anime

Big Hero 6 ads in Japan leave out the action, moviegoers surprised to find awesome robot flick

Last weekend, my wife and I decided to go to watch Disney’s Big Hero 6, which had just opened in Japan under the title Baymax, after its marshmallow-like central robot character. As we made our way into the theater, she asked me if I had a pack of tissues, adding, “I heard the movie is really touching.”

This kind of took me by surprise. Sure, most Disney films have a heartwarming side to them, but wasn’t this movie about a team of superheroes and their robot?

If you’ve seen Big Hero 6, you know by now that it does a solid job of handling both action and emotional scenes. You probably wouldn’t get that impression from the tender Japanese ads for the movie, though, which is why many Japanese moviegoers were pleasantly surprised to find that Baymax isn’t just sweet, but also pretty awesome.

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One Piece becoming a kabuki play with the Straw Hat Pirates taking the stage in Tokyo

Between the huge success the One Piece franchise has found in comics, animation, video games, and associated merchandising, you wouldn’t think there’d be too many more avenues for it to expand into. And honestly, it doesn’t have to, as Eiichiro Oda’s manga, the starting point of the tales of pirates, treasure hunting, and friendship, is still going strong, with its 76th collected volume being released later this month.

But just like the Straw Hat Pirates don’t have to embark on grand adventures, but choose to do so anyway, One Piece is about to head into uncharted waters, as the anime and manga franchise is set to become a kabuki play.

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One more time! Anime fans choose the series they’d most like to see rerun on TV

One of the really big differences between Japanese and American broadcasting is the relative lack of reruns on Japanese TV. With four, roughly 13-week seasons a year, and not nearly the plethora of channels available in the U.S., Japanese TV series, anime included, tend to chug straight from start to finish, and once they’re done, if you want to see an episode again, usually your only choice is on DVD or Blu-ray.

Once in a while, though, smaller carriers will pick up a series for rebroadcast after it’s finished its initial run. It’s a rare occurrence, though, so a recent poll asked anime fans which series they’d most like to see shown on TV one more time.

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“2D vs. Katana” exhibition shows off recreations of swords from anime and video games in Osaka

Last year, Tokyo’s Ueno Royal Museum held an exhibition of Japanese swords inspired by the mechanical and character designs of landmark anime Evangelion. As cool as some of the pieces looked, though, you won’t find any scenes in the giant robot franchise where someone actually fights using a katana.

On the other hand, right now the Osaka Museum of History is holding an event that goes even further in bridging the gap between fantasy and reality, by displaying recreations of amazing blades seen in anime, manga, and light novel illustrations.

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Ready to tie the anime knot? Company offers marriage certificate for you and your 2D waifu

Over the last few years, it’s become a trend for truly obsessive anime fans to start referring to their favorite female character as their wife, or waifu, thanks to the Japanese language’s almost complete lack of terminal consonants. Honestly, the whole phenomena is crazy, because how can you claim someone’s your spouse with no legal paperwork?

Seeking to make the spousal bond between husband and anime wife just a little more legitimate, one company is now offering marriage packs, complete with marriage certificates, for two popular anime lasses.

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New Evangelion short film now streaming on animation studio’s website

It’s been almost two years since the theatrical release of the third Rebuild of Evangelion movie. The film series is a reboot of the phenomenally successful and influential psychological science-fiction anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. Or maybe it’s a sequel. Actually, knowing series creator Hideaki Anno’s penchant, and talent, for throwing viewers gigantic curve balls, it could be something else entirely.

All we really know is that fans have been waiting since January of 2014 for more Eva, and their patience has been rewarded with a brand-new, highly artistic Evangelion short that’s already streaming online.

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Cotton Wife and Cotton Husband aren’t huggy pillows, they’re life partners for the lonely!

Novelty goods manufacturer Bibi Lab would like to get one thing straight. Despite appearances, its life-sized, humanoid-shaped stuffed Wata Yome and Wata Danna are not hug pillows. And while the English text in the product logo may refer to them as “body pillows,” really, the company would prefer you to think of them as “partners for lonely people.”

Let’s look at what constitutes the freaky difference.

