A few months ago, the announcement came that High Speed!, the light novel that serves as the starting point to the swimming anime/abdominal exercise motivator Free!, was being adapted into an animated theatrical feature. Unfortunately, the movie’s not scheduled to open until December, but that doesn’t mean fans will have to spend the whole summer without the tautly toned team of aquatic athletes, as a manga adaptation of High Speed! is set to go on sale before the fall.
Every now and then, Japan takes a shine to something that’s new to it but much more common overseas. Chairs, for example, were pretty much nonexistent in the country until the late 1800s, but now you’ll find them in just about every home except the most bare-bones of bachelor pads. Beer (one of the greatest beverages to enjoy while sitting on said chairs) is another foreign concept that’s gained mainstream popularity.
Likewise, although it’s taken some time to catch on, the number of places offering free Wi-Fi in Japan has been steadily increasing over the last few years, and is now available on the Tohoku Shinkansen and all of the stations on Tokyo’s most convenient train line.
Certain sports seem like obvious choices for an anime series. Baseball, for example, has a team-first atmosphere that meshes with Japan’s cultural value of putting the group before the self, and has enough breaks in the action for lengthy conversations between characters on the same team. Boxing, being all about two dudes trying to punch each other into submission while taking a breather every three minutes in which the focus can shift to the hero’s internal monologue, also makes for an easy translation to dramatic animation.
Swimming, on the other hand, seems like a hard fit, as the athletes’ actions are fundamentally repetitive, and being underwater precludes any snappy dialogue. But what the sport does have going for it is slim, toned, almost naked competitors, and anime studio Kyoto Animation has ridden the fangirl fever-inducing cast of swimming saga Free! to critical and commercial success. Next up for the franchise: a brand-new theatrical feature that’s scheduled to be released before the end of the year.
It’s almost that time of the year! The time of the year that people who work for postal services probably dread the most. Tis’ the season for greeting cards, be it for Christmas or for the New Year. While electronic greetings have become a major trend, what with the wide range of social networking platforms we have access to nowadays, handwritten snail-mailed cards just pack that much more warmth and sincerity than mass sending a copy-and-paste kind of generic message to every friend, family member and I-don’t-remember-who-you-are on your contact list.
If you’re a manga or anime fan who likes to send cards with a touch that represents who you are, or if you know someone who would be thrilled to receive an anime-inspired greeting card, these awesome hand-crafted anime/manga-inspired cards would probably be your best bet!
Even if you’re not an anime fan, you’ve no doubt heard that the hugely popular ninja series Naruto has finally reached its climax after more than 15 years. It’s never fun when a beloved show or serial comes to an end, and fans are often left searching for something new to fill the void in their lives that opens up when they do, but when you have a back-catalogue as rich and extensive as Naruto‘s, revisiting older instalments is sure to provide hours, if not weeks of pleasure.
Which, it seems, it precisely what Naruto‘s publisher is hoping both diehard fans and latecomers alike will do next, and is providing them with free issues of the manga and anime episodes direct to their smartphones via a brand new app for iOS and Android.
Recently, we brought you the news that McDonald’s Japan is offering free chicken nuggets in a bid to restore consumer good will in the wake of the “Chickengate” scandal. As reported, expired Chinese chicken found its way into a range of fast food eateries’ products, sparking public fears of food poisoning. We’ve been curious as to how many people jumped at the chance for free but potentially tainted nuggets, (although McDonald’s Japan has now switched their chicken supplier from China to Thailand) and how many decided to steer clear. Luckily for us, Livedoor has conducted a survey of 1,000 participants to see how many would be willing to cash in a free chicken coupon. The results are… kind of a mix.
This summer, consumers in Japan were shocked by the news of “Chickengate”, the Chinese food scandal that revealed a dirty secret behind our favorite Chicken McNuggets. Since then, McDonald’s Japan has tried to win back customers with Tofu McNuggets, and more recently introduced the “Hiru Mac” or “Lunchtime Mac” to encourage patrons to come for lunch and enjoy great discounted prices.
But, the public still worries about where the chicken is coming from. The sales of McNuggets haven’t recovered since McDonald’s Japan revealed that the chicken comes from Thailand, so they’re trying a new tactic of…giving away free Chicken McNuggets.
“There’s nothing more beautiful than these two cosplayers,” sums up the general consensus of fans around the world. But they’re not talking about a pair of women–they’re talking about two men.
