Kodomo Eiga Plus, an entertainment web portal that specializes in children’s films and children’s film events, asked 132 film industry pros which movies they’d recommend the most for children to watch before they turn 13. Unsurprisingly, Ghibli movies took the top three spots, as well as many positions on the Top 15.
Recently, we’ve brought you several articles detailing the meteoric rise of new franchise Youkai Watch as it continues to steal fans and attention away from the much-loved institution that is Pokémon. Die-hard Pokémon fans out there may feel safe in the assumption that Youkai Watch, being more traditionally “Japanese” in feel, will never match the success of Pokémon in the West. Be that as it may, we now have conclusive evidence that Pikachu’s time in the Japanese sun is well and truly over as new champion Jibanyan ascends his throne. Join us after the jump for proof!
The designers at the mail order fashion site SuperGroupies are at it again with some Magic Knight Rayearth short boots for the wet, wintry season.
Each design is modeled after one of the main heroines from Clamp’s manga and anime series. Hikaru Shidou, Fuu Hououji, and Umi Ryuuzaki are represented in their respective red, green, and blue colors. The pairs are now available for pre-order for 21,384 yen (about US$181) and are made from genuine leather.
3 days ago
I recently compared Attack on Titan to an 800-pound gorilla, since the smash hit anime has become so big and powerful it can do whatever it wants, such as actively forming partnerships with both Universal Studios and rival Marvel/Disney. But maybe the better analogy is to a cow.
Since the end of its broadcast run in September of 2013, the franchise has been spun off into side-story manga, novels, compilation movies, and live-action adaptations. For the most part, fans have happily lapped up the comparatively delicious offerings of all this milking, but what everyone has really been waiting for is some sort of timetable for a continuation of the anime TV series itself.
Thanks to its director, we finally have one.
The Meitetsu Department Store in Nagoya, Japan has a distinctive mannequin outside its men’s department. Nana-chan is a popular meeting spot because she’s easy to spot in the shopping district — she’s 20 feet tall. The staff change her outfits monthly, but recently she’s wearing an orange jumpsuit that fans of a certain ninja will recognize.
A bulk of the anime we know and love are set in real-life locations in Japan. Often, the stories are based on a specific location mentioned in the anime, such as Ikebukuro where popular anime Durarara! and its sequel are set. In other cases, the setting is not mentioned but fans are quick to identify the location using scenes found in each episode. One such example would be the hit franchise The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, which featured scenery from Nishinomiya in Hyogo Prefecture. Avid anime fans have had a long tradition of making pilgrimages to key spots in their favorite series through an activity known as Seichi Junrei. There’s now even a website dedicated to documenting these spots and they have recently released a ranking of the wards in Tokyo that contain the most number of pilgrimage spots.
If you only have a couple of days in Japan to go on a pilgrimage, this ranking should probably come in handy!
Hayashi 'Fang' Hougi
Nov 21, 2014
November 10, 2014 went down as one of the darkest days in manga fandom history as popular manga Naruto finally came to an end. The manga has brought joy and tears to fans over the past 15 years, so to send off the series and express gratitude to its creator, Masashi Kishimoto, fans around the world have taken to the internet with messages of thanks and fan art. And among them is a series of renditions of Naruto characters so beautiful and realistically portrayed that we almost had to get out our box of tissues again.
Nov 21, 2014
The musical style enka usually gets referred to as Japan’s equivalent of country western music. The two do have a lot in common thematically, as the biggest hits of both genres are often centered on blue-collar hardships, melancholy nostalgia, and heavy drinking (one famous enka hit is “Sake Wo,” or, “Bring Me Booze”).
But while there are young country listeners, it’s a lot harder to find fresh-faced enka fans, since the lyrics of many enka ballads are so world-weary it’s hard to appreciate them without a few decades of failed romances and stalled career paths under your belt. So to reach out to a new demographic, one enka legend is recording her version of the theme song of hit anime Evangelion.
