anime & manga

Korean cosplayer’s gender-bending costumes confuse us for a moment, then leave us mesmerized

I like looking at beautiful things, and bishounen (which literally means beautiful youth/young man) characters in anime and manga are one of my favorite types of eye candy. Cosplayers, whom I like to think of as mysterious fairies capable of transcending past the boundaries of gender, age and reality, are the amazing people who bring these beautiful 2-D characters into our 3-D world.

Here at RocketNews24, we’ve seen many male cosplayers who sometimes look even prettier than actual girls when they’re dressed in their costumes, so we’re turning the tables this time for a change. Meet Lita LY, a South Korean female cosplayer who looks cute dressed as female characters and bishounen characters as well!

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Legendary anime voice actor Iemasu Kayumi passes away at 80

If you’re into anime – like really into anime – you’re almost certainly watching your favorites in their original Japanese rather than dubbed in English. In which case, we have some sad news for you: Legendary voice actor Iemasu Kayumi, responsible for lending the charm and gravitas to many of the most memorable characters both in anime’s 80s and 90s heyday and in more modern works – has passed away at the age of 80.

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Popular old-school Japanese anime gets its own restaurant for adoring Chinese fans

Despite the increasingly obvious and alarm-inducing deterioration of the political relationship between Japan and China, it appears there’s one Japanese export the Chinese just can’t possibly bring themselves to boycott: Manga and anime.

Even at a time when the Chinese are openly fist-fighting other Chinese in the streets for the crime of choosing a Japanese car, manga and anime – especially, it seems, of the old-school variety – have pervaded Chinese pop culture to the point that it’s not only accepted to read it regularly, some Chinese business owners are going to great lengths to cash in on the popularity of Japan’s biggest pop cultural export.

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Japanese Twitter user turns IKEA catalog into TIGER & BUNNY’s private quarters【Photos】

Internationally famous Swedish furniture giant, IKEA, is known for their simplistic designs, affordable yet durable furnishing systems, and let’s not forget, their annual IKEA catalog, the awesome idea book that is packed with a myriad of interior possibilities. The best part? It’s free.

There are plenty of things you could do with an IKEA catalog after you’re done with your sofa shopping. You could recycle it, use it to prop up the uneven leg of your cranky coffee table, or let your pets have it as a new chew toy. I particularly enjoyed using mine as a coaster. A Japanese Twitter user used hers as a backdrop to create interesting snippets of the TIGER & BUNNY gang’s imaginary daily lives. Check them out!

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Fans take love of a certain anime character to creepy heights with real life birthday cakes, etc.

I remember one time I had a pet frog (I named it Cyrax because Mortal Kombat was big at the time. Also, robots are cool), and I went to great lengths to pamper it even though I knew, even in my tiny child brain, that my frog was a barely sentient creature that was only vaguely aware at best of some otherworldly giant hand reaching out to annoy it from time to time.

I’m able to relate this story to people without shame because a) I was a kid, and b) the frog was at least a real, tangible creature of some measurable amount of intelligence.

These super committed anime geeks, however, have no such excuse.

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Kid’s video of whirlwind Japan tour reveals otaku paradise, pervy action figures

Everybody’s got that story. The story of why they decided they wanted to go to Japan in the first place. Unsurprisingly, for a lot of people it’s manga, anime and even J-Pop. For a lot of guys, it’s the girls. For (comparatively fewer) girls, it’s the guys. Some like the food. Some like the “Old Japan” feel of Kyoto and Kamakura. A few even go for the outdoor activities.

And some go for the pervy action figures.

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We check out the new Rose of Versailles comic — the first one to come out in forty years!

Earlier this month, we reported to you about how a new volume of the popular girls’ manga The Rose of Versailles was coming out, after more than 40 years since the last volume was published in May of 1974. Now, that’s certainly a long time to wait for a comic, and just as promised at the end of our previous article, we were at the front of the line to get our hands on the new volume when it was released this Monday. We didn’t want to be kept waiting any longer than necessary, after all, to take a look at the newest addition to the series. And how was the new volume? See our impressions and pictures below to find out. Oh, and we’ll also take a look at a collaboration between the manga and a fashion magazine as well!

