anime

Optimus Prime to upgrade from truck form to PlayStation Classic form in 2015

Optimus Prime to upgrade from truck form to PlayStation Classic form in 2015

So it’s the 30th anniversary of the Transformers, the 20th anniversary of the original PlayStation, and TakaraTomy Arts is the bolder, crazier cousin of the legendary Japanese toymaker TakaraTomy (who distribute Transformer toys in Japan).

What do these three things have in common? Well, TakaraTomy Arts apparently saw that the venerable console and the adored-before-a-certain-Hollywood-filmmaker-destroyed-it cartoon robot franchise were both celebrating a milestone and decided to commemorate it the only logical way: By combining the two into a new badass toy.

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Pikachus overrunning Yokohama in the cutest rodent invasion ever 【Video】

Pikachus overrunning Yokohama in the cutest rodent invasion ever 【Video】

Every summer, there are certain pests you can expect the country to become briefly inundated with. First come the mosquitos that lay their eggs in the puddles of water that form during the rainy season. Next up, the whining cicadas that serve as an aural reminder of midsummer, whether you want one or not. And last, the jellyfish, buzzkills of the animal kingdom who show up at the beach and deliver their joyless message of “Everyone out of the water!” by stinging swimmers.

But this year, there’s finally some good news, as the city of Yokohama is about to be overrun by Pikachus!

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Our reporter goes looking for fans at Comic-Con…in his Sailor Venus cosplay outfit

Our reporter goes looking for fans at Comic-Con…in his Sailor Venus cosplay outfit

Our Japanese correspondent Yoshio recently made the trip for Tokyo to San Diego to attend Comic-Con for the first time. After seeing all the fans in costume showing their enthusiasm for their favorite series, Yoshio got bitten by the cosplay bug and decided to dress up too.

But which character to cosplay as? He knew he wanted someone Japanese, to represent his home country. Someone strong and just, with a kind heart. And while he was at it, why not add long, flowing hair and miniskirt to the checklist?

In other words, Yoshio spent a day at Comic-Con rocking a Sailor Venus outfit.

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5 ways to nap at the office, according to a Japanese wage slave

5 ways to nap at the office, according to a Japanese wage slave

We’ve all been there. Maybe it was an ill-advised night out the day before or a colicky newborn that wouldn’t sleep or just the shitty weather, we’ve all had days at the office when we wanted nothing more than to curl up and take a nap. In fact, it’s more of a need than a want as you sit there, staring blankly at your computer screen, unable to put a coherent thought together. But sadly, napping at your desk can be seriously uncomfortable, not to mention grounds for termination.

If you absolutely must grab a few winks and are willing to take the risk, though, Twitter user @sui_gin has helpfully illustrated some possible sleeping positions in manga style.

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“Painful” decorations return! It’s time to bring the pain to your entire room!

“Painful” decorations return! It’s time to bring the pain to your entire room!

When it comes to hobby devotion, no one seems to take it to the limit more often than the Japanese. RocketNews24 has brought you stories about super-fans decorating their cars, vans and bikes in honor of their favorite characters and animation series. A company is now making it easier to take that devotion into your apartment, and especially into your bedroom! Buckle up folks, the following images are as disturbing as you are imagining!

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The amazing cosplayers of (the first two days of) Comic-Con 2014

The amazing cosplayers of (the first two days of) Comic-Con 2014

Our Japanese reporter Yoshio is currently attending his first ever Comic-Con in San Diego. After completing such epic quests as flying across the Pacific and finding a parking spot near the Convention Center, he’s been enjoying Preview Night plus the first two days of the show.

But while Comic-Con is the world’s biggest celebration of comics, animation, movies, video games, and all other sorts of 2-D fiction, Yoshio’s been blown away by something very real and three-dimensional: all of the amazing cosplayers!

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Father posts six-year-old daughter’s anime character drawings online, net users not convinced

Father posts six-year-old daughter’s anime character drawings online, net users not convinced

Many kids love drawing and playing with colors. Some even drive their parents insane with constant doodles on the walls, tables, and practically any flat surface within proximity. But some are more talented than others, and there’s no doubt that there are child prodigies who can draw better than some adults.