Nov 20, 2014
It’s a big month for Attack on Titan. Between an art exhibit opening in Tokyo, a crossover with Marvel’s Avengers, and at least one of the naked giants finding a proper job, the biggest anime and manga hit of the last decade is even more in the spotlight than usual these days, which makes it only fitting that we’re getting our first in-costume glimpse of the cast of next summer’s live-action Attack on Titan movies.
Leading trio Eren, Mikasa, and Arumin are all present and accounted for. But while they’ll be joined by several new characters specially crafted for the films, one fan favorite apparently isn’t making the transition to live-action.
Nov 19, 2014
If you’re a gamer who’s too young to remember when Sega made consoles or having six buttons on a controller was a big deal, you might look back on 8-bit video game artwork and chuckle. With everything made out of blocky pixels, it’s impossible to create the sort of fine details that modern hardware easily renders to differentiate one character from another, isn’t it?
Maybe not, as one fan has put his old-school pixel art skills to use to recreate 50 different famous manga heroes, all in the style of the original Mega Man.
In 2013, perhaps the most famous of anime’s many spikey-haired protagonists,
Dragon Ball Z’s Goku, returned after a 17-year hiatus. While the film, subtitled Battle of Gods, didn’t really stray from the pattern of wacky hijinks and super-powered martial arts battles Dragon Ball Z had already established in its hundreds of TV episodes and dozen-plus movies, fans in general were happy and satisfied just to be able to spend an hour and a half with a group of old animated friends.
They’ll have the chance to do so again soon, and an ad for next year’s Dragon Ball Z movie shows that rejoining the cast of familiar heroes will be one of their most memorable foes.
Nov 19, 2014
In listening to people talk about anime director Hayao Miyazaki, there’s a collection of words you’ll hear over and over. Genius. Visionary. Legend.
So it was a little surprising to hear the man behind one of Japan’s most popular films from the last year instead voice his suspicions that Miyazaki isn’t quite right in the head.
Nov 18, 2014
Studio Ghibli’s films are known for being whimsical and beautiful to look at. But with all the action going on on-screen, it can sometimes be easy to take for granted the beautiful background drawings that provide the setting for each individual story. Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of Studio Ghibli’s most talented background artists, Naohisa Inoue, and take a look at the incredible methods behind his masterpieces.
Okay, so Youkai Watch is a cultural juggernaut in Japan these days, capturing kids’ hearts and enslaving them like so many collectible youkai monsters. But despite the brilliant marketing behind the franchise (how about something exactly like Pokémon… but with… traditional Japanese Youkai?! Genius!) we’ve often thought that the concept of using a common watch as a crux to base the whole thing on seems a bit, hmm, old-fashioned. Who even wears a wristwatch anymore, when we all have the time displayed on our various smartphones and other electronic devices? Well, it seems that the people pulling the strings have now decided to switch their merchandising focus from watches to tablets, taking inspiration from the “Youkai Pad” used by supporting character Whisper to call up information on various Youkai. (No, no, it’s nothing like a Pokédex. Honest.) The brand-new “Youkai Pad” is set for release early next year, and already fans have begun to slaver over it like hungry dogs at a barbecue.
Nov 18, 2014
Very few Japanese homes have installed carpeting. Older houses and apartments often have tatami reed mats, and in newer places you’ll usually find tile, wood, or rubberized flooring.
That’s not to say people in Japan can’t appreciate a nice bit of soft fuzziness between their toes, though. Even without permanent carpeting, many people will toss a carpeted mat on the floor to make their living or bedroom extra comfy, especially during the colder part of the year.
Of course, cold weather also means spending more time indoors, with extra time on your hands, and sometimes that patch of carpeting becomes a canvas for some seriously cool fan art.
Nov 14, 2014
For many newcomers to anime and manga, it can be hard to tell characters drawn by the same artist apart. In general, Japanese designs use fewer lines, especially in the faces, than those of Western comic books, and even some artists themselves, such as Touch creator Mitsuru Adachi, have been known to get their own cast members mixed up.
