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Best Mori Arts Center Galleries


Best Mori Arts Center Galleries


Are you visiting Japan and looking for some epic art?

Then add the Mori Arts Center in Roppongi Hills to your travel plans!

None of the exhibits at this museum remain permanent. So you know you’re seeing something fresh—even when you revisit.

To make matters better, the art gallery is located on the 53rd and 54th floor of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. So, along with some great art, you’ll also see one of the best views of the Tokyo skyline.

As far as the actual art goes, you’ll find a variety of different styles.

But the true standouts here are the limited edition exhibits focusing on artists or series. By this, we’re referring to those exhibits that cater to our geeky guilty pleasures.

Whether you’re a fan of anime, manga, comic books, or acclaimed artists in general, there’s something for you at this gallery.

So today, let’s take a journey through the best exhibits the Mori Art Museum ever offered! Even better, you’ll get to see some of the works from these exhibits—even if you missed it.

So read along with us if you’re ready to see some of the best art galleries in all of Japan!


Marvel Age of Heroes

Time to kick off this list with something we all know and love very well. “IT’S MAHVEL BAYBE” in one cool art exhibit!

So you might ask—what makes these Marvel displays any different from the others?

Quite a bit…

For starters, this exhibit breaks into five different sections—to ensure there’s a little something for every Marvel fan out there.

Let’s begin with the cinema section. As you’d expect from such a name, this portion exhibits displays from the Marvel films.

If you’re a fan of costumes, this is the section for you. Everything from Tony Stark’s Suits and Spider Man’s tights await you here.

As an added bonus, you can even check out Captain America’s shield prop. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to detail a battle damaged prop, take notes from this iconic shield.

But the fun does not end after the costumes. Looking around the exhibit, you’ll find a few 16-inch sculpts of your favorite Marvel heroes.

Hulk never looked so imposing as he’s ready to square off. In fact, these displays are so detailed that you might even feel as though you’re a bystander in the Marvel universe.

Beyond the sculpts sits sketches of original comic book art and classic covers. These combined with promotional posters really induces a sense of awe—capable of tugging the heartstrings of all Marvel fans.

So, after looking around so long, surely you feel hungry by now, right?

Then let’s take a look at the café. Here, each dish is inspired by a different Marvel hero. The standout is easily the green curry rice shaped like a gigantic green arm. Prepare your taste buds for a delicious HULK SMASH of flavor!

Studio Ghibli

Are you a fan of anime?

Then you already know the greatness of Studio Ghibli. Few other anime films will offer quite the sense of wonder and fantasy as these movies. Even better—they usually come with some thought-provoking messages as well.

And it’s for the above reasons that Studio Ghibli reaches such global acclaim—enough to earn a temporary exhibit at the Mori Arts Center.

Upon entering, fans already knew the fun to expect as a large Totoro greeted guests from behind a receptionist counter.

Beyond this display were plenty of other life-sized creations from the anime. You could even sit inside the iconic cat bus. Is this not something anime fans have wanted for the past 30 years?

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Studio Ghibli exhibit without some shout out to Castle in the Sky—the studio’s first major film. And what recognition this film received! Inside the gallery hung a gigantic floating airship. Even better, the ship moved! If this display wasn’t a huge chunk of fan service, we’re not sure what is!

Aside from these interactive displays, fans could also get a closer look at promotional and concept art pieces. Seeing the actual brush strokes inside the storyboards also evoked plenty of feelings of amazement.

The gallery also packed plenty of goodies for fans of all of Miyazaki’s works as well. Remember those dust sprites from My Neighbor Totoro? Well, they hid quite well throughout the exhibits. And finding some of these also presented a sense of fun found in Studio Ghibli films.

All in all, Studio Ghibli offered a gallery brimming with fun. Anime fans of all ages and from all generations found plenty to enjoy here.

Tim Burton

When it comes to legendary directors, Tim Burton’s name quickly springs to mind.

Who else could blend the genres of macabre and whimsical in such a brilliant package? If nothing else, Burton’s films certainly rank as one-of-a-kind originals.

So, with such an iconic style, we quickly understand how Burton earned his own art exhibit at the Mori Arts Center. And, as expected, these displays packed plenty of fun and creepiness inside.

As a whole, the gallery collected about 500 pieces of Burton’s art. Among these works included props, storyboards, concept designs, and promotional posters.

Honestly, seeing early sketches of Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice characters really offers a few insights into the mind of this timeless director. Also, it’s always fun to see how these concepts developed for the final project.

