Exquisitely tight cross-grain on the dominating center bevel and bounteous bevies of beautiful birdseye, on adroitly shaped, teardrop panels of the side. Must be a classic Blowfish, right? This sitter-Fugu wouldn’t fall anywhere near what you and I might regard as the conservative/classic template, but it is as fascinating and thought provoking (in the literal sense; I’ve spent the better part of a half hour looking at it, and I am still discovering cool facets within the execution) as I have run across in eons.
In nature, due to having to rely on tiny dorsal, pectoral and caudal fins for forward movement, the blowfish’s speed is highly limited and would make it an easy target for predators (hence the evolutionary development of its ‘puff’ ability and, after the golden poison frog, the second most poisonous vertebrate on the planet). Still, a fish has to eat and nature gave the fugu the ability to use its primary rudder, the tailfin, for short bursts of evasive/attacking maneuvering. The essence of the (briar) Blowfish shape usually lies in capturing that split-second wherein nature’s fugu is poised between the potential energy stored in the arc of the tail fin, and the burst of kinetic energy upon uncoiling. Thus ‘traditional’ Blowfish, much in keeping with their namesake, usually have shorter ‘tails’ (shank and bit), as well as more arc to the same than we see here (you knew there had to be a point to the long-winded marine-biology lecture, right?).
In electing to go with extreme elongation, J&J took a chance, but to this Fugu lover’s perspective, it paid off in a hypnotic manner. Every classical element is here (see first paragraph), as well as some very special touches (like the Tokutomiesque flair to the lower side ridge on the right), save a longer shank and gentler, more subtle arc to the same. As a bonus, this execution adds a sleekness that reminds me of a barracuda (the fish, not the Plymouth muscle-car). Not used to seeing it, but this describer is certainly enjoying it!
--R. ‘Bear’ Graves