anime

Artist helps “entrepreneurial” Pokemon with clever business logos and concepts

Have you ever wondered what comes next for Pokémon after they’ve evolved to their final stage? Some of them, according to one graphic designer, have ventured away from their Poké-world and entered the small business world.

Pictogram, a graphic design company headed by Sebastiaan de With, created business logos for a variety of Pokémon. Each Pokémon’s “company” is also somehow related to its abilities and comes with a back story. Aside from the amusing concept, the logos themselves are top-notch, so along with us and check them out!.

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Butt Bat Girl: Japan’s latest trick photography craze that combines sports anime with slapstick

While seemingly 90 percent of anime and manga are set in Tokyo, a lot of the creative individuals behind Japan’s biggest animation and comic hits grew up in other parts of the country. Many accomplished artists and authors hail from Niigata, and while Inuyasha and Ranma 1/2 creator Rumiko Takahashi is probably the most famous among English-speaking fans, the prefecture can also claim Shinji Mizushima as one of its native sons.

Mizushima is best known for his baseball saga Dokaben, which was so popular its protagonist has been immortalized with a bronze statue in Niigata City. It was already a bit of a local landmark, but these days it’s getting a fresh batch of attention as the site of a series of trick photography shots of the power-hitting catcher sending young women flying with a swing of his bat.

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Sailor Moon cookie charms look good enough to eat, but they’re for your bag, not your tummy

Like any healthy human beings, our ears perk up at the mention of “a dozen cookies.” But while we were all set to spoil our appetites with the tasty treats, it turns out that these particular sweets aren’t edible.

Ordinarily, we’d be storming off in a huff, but we’re giving these imposters a pass, because they’re a set of 12 cookie-themed Sailor Moon charms.

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Tokyo ramen shops trying serving “boob ramen,” ends up looking like “phallic ramen” instead

Japan, like most of the world, loves boobs. Sure there are disagreements over whether or not anime breasts are too big, or real-life breasts are too small, and sometimes the whole boob-obsession can borderline on creepy, but at least for the most part it’s usually pretty easy to tell what is and isn’t supposed to be a breast.

Except now. To celebrate the latest release in the Senran Kagura cute girl-ninja fighting game series, ramen shops all over Tokyo are serving special, limited-time only bowls of “boob ramen.” While that may sound awesome and hilarious at first, unfortunately the reality is quite different. Just take a look at what they’re offering.

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Get a closer look at the new Super Sailor Moon S.H. Figuarts

Bandai first previewed its upcoming Super Sailor Moon S.H. Figuarts at Wonder Festival last month. The super heroine is now available for preorder in her powered up costume, and bundles the Spiral Heart Moon Rod and Holy Grail accessories. The figures will ship in July.

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New game lets you save the world with your vacuum and toaster…who are also beautiful anime girls!

Released a little less than two months ago, smartphone game Touken Ranbu, with a cast of characters made up of famous swords from history transformed into handsome young men, has proven itself to be a solid hit. It’s just the latest success story, though, in the established video game genre of “many attractive people who’re actually anthropomorphized [something].”

Still, samurai swords seem like a pretty good well to draw from in creating heroic video game characters. But can you replicate that kind of enthusiastic response with  household appliances and consumer electronics though? We’re about to find out, with the upcoming title Kaden Shojo, which has you saving the world with a the help of a toaster, washing machine, and refrigerator, all of whom, of course, take the form of cute anime girls.

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Miso soup anime ads are so touching they’ll warm your heart as the soup warms your tummy

There’s something about a home cooked meal that, even if it’s not Michelin-starred fare, is incredibly delicious. It may be because every bite was prepared with love or perhaps it’s just the nostalgic flavor from your childhood. For many Japanese people, miso soup is one of those comfort foods. While it’s an everyday staple for many, the taste of your mother’s or wife’s (or other favorite cook’s) miso soup is second to none.

Miso and instant miso soup foodstuffs company, Marukome, has come out with some heartwarming commercials that really encapsulate the idea of food bringing people together. While you may not be crying at the end, you’ll at least really want to share some comfort foods with loved ones.

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In Neo Tokyo this weekend? Check out the bizarre “Bartkira” project exhibition

Think of the two greatest animation achievements in history least likely to go together, and you might come up with an incongruous mishmash of The Simpsons and Akira.

Perhaps precisely because of the way these two animated works (with the exception of “Treehouse of Horror”) couldn’t be further apart from each other in style and execution, the “Bartkira” project – which mixes characters from the series and anime film into each others’ universes and animation styles – has been a huge success.

And it’s coming to Tokyo’s Gallery Hakusen on March 7 and 8; this very weekend at time of writing.

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Girls & Panzer tank vase is appropriately elegant

Some of the gals from Girls und Panzer would tell you that tanks can be pretty cute. And what better way to gussy one up than to use it as a vase? Made using traditional Kasama-yaki pottery techniques, heralding from Kasama, Ibaraki Prefecture, the tank is a reference to a scene with series protagonist Hana Isuzu, who is highly skilled in ikebana, or Japanese flower arrangement.

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Goku vs. Frieza! Dragon Ball Z’s heroes and villains star in epic dance-off/soda commercials

Action movie stars have often commented that performing fight scenes has more in common with dancing than actually trying to knock a dude out. So if live-action on-camera martial arts is all about rhythm, footwork, and cool poses, does that mean that anime’s bareknuckle fighters are also talented dancers?

That’s certainly the conclusion we’ve come to after watching these slick soda ads featuring the cast of Dragon Ball Z.

