anime

Photo feature: Space Brothers exhibition in Kyoto

Photo feature: Space Brothers exhibition in Kyoto

The Museum of Kyoto is hosting an exhibition for Chūya Koyama‘s Space Brothers franchise until September 23. The exhibit, which takes up two floors of the museum, features more than 200 pieces of original art from the manga as well as story summaries, anime storyboards, information about JAXA and space exploration, models of spacecraft, and of course, a very large inflatable Apo. ANN had a chance to go to the museum and take some pictures of the exhibition.

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Artist creates awesome anime artwork by carefully cutting a single Post-it note 【Photos】

Artist creates awesome anime artwork by carefully cutting a single Post-it note 【Photos】

While origami is Japan’s best known paper craft, its less famous relative, kamikiri, has been around since the 19th century. In contrast to the intricate folding techniques of origami, kamikiri, literally “paper cutting,” involves creating an unbroken cutout from a sheet of paper.

Chiba-born artist Akira Nagaya is a kamikiri master, and many of his designs are inspired by centuries-old imagery such as the phoenix, fuujin wind spirits, or the Seven Gods of Fortune. Occasionally, though, Nagaya turns to more modern muses, as with these amazing kamikiri versions of some of anime’s biggest stars.

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From Ponyo to Italy: Four delicious ways to improve instant ramen while your water’s boiling

From Ponyo to Italy: Four delicious ways to improve instant ramen while your water’s boiling

August 25 is Instant Ramen Day in Japan, in commemoration of the day back in 1958 when Nissin unveiled Chicken Ramen, the very first instant version of the country’s favorite noodle dish. In celebration, we were going to chow down on some instant ramen, but since we do that all the time anyway, somehow a bowl of plain ramen didn’t seem quite special enough.

So instead, we drew on our love of anime, world travel, and the simple joy of not sweating profusely to come up with four recipes to spruce up instant ramen, specially tailored to be simple enough for anyone whose cooking skills mean their home is always well-stocked with the stuff.

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Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons

Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons

While some of us are still trying to get into the entertaining world of animation, others see it as deadly serious business. Just ask one young lad in Guiyang City who was so perturbed by the noise of construction outside his apartment during a cartoon session that he severed the safety line of the guy doing the work, leaving him to hang on for dear life eight floors above ground.

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Ghibli top dog calls Evangelion director “driving force of anime,” raises hopes for more Nausicaa

Ghibli top dog calls Evangelion director “driving force of anime,” raises hopes for more Nausicaa

As veteran anime producer Toshio Suzuki continues to dance back and forth over the vague linguistic line of whether or not Studio Ghibli is getting out of the movie-making business, some distraught admirers can already see the vultures circling overhead. If this is the end of the line for Japan’s most revered animation house, it’s a sad day, but at least the format of Ghibli’s releases means there aren’t many loose narrative threads left dangling.

With the exception of 1993’s Ocean Waves, Ghibli’s commercial releases have all been theatrical features, most of which have a definite beginning, middle, and end. For the most part, the studio doesn’t really do sequels, since their films’ endings are just conclusive enough to satisfy fans while still leaving enough unanswered for them to comfortably mull over.

There is one big exception to this pattern, though, which is Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. For decades fans have been hoping for a continuation, and recent remarks by Suzuki are adding more credibility to rumors that such a project could be directed by Evangelion’s Hideaki Anno.

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Gundam creator isn’t making his new series for you, doesn’t care if you don’t like it

Gundam creator isn’t making his new series for you, doesn’t care if you don’t like it

Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino always seems to be seething at someone. Recently, he had harsh words for the anime voice acting industry, and now he’s gnawing even further up the arm that’s connected to the hand that feeds him by setting his sights on a new target: all adult Gundam fans.

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Hayao Miyazaki to receive honorary lifetime achievement Oscar

Hayao Miyazaki to receive honorary lifetime achievement Oscar

It’s been over a year since the Japanese release of anime legend Hayao Miyazaki’s last film, The Wind Rises. A highly personal film which serves as a powerful closing statement to his storied career, many had hoped it would win Miyazaki his second Oscar, only for the nod in the Best Animated Feature category go to Disney’s juggernaut (and endorser of traditional Japanese cuisine) Frozen.

That doesn’t mean the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has no love for Miyazaki, though, as it’ll soon be bestowing an honorary lifetime achievement award upon him.

