Summer is the season for ghost stories in Japan, and at the end of August we sent one of our reporters to try out the terrifying haunted house from the horror masters and game fans at Obaken. Amazing as that six-room production is, Obaken has since expanded its scale to something even bigger: Zombie Camp, a two-day excursion that combines the majesty of the great outdoors with the threat of rampaging zombies!
Oct 4, 2014
Back in the spring, we got an eyeful of a series of drawings from manga artist Osamu Tezuka, in which the multi-talented legend showed off his skill at drawing mice and snakes with sexy curves. Being the open-minded creator that he was, though, Tezuka didn’t limit his sensual sketching to rodents and reptiles, and next month fans will get to see what the God of Manga could do with the naked humans, at the Beautiful Women of Osamu Tezuka Exhibition being held in Tokyo.
Heads-up if you’re at work! Manga nipples coming after the jump!
Oct 3, 2014
Imagine for a moment that you’re a man with unlimited wealth, who no longer has to do anything for himself. Your financial planner manages your investments, freeing you from having to do any sort of day-to-day work. Likewise, your personal assistant handles all of your shopping and household maintenance needs.
But being filthy rich is no excuse for being filthy dirty. Of course, given your economic status, personal grooming seems just a little below the tasks you should be required to perform, doesn’t it? The only sensible thing to do is to employ a team of beautiful models expressly for the purpose of giving you a shampoo while they whisper suggestive nothings into your ear.
Okay, daydream’s over. Time to go back to reality…or is it? If you’re in Tokyo this weekend, and feeling like your scalp could use a good scrub from some scantily clad women, there’s an event where you can live out that exact fantasy.
A few weeks ago, the handlers of the Pokémon franchise announced the Pikachu Tairyou Hassei Chu, or “An Outbreak of Pikachus” event. First they brightened our day with a TV ad showing the adorable Pocket Monsters hanging out in a shopping mall. Then they teased us with a photo of the electrified rodents landing on the dock.
And now, they’re here!
We grabbed our cameras and went Pikachu hunting in Yokohama, and we were not disappointed. We were, though, almost completely paralyzed by the awesome overdose of cuteness that comes from a parade of a pack of 20 Pikachus.
Aug 8, 2014
In recent years, Japan’s gotten pretty into craft brewing. A few of the more prominent brands can be tracked down at specialty liquor stores in major cities like Tokyo, but many smaller outfits don’t have anything close to a national distribution network. For example, if you’re in the mood for a nice Doppo or Miyajima Beer, you’re looking at a trip out to Okayama or Hiroshima, respectively.
Still, most Japanese microbrews aren’t too hard to get your hands on, as long as you’re in the city, or at least the prefecture, where they’re made. Recently, though, we tried what might be the most exclusive beer in Japan, which is served in one place only, inside the U.S. naval base in the city of Yokosuka.
Aug 8, 2014
We were feeling a little blue yesterday. You see, the RocketNews24 office is just a short walk away from the Isetan department store in Tokyo’s Shinjuku. Earlier in the week, we’d stopped by to see the ferociously cuddly stuffed Godzilla that had been on display, but sadly, August 5 was his last day at Isetan.
It was sad to be parted from the King of the Plush Monsters, but as the saying goes, God never closes a door without opening a window. Or in this case, a bottle, because Isetan also has something that can drown the sorrow in our hearts while cooling us off in the oppressive summer heat: alcoholic shaved ice with shochu.
Aug 4, 2014
It’s been about a week since we first saw the commercial for the Pikachu Tairyou Hassei Chu (“An Outbreak of Pikachus”) Pokémon event going on this month in Yokohama. And while fans are no doubt looking forward to the projection mapping show and Pikachu Café, the real draw is the promised 1,000 Pikachu that will be on hand to greet visitors to the city’s Minato Mirai bayside district.
While we’re still a few days away from the official start of the festivities, the loveable pocket monsters have already started showing up, as shown in these surreally cute photos of the assembled Pokémon hospitality corps.
Aug 1, 2014
The first time I went apartment hunting in Japan, I was shocked by how bare-bones some of them are. The lack of centralized air conditioning means often you have to go to the appliance store and buy your own AC unit, and oftentimes lighting and even a cooking range aren’t included either.
As a result, it’s always a relief to find an apartment that has any sort of amenities already included. And while a mini fridge or ceiling lamp is a nice freebie, neither one is anywhere near as cool as an apartment that comes pre-stocked with a library of manga.