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“Poke” your favorite anime characters on LINE mobile chat app!【Instructions】

Remember when “poking” your friends on Facebook was a trendy thing to do? I feel old now just by recalling how my schoolmates and I could spend the entire evening “poking” each other online, refreshing the browser page every few seconds in attempt to return a “poke” at the fastest timing possible. Well, the younger generation who only got on Facebook in the recent year or two probably wouldn’t have an idea what I’m talking about since the trend has died down.

But you know how trends are revived every once in a while? “Poking” is now back with a new force, this time on the globally popular free messaging mobile app, LINE. Sorry to dash your hopes if you were looking forward to giving your LINE friends a cyber poke because LINE users are “poking” their favorite (or least favorite) anime characters and celebrities instead!

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This is what happens when you give a Ghibli character a typical anime haircut

With all the recent rumors about Studio Ghibli possibly shutting down or being bought out by another media company – which, thankfully, turned out to be a hoax – we’ve  been taking a lot of time out to take stock of what it is that makes Studio Ghibli and studio founder Hayao Miyazaki so special.

Certainly, Miyazaki’s films are at least a cut or two above other critically acclaimed anime films and are far and away higher in both visual and narrative quality than most of the anime you’ll see on TV.

But one Japanese Twitter user with a copy of Photoshop thought most anime does at least one thing better than Ghibli: anime hair.

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New father dresses like iconic pop culture characters and takes baths with his kid

Normally I pride myself on being able to come up with at least somewhat clever headlines for my articles, but this story is so bizarrely specific, I ran out of space just trying to come up with a comprehensible title.

What you’re looking at is a new father who got the idea to pose with his daughter in the bathtub every couple of weeks to record her growth from gross poop machine into vaguely human infant. The man’s wife apparently proposed that they add a little makeup to dad’s face to make things interesting and then the situation, as you can see, kind of escalated from there.

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Gintama’s protagonist as envisioned by fujoshi: blushing, bare-chested, and super voluptuous!

One of the things that contributes to the hole-in-the-wallet situation many manga and anime fans experience is related merchandise. Along with official merch, fan-made doujinshi and goods are sometimes just as attractive, not to mention rare since these self-made goods are usually produced in much smaller quantities.

For fujoshi (girls who are fans of Boys Love, or homoerotic manga and anime), doujinshi and doujin goods are even more tempting since it is only in these fan-made commodities that they can enjoy the forbidden fruit that is their favorite male characters being paired together. For non-BL fans, however, this is where things tend to get a little awkward. We’re not just talking about male-on-male action here, we’re talking male boob mousepads. See for yourselves after the jump!

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Pikachu’s dramatic decline in popularity captured in photos

Back in the day, Pikachu was just the best. He was cute, bold and dangerous all at the same time, had a cute voice and said nothing but his own name. People the world over loved him. Then Pokemon got like 5,000 other collectible monsters and Pikachu kind of took a backseat to the cooler new kids in class.

For a while, Pikachu clung to his fame like an aging Hollywood star exhibiting a little too much potbelly and affinity for sub sandwiches, but now, like a DJ part-timing as a kid’s birthday party clown, he’s stooped to new lows – showing up for any random appearance with five to ten audience members and the promise of some Tauros meat.

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Is new “One Piece” plane awesome fan service or just a cynical cash grab?

In what can now officially be called a budding trend, the Japanese domestic carrier Skymark has announced it will be painting over five of its Boeing 737-800 model planes with characters from the popular and long-running manga and anime, One Piece.

Two designs – presumably on the left and right sides of the plane – will feature group shots of some of the series’ most popular characters to date, including main character Monkey D. Luffy, Roronoa Zoro, Nico Robin, Nami, and that reindeer thing. A separate graphic of Luffy will greet passengers as they enter the plane near the boarding door.

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Attack on Titan star Levi graces cover of Japanese women’s magazine

Well, the public has already come forward and said that Attack on Titan‘s abrasive, but secretly caring Levi is one the most dateable anime characters of all time (the public also said they love boobs… a lot), so it’s no surprise that Levi is getting the star treatment even outside of anime circles.

On June 27, Levi graced the cover of the popular women’s magazine, FRaU, for the magazine’s book and manga special edition that included a manga awards page – several of which, no doubt, Levi is now the proud owner of.

Artist and Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama drew the cover especially for the issue, which features Levi reclining in a fancy office chair, with a manga and a pair of classy loafers; a look the youthful hero probably doesn’t get to sport too often in the world of Attack on Titan.