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How would cast of Love Live! look like in their 30s? Artistic fans have it all planned out!

How would cast of Love Live! look like in their 30s? Artistic fans have it all planned out!

One of the magical things about anime characters is that they rarely age. Sure, for the sake of the plot some of them get a couple of years older as the episodes roll by, and we occasionally get a glimpse of their younger years in one of those flashback scenes, but we rarely get to see what happens to the characters at a later stage in life.

That’s the unrealistic part of anime, but at the same time, that’s where the fun is for fans as we’re able to use our imagination and come up with all sorts of scenarios we think is ideal for our favorite characters. Here’s what some Love Live! fans think their lovely idols would look like when they’re in their 30s!

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Gundam creator expresses disappointment over current state of anime voice acting

Gundam creator expresses disappointment over current state of anime voice acting

He may have created one of anime’s most successful franchises, but Yoshiyuki Tomino, father of Gundam, hasn’t let his years of success mellow him out any. If anything, just the opposite seems to be happening, as he’s recently dished out harsh condemnations of both mega-hit Attack on Titan and listless Japanese youths.

As the debut of his newest series, Gundam Reconguista in G, draws near, Tomino seems to be staying the acerbic course, with a wide-ranging complaint about the current state of anime voice acting, plus some regrets about his prior collaboration with famed sci-fi designer Sid Mead.

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A skeptic’s guide to anime – Five series to ease you into Japan’s most popular export

A skeptic’s guide to anime – Five series to ease you into Japan’s most popular export

Viewed from afar, Japanese animation may appear to be populated entirely by giant-eyed, squeaky-voice schoolgirls and young men who suffer from frequent nosebleeds. Their plots, too, can seem awfully convoluted at first glance, and so anyone who didn’t grow up with anime or have the chance to catch popular series when they were just getting started may feel completely out of their depth when trying to get into it.

If you’re the kind of person who, like me, despite being into Japan and Asia, never really understood what all the fuss was about anime, or who would like to give this strange medium a chance but doesn’t know where to start, then we have a special treat for you today: no fewer than five anime recommendations from members of our very own writing staff, guaranteed to be easy for even anime-skeptics to get into. Who knows, these might just be the gateway shows you’ve been looking for!

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Blown all your cash on anime? New restaurant in Akihabara has pasta for less than two bucks

Blown all your cash on anime? New restaurant in Akihabara has pasta for less than two bucks

With the highest concentration of anime and video game specialty stores on the planet, it’s pretty easy to go over-budget spending a day in Akihabara. But while some otaku might claim that Japanese animation is their lifeblood, eventually everyone needs to eat something.

So for everyone with a crying wallet and a grumbling stomach, a new restaurant has just arrived in the neighborhood, serving pasta to-go, starting at just 190 yen (US$1.88).

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Hello Kitty as we’ve never seen her before: Drawn by Osamu Tezuka, The God of Manga

Hello Kitty as we’ve never seen her before: Drawn by Osamu Tezuka, The God of Manga

Revered as “The God of Manga,” the late Osamu Tezuka is simultaneously Japan’s most revered and prolific comic artist. More than 700 manga series sprang from the mind of the tireless Tezuka, but even with that busy schedule, he still found time to draw his version of Japan’s most famous cat, Hello Kitty, combining her with one of his most-used characters.

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Anime mega-store lets fans handcuff themselves to hunky 2-D swimmer for photos

Anime mega-store lets fans handcuff themselves to hunky 2-D swimmer for photos

Being the biggest anime retailer in Japan means having to please all of the many different subgroups that Japanese animation aficionados fall into. So while one day mega-store Animate might cater to old-school fans by letting them slap 90s basketball saga Slam Dunk’s coach in the neck, they also have to do something for fans of more modern series too.

Stepping up to the challenge is Animate’s Yokohama branch, where lovers of high school swimming story Free! can now photograph themselves handcuffed to  shark-toothed pretty-boy Rin.

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“You’re so messed up!” Complaints come after broadcaster edits infamous Evangelion scene

“You’re so messed up!” Complaints come after broadcaster edits infamous Evangelion scene

The 1997 anime movie The End of Evangelion was in many ways an unprecedented exercise in creative freedom for animation studio Gainax. The franchise-starting TV series had wrapped up a year earlier, with Gainax’s coffers drained and a highly metaphorical, sparsely animated finale. End of Eva would be a reimagining of the ground-breaking anime’s final act, and its theatrical release format meant a bigger budget and no more pesky broadcast content restrictions.

