In the first episode of Nekomonogatari (Black), we see this drawing of Araragi during his conversation with his sister at the beginning.

Depiction of Araragi Koyomi.

The text here states, according to the subtitles (and reading the text right to left):


I don't imagine the actual text here to be particularly significant though.

In either case, this reminded me a lot of Chinese socialist posters used for propaganda, but I am not sure if "interpretation" is correct, given that I haven't really been exposed to anything similar from any other East Asian countries (namely Japan, in this case). Is my interpretation correct, or can this drawing of Araragi also be interpreted as a reference to some non-Chinese drawing style (perhaps of the variety used for propaganda in another country)?


While I have not seen this episode yet, let me chime in to confirm that this image looks awfully close to typical war propaganda posters. They do not have to be Chinese actually, Russians looked the same, as did those by Western countries at the time.

The drawing style was, as far as I know, mandated by the circumstance around the second world war, meaning they all look similar. The messages are also (maybe surprisingly) similar, as is the facial expression of energetically staring into the upwards, far distance.

The text in the example given is Japanese, which I sadly cannot read.

Chinese and Russian as well as other socialist propaganda made particular use of red colors:

enter image description here (source)

For comparison, American propaganda from 1944 often used the same painting technique:

enter image description here (source)

  • Thanks for the response. You might want to upload some of the examples you give though (mostly in case of linkrot and to streamline reading the response).
    – Maroon
    May 19 '14 at 21:14
  • I was almost going to, but would this not lead to possible copyright infringement?
    – mafu
    May 19 '14 at 21:17
  • Hmmm... There might be some public domain ones on Wikipedia, though I'm not completely sure.
    – Maroon
    May 19 '14 at 21:18

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