anime

New Attack on Titan model is both fear and awe inspiring

While there’s no questioning that Attack on Titan is one of the most successful anime of the past several years, there’s still room for debate about the series’ giant monsters themselves. Sure, the titans stand 60 meters (197 feet) tall and are out to eat all of mankind. At the same time, though, they’re naked, often disheveled, and occasionally of pudgy build. Sometimes they look downright comical, even becoming the inspiration for lighthearted merchandise and cosplay.

So which is it? Are the titans supposed to be terrifying or silly?

After taking a look at this new Attack on Titan model, we’re going to have to put one more mark in the latter column.

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Fan recreates second Attack on Titan opening with Super Smash Bros. characters

Undoubtedly, if given the chance, the heroes of Super Smash Bros. could easily take on the titans in Attack on Titan. Perhaps that’s what helps make this fan mash-up so great. The video was created by AmazingArtistYellow, and took six months to create, including original hand- and mouse-drawn animation.

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Vegeta to be the lead in a new Dragon Ball movie?!

In an interview with Saikyo Jump magazine, Akira Toriyama, the creator of long-running anime epic Dragon Ball, dropped some hints on a possible new movie. As well as revealing some titbits of info about Goku’s mother, the artist shared his hopes for a future animated feature, saying that he personally would like to see none other than Goku’s eternal rival Vegeta as the main character in a new Dragon Ball flick!!

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My Little Pony gets an anime twist in fan video

Swedish fan Karl Ehrnström, also known as Galaxyart, has just finished a personal project where he took the characters from My Little Pony and animated them as cute girls.

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Sailor Moon fans can now buy transformation compact mirrors from a gashapon machine!

We’ve shared with our readers quite a few Sailor Moon products in our past articles, from sexy Sailor Moon lingerie to sparkly  Sailor Moon  chopsticks. Now, while fans may be delighted with the wide range of Sailor Moon goods available, particularly the cute gadgets from toy maker Bandai, there are so many of them that it probably isn’t realistic to try to collect all of them, especially considering that some of the items aren’t exactly cheap.

In fact, some of our reporters at sister site Pouch who are die-hard fans of the series, had just recently been wishing aloud that Bandai would come out with an affordable range of Sailor Moon transformation compact mirrors. Well, it seems their wish has now come true! Just this week, Bandai released a new range of lovely compact mirrors, and more importantly, they’re cheap and can be bought right from a Gashapon vending machine!

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Are you otaku? Roughly 40 percent of Japanese college students say, “Yes!”

There seems to be a bit of a debate these days centered around whether or not being an otaku, the term used in Japan to describe people who obsess over a variety of hobbies, is a socially healthy one. In extreme cases, the otaku lifestyle can limit romantic opportunities, and even renowned anime director Hayao Miyazaki has grumbled about their effects on the industry he earned his fame in.

With all the negativity and marginalizing, you’d think the number of people the label could be applied to would be small, and the number of individuals who’d choose it for themselves to be smaller still. Surprisingly enough, though, in a recent survey of college students, nearly four in ten identified themselves as an otaku.

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Hey, you kids! Get off my Gundam lawn!

A few years back, toymaker Bandai built a gigantic full-size statue of Japan’s most iconic giant robot, the original RX-78 Gundam. After bouncing around and being displayed in various stages of assembly, the 1:1 scale figure finally found a permanent home in front of the Diver City shopping and restaurant complex in Tokyo, assuring that fans can come see it whenever they like, and also that it’ll get regular maintenance.

We’re glad to see someone is looking out for Gundam in the nation’s capital, since apparently the years haven’t been as kind to this version of him in the Japanese countryside.

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Goro Miyazaki to direct Ronia the Robber’s Daughter TV anime

Goro Miyazaki (Tales from EarthseaFrom Up On Poppy Hill) will direct a television anime adaptation of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s Ronia the Robber’s Daughter children’s fantasy book. The series, titled Sanzoku no Musume Ronia in Japan, will air on NHK and BS Premium this fall. POLYGON PICTURES (Knights of SidoniaThe Sky Crawlers) is animating the 3D CG series in collaboration with Studio Ghibli. The show will mark the first time that Miyazaki is directing a television anime series.

