The Japanese have created some of the funkiest, quirkiest, and simply weirdest ghosts and beasties this world has ever seen. Wooden sandals called geta sprout eyes, arms and legs and run around. Cats which eat from the same place for too long turn evil and gain supernatural powers, which can be observed by their split tail. Infernal infants lick at lamp oil. But the winner of the lottery for weirdness, grossness, and just plain wrongness has to be poor little Aka-name. Literally translated as “filth-licker”, Aka-name adores the flavor of the uncared-for bath, along with whatever mold, fungi, and general ick grows in the tub. The traditional Japanese bath was made of wood, and often tended to be in a part of the house that didn’t see much sun. Add in a humid summer and general neglect, and the result is a slippery, slimy stew that had a tendency to accumulate frogs and slugs. Nice, huh?
The theory is that the pink-hued Aka-name is a beneficial ghost, cleaning up your mess for you. Still, having a ghost in the house brings with it a general feeling of uneasiness. When you walk by your bathroom, do the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? Your stomach feel a bit queasy? It might be time to do a little scrubbing. Better wait until morning, though. Nobody likes to be interrupted in the middle of a meal.
The finished art is coming along nicely. With a little luck, it will be posted tomorrow (yeah yeah, I know I’ve promised that before). Just for fun, here are a couple other face and character designs that didn’t make the cut, for one reason or another. Turns out, ghosts are tough to coif properly. Who knew?