We’ve recently seen a pair of Sailor Moon-themed dining options appear in Tokyo, allowing fans to wrap themselves in the hit franchise’s atmosphere as they enjoy a bite to eat. But if your anime and manga tastes run more towards beautiful boys than magical girls, now there’s a place for you too, at the new Hanai Yori Dango Cafe in Tokyo’s Shibuya.
Sipping a hot cup of tea can be an enjoyable way to relax and put your brain on auto-pilot for a few minutes. Waiting for your tea bag to steep, though, can be downright dull. Sitting there, staring at the bag’s string and tab, you might find yourself wishing for a view, and if your preferred view is a pair of large anime breasts, this Japanese company would be happy to oblige.
Handmade goods have a certain appeal that seems to transcend time. As much as we love our precisely designed and machine-crafted products, it’s hard to deny the draw of individually crafted items. Whether its watches or high fashion, knowing something was put together by a dedicated worker just makes it that much better.
So while these cat bags are nothing short of insanely adorable, the fact that they were all individually handmade by one person makes them that much more awesome! Read More
A few years back we saw an image that would quickly became a symbol of our time, highlighting one of the major flaws in humankind’s obsession with achieving physical perfection. The image was a family portrait, the mother and father of which had both undergone plastic surgery and looked startlingly different from their three kids, all of whom had similar, very distinct physical features. As it was later discovered, however, the portrait was completely staged, and none of the people in it are related in any way.
Nevertheless, the negative impact of the photo was so great that the life of the young “mother” took a drastic turn for the worse after the image went viral. The woman is now suing the Taiwanese plastic surgery clinic and advertising firm behind the image for using it unfairly and for not explaining the nature of advertisement the photo would be used for.
Watch out sailor sisters! There’s a new line of sailor-themed clothing on sale and this time it’s the boys’ turn to come out and play. There won’t be any trousers or navy hats here though, because the only thing masculine about these clothes are the bodies that will be going into them.
It’s the Boku Sera (“I’m a Sailor”) range, which uses the Japanese male pronoun boku to highlight exactly what sets the clothes apart from all others we’ve seen before: these are girls’ sailor-style school uniforms, only now they’re built for male bodies.
If you happen to be Indiana Jones or your oldest memory involves waking up in a giant garden paradise, there’s a good chance you find snakes quite repugnant. But even if you’d sooner take a kick to the groin than so much as look at a snake, we have a feeling you’ll find the squirmy little guy in this video quite adorable.
It’s not every day that an enormous blonde-haired bear of a man comes to your school, agrees to play a quick game of rugby with you and then proceeds to knock you on your 10-year-old arse rather than let you win the ball.
But then, it’s not every day that London mayor Boris Johnson is visiting Japan…
Never has there been a more enchanted tale than that of a school of young witches and the small, newly founded animation studio that created them. Their success story reads like a fairytale: two former Gainax employees create Studio Trigger in 2011, release the animated short Little Witch Academia two years later, and thousands of fans across the world immediately fall madly in love with their film, eagerly raising funds through Kickstarter for a follow-up movie, which surpassed its goal of US150,000 in five hours, and ultimately made $625,518 for their next film.
Now it’s time to see what this group of dedicated fans helped to create, as the new film, Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade has finally hit big screens for a limited two-week run in Japan. And to add to the excitement of the highly anticipated release, there’s a line of exclusive merchandise available for film-goers to purchase until the film finishes screening on 23 October.
Usually, riddles are kind of an all-or-nothing deal. Either you figure it out and get to pat yourself on the back for being smart, or you get to spend a few frustrating minutes trying to find the answer before giving up and feeling like a dummy.
So it’s nice to come across something with a consolation prize, such as this puzzle from Japan that’s said to be harder to solve the smarter the are.
Ramen lovers in Japan will have something to be excited about this Friday, October 16. Popular ramen chain Hakata Ippudo is celebrating their 30th anniversary that day and will be offering complimentary bowls of ramen at 30 select locations. That’s right, we’re talking FREE RAMEN here, and come the 16th, we know there’ll be plenty of customers waiting for their bowl of steaming pork-broth noodles!
Many foreigners who travel to Japan are relieved to find that it’s common for restaurants here to have a display window filled with plastic models of the food they serve, which is a huge help in getting around the language barrier. That’s not really why restaurants have them, though. After all, the potential number of foreign customers is a drop in the bucket compared to the native Japanese population that has no trouble reading the menu or placing an order.
The real reason for those plastic models is that they catch the eye and stimulate the appetite of passersby, be they foreign tourist, local resident, or adorable cat.
