Is Dim Mak x Inuyasha the most ambitious crossover event in history? Memes aside, one thing’s for sure: it’s exciting to see a collaboration that brings together Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Collection, VIZ Media, and one of Japan’s best-known and award-winning manga artists, Inuyasha creator Rumiko Takahashi.
“I love the story of togetherness in Inuyasha. I am all about collaboration whether it’s in my music, fashion, or every day. I have always been inspired by the magic of when people from differing perspectives align to create something new,” said two-time Grammy-nominated artist/DJ/producer and Dim Mak Records founder Aoki in a press statement.
Dim Mak x Inuyasha
Inuyasha creator and Eisner Hall of Famer Takahashi is also famous for creating the Ranma ½ and Urusei Yatsura manga, both of which also spawned popular anime series.
Divergent from her more lighthearted comedic manga, Inuyasha takes place in the darker days of the warring Sengoku Period in ancient Japan. The protagonist Inuyasha is a half-human, half-dog yōkai (demon) initially seeking the powerful Shikon Jewel to transform himself into a full-fledged yōkai by any nefarious means necessary.
As his quest progresses, Inuyasha realizes that the bonds of friendship and companionship far outweigh his lonely pursuit for power.
Paying homage to Takahashi’s epic narrative, Aoki blended his Dim Mak aesthetic with the elegance of Takahashi’s artwork across twelve apparel styles, including an array of graphic T-shirts and hoodies ranging from US$38 (Php1,813.25) to US$85 (Php4,055.96).
The graphics depict fan favorite characters in the anime series, including Inuyasha, Sesshomaru, Kikyo, Kanna, and Sango, in bright heliconia pinks and kaleidoscopic tie dyes.
Music label and fashion brand
Aoki named his independent record label and subsequent fashion brand Dim Mak as a nod to Bruce Lee’s signature fight move: the touch of death.
Founded in 1996, Dim Mak is responsible for launching the careers of Bloc Party, The Bloody Beetroots, The Chainsmokers, Deorro, Keys N Krates, and countless others, pushing new musical movements via its staunch DIY ethos.
In fashion, Dim Mak cultivates community by bringing together collaborators from all walks of life including the likes of Hiroshi Fujiwara, Sanrio, Playboy, A Bathing Ape, and the Bruce Lee estate, to name a few. With nostalgic references toward his youth, Aoki often includes manga, music, and games into the Dim Mak aesthetics.
As a solo artist, Aoki boasts a cross-genre discography that includes seven studio albums and collaborations with Lil Uzi Vert, Maluma, BTS, Linkin Park, and Louis Tomlinson, among others.
Incidentally, Steve Aoki is the older half-brother of actress and model Devon Aoki, who also appears in the “Waste It On Me” official music video which assembles an all-star cast of Asians. Best known for playing Suki in “2 Fast 2 Furious”, Devon also played Miho in “Sin City” and Kasumi in “DOA: Dead or Alive”.
Their father is the late Hiroaki Aoki, a Japanese-American amateur wrestler who qualified for Japan’s Olympic wrestling team. Hiroaki became better known as Rocky Aoki, the legendary founder of the Japanese cuisine restaurant chain Benihana in the US.