Ich Bin Ein ANBU Bruder (I am an ANBU brother)
Since 2012 I have made over 600 ANBU masks and sent them all over the world. The very first international sale went to Germany. I was experimenting with the first "Wolf Frame" and took my inspiration from the Game of Thrones book series. I was a novice mask maker back then just trying to make a mask to go to the con. I loved the way this masked turned out and was proud to send it off across the water. What I didn't know was that the clay I chose to use for those first generation masks, shrank to the point of cracking over an extended period of time. My apologies to those members who got those 1st gen masks, seems like we all went through a bit of trial and error then.
Now its 2020 and as luck would have it, I am in Herford Germany working for a month! The perfekt opportunity to shout out the shinobi from Deutschland. While in country I had the opportunity and honor to visit a friend and ANBU Brotherhood member in beautiful Nuremberg, a medieval city over 1000 yrs old and definitely packs some King's Landing flavor.
The Death and Rebirth Masks
The masks featured in this blog post have their own special place in ANBU Brotherhood history. Back in 2017 a pair of up and coming music producers commissioned a set of custom masks using the "Faceless Frame" and specifically asked for perfect symmetry in the shape and design. At the time, I was making my masks with balloons and paper mache, letting them dry on semi round plaster mounds but took the challenge on and set out to make the best masks yet!
One mask was to be red with a jagged edge design, hidden mist shaped eyes and no facial expression. the other was to have the opposite jagged edge design with kindly man eyes and a smile. This kindly man mask reminded me a lot of the No Face mask from spirited away. Together they made a great compliment to each other. You immediately think of the classic comedy/tragedy masks from the Greek theatre days, only with an ANBU Brotherhood twist of course lol.
From New Jersey to Nuremberg
I travel a lot for work and when I made this second set of Death and Rebirth masks I was in New Jersey, Camden, right across the river from beautiful Philadelphia. The factory actually had a piece of the Berlin wall mounted on their property, another random connection in this meandering story. I had told the customer I would not duplicate or sell these designs as they wanted to use them for their music ventures. so I was stuck with 2 good looking masks (if I do say so myself) and no profit to be made from them, so what do I do? Gift them to a good friend, So I did. 8 months and one new solid German friendship later, I gave these masks to a co-worker I met on a project in South Carolina before he went back to Deutschland for good. I didn't think I'd ever see him or these masks again but as luck would have it, I was wrong.
Now its 2020 and I've been sent to Germany for a month to work on a project and my new friend invited me to his city, Nuremberg, to take in a bit of history. DOPE! so let's see how these imperfect masks do in King's Landing huh?
ANBU Brotherhood in Nuremberg
Guy Fox move over, The ANBU mask got this one. walking on cobblestone roads and seeing untouched moss built up on centuries old stones and rooftops was impressive. The pride and care taken to keep this historical city at full majesty made me a wee bit jealous of how we think about our own historic sites.
The Imperial Chapel and Heathen's tower are in the photo center built around 1200 apparently while Sinwell Tower is seen to the right built 50-100yrs later. They siit on the high point of the city and have a dominating presence you cannot miss.
Show your face to the world
ANBU Brotherhood masks are built with forehead and chin cushions to provide breathing room and to keep you from sweating the mask to pieces (it is still clay). I like to tie the straps at the crest of my big head, somewhat at an upward winkel (angle) to get the most comfortable fit, then you're good to walk around for a while without the mask slipping down. A nice hoodie, is all the off duty ANBU shinobi needs to rep his /her village while not in full uniform.
Henkersteg was a gorgeous old wooden bridge where the town executioner would travel when it was time for him to go to work. It was first built in 1457 and was directly outside of his Midtown apartment. Must have been a perk of the job to have such a Player spot don't you think? Itachi might have wanted to travel this bridge the night of the masacre? IJS.
My quiet companion seemed oddly at home in the Henkersteg. Perhaps he has a side job I don't know about?
My apologies to all the locals and tourist who we freaked out while chilling and smoking on this bridge. Can you imagine turning the corner and seeing 2 hooded and masked figures waiting for you on the executioner's bridge?? Smile or not, I'm taking the long way around lol.
St. Lorenz Cathedral
Visibly upset from having to leave the cozy confines of the Henkersteg, my stoic companion poses for one of the most Iconic ANBU Brotherhood photos ever. Set in sight of the twin towers of St. Lorenz Cathedral constructed around the year 1400 a.d.
To All ANBU Brotherhood members and fellow amateur photography hobbyists. It doesn't take much to take an iconic photo. All you need is a nice subject, decent lighting, something to fill in the background (no clutter) and some forethought about what it is you want to capture. iPhone and Android cameras are really powerful these days and will help you do the rest. Get out in the world and show yourself, then show us, your Senpai. We would love to see what the worldwide ANBU community is doing.
We all have beautiful things in the places where we live. Show your face to the world, show off your village. Maybe if we as people aren't so hung up on outward appearance we can focus on the beauty all around us, that's what puts a smile on my face.
Shout out to Bing maps!
The mavic mini was a helpful tool to have around all this beauty. It helped me capture some great aerial shots and also helped me get the lay of a foreign land. I was respectful in where and when I flew it and was aware of the local laws governing flight, to all drone pilots please always do the same and keep the skies from being even more restricted than they have already become.
But how about that google maps shot though?! Just goes to show you they don't spend all that money for nothing. Bing maps was also a great tool to navigate where I was during my visit. Big ups to the 3d view.
Gratuitous Aerial shots
Above it an aerial view of the castle at night looking over the city (looking South). Below is a ground view of the castle at night, from afar, (looking North).
Below is a shot from atop the castle just as the sun set. Looking southwest, you can see the church of Our Lady on the right and St. Lorenz Cathedral on the left in the distance.
Below is Nuremberg Christmas square.
Peace out Senpai!
Thanks for checking out my randomness. Love you all!