Minimalist Pixel Art is the term given to a series of simplified, multi-colored block representations of iconic characters. They quickly achieved meme status after appearing on the web in 2010, and were even given physical shape with a German ad campaign for LEGO earlier this year.

The original images have also made the rounds in Japan, where they are known as “pictures that people well get if they know them”, and have recently inspired some Japanese netizens on internet message board 2channel to start a minimalist pixel party of their own.

Take a look at the images in the gallery below, and don’t feel bad if a few fly over your head: you’ll need a pretty firm grounding in Japanese culture to recognize a few of them.

*The answers can be found at the bottom of the page!

1. One Japan’s favorite characters — but not from Japan

2. This should be an easy one for those familiar with American cartoons

3. Quite a few of you should “Like” the next one

4. Another cartoon classic

5. Here’s where experience living in Japan will start to help. Hint: it’s not a character.

6. A childhood favorite of many Japanese people

7. It’d be hard to find one Japanese person who couldn’t get this one.

8. Adorable, mortal enemies. 

9. Prepare for trouble…

10. Anime and manga buffs might be able to get this one

11. This one would have been perfect for Halloween

12. If you get this one, chances are you’re Japanese and grew up in the 90s

13. Many Japanese people don’t know where they’d be without these.

14. A toughie. Try counting if you want a hint.

15. I chose the third from the left.

16. Probably the most difficult on here. The answer is in the pocket.

17. Back to something more familiar to Western audiences 

18. The right is what happens when you clear the game fast enough

19. Another familiar one for fans of Western animation

20. Erm…yeah… If you think you know what it is but are too embarrassed to say, you’re probably right.

21. Another Japanese children’s favorite

22. Tough, but Japanese movie buffs should be able to get it if they think of them as symbols and not actual characters

How’d you score? Check the answers below!

Source: Vipper Sokuho


1. Moomin

2. Power Puff Girls

3. Facebook, Mobage, Twitter, Mixi

4. Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote

5. Umaibo (Delicious Stick) packaging 

6. The Doraemons

7. Totoro

8. Kirby and King Dedede

9. Team Rocket

10. Sgt. Frog

11. Gegege no Kitaro

12. Medabots

13. Convenience stores: Family Mart, Circle K, Lawson, 7-Eleven, Seicomart

14. Chinese zodiac signs

15. Pokemon: Pikachu, Charmander, Bulbasaur, Squirtle

16. Doraemon’s gadgets (Anywhere Door, Time Cloth, Small Light, Bamboocopter, Air Cannon)

17. Tom & Jerry

18. Metroid (Samus)

19. Monsters Inc.

20. Tenga

21. Kamen Rider

22. Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Radon, Mothra