anime

What do Japanese people think of when they hear the word “otaku?”

What do Japanese people think of when they hear the word “otaku?”

Like with any language, the meanings of certain Japanese words change over time. Take the word “otaku,” which is originally a polite way of saying “you.” It’s so polite that overusing it can make a person sound a little wishy-washy, giving the impression that he’s not really comfortable with interpersonal relationships in general. Of course, if someone isn’t spending his time interacting with other people, then what does he fill his days with? Presumably, his solitary, or at least niche, hobbies such as watching anime. And so otaku picked up a second meaning of “obsessive nerd.” That was 30 years ago though, so a recent survey sought to answer this question: What do Japanese people imagine when they hear “otaku?”

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The Whimsy Bomb! College Humor splices Studio Ghibli movies with other popular anime series

The Whimsy Bomb! College Humor splices Studio Ghibli movies with other popular anime series

Throughout his long career as an animator and manga artist, Hayao Miyazaki has created a particular style and theme throughout his works that have inspired an untold number of younger artists. However, what if Miyazaki himself had been influenced by some of the other popular series to come out of Japan, like Dragon Ball Z or Sailor Moon?

Brian Murphy and Patrick Cassels from College Humor have dreamt up exactly such scenarios by combining anime hits like Pokémon with Miyazaki classics such as Spirited Away in an animated short titled: If Miyazaki Films Were Like Other Anime. And it’s truly glorious.

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Patlabor’s giant robot gets taken out to the ballgame, keeps the peace in Chiba 【Video】

Patlabor’s giant robot gets taken out to the ballgame, keeps the peace in Chiba 【Video】

In planning any large-scale sporting event, organizers have to take security needs into consideration. Any time you combine thousands of people in a confined space with heightened emotions and flowing alcohol, there’s at least the chance that some individuals will be tempted to cross the line of polite behavior or even public safety, so it’s always a good idea to have a few security guards or uniformed police officers on hand.

Or, as shown in this awesome time-lapse video filmed outside a stadium in Chiba Prefecture, the giant robot from Patlabor.

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Attack on Lotteria! Get your burger with a side of Levi and Eren

Attack on Lotteria! Get your burger with a side of Levi and Eren

Do you love burgers and enormous, skinless giants? How about sexy studs Eren and Levi from the super popular Attack on Titan? If you answered yes to any–or all–of those questions, then you better get to your nearest Lotteria this Friday, because supplies for the limited-edition mini-towel and plastic file are…uh…limited!

Also, we’d really like a milkshake while you’re there.

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Advice from Japanese women on dealing with your boyfriend’s anime girlfriend

Advice from Japanese women on dealing with your boyfriend’s anime girlfriend

Early on in a couple’s romantic relationship, there’s still a lot the two individuals don’t know about each other. Each date is another step in the gradual process of discovering things about your partner while at the same time revealing a little more of yourself.

Sometimes the surprises are happy ones. Your new boyfriend turns out to be a great cook, or have a wonderful sense of humor. Other times, though, the things you learn are much less pleasant. You notice he’s a heavy drinker. He mentions he blows half his paycheck on pachinko. You learn the bone-chilling reason all the turtles have gone missing from the park behind his apartment.

Or, maybe, that he has a crush on an anime girl.

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With the stuffed characters of the Moomin Café, you’ll never dine alone!

With the stuffed characters of the Moomin Café, you’ll never dine alone!

Theme restaurants can be a lot of fun. Whether you’re munching on Final Fantasy desserts or knocking back a cocktail while surrounded by witches and monsters, a little break with reality can be just the secret ingredient you need for a satisfying meal.

Except, what do you do if you can’t round up a posse to go with you? Playing make-believe in a group can be fun, when everyone is egging each other on and having a good laugh, but most people feel awkward enough eating in a normal restaurant alone, let alone one that’s recreating a fictional world.

Thankfully, the Moomin Café has a solution to the solo-dining dilemma: they’ll seat stuffed versions of the beloved cartoons’ characters at your table to keep you company.