Battle Angel: Alita, known as GUNM in Japan, is one of anime and manga’s highlights of the ’90s. The original manga, created by Yukito Kishiro, ran for about five years from 1990 to 1995 with a newer series running from 2000 to 2014, in addition to two OVAs produced in the ’90s. The post-apocalyptic setting and cyborg main character have ensured the property’s popularity for decades, both domestically and abroad.
It’s been long known that James Cameron is a fan of the series and has been trying to produce a Hollywood film version for around 15 years — but things are finally starting to take shape. Today, news broke that a new director is in negotiations to take on the project.
Out of all the Studio Ghibli films, My Neighbor Totoro remains one of the most beloved, with the tale of two young girls and their magical forest friends capturing hearts and imaginations around the world.
While the story centres on Totoro, the furry, forest-dwelling giant, his unique mode of transport very nearly upstages him. What’s not to love about a multi-legged bus-shaped cat that bounds over hills beaming trails of light from its huge yellow eyes and carrying mice along as tail-lights?
Now it’s time to take the iconic catbus home and when we do, we’ll be making him entirely from scratch, with a specially designed kit made from lasercut paper materials.
Thanks to modern Internet marketing, it’s unlikely that anyone buys a video game without first having seen multiple gameplay videos of it as various stages of production. Gamers didn’t used to have access to so much information, though. In the 16-bit era, the less developed video game journalism sector meant that only major releases would get spreads in print magazines, and for some niche titles the only available visual preview came on the box itself.
As a result, the cover artwork played a huge role in catching customers’ eyes and conveying the mood and style of the game. Like classic movie posters, the best examples are works of art, and many of them are now being assembled in the upcoming book Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection.
The master swordsman Isao Machii has been dicing up whatever has been thrown at him so far. Whether it’s shrimp, fruit, or soybeans, this expert has left his cutting mark in a field of sliceable items.
One field he hasn’t turned his sword on yet is baseball, but considering how much Japan loves the game, it was only a matter of time before Machii would step up to the plate, and he’s done so in an impressive display of swordsmanship you won’t want to miss.
Last summer, merchandiser Bandai released a line of Sailor Moon compacts modeled after the lunar heroine’s transformation items. Happy as fans were, there were two little drawbacks. First, the items were sold through randomly dispensing gachapon toy vending machines, meaning there was no way to be sure which one you’d get. Second, the compacts were literally compact, with tiny mirrors that weren’t the most practical.
The newest piece of Sailor Moon merchandise from the company’s upmarket Premium Bandai brand addresses both of those issues, though, in the form of this full-size replica of the Crisis Moon Compact, with a large mirror and compartment to hold your accessories in.
Japanese gachapon machines aren’t just for kids, if the success of recent mega-popular plastic toys like Cup no Fuchiko and cup-clinging hamsters have recently proven. Perhaps there’s something about hanging a little character on your morning cup of joe that appeals to the kid inside us that is nevertheless forced to be an adult in a harsh and unforgiving world (which often requires caffeine.)
However, the most recent cup-clinging curio on the gachapon market has us feeling both hungry and creeped out in equal measure. Meet Dumpling Head Man!
It wasn’t so long ago that you’d hear expats and travelers in Japan express shock over the concept of sitting down in a restaurant and paying good money for a bowl of ramen. Seriously, aren’t those the cheap, instant noodles that college students, bachelors, and other people too lazy to cook survive off of?
Things are very different today, though. Ramen is currently the hottest segment of Japanese cuisine in the international dining community, with restaurants dedicated to it opening up in cities across the U.S. The humble noodles’ stock has risen so high that this ramen restaurant in Hokkaido is listed in the esteemed Michelin guide, so we decided to see if it was deserving of the honor.
Kumamoto City, the capital of the Kyushu prefecture of the same name, has always been in a bit of an awkward position. It doesn’t really have the metropolitan appeal of Tokyo, or the world-famous nature and hot springs of northern Japan, or even the tropical island allure of Okinawa. Plus, it’s a heck of a long way away from the capital. So why would someone decide to visit Kumamoto?
The answer just might be fashion. For the past several years, Kumamoto has steadily been building itself up as the fashion capital of Japan. Now, it’s come to the point where some would say that if you want to see the future of Japan’s fashion, don’t look at Tokyo, but look at Kumamoto instead.
Has Tokyo, the fashion king of Japan, finally been dethroned?
Considering some of the cute critters we’ve seen recently, you might have come away with the impression that Japan is all generous birds and adorable yet spatially confused dogs. But you still shouldn’t let your guard down, because as this video shows, you never know when you’re going to run into a robot dinosaur that breaks away from its handlers and rampages through a crowd.