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!
Jul 4, 2014
Anime fans the world over are about to get a treat with the July 5 premiere of Sailor Moon Crystal, the new series featuring Japanese animation’s most beloved cast of magical girls. But while we’re all excited about being able to see the Sailor Scouts once again, this month also brings a chance to become them, with a cosplay event in Tokyo that’ll provide you with not only a Sailor Moon costume, but a professional photographer to take pictures for you, too.
Jul 3, 2014
No matter how deeply you respect someone’s core values, or how physically attractive you find them, it’s hard to build a successful romantic relationship without some common interests. So it’s really no surprise that an upcoming singles party in Tokyo’s anime mecca of Akihabara is looking for men and women with a shared love of animation.
This isn’t the only romantic anime event coming to Tokyo, though. On the other side of town, organizers are in the process of assembling a quorum of guys who’d be happy dating women who’re fans of male homosexual anime and manga.
Jun 26, 2014
Even though the numbered sequels in the Final Fantasy video game series stretch all the way up to 14, there are actually far more titles than that in the franchise. One of the most popular spinoffs to Square Enix’s massively successful role-playing game is Final Fantasy Tactics, thanks to its deep customization, complex and unpredictable plot, and stirring soundtrack.
The strategy role-playing game has been entertaining fans for the past 17 years, and as testament to its lasting appeal, this summer a symphony orchestra concert will be held dedicated to the music of Final Fantasy Tactics. And best of all, it’s free.
May 30, 2014
Have you heard of Tropfest? For thousands of Australians, the name conjures up images of picnics, green grass and long, warm days that turn into night, bringing out stars like Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush.
It’s the biggest short-film festival in the world, born in a small café in Sydney in 1993 and growing every year, travelling to places like New York, Abu Dhabi and Cape York. This year the outdoor film festival is making its debut in Japan, bringing with it Aussie food stalls and a great selection of film shorts.
May 1, 2014
Eras come and go with amazing speed in the heavily youth-oriented anime and manga industries. The year 1989 saw the start of a number of comic serials with lavish artwork and intriguing premises. But while Video Girl Ai, Spriggan, and Silent Mobius all attracted large followings shortly after their debuts that year, you’d have to do some serious searching to find many contemporary fans with a real passion for any of them.
On the other hand, cyberpunk/psychological thriller Ghost in the Shell, which also was first published in 1989, is a franchise that is even more popular today than it was then. To celebrate the series’ 25 years of continuous relevance, anime convention AniRevo will be welcoming members of Production I.G., the studio responsible for all of the many Ghost in the Shell animated adaptations.
Apr 29, 2014
Given Japan’s unbridled love of things technologically advanced or just plain pretty, it’s no surprise that the country can’t get enough of projection mapping. High-tech artists have put on projection mapping shows at this year’s Sapporo Snow Festival, and just a few weeks ago Kawasaki hosted an event which recreated the monstrous villains from hit anime Attack on Titan in full scale.
But if Sapporo is too cold and the Titans too terrifying, there’s another display coming up that’s sure to be milder in both climate and content though just as visually impressive, as projection mapping is coming to Cinderella’s Castle at Tokyo Disneyland.
Apr 17, 2014
When Final Fantasy VII was first released in 1997, gamers around the world emotionally connected with it in a way that had never been seen before. Years later, the game still occupies a special place in many people’s hearts, with many clamoring for developer Square Enix to release a version with graphics updated to today’s standards.
But even as so may ask for a new edition of the game that looks better, you won’t find anyone asking for one that sounds better, as the role-playing classic’s soundtrack is one of the most universally-loved musical collections to ever come out of the medium. As testament to its lasting appeal, a Final Fantasy VII symphony concert will be held in Tokyo this summer.
Apr 17, 2014
Back when I was growing up in Los Angeles, as anime was just establishing a foothold overseas, my high school animation teacher gave us a class project of reproducing an existing animated character of our choosing. As I applied the finishing touches of green and pink paint to mine, I got some quizzical looks from my classmate, and more than a few comments of, “Dude, do you have a thing for girls in pleated skirts?”
As accurate as their insights were, my choice of subject had nothing to do with my preferences in women’s fashion, and everything to do with being a huge fan of the anime Sailor Moon. Confused as my classmates had been, the series’ phase of international obscurity was short-lived, and now not only is Sailor Moon loved around the world, it’s got its own art exhibit going on in Los Angeles right now.