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The Holy Grail of Sailor Moon merchandise will help your room smell as nice as Princess Serenity

As cool as the collection of magical items used by Sailor Moon are, you have to admit that most of them wouldn’t exactly be the most practical things in your daily life. For example, a tiara that transforms into a disc of monster-killing energy when you throw it? That’s handy if you’re an anime heroine, but what if you’re just an ordinary fan who’s not running into evil creatures at a pace of literally once a week?

So while your first reaction to the news that merchandiser Bandai’s new Rainbow Moon Chalice replica does not, in fact, transform you into a more powerful version of your preexisting alter ego, in the long run, you’ll probably appreciate the fact that it instead fills your room with a pleasing smell.

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Can you guess the second Japanese inspiration behind this Polish artist’s beautiful illustration?

As someone who’s been a fan of anime and manga since long before they were as internationally popular as they are today, I’m always kind of happy when I see their visual cues show up in artwork from other countries. Sometimes it comes in high-profile productions, like when The Simpsons gave a tip of their animated hat to Studio Ghibli, but at the same, there are countless less well-known designers and artists whose styles can be traced to Japan’s cartoons and comics.

Take Polish illustrator Magdalena “Meago” Kania, for example, and her drawing of a blond with exquisitely thick, wavy hair who also sports the facial features and proportions commonly associated with anime and manga. But those aren’t the only Japanese inspirations the illustration contains, as we can spot one more when we take a step back and look at the whole picture.

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Smartphone games turns mushrooms into cute anime girls, still gives foreigners wacky accents

There aren’t many foods I hate more than mushrooms. I’ve got issues with both their taste and texture, and, to my eyes, they just look kind of gross, no matter which variety we’re talking about.

But while I don’t think I’ll ever completely come around on the idea of eating fungi, it’s nice to at least have a different visual image for them, thanks to a new smartphone game that’s turned a half-dozen types of mushrooms into cute anime girls.

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‘Parasyte’ opening gets re-animated in the style of the original manga【Video】

When the anime adaptation of early-nineties horror manga Parasyte hit the small screen in Japan this year, the contrast between the artwork of the original manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki and the updated new-style character designs of the anime left some fans disappointed.

Inspired perhaps by this same sentiment, Niconico user kurobaru has hand-drawn the opening sequence of Parasyte -the maxim-, staying as close to Iwaaki’s original old-school manga style as possible. Join us after the jump for a look at how it turned out!

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Fans vote for series with the most unfashionable everyday clothing

The world of anime and manga has plenty of noteworthy costumes, from battle armorto team jerseys and school uniforms galore. But sometimes when the characters are just hanging out with their friends in everyday clothing, or gracing the covers of CDs and promo posters, their wardrobe choices aren’t so fashionable.

Japanese portal site Goo asked its readers which anime series had the un-coolest everyday clothing.

Here’s the top ten:

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New poster shows live-action Attack on Titan’s Titan, who’s double the size of his anime version

Last month, we got our first look at the cast of the two upcoming live-action Attack on Titan films, dressed in the costumes they’ll appear in. But while the actors and actresses looked snappy in their Scout Corps uniforms, the first batch of images neglected to show the movie’s literally biggest characters: the Titans themselves. That’s been rectified now, though, as a new poster shows the gruesome visage of the series’ most iconic giant, and producers have revealed that he’s even bigger than his anime inspiration.

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New Pokémon Center opens, resellers snatch up thousands of dollars of limited edition plushies

For the most part, Japan does a pretty thorough job of separating its video games from reality. Even after decades of Super Mario Bros., the country isn’t beset with inhumane monsters stomping on box turtles for fun, and while some dude did once take a swing at me in Shibuya Station, Tokyo’s sidewalks are almost universally free of would-be street fighters.

One notable exception, though, is Pokémon, in that people who love hunting for the monsters in the game tend to also like searching for cool merchandise based on the series in real life. But while fans have a mutual respect for each other’s dedication and efforts to catch ‘em all in the game, some were a little less impressed when they showed up to shop at Tokyo’s newest Pokémon Center, only to find some covetous shoppers had bought up all of the store’s special stuffed animals, with one individual spending the equivalent of thousands of dollars on Pikachu plushies.

