anime

Have you seen the Studio Ghibli music video for Chage & Aska’s “On Your Mark”?

We’re sure nearly all of our readers have, at the very least, heard of Studio Ghibli. You’ve probably seen a few — or even most — of their films, but we’d be surprised if many have seen everything the company has produced. But don’t take that the wrong way! We’re not questioning anyone’s dedication. It just turns out there are quite a few rare Ghibli works out there in the wild.

For example, “On Your Mark,” a music video for the song of the same name by Chage & Aska, is apparently unknown to quite a few young Japanese anime fans. But what about you? Have you seen it? If not, it’s definitely one of the weirdest (and most interesting) music videos you’re likely to see this week. And if you have seen it, here’s your chance to watch it one more time!

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The world is cruel – Critic skewers second “miserably made” live-action Attack on Titan movie

Some reviewers weren’t exactly kind to the first live-action Attack on Titan movie, and the adaptation of creator Hajime Isayama’s tale of brave youths fighting naked giants didn’t capture the hearts and minds of the movie-going public to anywhere near the extent that the smash hit anime and manga have.

But while the first film is looking like a swing and a miss, the live-action Attack on Titan is still getting a second chance, in the form of its sequel, Attack on Titan–End of the World, which hits theaters in Japan on September 19. Will the film, set to conclude the live-action version of the story, spell redemption for director Shinji Higuchi and his cast and crew?

Not in the eyes of one critic, who after watching an advance screening of the film condemned it as “miserably made.”

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Need more cringing and/or comfort in your clicking? Try a big-booty anime girl mousepad!

So we’ve seen mousepads intended for female-chest-loving otaku before. And we’ve also seen mousepads intended for male-rear-end-loving otaku before. But what about all the poor otaku out there who can’t get enough of their favorite female characters’ behinds?

Well the wait ends now. Japanese anime merchandise supplier Softgarage has started producing mousepads for otaku who are fans of female characters that are a little bit more, uh, rearly-endowed than others.

What do they look like and how do they make them? Make sure you’re in a place where it’s okay to look at some slightly-NSFW images, then read on to find out!

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Cosplay for pets! Dog fashion retailer selling Attack on Titan capes, uniforms

In recent years, it’s become increasingly popular for doting dog-owners in Japan to dress up their pets in little outfits when they head out for a walk. But since their canine companions are already equipped with a natural coat, all doggy fashion is really doggy cosplay, so why not dress your dog up like a member of the cast of smash-hit anime Attack on Titan?

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Tokyo realtor will give you hundreds of dollars of anime decorations for your new apartment

There’s a huge variety of fees that need to be paid when renting a new apartment in Japan. In addition to an advance payment of your first month’s rent, there’s insurance, the security deposit, the realtor’s fee, and the dreaded “key money,” basically a sign-up cost that you pay to the landlord for the privilege of being allowed to start giving him money on a monthly basis.

Add it all up, and you’ll probably find yourself out several months’ worth of rent before spending the first night in your new home. But there’s a nice upside if you chose to go through one unique realtor, because while you’ll still have some fees to pay, you’ll also get a nice housewarming present in the form of several hundred dollars’ worth of anime merchandise.

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Virtual reality Totoro? Project Morpheus team looking for artist with “Studio Ghibli” style

After more than a year since the last film from anime production house Studio Ghibli, the paint is rapidly drying on the writing on the wall. At the very least, it looks like animation fans are in for a long wait before the next Ghibli movie, and it may turn out that When Marnie Was There ends up being the last theatrical feature we ever see from the company co-founded by Hayao Miyazaki.

Still, that doesn’t mean that other artists, perhaps working in other mediums, won’t carry on the beloved anime studio’s spirit. As a matter of fact, if you’ve got the necessary video game production skills, that someone could be you, as a U.K.-based Project Morpheus team is looking for an artist to help add a Ghibli-like aesthetic to its game.

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Japanese college has specialized anime song program, scholarships for international students

Even within the world of Japanese pop music, anime songs are their own special breed. Unabashedly sentimental, bombastically energetic, or sometimes both, not just anyone can grab a mike and belt out a performance that will capture the hearts of legions of otaku, which is why one Japanese music college has just announced a brand new course, aiming to provide students with the education and training they need to become anime vocalists.

Oh, and the school also offers a scholarship for international students.

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Japanese cosplayers share their “then vs now” photos, and the difference is eye-opening

Improvement and progress is something that gives us encouragement and motivation to keep doing something, be it at school, work, or leisure. Sitting for examinations or participating in competitions can give you a good gauge of your abilities, but if you’re just looking to enjoy a hobby with minimal stress, making video or photo records may be a good way of keep track of your progress.

Taking photographs may not be the most feasible method for every pastime, but a wide variety of hobbies can be documented with photographs, such as flower arrangement, baking, craft making, and of course, cosplay! Some Japanese cosplayers have been sharing their “then vs now” pictures on Twitter, and it’s amazing to see some of the changes they’ve made over time!

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The Pokémon Company sues organizers of Pokémon-themed party for copyright infringement

The Pokémon Company International (TPCi) filed a lawsuit against two Seattle residents on Wednesday, claiming that the Pokémon-themed party they were organizing allegedly infringed upon TPCi’s copyright.

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Online shop’s anime character personal seals look awesome, can be used for legal paperwork

Even now, most legal documents in Japan don’t ask for your signature, but rather that you stamp your inkan, or personal seal, to show approval or confirmation. Also called a hanko, the stamp, customarily used with red ink, leaves behind just the bearer’s last name, at least in the case of ordinary inkan.

But if that’s just too solemnly boring for you, you can also spice things up with a personal seal made that’s decorated with characters from hit anime series such as Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Clannad, and Fate/stay night that not only lets you display your love for those franchises, but is also legally binding.