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Attack on Titan’s studio head talks sequels, keys to the hit anime’s success

It’s been a long time since anime has had a hit like Attack on Titan. Over the last several years, Japanese animation has become increasingly self-referential, providing previously unparalleled enjoyment for, and arguably pandering to, its most devoted followers. This came at the cost of accessibility, though, and often shut out new fans in much the same way that the city walls in Attack on Titan were keep rampaging giants outside the city.

Joji Wada (who also goes by George Wada), is the head of Wit Studio, the production house behind the animated hit. In a recent interview with the The Nikkei, Wada talked about the keys to Attack on Titan’s success, as well as dropped some tantalizing hints regarding spin-offs and sequels.

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Swedish-produced Senpai Club is so anime-like its characters speak Japanese【Video】

Years ago, when I was a freshly-minted anime fan, the most popular daydream in the fandom was to one day create your own animated show. And not some run of the mill Western cartoon, but something that unabashedly drew from the influences of Japanese animation.

Sadly, anime was still too unfamiliar to have mainstream appeal, and while the ranks of enthusiastic Japanese animation fans were growing, their numbers at the time were far too few, and the potential market far too small, to justify the investments necessary to complete their personal castles in the sky.

Fast forward to today, though, and anime has a firmly established presence the world over. What’s more, the ability to produce and display your creation digitally means that with enough gumption, all it takes is a few passionate individuals to realize your anime-inspired vision. As proof, we present the initial episode of Senpai Club, which comes to us not from Japan, but from Sweden.

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Life-sized 3-D maneuver gear goes on display at Osaka’s new Attack on Titan museum

The wildly popular manga and animated series, Attack on Titan, continues to charge on, picking up speed and treating us all to a bevy of fan-related events before its live-action film debut in 2015. Now, for a limited time only, Osaka will play host to a very special “Survey Corps Museum”, with original illustrations, exclusive merchandise and awesome, life-sized 3-D maneuver gear. If you’re a fan of Attack on Titan, then take a look at what’s waiting for you in Osaka for the next 16 days…

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Incest-themed TV anime sparks decency investigation. What were the odds?

It’s a tough time for anime studios. The boom days of direct-to-video productions, when consumers would happily plunk down 5,000 yen (US$48) or more for 30-minutes of animation, sight-unseen, are long gone. At the same time, TV ad revenue is hard to come by, and in some cases, non-existent for anime programs. So in order to produce a hit these days, you’ve got to put your product on television first, and then find a way to leverage its broadcast popularity into subsequent DVD and Blu-ray sales.

The real tricky part is striking a balance between showing enough for free to keep people watching and interested, yet offering the prospect of something they can’t see on TV in order to drive home-video purchases later. An easy choice for this is sexual content, and the closer a show treads to the censorship line, the more wondrous the delights awaiting viewers in the unrated DVDs are assumed to be.

Recently, one anime may have aimed a little too high in appealing to the lowest common denominator, and is now the subject of a broadcast decency investigation.

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Survey reveals that more than 70 percent of otaku would choose their hobby over love

Over the years, the term “otaku” has, as well as being accepted into the English language, come to mean not just computer or anime fanatics locked away in their bedrooms, but any person who shows above-average fondness for any given hobby or pastime. Crazy about pop idols? You’re an otaku. Can’t get enough cosplay in your life? Same for you. Have a collection of video games so large that your friends casually refer to your house as “the library”? You’d better believe you’re an otaku.

But is your passion for your hobby so great that you would willingly choose it over love and romance? A recent survey asked a group of otaku that very question, and found that 70.1 percent of them said they’d shun love in favour of their hobby if it came down to it.