The fun expands beyond the live action works as well. Early animation models for films such as The Corpse Bride and Nightmare Before Christmas also made the cut. Again, it’s pretty fun to see how these early designs evolved.

If you visited this exhibit, you also would have seen some interesting pre-fame sketches from Burton. It’s interesting to note how his art style always retained such an original and quirky persona.

After seeing the fun artwork, the exhibit was not yet finished. Along the way were sculpts of some of Burton’s acclaimed characters. In other words, the exhibit really brought a sense of life to this director’s works.

At the end of the day, these displays offered a nice peek inside the mind of Tim Burton. And there’s something refreshing about seeing original work from a talented director.

Hirohiko Araki/ Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure might not have the largest following in the west. But it did gain a very sizable global fanbase in recent years thanks to a major announcement at its Roppongi Mori Arts gallery.

Never heard of JJBA? Think of it like this. If this manga were a magazine, it would be something of a combination of Vogue and Rolling Stone with a few epic superhero comics thrown in for good measure.

Also, the art style is pretty unique as well. So with all this said, it’s no wonder the manga and its creator, Hirohiko Araki, received a gallery at this Tokyo museum.

So what made this exhibit great?

For starters, the gallery offered plenty of sketches and original artwork from Araki. If you think the panels of JJBA are amazingly offbeat, you’ll want to see some of the featured sketches. Araki’s imagination and style are certainly bizarre, to say the least. And this is not a bad thing by any means.

Aside from some colorful art, Araki also made some important announcements. For starters, he featured a life-sized original stand at the event named Remote Romance. It’s ability—streaming events to wide audiences.

This was quite creative as well since Araki did stream some special announcements at the Mori Art Center for his fans.

For starters, the fashionable mangaka announced the release of PS3 video game Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle.

While the fighting game was quite fun, there was a massive announcement to longtime fans of the series—an anime!

Back in 2012, this is what introduced a plethora of international fans to this outstanding series. Also, fans of the manga could finally see their favorite fab poses and kanji sound effects brought to life.

So what all did this gallery bring? It started with some epic artwork and ended with an announcement that would leave a massive impact on the global anime community. Can’t go wrong there!


The Art Of Gundam

By this point, does Mobile Suit Gundam even need an introduction?

If you’re a fan of anime or robots, you have no excuse for not knowing this series.

With stimulating storylines and action-packed fight scenes, there’s plenty to love with the Gundam franchise. And after 39 years of providing us with some of the best mech-anime ever, it’s about time the series earned a Mori Art Center exhibit.

This gallery really went full-throttle with bringing the Gundam universe to fans.

Even upon entering the exhibit, you would immediately start in a replication of the White Base from the original Gundam. Right out of the gate, the gallery would already immerse you in the Gundam universe.

From here, the exhibit’s gallery’s would walk you through the series’ lengthy history. Everything from promotional art to movie posters was displayed throughout the galleries.

Other portions of the exhibits highlighted some of the pioneers behind the Gundam series. One display even fully celebrated the works of iconic Gundam art director Mitsuki Nakamura. So it’s nice that those who worked hard to bring the series to its present point received some recognition.

Other cool things throughout the exhibit included original storyboards and shots directly from the anime. Again, this is a huge treat for anyone who’s been a long time fan of the series.

But the fun is not yet finished. While walking through the Mori Art Center, many walls featured full-length murals of iconic mobile suits throughout the franchise. The artistic direction here is certainly impressive and worth a look from any Gundam enthusiast.

Lastly, collectors will swoon at the gigantic gunpla collections. Hundreds of plastic Gundam models sat on display to further walk visitors through this franchise’s epic history.

Photo credit

Main: Picture source

Tokyo Skyline: Picture source

IronMan Suits: Picture source

Captain America: Picture source

Hulk vs Hulkbuster: Picture source

Food Hulk: Picture source

Studio Ghibli: Picture source

Castle in the Sky Ship: Picture source

Studio Ghibli Artwork: Picture source

Tim Burton: Picture source

Edward Scissorhands: Picture source

Tim Burton Art: Picture source

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Mural: Picture source

Remote Romance: Picture source

Gundam Head: Picture source

Gundam exhibit: Picture source

Gundam Storyboards: Picture source

Gundam Mural: Picture source

Gundam Models: Picture source


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1 Comment

  1. Alice

    Thank you for sharing (and crediting) my work Joshua! Great compilation post of the different exhibits!


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About The Author

Joshua Gray

Joshua is a freelance writer focused on pop-culture and entertainment. His work appears on websites such as Beverly Hills Magazine. Joshua's topics typically involve trends in gaming and Asian entertainment. To learn more, follow him on twitter or his blog.

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