After teasing a release of “something” for a month on their website, Bandai unveiled this painstakingly detailed figure of the iconic robot from Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky, to the delighted squeals of Ghibli geeks everywhere.
With the rainy season already here in Japan it’s time to start planning out your summer activities. Anime fans already have July 20 marked on their calendars, being the day when the newest animated film from Studio Ghibli, The Wind Rises, is set to premier. With legendary studio head Hayao Miyazaki back in the director’s chair, expectations are sky high for the tale about Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of the Zero fighter plane used by the Japanese military in World War II.
It’s normal to see trailers for upcoming films when you go to the movies, and some theatres are currently showing an extended four-minute preview for The Wind Rises. What’s unusual is some cinemas’ decision to show the preview directly following the conclusion of the feature film viewers just paid to see.
The hit anime and manga title Attack on Titan (Shingeki No Kyojin) has grabbed readers and viewers with its combination of high-flying action and surprisingly disturbing giants.
More than just being violent, something about the titans in this series strikes the creepy chord perfectly in people. So when figure maker Kaiyodo released four capsule toys based on the series they wanted to make sure that feeling came through.
And come through it did. Be warned that some of these figures depict scenes of violence and gore.
Convenience store giant 7-Eleven certainly knows its way to customers’ hearts. The store’s current Jump Heroes campaign–a collaboration with Shonen Jump Comics–is giving customers the chance to bag some pretty impressive prizes, with things like games consoles, tablet computers and even free hotel accommodation up for grabs.
Who needs copyrights when you’ve got over nine dozen iconic anime characters?
The past few years have seen a handful of anime projects featuring anime characters crossing over from one franchise to the other. Famed thief Lupin III crossed paths with the great detective Conan himself in 2009, and the pirates of One Piece have teamed up with both omnivorous master hunter Toriko and Dragon Ball hero Son Goku.
But what if instead of just combining one or two series, you tried to combine all of them?
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Sailor Moon. Since the series’ start as a manga comic serial in Kodanhsa’s Nakayoshi anthology, its team of planetary-themed, pleated skirt-wearing protectors of humanity have appeared in five seasons of televised anime, three theatrical features, a live action TV drama, and numerous video game adaptations.
Sailor Moon also inspired a live-action stage musical, with 27 variations and over 800 performances during its 12-year run that ended in 2005. As part of the franchise’s 20th anniversary festivities, a new version of the musical is set to open this fall, and producers have just announced the starring cast.
For those who work in factories or on construction sites the equipment used might not be too awe-inspiring. However, when laymen lay their eyes on these huge hulks of machinery they can look confusing or downright terrifying.
Like looking at clouds and constellations, when people see something unusual with they can’t help but relate it to something more familiar. This is just what happened when a group of Japanese Twitter users shared their experiences with unknown machines and what it reminded them of.
First written as a children’s novel by Eiko Kadano in 1985, Kiki’s Delivery Service is the story of a 13-year-old witch who, following the traditions taught to her by her similarly magical mother, sets out to live by herself for a year to mature and learn about the world. The story achieved international fame with its 1989 theatrical anime adaptation, directed by industry legend Hayao Miyazaki and crafted by his team at Studio Ghibli.
Filming has begun on a live-action version of the story, and producers recently released the first still image from the set.
If there’s one thing Massively Multiplayer Online RPGS (MMOs) are known for, other than their marriage-destroying addictive qualities and almost cult-like fan communities, it’s the absolutely mind-numbing repetition of doing the same quests and activities over and over again to level up your character.
Realizing computers are pretty good at that whole mindless repetition thing while humans generally dislike it, one entrepreneurial Japanese geek has figured out a way to jury-rig PCs that will perform a leveling task for you over and over again and is offering them for sale on bidding site Yahoo! Auctions right now.
Japanese animation has over the course of its evolution branched out into several sub-genres based on the proliferating light novels and manga series. While this is great, it seems as though the once-loved era of giant fighting robots seems to be slipping away.
Gundam‘s still chugging along and Evangelion has been enjoying its reboot, but there hasn’t been a whole lot new going on. Enter Abu Dhabi-based Alter Ego Productions with their trailer for Torkaizer which offers a fresh look on a classic genre.
