by Chris MaGee
It was way back in February that we posted a video that, well frankly, it frealed a lot of people out. Titled "Mariko Takahashi's Fitness Video for Being Appraised as an 'Ex-fat Girl'" it featured Japanese rhythmic gymnastics champ Mariko Takahashi, an entourage of bipedal poodles, and some forearms that would make Popeye jealous in a workout video straight from the folks who brought you LSD. Actually it wasn't from the same lab that first synthesized LSD, it was created for Panasonic by designer and video director Nagi Noda back in 2004, and since we posted this video in February I've slowly but slowly been gaining an appreciation for Noda's amazing video work, but sadly a bit to late. You see Noda (above) passed away last year after complications from surgery after a car accident. She was only 35 years old.
Born in Tokyo in 1973 to parents involved in traditional Noh theatre Noda would spend five years as a child in New York city, returning to Japan in 1987 and eventually studying at the Joshibi University of Art and Design. Upon graduation she began working for a number of design and advertising firms in Tokyo producing commercials, setting up advertising campaigns, working on her own clothing line and directing music videos like Japanese pop star Meg's single "Precious" (below)
The list of clients that Noda worked with in her short but astounding career reads like a who's who of cool: The Scissor Sisters, Bjork (who she photographed), Jack White of The White Stripes (who provided music for her Japanese coca Cola commercial campaign), Japanese pop stars Yuki, Tiga, and the above Meg, DJ Cut/ Copy, as well as directing the opening sequence to Nobuhiro Yamashita's "Honey and Clover". Had Noda lived she most likely would have branched into filmmaking as is evident by her short film " A Small Story about Alex and Juliet" (below).
Definitely check out Noda's official website for more on this so talented and soarly missed artist... and if anyone out there knows of a DVD collection of her work then please, please, please let us know!