Case Study: The Ramen Stand Podcast
The Ramen Stand is a podcast focused on the discussion of anime. The unifying icon and name come from a common spirit within the anime subculture at large, a rich bowl of soup featuring ramen noodles. Some experience the full blessing of classic recipes, while some have only really taken the dish in in its instant form, but the name and spirit of the soup share a place in the hearts of nearly every anime fan at large.
The soup also represents the communal spirit of joining friends for a time of fellowship and community, and bonding over the things that inspire and move us. A ramen stand is unassuming, and the bowl in which the dish is served is not always a work of great art, but it’s the rich treasures gathered within the stand and inside the bowl, brought forth by the time and care invested in the soup, that attract us, much in the same way that anime more commonly touches on moving and inspiring themes than other animated art forms.
You can find the podcast here, discretion advised for humor and language.
Cole I’ve known for a few years since a gig running a Facebook page. I have only ever known him to be chill. His favorite anime at the time of this production is Yuru Camp, but I recalled a couple side details like being a resident of Texas and having an appreciation of the anime Darling in the Franxx and tied those together into the illustration. The major vibe for the avatar was “chill and comfy”.
DJ was a new introduction for me, having heard about the podcast. The photo I was given for him brimmed with a confident and personable energy. When I was informed that his favorite anime at the time was Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, the illustration procedure went incredibly quickly. I used the design sensibilities attached to Josuke just because he’s objectively the best Jojo and I will throw hands over that fact. The “Menacing” kanji were a hard requirement as a result of the design.
Kai was also a new introduction for me as a result of learning about the podcast. Her favorite anime at the time was Danmachi and the photo reference I was given possessed immensely threatening energy. Between that and the fact that I didn’t want to participate in the over saturation of Hestia imagery, I chose Danmachi’s portrayal of the god Hephaestus instead. In part because of immediate visual thematic overlap, and in part because of Hephaestus’s place in the original mythology as a creative force. Also the “step on me” vibe is pretty popular in the anime subculture and I thought it would be at least a little funny.