Recently, a proud Japanese dad posted pictures of drawings his six-year-old daughter created of her favorite anime characters. The detailed drawings quickly caught the attention of internet users, with some commenting that the drawings were too good to be created by the hands of a six-year-old! Could this young girl be a budding artist? Check out her drawings after the break!

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Artist paints Totoro, classic Japanese artwork, and more, all on pregnant women’s stomachs

Artist paints Totoro, classic Japanese artwork, and more, all on pregnant women’s stomachs

In Japan, there’s a long, proud tradition of drunken men drawing faces on their bellies, then contorting in order to make them appear to talk or sing. Wait, did we say proud? We mean embarrassing.

This doesn’t mean all abdominal art is automatically silly and repulsive however, as one artist is helping enhance the radiance of pregnancy by painting beautiful works of art on the stomachs of mothers-to-be.

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Our Japanese correspondent’s report from his first-ever San Diego Comic-Con

Our Japanese correspondent’s report from his first-ever San Diego Comic-Con

Here at RocketNews24, we often send our English-speaking staff out to cover events and places of interest related to Japanese animation and movies. This week, though, we’re pulling a 180 by sending one of our Japanese language reporters, Yoshio, to Comic-Con in San Diego.

Yoshio completed Phase One of his mission with no problems by successfully flying the 10 hours from Tokyo to California. Next on his list of objectives: a blow-by-blow report of Comic-Con’s preview night.

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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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Pikachu, we eat you! – A visit to Tokyo’s Pokémon restaurant

Pikachu, we eat you! – A visit to Tokyo’s Pokémon restaurant

In the almost 20 years since the first Pokémon title was released for Nintendo’s Game Boy, the franchise has grown to include toys, anime, and even clothing. But while we’ve played, watched, and worn Pokémon, earlier this month we found out we’d be getting a chance to eat it as well, when we heard about a Pokémon restaurant opening in downtown Tokyo.

Curious to see if the most famous Pocket Monster tastes as good as he looks, we paid a visit to the Pikachu Cafe to see for ourselves.

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Second episode of Sailor Moon Crystal brings its second accessories with Usagi’s earrings

Second episode of Sailor Moon Crystal brings its second accessories with Usagi’s earrings

For more than a year, Japanese toy maker and merchandiser extraordinaire Bandai has been pumping out merchandise inspired by the original 1992 Sailor Moon anime. With the veil of secrecy finally lifted with the premiere of the new Sailor Moon Crystal anime, however, the company is now turning its attention to the most recent iteration of Japan’s most popular magical girl.

Coinciding with the premiere of the new series. Bandai released a series of five rings, one for each of the five Sailor Senshi. Now, fans can complement their fashionable fingers with a set of Sailor Moon Crystal earrings.

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Our take on Studio Ghibli’s newest anime, When Marnie Was There【Impressions】

Our take on Studio Ghibli’s newest anime, When Marnie Was There【Impressions】

In one way of looking at things, it’s a great time to be a fan of Studio Ghibli. In the course of its history, the famed anime production house has often taken two years between releases, but the recent debut of When Marnie Was There marked the third Ghibli theatrical premiere in the last 12 months.

At the same time, studio co-founder and acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement from anime films also has plenty of long-time fans on edge. Still, we weren’t about to pass up the premiere of a new Ghibli movie, so we grabbed a ticket and went to see Marnie for ourselves.

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Is Attack on Titan a documentary? Mikasa spotted in Russia!

Is Attack on Titan a documentary? Mikasa spotted in Russia!

With its immense popularity, it’s no surprise that Attack on Titan has spawned some amazing cosplay photos. We’ve shown you a brilliant Serbian’s take on Erwin Smith, and today we’re heading back to Eastern Europe to show you someone the Internet apparently thinks looks exactly like Mikasa Ackerman.

Or maybe they’re actual photos of Mikasa running around in the real world? Everyone, be on guard just in case any titans show up!

