anime & manga

Pikachu’s dramatic decline in popularity captured in photos

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?

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

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

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

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】

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

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】

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

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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Scrapped original Dragon Ball designs bordered on plagiarism

Scrapped original Dragon Ball designs bordered on plagiarism

To the common Dragon Ball fan or student of historical Chinese literature, it’s probably not a big secret that the original Dragon Ball and the more popular spinoff, Dragon Ball Z, heavily borrow elements from one of the great Chinese novels, Journey to the West. 

Three recurring characters of the original run of the Dragon Ball series, Goku (the main protagonist), Bulma and Oolong, were all meant from the beginning to resemble important characters from Journey to the West, with each character being – even in the final forms of the manga and anime – a basic facsimile of their respective inspirations.

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“Realistic” Kuroko’s Basketball characters look just as cool, if not cooler【Pictures】

“Realistic” Kuroko’s Basketball characters look just as cool, if not cooler【Pictures】

As an avid anime fan, I sometimes wish my favorite characters were real humans, but the logical fangirl in me warns that if anime characters existed in real life, they probably wouldn’t be as awesome as they were in the original works. Just take Kuroko’s Basketball as an example, it would be impossible for Kuroko’s unbelievable skill, “Misdirection Overflow”, to happen in real life.

In such situations, I’m glad there are talented artists who create realistic looking fan art of anime characters, such as these amazing portraits!

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Denny’s Japan introduces PokéNOMNOMNOM

Denny’s Japan introduces PokéNOMNOMNOM

For those of you who worked up an appetite searching the world for pokémon on Google Maps, Denny’s has the perfect snack! As of April 1, the chain’s Japanese restaurants will be offering Pokémon-themed pancakes on their new menu. Pikachu comes with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, honey, whipped cream, and bite-sized pieces of orange, banana and raspberry.

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One Piece’s Nami has silicone breast implants, and we have pics to prove it

One Piece’s Nami has silicone breast implants, and we have pics to prove it

How many of you have ever seriously wondered if One Piece’s heroine, Nami, has fake boobs? Well, not just Nami, we can easily name a long list of manga or anime characters with overwhelming assets. These characters can get away with heavy bosoms larger than their heads because they’re fictional after all, but if they existed in real life like famous celebrities, there is bound to be speculation over whether they’ve gotten implants.

Sorry to dash your dreams, guys, but it seems that Nami has silicone implants! We’ve got the photos to prove it!

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As Comiket approaches, convention center convenience stores prepare for war

As Comiket approaches, convention center convenience stores prepare for war

Twice a year, Japanese amateur manga convention, Comiket, rolls through town, bringing in its tow an apocalyptic nerd storm of cosplayers, manga enthusiasts and rare comic and figure hunters. If stereotypes are to be believed, this means that twice a year, instant ramen, energy drinks, curry and soda consumption spike considerably.

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Men’s butts are shaped like green peppers, according to this butt illustration guide

Men’s butts are shaped like green peppers, according to this butt illustration guide

If the Fujoshi’s Guide to Japanese was not enough to convince you that the fujoshi (girls who are fans of homoerotic fiction) community is an undeniable market, this illustration guide book that explains how to draw men’s hips should be convincing enough! Released on 7 December, it took merely three days to climb to the top of Amazon’s sale rankings in the illustration book category.

You might be thinking, “drawing men’s hips doesn’t mean it’s homoerotic”, but just wait till you see the illustrations inside…

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Research institute explains technobabble with awesome retro anime 【Video】

Research institute explains technobabble with awesome retro anime 【Video】

Scientists must often have a hard time explaining deep scientific concepts to the general public without resorting to a lot of wild gesticulating and exasperated sighs. We know we’d get around five minutes into a college physics lecture before giving up and drawing cat doodles in our notebooks for the remaining hour of class.

It’s no wonder, then, that Japan’s RIKEN national comprehensive research institution resorted to making this totally awesome anime to enthrall and amaze our stupid civilian minds with flashing lights and hot robot girls, so we’d sit still long enough for the institute to introduce its new and totally sci-fi sounding SPring-8 Angstrom Compact Free Electron Laser (SACLA).

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Finally, 2013′s list of most dateable anime characters

Finally, 2013′s list of most dateable anime characters

We’re perpetually jealous of anime characters. Being figments of someone’s imagination, anime protagonists are universally muscular, never have to diet, have awesome super powers and pretty much don’t have to give a single thought to our pathetic real person laws and social norms, so it’s unsurprising that many fans find some of their favorite anime characters to be both sexy and highly dateable.

A recent Tokyo Otaku Mode Survey posed the question to both men and women of 100 countries which anime characters they’d most like to date, with some surprising, and some not-so-surprising, results.

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Gundam creator has harsh words for manga and anime hit “Attack on Titan”

Gundam creator has harsh words for manga and anime hit “Attack on Titan”

Say what you will about Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, he’s nothing if not outspoken. Previously, we covered Tomino’s somewhat incendiary remarks about kids addicted to video games, and he’s well known in Japan for being less than enthusiastic about rival mecha manga and anime.

Now he’s crossed genres to take aim at Japan’s most recent pop culture export, Attack on Titan – which we suppose defies genres as an alternate universe story about weird giant people attacking towns.

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Period pain? There’s a comic for that!

Period pain? There’s a comic for that!

There’s a five-frame comic doing the rounds on Twitter that’s got all the ladies talking. Called “The day of period pain”, it’s being praised for authentically depicting that dreaded time of the month and proves that, in Japan, there really is a comic about everything.

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Anpanman creator Takashi Yanase dies at age 94

Anpanman creator Takashi Yanase dies at age 94

Takashi Yanase, renowned manga artist and creator of one of Japan’s most widely beloved children’s characters, Anpanman, passed away in the early morning hours of October 13 at a Tokyo hospital. A spokesman named heart failure as the cause of death.

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