Hokkaido and its capital, Sapporo, are known for many great things: beer, chocolate, butter ramen, and a giant snow festival to name a few. Now the city is adding a fleet of extraordinary cabs to their long list of must-try experiences. The taxis, decked out in all sorts of wild, anime-inspired designs, are proving to be a hit with locals and tourists alike. But with nothing to gain from advertising, why are the cab drivers doing it?
It’s taken several years, but as anime and computer generated vocaloid songs continue to grow in popularity abroad, Japanese pop music has solidified a passionate overseas fan base. Go to YouTube and do a search for the opening or closing theme of a major recent anime hit, and you’ve got a decent chance of finding a foreign fan doing a cover, either while strumming a guitar or with the vocal-less karaoke mix from the song’s single playing in the background.
But that’s not good enough for Russian band, Pudra (meaning “powder”). This quartet of teenage girls goes all out with their anime song performances, with full arrangement and polished videos. And while many foreign cover artists rewrite lyrics in their native languages, Pudra sings all of their J-pop renditions in their original Japanese. Read More
All this anime is clearly getting to Japanese people’s heads. Japanese media has fallen hook, line and sinker for this seemingly impossible, anime-inspired helicopter design, breathlessly reporting that Ghost in the Shell-style vehicles are being designed by the (Japan Self Defence Force) JSDF right now.
The anime/merchandising franchise Evangelion is one of the few animated series, like One Piece or Gundam, to have achieved true cultural mainstream status in Japan. Even people who have never watched an episode of the TV series (or seen an installment of the movie, or read a chapter of the comic, or played one of the pachinko machine adaptations, or shaved with one of the Eva razors, or eaten one of the Eva burgers… like we said, franchise) can recognize its iconic characters and giant robots.
It wasn’t always like that, though. When Evangelion (or simply Eva, as its fans call it) began airing in 1995, its robot designs took some getting used to. Whereas most anime robots were inspired by a body builder’s physique, Eva’s machines had an almost gangly appearance, with lanky limbs, stooped posture, and what appeared to be tennis shoes. Their fragile look would turn out to be a perfect match for the psyches of their teenaged pilots, but things didn’t start out that way, as shown in Eva’s early planning portfolio. Read More
With nearly all of today’s graphic, comic, and animation design work being digital, any serious artist needs a graphic tablet. These are large LCD screens that can be drawn on directly with a stylus allowing for easy uploading and computer editing of the created image.
Like most electronics chains in Japan, Yodobashi Camera has sections of its stores where customers can try out the latest products, graphic tablets included. Most of us would probably be content to scribble a few lines, doodle a stick figure, or maybe add a splash of color. But like finding a novel filled with dozens of fleshed-out characters and a gripping narrative left on Word in the laptop section, seriously talented artists have been creating true works of art on Yodobashi’s graphic tablet floor samples. Read More
One of the most enduring images of Japanese pop culture in the past few years is that of the maid café, where customers are served by waitresses with personalities to match the careful craftsmanship of their cute, frill-covered outfits. Maid cafes have become something of a cultural export, popping up in the U.S., Canada, and, as RocketNews24 previously showcased, Russia. The phenomenon has also reached Southeast Asia, as showcased by reporters from website Post Seven who recently visited a maid café in Vietnam.
New research from Japan takes a look into the psychology of male bewb preference and is shedding some unfavorable light on the inner workings of the small breast-loving male mind, resulting in an unfortunate catch-22 for small-chested women: the type of guy who appreciates your size is probably also a pervy weirdo.
Moe promotion is in right now! Anything can be moe-fied, and a cute persona can help sell anything from regular rice to smelly natto. Recently companies, schools, railways and even government offices have all been getting in on the act. You just can’t get away from it! And this video has the proof. Read More
With two feature films set to debut before the end of the year, you’d have thought Studio Ghibli grabbed as much media attention as possible. But the venerated anime production house managed to put itself even more squarely in the spotlight with the announcement regarding its upcoming feature film Kaze Tachinu, or The Wind Rises.
The film’s main character will not be voiced by a veteran voice actor. That in itself isn’t so surprising, considering Ghibli’s past casting of singers and Japanese drama stars, Takuya Kimura and Junichi Okada, for the heroes of its previous movies, Howl’s Moving Castle, Tales from Earthsea, and 2011’s From Up On Poppy Hill. Like them, the lead male voice actor for The Wind Rises is a famous member of the entertainment industry with hordes of fans. However, many of them don’t know what he sounds like, because the main character will be played by Evangelion director Hideaki Anno. Read More