As a result, the film is graphic and jarring in its raw depictions of both violent urges and sexual desire. But while none of that was a problem in theatres, it was a different story when End of Eva was recently shown on TV in Japan, which necessitated some fan-angering cuts, including the movie’s most infamously shocking scene.

Heads-up, gainfully employed readers! While you won’t see any offensive pictures below, the subject matter might not be the sort of thing you’ll want your coworkers to see you reading at work.

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2nd Sailor Moon stage musical footage shown in digest video

2nd Sailor Moon stage musical footage shown in digest video

The official Sailor Moon YouTube channel began streaming a digest video on Sunday from the opening night of the stage musical Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère. The video features clips from the live show.

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Sip your tea like an anime villain with high-class Gundam porcelain cups and vases

Sip your tea like an anime villain with high-class Gundam porcelain cups and vases

In the past, we’ve seen multiple cars decked out with special paint jobs and accessories honoring Mobile Suit Gundam. But what if you want to show your love for anime’s longest-running mecha series, in a slightly more elegant kind of way? Is there any way for you to drop a large sum of cash on Gundam merchandise not to park in your garage, but to place on your living room mantle or dining room table?

There is now, with high-quality Gundam porcelain.

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Textbook gives Chinese otaku Japanese lessons with a side of anime girls and dialogue

Textbook gives Chinese otaku Japanese lessons with a side of anime girls and dialogue

There’s an odd paradox in learning a foreign language, in that often the phrases most satisfying to use in real life are the least exciting to study. For example, take the phrase, “Nama wo ippai kudasai.”

It means “One draft beer, please.” Utter the sentence at a restaurant in Tokyo on a hot afternoon, where it actually produces a cold glass of beer, and for that one moment, you feel like you’re the linguistic king of the world. In a classroom or self-study setting, though there’s nothing particularly colorful or fun about it, making it less likely to leave an impression in your mind and pretty easy to forget.

Trying to combat this is a Japanese text-book, which we found on a recent trip to China, that spices things up by teaching phrases taken not from everyday life, but from Japan’s biggest cultural ambassador, anime.

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Wagashi chef crafts amazing edible characters with leftover scraps 【Photos】

Wagashi chef crafts amazing edible characters with leftover scraps 【Photos】

Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets usually made from mochi, bean paste, or fruit.  If you’ve been to Japan or a nice Japanese restaurant, perhaps you enjoyed one sculpted to look like a flower, crane or some other very old-fashioned Japanese image.

Like most things in Japan, no matter how venerable, give it enough time and it will be kawaii-ified. Enter sweets shop Kuramoto Hinode, where a veteran wagashi chef has begun crafting anime and pop culture based sweets with leftover bits and bobs.

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Gene Kelly inspires short anime from Japan, captures hearts around the world

Gene Kelly inspires short anime from Japan, captures hearts around the world

If you’re feeling under the weather or just wanting to relax after a hard day, there are two things that can certainly pick you up and remind you of the bright side of life again: a Hollywood musical from the golden era, and a good animated cartoon from Japan. It’s amazing how warm, animated tones and catchy tunes can capture your senses and hug you like an old friend just when you need it the most.

Now, a Japanese animator has melded the two feel-good genres with a short, two and a half-minute animation that pays homage to a Gene Kelly tap dance routine from the 1952 american musical Singin’ in the Rain. It’s proving to be so cute that it’s attracting attention from around the world. We take a look at the video and see why this cute girl is gathering so many admirers.

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Want to read manga and eat ice cream for free? Give blood in Akihabara

Want to read manga and eat ice cream for free? Give blood in Akihabara

When I was in high school, every year there was an on-campus blood drive. It always saw a pretty good turnout, with a large number of generous and socially conscious students willing to part with their home-brewed hemoglobin to help others. The organizers even sweetened the deal by holding the event in the middle of the day, meaning that you could get out of a period of class by participating. And while that’s a pretty nice incentive, I think it’s been one-upped by a blood bank in Tokyo that offers a bookshelf of free manga to read and ice cream to munch on.

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