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Resort in the Philippines decides to stop ripping off Gundam, rip off another robot instead

It’s a fact of life that copyright laws just aren’t as strictly enforced in many other parts of Asia as they are in Japan. So when photos started making the online rounds showing a resort in the Philippines with a statue of anime robot Gundam that’s as huge as it is fake, we responded with a laugh and a shrug of our shoulders.

But maybe having their clear case of intellectual property infringement become laughed at online made the management of Jed’s Island Resort rethink their decision. Recent photos show that the statue has been repainted, and its new color scheme doesn’t look like Gundam’s at all. So, is it an original design?

Of course not! They just found a different famous robot to copy.

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Super Frieza looks pretty blinged out in newest Dragon Ball Z film

A week or two ago, we brought you news of the character cast list for the newest Dragon Ball Z film, which is set to hit theaters in Japan later this year. The film will be the second personally overseen by series creator Akira Toriyama, which is great news, but the character list reveal might have struck some as kind of lukewarm.

It only listed the good guys, after all, and not a single one of them was an entirely new character – although a handful made first appearances in the last Toriyama film.

Today, though, we have some actual surprising information to share with you about Dragon Ball Z: Fukkatsu no Z: Frieza, the film’s main villain, will be sporting a “Super” version of his own this time out, and it might remind you a lot of the Monkey Idol from Indiana Jones.

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Boys’ turn: The top 10 most common shonen manga scenarios, according to Japanese fans

Last week, we took a look at some of the most common scenarios in shojo manga, Japan’s subset of comics aimed at young female readers. And yes, sometimes it seems like you can pick up just about any shojo manga, flip to a random page, and stand a pretty good chance of finding a scene where a guy with an impossibly tall nose, incredibly thin waist, tearfully tragic backstory, and enviably huge inheritance is moving in next door to the heroine.

But turnabout is fair play, and shonen manga, or boys’ comics, also have a set of storytelling conventions that get used repeatedly, so today we’re looking at the top 10 most instantly recognizable.

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After Obama’s otaku outing, images surface of Love Liver Joe Biden getting cozy with anime idols

Late last month, we got indisputable visual evidence (which is by no means to be confused with humorous photoshopped evidence) of something we’ve been suspecting for the last several years: U.S. President Barack Obama is a huge fan of cute girl anime.

Politics being what they are, the vice president tends to follow the president’s lead on major issues such as foreign affairs, economic policy, and what gets watched on the federal property DVD players after all those press conferences are over. So it’s only natural that images, every bit as convincing as those of President Obama, have now surfaced showing Vice President Joe Biden to be passionately infatuated with the teenaged idols of anime Love Live!

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Famous Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld makes a smooth transition from fashion to anime

Surprise cameos by famous faces in completely unrelated TV shows or movies are always fun and get people talking. It’s even more fun when a famous face turns into an animated character.

Last Sunday, the magical schoolgirl anime, Go! Princess Precure, featured one of the fashion world’s most famous designers, Karl Lagerfeld. While the young girls tuning in to the show may not have caught on, the adults watching in the background found it cool and amusing.

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Dress your kids up with this Evangelion children’s fashion line!

Evangelion fans in Japan are probably jumping with joy right now over this newly announced series of children’s fashion based on the hit anime. A collaboration project between the Evangelion store, Geewhiz and StompStamp, a series of super-adorable children’s fashion items are now available online for Evangelion-loving parents to dress their kids in subtle yet stylish anime gear!

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Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby

A proper anime character huggy pillow seems to have become a critical component of the full fetish and fantasy regalia of a well-rounded otaku, but there are certain things you just can’t do with such a 2-D crush. Sure, anime girl pillows will let you squeeze them and passionately insert your sweet nothings into their non-existent eardrums, but no matter how fervently romantic you become, you can’t expect any sort of pillow talk from your pillow.

Unless, that is, you’re curled up beneath the sheets with the Ita-Supo, the first talking huggy pillow that responds to your touch with verbal responses, including angry outbursts if you get too grabby.

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Convenience store in Japan welcomes new range of donuts, Evangelion-style

Fans of the popular anime franchise Evangelion would probably get a pleasant surprise if they walked into this particular convenience store in Japan. Instead of putting up pictures of the actual products to advertise their new line of donuts, the creative store employees of this branch decided to take a cue from the popular anime and dress their window a little differently.

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Here’s what Kyoto’s subway looks like plastered with anime girls

As we recently reported, the bigwigs at the Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau got together a while back and had a little brainstorming session regarding how to convince more people to use the subway. So what did they come up with?

Super-kawaii moe anime girls plastered all over the place! All part of the “Let’s ride the subway” advertising campaign, which hopes to bring in an extra 50,000 passengers a day. So how are people reacting to the sudden plethora of brightly colored cuteness all over their train platforms and carriages?

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The top 10 most common shojo manga scenarios, as picked by Japanese girls’ comic fans

In broad terms, the two largest categories of Japanese comics are shonen manga (“boys’ comics”) and shojo manga (“girls comics”). Among many fans, shonen manga have a stigma of relying on the same hackneyed storytelling patterns, over and over again. There’s generally a young male protagonist who sets out to become the strongest…something (ninja, mecha pilot, and even baker have all been done to great success). Along the way, he faces off against a series of powerful rivals, many of whom become the hero’s allies after he defeats them through a combination of newly discovered techniques and the power of determination.

Shojo series, the popular logic goes, are more sophisticated, with an emphasis on interpersonal conflict and dynamics in a setting closer to the real world. That’s not to say girls’ comics in Japan can’t be just as formulaic as their shonen counterparts, though, as emphasized by a poll of the top recurring tropes in shojo manga.

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