Talented fan takes John Wick, Pikachu, and Marvel heroes back to the golden era of Japanese poster graphic design.

In our modern world, online trailers and video teasers are the way to drum up interest in a movie. But turn the calendar back to the 1970s or early ‘80s, before everyone had at least one Internet-capable device within arm’s reach at any given moment, and awesomely designed posters were the way to get people hyped.

Making a good poster was a serious challenge. The designer had only a single piece of paper in which to establish the characters and atmosphere to get people interested enough to buy a ticket, and couldn’t rely on music or motion to help. And yet, the right artist could pull it off, like in this awesome looking poster for John Wick, showing Keanu Reeves standing tall in a display of old-school badassery.

…except, wait a second. John Wick came out in 2014! Did some graphic designer from 1970s Japan travel four decades into the future, stick around just long enough to watch the movie, then go back to his own time and put this poster together?

Nope, because you don’t need a time-traveling artist when the spirit of retro poster design lives on today in the heart of Japanese Twitter user Corned Beef Taro (@UMAI_ONIKU_TARO), whose hobby is making poster-style movie fan art. Here’s another, this time for Guardians of the Galaxy.

While there are still exceptions, the increasingly global nature of movie marketing means most Hollywood blockbusters come out in Japan with a title that’s pretty similar to the one for their U.S. release. Back in the ‘70s, though, replacing English titles with a Japanese one was more common, so for his John Wick poster above, Corned Beef Taro bills the picture as Okami no Okite (“Law of the Wolf”), and the Guardians are referred to as the Ginga Gurentai (“Galaxy Hoodlum Squad”).

Baby Driver is still Baby Driver, though, just rendered in katakana phonetic script. The poster also boasts that it was shot in color, which was still something to be kind of proud of in the poster’s aesthetic era.

One of Corned Beef Taro’s most interesting efforts is his creation for Joker, a movie that came out in 2019, but was shot with set and costume design akin to the time period Corned Beef Taro’s posters evoke.

He’s also created posters for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Blade Runner 2049, which he’s retitled Ame no Karibito (“Rain Hunter”) Part 2

…and a whole bunch of other films, including District 9, Detective Pikachu, No Country for Old Men, Aquaman, and Black Clansman, all looking very shibui.

Best of all, with Corned Beef Taro proving he can adapt even the newest of movies into the style of the ‘70s, we can probably look forward to more blasts to the past in the future.

Source: Twitter/UMAI_ONIKU_TARO via IT Media
Top image: Twitter/@UMAI_ONIKU_TARO
Insert images: Twitter/@UMAI_ONIKU_TARO (1, 2)
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