Photos of a Chinese duo recreating perfect snapshot scenes from hit anime series such as Kuroko’s Basketball, Free!, Detective Conan, Reborn!, and Sailor Moon, among others, have recently been taking the internet by storm. It’s not hard to see why–their combined skill at convincingly portraying fictional characters in real life, along with their attention to detail in everything from costume to facial expression, is unparalleled. Unsurprisingly, they’ve also picked up more than a few female fans along the way, who can’t stop gushing things like “They’re so cool I’m gonna explode!” and “GODS!” in comments online.
Prepare to be dazzled by these ultimate masters of cosplay!
The snow in Japan may be starting to melt (unless you live in Hokkaido), but that doesn’t mean the snowmen have to go away. Thanks to Megmilk Snow Brand Company, you’ll be greeted by a chilly friend every morning with their limited edition snow mug campaign.
Expensive Tokyo living got you down? Are you staring another three-day weekend in the face and wondering what havoc it will wreak on your wallet? You’re in luck! There are plenty of places to enjoy yourself for free all over Tokyo, if you know where to look. RocketNews24 has sifted through the many options and has come up with 12 suggestions that will not disappoint. Try them next time you have a last-minute date or cobwebs in your billfold!
The first version of Square Enix’s Lady Lora-saving slime-battling RPG, Dragon Quest, is now available on your smartphone…for free! But hurry up and download it fast, it’s only available to the first one million downloaders.
September 26 of this year marked the end of the series finale of the popular swimming anime, Free!, though fans of the series remain highly active on the Internet and at doujinshi (fan comic) events.
Recently, there’s been a real flurry of excitement within the Free! fandom on Asian blogs and online gossip columns over one fan’s genius idea to get the series’ token sweetheart to lie between her sheets. Because who wouldn’t want to sleep next to such beautiful 2-D biceps, right?
We were all skeptical when Apple announced the low-cost iPhone 5c. Nothing from Apple had ever been relatively affordable and there had never been a cheaper version of any of their products; it was a totally new turn for the tech giant. But now we get it, these phones were made for Pokemon.
Japan loves ice cream, so when Ben and Jerry’s started opening locations here in 2012, it was welcomed with open arms.
But the Vermont-based company didn’t just bring its assortment of tasty flavors with untranslatable pun-based names. It also brought its well-known commitment to social activism with it. In keeping with those values, Ben & Jerry’s Japan is offering free ice cream to encourage people to vote in the country’s upcoming election.
“The Legend of Momotaro” is an interactive storybook that introduces readers to the traditional Japanese story about a hero born from a giant peach. The app, created by Ghost Hand Games, manages to teach readers about Japanese culture, language, and legends all in one beautifully illustrated digital picture book that’s now available for free for a limited time only!
We all love Swedish housewares chain IKEA for their reliable selection of TISDAGs and RÅSKOGs, and whenever I’m out shopping for a new SLÄT I like to stop by the cafeteria for their 99 yen (US$1) breakfast.
But for a limited time IKEA is lowering the price of their ultra-cheap “Morning Plate” breakfast right down to 0 yen (US$0).
It’s famously said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and while that may be true, you can at least get some of the ingredients without laying down a penny. We check out a new website that claims to offer free produce, straight from the farmer to you. Swag!
Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank is seemingly never out of the news recently. In the past seven days, we’ve seen CEO Masayoshi Son put down a heckler on Twitter, offer his employees up to a month’s pay for mastering English, and now the company comes out with a genuinely wonderful free app for iOS in celebration of being Japan’s most popular telecommunications provider for five years running.
Officially titled 「ラップお父さん」 “Rappu Otousan” (lit. rap dad), the application is essentially a sound board filled with memorable lines uttered by members of SoftBank’s fictional White Family, as seen in commercials. As well as allowing users to annoy friends with one-liners like “Shut it!”, “What’s so funny!?” and even the company CEO’s famous “Let’s do it!” line, users can play and mix a variety of prerecorded rhythm tracks, making this app by far the most wonderful time-waster we’ve discovered so far this year.
Like gyūdon beef bowls? Love Nintendo’s pink vacuum-mouthed mascot Kirby? Then you’d better head down to your nearest Sukiya restaurant quick and pick up one of these adorable little windup walking models!