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Visit Kiki’s Bakery at a unique fairytale village in Japan

Visit Kiki’s Bakery at a unique fairytale village in Japan

In Kyushu, Japan, there’s a tiny little village that’s drawing in visitors from across the world. Part Ghibli fantasy, part English Cotswolds, the town houses an Alice in Wonderland store, a Peter Rabbit petting zoo, and a bread shop modelled on the bakery in Kiki’s Delivery Service. And if you can’t bear to tear yourself away from the gorgeous shop-fronts and blossoming gardens, there’s a hotel where you can stay and gaze out at the cluster of cottages from the comfort of your own room. We step into the fantasy world and take a closer look at the shops, restaurants and services on offer in this special little town.

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Ghibli casts its 1st film with 2 female leads & all-English theme song

Ghibli casts its 1st film with 2 female leads & all-English theme song

16-year-old actress Sara Takatsuki (Black President, OtomenGTODaily Lives of High School BoysHaganai) and 21-year-old actress Kasumi Arimura (Amachan, Hagane no Onna, Clover, Judge) will star in Studio Ghibli‘s next film, this summer’s anime adaptation of Joan G. Robinson‘s English children’s novel classic When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marnie). Oricon describes the film as Ghibli’s first one with dual lead heroines, and it is also the first animated title and first Ghibli title for both actresses.

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Sailors assemble! Artist reimagines the cast of Sailor Moon as Marvel’s Avengers

Sailors assemble! Artist reimagines the cast of Sailor Moon as Marvel’s Avengers

No one was really that shocked when Sailor Moon became a hit with its target market of little girls shortly after the anime started airing in 1992. Nor was anyone’s mind completely blown when the show started attracting older female viewers too, since its script had plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor mixed with some honestly compelling drama.

The big surprise, though, was just how many guys the show pulled in, as Sailor Moon built a male fan base of unprecedented size for what was ostensibly an anime for girls. While the central cast of five leggy ladies in sailor skirts obviously didn’t hurt, another key point in breaking down the barrier of entry for male viewers was the high quantity of action scenes in which Sailor Moon and her partners battled villains using their command of fire, thunder, and other awesome powers.

Looked at from that perspective, Sailor Moon isn’t so different from an American comic superhero team like The Avengers, something hammered home by this impressive crossover fan art.

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Sailor Moon in the City of Angels at LA art exhibit going on right now 【Photos】

Sailor Moon in the City of Angels at LA art exhibit going on right now 【Photos】

Back when I was growing up in Los Angeles, as anime was just establishing a foothold overseas, my high school animation teacher gave us a class project of reproducing an existing animated character of our choosing. As I applied the finishing touches of green and pink paint to mine, I got some quizzical looks from my classmate, and more than a few comments of, “Dude, do you have a thing for girls in pleated skirts?”

As accurate as their insights were, my choice of subject had nothing to do with my preferences in women’s fashion, and everything to do with being a huge fan of the anime Sailor Moon. Confused as my classmates had been, the series’ phase of international obscurity was short-lived, and now not only is Sailor Moon loved around the world, it’s got its own art exhibit going on in Los Angeles right now.

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Lady Gaga goes gaga for Hatsune Miku, makes virtual idol her opening act

Lady Gaga goes gaga for Hatsune Miku, makes virtual idol her opening act

With Lady Gaga’s rehabilitation from hip surgery apparently having progressed enough that the pop star is ready to contend with a grueling performance schedule, she’s about to kick off a world tour celebrating her third album. But with millions of eyes on Gaga, she needs an opening act with a fan base large enough to do justice to the scale and importance of the six-month event, dubbed ArtRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball.

Fittingly for a singer who’s made a name for herself with her provocative stances on image, perception, and reality, before Gaga takes the stage, concert goers will be entertained by a vocalist who doesn’t even exist in three-dimensional space: virtual idol Hatsune Miku.

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Doraemon meets Dragon Ball in the weirdest mash up we’ve seen today

Doraemon meets Dragon Ball in the weirdest mash up we’ve seen today

Writing for RocketNews24, we get to see some unusual stuff nearly every day. The Internet, in all its infinite wisdom and fluffy kittens, can get pretty weird sometimes, as you are all probably very well aware. And that’s fine! When you’re tapping into the collective consciousness of the whole globe, you should expect to find the unexpected. But sometimes you really hit the wacky gold. Like this cartoon of Doraemon mashed together with Dragon Ball, complete with strained voice acting, over-the-top sound effects, and the most painful battles we’ve ever seen. It’s…look, you should just go ahead and click to read more now.