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Awesome Snorlax bed lets you be just as lazy as its namesake

If there’s one thing every human being has in common with some of anime’s most beloved friendly monsters, it’s a love of being super, super lazy. Mei found Totoro sleeping one off in the forest, after all, and who can forget that obviously lazy (though somewhat creepy) daikon-monster in Spirited Away?

Then there’s perhaps the most famous lazy anime monster: Snorlax from Pokémon; who I always want to call “the Snorlax” because it sounds like a Dr. Seuss character. The bear-like Snorlax is known throughout the Pokémon universe as an exceptionally lazy, docile – though voracious – creature. Heck, its first appearance in the anime was in a story that revolved around Snorlax falling asleep in a river somehow and blocking up an entire town’s water supply for months.

Now you and Snorlax can block up lazy RPG towns’ water supplies together with this exceedingly comfortable-looking Snorlax bed!

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Western media ranks the toughest women in animation, list unsurprisingly anime-heavy

While TV and movies seem to have a hard time grappling with the evolving role of women in society, animation has been delivering strong female leads for decades.

Sure, some of their empowering swagger is tempered with skimpy clothes and breasts so large they’re almost certain to cause major chiropractic problems, but animation has been surprisingly progressive when it comes to depicting women in comparison to film and live action television.

So it was only a matter of time before someone put together a list of the most badass female characters in animation, and it makes sense that the list is heavy on the anime; Manga and anime artists infamously have a bit of a fetish for strong female leads, after all.

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Serbian cosplayer takes Attack on Titan cosplay to new frontiers 【Photos】

Among the myriad colorful subcultures Japan has, anime and cosplay are definitely the more prominent of those that have mesmerized fans across the globe. I don’t know if you think the same, but I think that cosplayers are some of the most passionate people I personally know. Regardless of how bulky their props or how skimpy their costumes are, they’re always ready to strike a pose for the camera.

We’re sure many of you have seen beautiful girls dressed in revealing skin-baring cosplay outfits posing in compromising positions. However, we often forget that sexy cosplays are not just for girls. Serbian artist Borivoje Naumovski reminds us that male cosplayers can be very sexy too! Ladies (and gentlemen), feast your eyes on possibly the hottest Erwin Smith cosplay we’ve seen!

(Semi-NSFW pics after the jump)

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You don’t know Pokémon: 14 little-known facts about your favorite monster collecting series

Your Pokémon has taken you from the elusive Mewtew to the equally elusive and game-breaking Missing No. You think you know all there is to know about the Pokémon series, but unless you’re one of the elite few who have literally spent the last two decades learning all there is to know about the monster collecting series, we’re willing to bet there are at least a few facts about the beloved anime and video game behemoth you’re not familiar with.

Here, in no particular order, are the top 14 little-known facts about the Pokémon universe:

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What if Sailor Moon characters were lingerie models? They’d look stunning like this 【Photos】

Remember the Sailor Moon lingerie that lingerie brand Peach John released in Japan earlier this year? Thanks to them, we were able to feast our eyes on both lovely models and amateur Twitter users posing in the novelty lingerie.

But now the tables have turned! Chinese artist SoudWrong has created a series of illustrations featuring Sailor Moon characters as lingerie models instead. If you’ve ever wondered what the ladies from Sailor Moon would look like posing in their undies (for whatever reasons, we don’t wanna know), now’s your chance!

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If real animals were Pokémon, the world would be a much weirder place

The creators of Pokémon were nothing if not brilliant when they decided to make the collectible creatures cute and cuddly fantastical cryptid-like animals influenced by – yet sufficiently removed from – the designs of real-world critters. This allows the player/collector to suspend their disbelief enough that they don’t feel too bad about enslaving a living, breathing thing to battle other living, breathing things for their amusement.

But when you make it the other way around – real-world animals made to look like pokémon – things get a little more disturbing. Are you or your kids willing to capture, for example, an actual fox with nine tails and make it battle a giant frog with a flower on its back for bragging rights? That scenario isn’t too far removed from real-life cockfighting and dog fights.

This wasn’t a question we had to ask ourselves in the early days of Pokémon. But then, of course, the Internet happened, and the Internet is uniquely capable of making us feel bad about almost anything. So, for your amusement/guilt, we present to you real-world animals if they were pokémon:

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