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Those awesome voice-activated Laputa pendants that just hit stores? They’re already sold out

Those awesome voice-activated Laputa pendants that just hit stores? They’re already sold out

The principal characters of Studio Ghibli’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky are all seeking something. Protagonists Sheeta and Pazu, as well as the villainous Muska, are looking for the titular floating castle, but what they’re really after is a peaceful resolution to a dark heritage, adventure and purpose, and the power to rule the world, respectively.

These days, fans of the 1986 anime film have a search of their own, as the voice-activated Laputa pendant that just went on sale this month is already sold out nationwide.

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Japan’s kids love game series Yo-Kai Watch, and one fan says it’s because grownups don’t

Japan’s kids love game series Yo-Kai Watch, and one fan says it’s because grownups don’t

As someone who never completely outgrew his love of animation and video games, I try to at least keep up with what’s popular with kids in Japan. I can identify Pikachu, Squirtle, and a handful more of the cute cockfighting stand-ins from Pokémon. If I visit my in-laws and my nieces are watching an episode of PreCure, I know that it’s about a team of friends who fight evil with their magical powers (even if I have no idea how one of the girls got stuck with “The bursting scent of lemons!” as her special ability).

Still, until recently I hadn’t heard a single thing about Yo-Kai Watch, Japan’s current megahit among the elementary school set. At first I thought this was weird, but as it turns out Yo-Kai Watch’s popularity isn’t in spite of people in my age group not knowing about it, but because of it.

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5 amazingly cute cosplayers who you’ll run into at anime conventions

5 amazingly cute cosplayers who you’ll run into at anime conventions

Cosplay, also known as costume-play, is often described as wearing costumes from fictional works (especially anime and manga!). Cosplay is enjoyed all over the world, especially at anime conventions. With HUGE conventions such as Anime Expo and Comic Con in Southern California, Japan Expo in France, and Otakon in Maryland all happening this month, people often call July “Convention Season”.

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Stylish web anime from Yamaha reminds us of an important truth: motorcycles are cool

Stylish web anime from Yamaha reminds us of an important truth: motorcycles are cool

In the beginning, motorized vehicles were designed to be the prefect horse. They’d get you from A to B while allowing you to bypass the bowleggedness and poop shoveling that were inherent parts of equestrian transportation. With time, though, things changed. Cars got bigger and comfier. Plush, roomy interiors designed to isolate passengers from outside sounds and elements moved the design target from the perfect horse to the perfect living room.

So how do you communicate the appeal of a motorcycle to younger people who’ve grown up in these conditions? How do you get them excited about something that sacrifices all of those creature comforts and doesn’t insolate the connection between you, the machine, and the road, but enhances it?

If you’re Yamaha, you create a stylish anime series, and put it on YouTube for all to see.

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Now trending in Japan: Duct-taped hug pillows

Now trending in Japan: Duct-taped hug pillows

Back in my teaching days, some of my more hormonally afflicted students would take great pleasure in asking me whatever inappropriate or perverted questions popped into their heads, often wrongly assuming that I wouldn’t understand what they were saying. Sometimes they’d even break out some crude English with questions like (pointing to my crotch) “Sensei, are you long boy?”, “Do you play sex?”, or “How about Japanese adult video?”

One question that came up curiously often, though, was whether I was “esu” or “emu“, or in English: “Are you a sadist or a masochist?”

I’ve never really thought of myself as either, but chats with a few of my Japanese coworkers soon led me to believe that a surprising number of people here consider themselves to be one or the other. Can you guess which group the owners of these gagged dakimakura belong to?

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Goku coming back to theaters with new Dragon Ball Z movie in 2015

Goku coming back to theaters with new Dragon Ball Z movie in 2015

How many years does an anime franchise have to be inactive before it can be officially declared dead? Given the pace at which fans’ tastes change in Japan, if more than a couple of years go by with no new content, it’s probably time to give up hope, hard as that may for those fervently waiting for a new season of Ranma 1/2, Trigun, or All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku.

But when you’re the most popular martial arts series in the history of the medium, the ordinary rules don’t apply, which is why last year Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods hit Japanese theatres, ending a 17-year drought in Dragon Ball anime. Thankfully, the wait for the next installment in creator Akira Toriyama’s epic won’t be nearly so long, since there’s yet another Dragon Ball Z movie coming next year.

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