In the eight years since it opened, the Lazona shopping center in Kawasaki has become the city’s highest-profile entertainment hub. Conveniently attached to Kawasaki Station, Lazona makes a great place to grab a bite to eat or shop for the latest fashions or electronics.
But like many of the visitors who made the trip to Lazona on April 10, we weren’t there for dining or bargain hunting. We came to see the projection-mapped 60-meter Colossal Titan from hit anime Attack on Titan.
With three months to go until the delayed beginning of the long-awaited new Sailor Moon TV series, fans have a lot of time on their hands. Some have filled this with dressing their dogs up like characters from the hit anime, while others have undressed to reveal their Sailor Moon lingerie.
But what if you want not just anime-themed underwear, but outerwear as well? If that’s the case, one Tokyo department store is ready to be your one-stop shopping destination with a whole store of clothing inspired by the pretty guardian herself, Sailor Moon.
It’s no secret that some of the most obsessive anime fans develop, oh, let’s call them “intense feelings” for certain animated characters. Peer deep enough into their psyches, and you’ll find a (dirty) laundry list of things they’d like to do to, or have done to them by, their favorite anime heroes and heroines.
Usually, these desires are kept private, but when a special even at the recently held anime convention Anime Japan offered an opportunity to make one of these fantasies come true, some fans couldn’t resist the chance to be stepped on by frilly-costumed anime girls.
- Video of guy giving pandas medicine is insanely cute, unless you’re the guy1
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked2
- We still don’t feel bad for you, Emperor: Photos of actors and their historical counterparts3
- Worst date ever! Japan’s ladies reveal the top five date ideas to avoid4
- “Don’t play for more than an hour a day”: Japanese video game master gives great advice5
- Real version of Lotteria’s five-patty cheeseburger doesn’t look nearly as glorious as the ads6
- 35 fascinating photos of Korea from 100 years ago (before K-dramas took over Asia)7
- Mickey men: All-male trips to Tokyo Disneyland are on the rise in Japan8
- Superheroes, furry creatures, and Hello Kitty’s friend all get in on the kabe-don action9
- Less is more as bakery starts selling bags of delicious melon bread crusts minus the bread10
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked1
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls2
- Why does Engrish happen in Japan?3
- We still don’t feel bad for you, Emperor: Photos of actors and their historical counterparts4
- The 10 best anime of the fall season, according to Japanese otaku5
- Somebody turned a Disney Channel cartoon into an anime and it’s pretty awesome6
- Clever font sneaks pronunciation guide for English speakers into Japanese katakana characters7
- Beautiful old footage shows “God of Judo” Kyuzo Mifune gracefully defeat young challengers【Video】8
- Awesome Air Umbrella from China keeps you dry with blasts of air9
- Chinese woman’s catty comeback to Korean colleague gets netizens talking10
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】1
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China2
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked3
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea4
- Watch liquid turn into food at Japanese sample food factory 【Videos】5
- Japanese mothers react to being called by their first names after years of just being “Mama”6
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked7
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls8
- “Beautiful foreigner walking a polar bear” spotted at Shibuya’s famous crossing9
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls10
- “Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】1
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star2
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls3
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】4
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China5
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later6
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons7
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea8
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked9
- Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady10
- Real version of Lotteria’s five-patty cheeseburger doesn’t look nearly as glorious as the ads
- 35 fascinating photos of Korea from 100 years ago (before K-dramas took over Asia)
- Mickey men: All-male trips to Tokyo Disneyland are on the rise in Japan
- Superheroes, furry creatures, and Hello Kitty’s friend all get in on the kabe-don action
- Less is more as bakery starts selling bags of delicious melon bread crusts minus the bread
- 【PSA】Knock knock! Check your car, save a cat
- Small-you-can-eat: Japanese netizens are not happy with Denny’s new endless pancakes offer
- Chinese President Xi Jinping: ‘No more weird architecture’
- Spoil your pet rotten with this comfy bed and blanket that looks fit for a king!
- Ten things we learned at USJ: A muggle’s guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Korean stylist’s secret to volumizing your hair in just five minutes! 【Video】
- Has a Japanese company found the fountain of youth? One man’s youthful skin suggests so
- Robot rebellion begins with a cranky Roomba, Internet users too busy laughing to fight back