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Anime Bust and Men’s Chest give cosplayers anime-class torsos, nipples and all

Earlier this year, we took a look at a piece of strap-on cosplay gear that could instantly give its wearer the sizeable bust of an anime character. However, if you’re going after complete accuracy in your fake breasts, you might have been disappointed to notice that they lacked nipples.

But it turns out there’s an alternative, available from online retailer Anime Body Parts, with anatomically correct nipples. Not only that, the equal-opportunity cosplay supplier has a male version too, complete with six-pack abs.

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What do Magic: The Gathering and Idolmaster have in common? Apparently, quite a bit!

Internet memes are an incredibly strange and malleable beast, and you can never tell what the next meme that pops up will be about. Some memes are so strange that you would never believe there is a thriving community of people who keep them alive like, “draw yourself as a high school boy” or the reverse, “draw yourself as a high school girl”.

There is a meme right now that is so oddly specific, you have to wonder where they came up with the idea. It crosses The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls and Magic: The Gathering, and it might just blow your mind.

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American English teacher in Japan takes a moment to remind student that anime is not real

Spend enough time teaching a foreign language, and eventually you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have to stop and ask yourself whether your job, which ordinarily involves correcting how your students speak, also includes correcting what they’re saying. For example, I once had a teen pupil declare that “Being good looking is the only thing that’s important.” After a moment of consideration, I decided that trying to fix that shallow philosophy was above my pay grade, so I told her, “OK, nice grammar” and left it at that.

Still, when working with kids, it’s nice to impart a useful life lesson when the opportunity to do so relatively gently presents itself, as it did for one expat in Japan who reminded his young English-learning student of the difference between anime and real life.

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The families of Dragon Ball – look who’s been left out of love again

Considering it’s a fighting series that features the strongest warriors in the universe, Dragon Ball also has a deep sense of familial values that we non-Saiyans/mere mortals can really relate to.  It’s no surprise that Goku’s family became so large, but who would have ever thought that Vegeta would find something on planet earth that would keep him around for years?

Like a “modern family” in the future with aliens, these lovable clans are assembled together in these family portraits and show us that sometimes the most important thing in life isn’t becoming the greatest fighter ever, but familial bonds.

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Tokyo’s Nakano to be transformed into cosplay heaven this Halloween for MAG Festa 2015

We’ve got the info on an upcoming event in Nakano, to be held on Saturday October 31; in other words, Halloween. The event will turn the area around Nakano Station, which includes Nakano Broadway, and Nakano Sun Plaza shopping areas, into anime heaven for the day. You’ll be able to get into the spirit of the holiday by dressing up in cosplay, snap some great photos of other people’s intricate cosplay creations, or just be content with watching the various costume parades and shows on offer.

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You’ll never guess what this fan-made Evangelion model is made from!

Small talk is one of the worst concepts of social interaction. Most of the time, neither party has something worthwhile to say, but society requires them to talk to each other because it makes everyone seem like nice, approachable people. Why can’t people just be happy with the sound of silence?

The absolute worst is when you are caught in a situation where you can’t avoid the small talk, like when you are in a taxi or when you are getting your hair cut. You are unfortunately immobile and at the whim of a stranger, because really…how well do you know your barber? Probably not as well as you think, as it turns out a casual bit of small talk revealed this one barber’s unbelievably amazing hobby.

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This cat looks hilariously like a sleeping anime character

There’s a lot of anime shorthand that, while perhaps a little hard for Westerners and non-nerds to decipher (just kidding, we love anime as much as the next guy), actually works really well to convey a scene’s mood once you understand the visual jargon.

One such shortcut we’ve talked about is the random spewing of blood from a character’s nose, which is used to represent lecherousness and lust, especially in male characters; probably because a comical boooiiing! and a sudden pants-ripping erection crowding out the rest of the screen is both a little too obvious, even for Japan.

Another is ubiquitously used to show a character sleeping and we’ll be damned if this real-life Japanese cat doesn’t nail it.

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Angel Beats! itasha auction wraps up for unexpected sum

Japanese marketing ploys of using popular characters to sell everything under the sun isn’t a new concept by any means, but when it comes to itasha, they’re almost always custom works created by otaku for otaku.

However, as part of a game-changing move, publisher VisualArt’s recently announced it would be auctioning off a BMW with an official Angel Beats! wrap job, posing the question of just how high fans of the series would go to purchase a one-of-a-kind, official item from their favorite series. The result, however, probably wasn’t what anyone was expecting.  Read More

Charapedia’s online poll reveals the top 20 female anime/manga characters not to provoke

Japanese anime and manga informational site Charapedia is fond of making lists. For their latest poll, they asked 10,000 of their users to submit votes for the top 20 female anime/manga characters who are scary when they become enraged. The results are certainly telling, as all of the characters have one thing in common—you don’t want to push any of their buttons, because there’s no telling how you’d end up!

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Be the coolest (and brokest) fan at your next cosplay event with a US$5,000 Fate/stay night kit

Even though your mother would like you to know that it’s a silly, pointless hobby to spend your time trying to dress up like video game characters, and also, would it kill you to bring a girl home once in a while, Mike, instead of staying in your room all day reading those weird Japanese comic books?, cosplay is actually kind of hard work and requires a lot of commitment.

Sometimes that commitment comes in the form diligently researching every detail of a character, up to and including freeze frames from films and anime to get every dent, scratch and imperfection in your costume just right. Sometimes it’s commitment in the form of slaving away over the plastic pieces of your storm trooper outfit to ensure they fit together perfectly and are comfortable to wear and are appropriately badass.

And sometimes, it’s in the form of dropping the equivalent of a used car in cash to just buy a pre-made kit.

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