls in peril. I don’t mind admitting that when I’m standing there looking at these (not to mention snapping pictures with my iPhone) I feel a bit like the dirty old office drone looking for a cheap lunchtime thrill.

statue3What’s the appropriate age for a girl to wear knee-highs and garters? Does she seem a bit young to you guys for that? I’m conflicted because I think it’s beautiful.

statue7Does finding artistic merit in these make me a lecherous old fool? Because I feel like one. Is there, in fact, NO artistic merit whatsoever? Am I just using high-minded art and design concepts to rationalize my discomfort away? Can someone please let me off the hook here? Or am I stuck with this thorny crown?


SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It’s a government program for low-income individuals that focuses on proper eating. Putting healthy food within reach!

SNAP1So what am I to think when the deli on 42nd Street and 9th Avenue displays the ‘we accept SNAP’ tag here?

SNAP2Does this mean you can use your SNAP benefits to buy a York Peppermint Patty? Or are they trying to send a message? That there are healthier choices than this crap? Honestly, I can’t decide what the intent is here.

Bluetooth hands free New York City style, bitches.

hands free