Thailand: Where to Mourn Your Anime Characters

January 10, 2024

Something that we all love about a good anime is how it makes us empathize with the characters and immerse ourselves in the story. Once this happens, we vibrate, rejoice with the characters, and inevitably suffer with them, and even more so with their absence when they are no longer present in the narrative, because simply the plot dictates it to be so…

In Thailand, this devotion to those characters who are no longer in our favorite animated stories has been taken to a whole new level.

2D Afterlife” is the name of a very peculiar art exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand, which is literally an emotive display of devotion to anime characters who met a tragic fate. The gallery features 50 emotional portraits of fictional heroes, each respectfully adorned with an altar for followers and fans to place offerings and flowers, and pay their tributes.

Jinnipha Nivasabut is a talented artist, passionate anime lover, and the creator behind this moving collection. Far beyond the typical caricatured approach of most animes, this artist’s vision portrays the fallen heroes in oil, which gives them an appearance of nobility and unusual realism. The essence behind “2D Afterlife” is to explore the profound impact that the deaths of these fictional characters can have in reality, weaving unique and deep links between fiction and the sincere emotions of fans.

As in many parts of the world, both anime and Japanese manga have reached mainstream popularity levels in the Kingdom of Thailand, and because of this, Jinnipha seeks to go beyond traditional fan art. Her wish is for this exhibition to become a participatory experience, not only for her but also for the extensive fan base that passionately supports each and every series represented in the show.

Alongside each portrait by the artist, there is a small symbolic altar and a shelf where visitors can pay homage to their beloved characters with flowers and Fanta drinks, which are elements that represent traditional Thai offerings for the deceased. A notable and moving example of this gesture is the presence of a potato on the altar of Sasha Braus, a beloved character from the series “Shingeki no Kyojin“, referencing her devotion to food in the show, which earned her the nickname “Potato Girl“.

The “2D Afterlife” exhibition not only celebrates the artistic talent and creativity of Jinnipha Nivasabut but also invites a space for reflection and communion for fans, reminding us all of the profound emotional bond that can be developed with fictional characters.

Undoubtedly a place worthy of being visited, and logically on more than one occasion. If possible, which characters would you choose to worship? Because we all have our preferences, and we’ve all “connected” to a greater or lesser extent with different stories and protagonists. Come on, be nice, would you tell us in the comments, please?

Without crying, thanks 😉

Images Source: X/Twitter, Reddit