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Otaku pro wrestler Tomoyuki Oka makes no apologies for blurring the nerd/jock boundary

Otaku pro wrestler Tomoyuki Oka makes no apologies for blurring the nerd/jock boundary

Tomoyuki Oka, Japanese pro-wrestler and all around tough guy, has already captured the hearts of an unlikely otaku audience by being very open about the fact that, despite appearances, he’s actually one of them. He’s recently released a promotional video where we can see the contrast between his  tough, physical side and his completely nerdy, anime-obsessed personality, but also find that there’s more synergy between the two aspects than might be expected.

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Six ways science-minded and art-minded Japanese people see the world differently

Six ways science-minded and art-minded Japanese people see the world differently

Just as you can broadly divide academic subjects into arts and sciences, in Japan people are often referred to as being “science-type” or “art-type,” with the first describing someone who holds everything up to the light of logic, and the latter for someone who applies more romantic standards.

Recently, Japanese Twitter users have been sharing their theories on the way this difference in fundamental mentality can affect a person’s attitude and feelings about such a wide range of topics such as not being too busy to see their dating partners, what happens when snow melts, or even their reactions to famous anime movie lines.

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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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Giant Patlabor robot stands tall in Tokyo even as film’s director calls it “useless” 【Photos】

Giant Patlabor robot stands tall in Tokyo even as film’s director calls it “useless” 【Photos】

When surveys are done asking people which neighborhood of Tokyo they’d like to live in, Kichijoji often tops the list. It’s not hard to see why, as it’s filled with fashionable cafes, restaurants, and bars (including one with an airsoft firing range), and nearby Inokashira Park is one of the capital’s best cherry blossom viewing spots.

Safety is also an important concern in choosing a place to live, and at least for a day, Kichijoji had this in spades, as the Ingram, the giant robot used in the Patlabor science-fiction films, showed up last weekend.

Even as the Ingram was standing tall though, the films’ director, Mamoru Oshii was tearing down the dreams if aspiring mecha pilots everywhere by firmly stating his belief that we’ll never see giant bipedal robots in any practical, real-life application.

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Attack on Titan to run on Adult Swim’s Toonami Block

Attack on Titan to run on Adult Swim’s Toonami Block

Adult Swim, the American television network paired with Cartoon Network, announced on Saturday that it will run Attack on Titan in its Toonami programming block. The anime series will premiere on the network on Saturday, May 3 at 11:30 pm ET.

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See what 13 stuffed toys look like after a wash at the home spa

See what 13 stuffed toys look like after a wash at the home spa

People in Japan love their soft toys. And with so many cute characters to choose from, it’s easy to understand why. But with love comes a sense of responsibility, which means there will eventually come a time when your favourite stuffed character will have to face the wash. The only thing is, with their adorable, life-like expressions, a wash-and-dry for a stuffed toy ends up looking like a day at the spa followed by a visit to the amusement park!

Check out the adventures of some crazy Japanese plushies, as documented by their owners, after the jump.

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Sega’s video game consoles to live again as cute anime characters in Sega Hard Girls

Sega’s video game consoles to live again as cute anime characters in Sega Hard Girls

Perhaps it says something about the fundamental goodness of the human heart that once someone is no longer with us, we tend to remember the good things about him or her. Even though the memories of petty differences and irritants tend to fade with time, the happy moments often remain with us, sometimes picking up an even warmer aura as nostalgia colors them.

The phenomena doesn’t just happen with people, though, but video game hardware too. This partially explains why Sega, which discontinued its most recent console well over a decade ago, is seeing a new anime being produced in which the main characters are cute, anthropomorphized versions of the company’s defunct video game systems.

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Nankai Railways and Gundam combine their love of mobility to create the Gundam train

Nankai Railways and Gundam combine their love of mobility to create the Gundam train

In a way, it’s slightly ironic that Gundam, Japan’s most venerated giant robot, is honored with a huge statue that stands in the Odaiba district of Tokyo. The original series in the franchise was titled Mobile Suit Gundam, but that 18-meter (59-foot) isn’t going anywhere since not only is it incapable of walking, Odaiba is an island and we’re pretty sure it can’t swim, either.

Coming soon, though, is a more logical wat to pay homage to the franchise: a Gundam train.

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