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Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki says the anime industry’s problem is that it’s full of anime fans

It’s hard to imagine legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki needing to be any more lauded than he already is. Over 95 percent of Japan’s population has watched one of his movies, people see uploading his films to the Internet as being the fast track to popularity, and he’s even got a celestial body named after him. Really, though, after seeing the quality of his work, it’s hard to argue with the respect he receives. The man is clearly a genius.

However, Miyazaki is also a 73-year-old man, and like many individuals who have reached such an age, occasionally can’t resist the stubborn urge to grumble about how the people who came up after him are screwing up his industry.

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Super-explicit Evangelion fan translation leaves Japanese fan scratching his head

Part of what makes the anime Evangelion such an enduring hit is the series’ subtleness. The classic is riddled with lines of dialogue that have multiple meanings and possible interpretations. Sometimes the speaker’s true intent becomes clearer after revelations that occur in subsequent installments of the franchise, whereas other times repeat viewings only serve to muddy the waters even further.

But while this ambiguousness delights fans who have taken pleasure in discussing and dissecting Eva for close to 20 years now, the same lack of concrete answers can be unfathomably frustrating to some viewers. Can’t the characters just say what they mean, in a way that anyone can understand?

They can in at least one amateur translation, in which major character Misato makes no bones about her desire to bone.

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Japanese pro wrestlers become anime girls for new trading card game

Well here’s something we never thought we’d see or even imagine or think about or have any interest in.

For some reason popular Ring Dream: Girl’s Pro Wrestling Battle online trading card game, which lets players pit their anime girl wrestlers against each other for in-game prizes and bragging rights, is teaming with Japanese pro wrestling association DDT to turn some of DDT’s most popular male wrestlers into in-game characters. In-game female characters.

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Adult gamers act like small children by playing game meant for little girls, refusing to share

Sometimes, stories and characters designed for kids score a hit outside of their target market. Witness, for example, all of the Disney-themed engagement rings and wedding ceremonies inspired by princesses created to appeal chiefly to girls far too young to be seriously planning their nuptials.

Sometimes, the popularity of a franchise can even cross gender lines. Sailor Moon rose to popularity partly because its leggy heroines and tongue-in-cheek humor appealed to guys, and then there’s the puzzling yet undeniable Brony phenomenon of young males ardently following the My Little Pony animated series.

Next up on the carousel of unexpected fanboy demographics: full-grown men who are hardcore players of Aikatsu, an arcade game solely intended for little girls.

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Absolutely nothing but knee-highs at Akihabara’s new sock emporium

A while back, we told you about Japan’s Knee-High Socks Day. Held on November 28, or 11-28, the date was chosen because of some wrangling of the Japanese language that enables 11 to be pronounced “ii” (Japanese for “good”), and 28 “knee high.”

By the same linguistic basis, though, you could make the case that February 8, or 2-8, is just as fitting as Knee-High Socks Day. Of course this means losing the “11 = good” portion of the equation, but true fans would argue that the adjective is redundant anyway, as knee-high socks are always good.

In celebration of Knee-High Sock Day 2, why not attend the grand opening of a new shop in Tokyo that sells nothing but that particular piece of clothing?

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Ranma 1/2’s Happōsai voice actor Ichirô Nagai passes away

Ichirô Nagai, the voice actor of Sazae-san‘s Namihei and Ranma ½‘s Happōsai, was discovered after he had collapsed in a Hiroshima City hotel on Monday morning. He was taken to a hospital, but he passed away. He was 82.

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Our anime dreams come true as we operate a robot suit from Appleseed

For years, science fiction movies have been teasing us with visions of high-tech wonders that remain frustratingly just out of reach. Where are our flying cars? Shouldn’t we at least have those hovering skateboards by now? How is it we can put a man on the moon, but we haven’t perfected an automated kitchen that can read our thoughts and cook what we want for dinner?

But today, the waiting ends for one of our technology-based dreams, as we operate a powered robot suit from anime and manga hit Appleseed.

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