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Life imitates (Sword) Art (Online) as Japanese gamers find they can’t log out of online RPG

The big selling point of online multiplayer role-playing games that they never end. Unlike a stand-alone, single-player RPG with a comparatively distinct path from start to finish, the adventure in online titles can go on indefinitely, thanks to periodically added extra content and the huge supply of new companions to go questing with.

But as appealing as a game that never has to end may be to hard-core gamers, many of them recently found out they were playing one that couldn’t, as the logout function mysteriously disappeared from one of Japan’s most popular online RPGs.

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Attack on Titan, Dragon Ball and more now in pseudo 3-D thanks to the magic of white lines【GIFs】

What do you think of 3-D movies? Personally, I’m not a big fan as they somehow tire my eyes. While I have to agree that the effects do make some action and fantasy scenes more dramatic and exciting, I’m totally happy sticking with the 2-D versions, not to mention that those are cheaper to watch at the cinemas too.

But I’m sure there are people out there who love the extra impact and wished that every movie was available in 3-D. It’s probably impossible to remaster every past production in 3-D, but some imaginative cyber citizens have found a low-cost method of eye-trickery that makes 2-D animations appear as if they’re coming through the screen. It’s eye-opening what a few white lines can do!

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Character images of new Digimon Adventure series released, expected to air in spring 2015

At an event marking the 15th anniversary of the original Digimon Adventure series in Odaiba, Tokyo on 1 August, an announcement was made declaring a brand new chapter in the human-monster buddy saga will bring back the original characters.

Along with the announcement came a special anniversary website with some Digi-Eggs containing details of the new series. However, no matter how much you rubbed those suckers nothing came out – until now.

The hatchling information included a brief rundown of the staff and a first look at all eight of the DigiDestined more evolved…I mean grown up.

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This crazy 4-minute clip is the most epic fan-made anime tribute we’ve seen this year

I thought I watched a lot of anime, or at least the number of times someone told me to “stop spending so much time watching anime” put me under such an impression. Apparently I wasn’t viewing anime as extensively as I had imagined, a realization I came to after encountering Anime 404, an incredibly bizarre mash-up video of various anime, songs and trend references. It’s pretty difficult to describe this crazy clip in words, but to put it simply, I think it is what I would call “chicken soup for the anime lover’s soul”. If you like anime, you’ve got to see this!

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Wear black – The 20 most memorable anime deaths, as chosen by fans

While the gigantic robots and gratuitous nudity were certainly eye-catching, when I first started watching Japanese animation, one of the things that surprised me the most was the fact that anime characters could, well, die. Sure, American cartoons from Tom and Jerry to G.I. Joe were filled with explosions and gunplay, but while the violence was abundant, injuries were conspicuously absent.

Anime tales, though, have no qualms about knocking off their players. As a matter of fact, characters shake off this mortal coil so frequently that a recent poll ranked the 20 most memorable anime deaths.

Heads up! While animation sometimes allows for the miracle of resurrection, be aware that since this is a list of deaths, it contains spoilers for the following series: Clannad, Code Geass, Death Note, Dragon Ball, Fist of the North Star, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gintama, Hakuoki, Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure, Naruto, Neon Genesis Evangelion, One Piece, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, School Days, and Tengen Toppa Guren Lagan.

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Fan creates cosplay bag from favorite anime series by attaching severed heads of its characters

You can’t talk about the currently airing anime Terra Formars, and the manga it’s based on, without touching on the designs for its humanoid cockroach antagonists. Almost everyone finds them unsettling, but that discomfort isn’t just being caused by their intimidatingly muscled physiques and blank stares. A vocal group of international anime fans also contend that they don’t so much resemble the sturdy six-legged bugs the series’ creator cites as their inspiration as much as racist caricatures of people of African heritage.

Japanese society tends to not be so reflective on the implications, whether intentional or not, that its domestically produced fiction carries when it trickles out to a global audience, though. The debate over whether or not Terra Formars’ art is insensitive or not is largely non-existent in Japan, where the aliens are taken at face value as fictional characters in a fictional setting. As such, fans feel no qualms wearing their love of the show on their sleeve, or, in the case of one cosplay enthusiast, on his bag, which is decked out with what look to be the severed heads of the divisive characters.

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