That’s not a problem with Atom, though. Also known as Astro Boy, Osamu Tezuka’s beloved mighty robot is instantly recognizable, whether in the pages of the manga where he debuted, onscreen in one of his many anime adaptations, or, in his most recent appearance, a pedestrian walk signal in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Nov 14, 2014
There are a number of upsides to Sailor Moon Crystal, the recent reboot of the smash hit anime from the 1990s. Aside from benefitting from 20 years of advancement in animation technology and technique, the franchise’s proven record of success means that Crystal has a higher budget and sticks closer to creator Naoko Takeuchi’s manga than the previous adaptation did.
Still, a reboot is a reboot, and if you’ve already watched all 200 episodes of the original Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S, Sailor Moon Super S, and Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, then you’ve got a pretty big head start on many of the places Crystal’s plot is going. So if you’re the kind of person who snacks when you get bored, maybe some Sailor Moon tortilla chips will help you pass the time.
Nov 14, 2014
Every year for Halloween I carve a pumpkin for myself and for the trick-or-treaters to enjoy, usually based on a popular Hollywood movie with costume potential. To commemorate my post at RocketNews24, however, for this year’s jack-o’-lantern I chose my first ever anime theme! I went with one of my favorites from this fall’s line-up, Gugure! Kokkuri-san (繰繰れ！コックリさん), available on Crunchyroll.
Both heartwarming and twisted (for the non-anime-initiated), the series is an outrageously wacky, slice-of-life comedy adapted from a four-panel comic strip by Midori Endō. The large cast is led by Kokkuri-san and the young girl Kohina; the former is a motherly, lonely fox spirit (originally from Japanese folklore) with both human and animal forms, and the latter is a hardcore bocchi (loner) with a cup noodle addiction who claims to be an emotionless doll.
Read on to learn a little more about the show and the design process, as well as to get a nicer view of the lit-up pumpkin. There’s also a time lapse video that condenses 30 hours of carving into just over 11 minutes!
- How to say “I love you” in Japanese – 47 different ways 【Videos】1
- Oh no, osechi! Why don’t young people in Japan like eating traditional New Year’s dishes?2
- A Ghibli mystery solved — the identity of exotic looking food in Spirited Away revealed!3
- Japanese model builder wins at Gundam, makes a 3D model look like a flat drawing4
- More adorable photos from Japan’s fox village5
- Japanese dictionary removes heteronormative definitions of love and sex6
- Store employee uses barcode scanner to defeat knife-wielding robber7
- Casual cosplay: for those who want to dress the part 365 days a year【Photos】8
- Zao Fox Village: Where all your cutes are belong to us9
- Does the way you cross your arms say anything about your personality? Japan thinks so10
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】1
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours2
- A Ghibli mystery solved — the identity of exotic looking food in Spirited Away revealed!3
- Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick4
- Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute5
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters6
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer7
- Does the way you cross your arms say anything about your personality? Japan thinks so8
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world9
- Can you spot the problem that led to the recall of this otherwise cute Japanese New Year’s card?10
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”1
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher2
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】3
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school4
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours5
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises6
- Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit7
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make8
- One Piece manga sends off Naruto with a classy secret message9
- Clever Japanese pet owners find perfect cat beds…at IKEA! 【Photos】10
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher3
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”4
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】5
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China6
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later7
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons8
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked9
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea10
- Japanese dictionary removes heteronormative definitions of love and sex
- Store employee uses barcode scanner to defeat knife-wielding robber
- Casual cosplay: for those who want to dress the part 365 days a year【Photos】
- Zao Fox Village: Where all your cutes are belong to us
- Does the way you cross your arms say anything about your personality? Japan thinks so
- Japanese film pros ranked their top movies to show kids, with Ghibli titles sweeping the top 3
- Visit Japan without ever leaving home with these eight beautiful videos
- 252 of Japan’s favorite animated gifs
- Tokyo’s Rikugien garden: Beautiful for 300 years, but especially in autumn after dark
- Free to download Japanese marriage applications are cute, stylish, and legally binding
- Tokyo adding free Wi-Fi to 143 subway stations for foreign travelers