For the past six years, I’ve made a point of buying myself a little Rilakkuma daily planner each January and using it to keep track of my appointments, deadlines, to-do lists, etc. These kinds of daily planners are widely used in Japan, perhaps as a result of the Japanese love of punctuality and efficiency (or maybe they’re so punctual and efficient because everyone uses daily planners?) Sure, you could use the functions built into your smartphone or tablet, but there’s something about writing things down that just makes you feel like you’ve got it all together. Also, and this is kind of geeky, but it’s sorta fun to flip through your old schedule books and see what you were up to on x date 3 years ago. In fact, Japan loves schedule books so much that you can now choose from a huge range of styles which are tailor-made to cater to specific lifestyles. Whether you’re a hostess, train otaku or exam-cramming student, there’s a schedule book out there for you!
Nov 27, 2014
The hobby of building plastic models of mobile suits from the various Gundam series is huge in Japan. With countless sizes and difficulties to choose from any Gundam plastic model (Gunpla) enthusiast can stay busy for a long, long time.
And for aspiring model builders, there may be no better hero than a Japanese artist using the handle Mumumuno53. Don’t just take our word for it though, and take another look at the image above. As indicated, this is not a drawing, animation cel, or computer-generated image; it’s a three-dimensional plastic model that was built and painted by Mumumuno.
You may still not believe it, which is understandable, so here are some making-of shots they posted on their blog.
Oct 28, 2014
Here’s a riddle for you: What do Gundam and black holes have in common? And, no, it has nothing to with giant robots or CERN-style technology gone crazy. It’s actually about…fashion.
Well, fashion might be a bit of an exaggeration, but we’ll give you a hint. What’s weird about the way Fumina Hoshino, from the new Gundam Build Fighters Try, wears her skirt?
If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m not a huge giant mech/giant robot fan. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a full episode of Patlabor or Gundam–though it’s not out of spite or anything! There are only so many hours in the day, and I rarely seem to have time to watch giant mechs beating the crap out of each other. Though that sentence is making me question some life choices now…
As such, I’ve always been perplexed by the idea that someone has actually gone out of their way to build enormous statues of the suits. The “why” has always left an itch in the back of my mind–it just doesn’t seem worth, does it? Well, that’s what I thought until I actually came face-to-face (face-to-boot?) with an enormous Patlabor statue. Here are some photos of the giant mech emblazoned with a Japanese police badge and why I actually hope they make more!
Oct 17, 2014
Back when Japan was still at the mercy of the midsummer heat, a group of…creative anime fans tried to cool off with bowls of shaved ice. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be so weird, except that they set up their strawberry syrup dispenser to look like their treats were being flavored by an anime girl’s menstrual flow. (Yeah, gross.)
But hey, what’s the alternative to anime fans getting excited over 2-D characters having their periods? Anime fans getting excited about 2-D characters not having periods! Otaku around Japan have been sharing retouched pics of animation stars showing off pregnancy test results, and the trend isn’t limited to anime’s ladies.
Just like it does every year, autumn brings red leaves, cooler temperatures, and a new season of TV shows to Japan. This is especially good news if you’re an anime fan, as tons of new series have debuted in the last few weeks.
As a matter of fact, this might be too much of a good thing, as there’s so much new anime available that it’s hard to find time to sample all of it. So if you don’t know where to start, you might want to consult a list of the hottest currently airing shows, made by the people who love the medium best: Japanese otaku.
When you think of plastic models based on the giant weaponized robots of the Gundam universe, “cute” isn’t a word that often comes to mind. But it’s hard to not give a big, gushy “aww” at one homemade Gundam model gifted to Twitter user Chal by their daughter.
The story as outlined by Chal on their Twitter account and retweeted thousands of times begins with a mysterious paper package with something written on it in crude Japanese. Mini… Gasodam? Mini Garidamu? No. This was a “Mini Gundam” and Chal, an experienced model hobbyist, was up for the challenge.
Earlier in the year, Honda revealed plans for its NM4 Vultus at the 30th Osaka Motorcycle Show. With a sleek exterior and harsh angles, it looks like it could’ve been pulled from a sci-fi movie. And in fact, Honda says that the design is influenced by “futuristic machines seen in the anime and manga television and film styles.”
In recent months, there’s been no video game or anime franchise more popular among Japanese kids than Yo-Kai Watch. The story of kids teaming up with traditional youkai spirits (some of whom look like adorable kitty-cats), seems to have landed right in the sweet spot between adventurous, cute, and traditional, making it a huge hit for creator Level-5 (and promotional partner McDonald’s).
As a matter of fact, Yo-Kai Watch has even been gaining traction against Pokémon, the reigning champion of kids’ entertainment in Japan for the last decade-plus. Now, one fan seems to be turning Yo-Kai Watch’s towards another anime institution, by combining its characters with the giant robots of Gundam.
Aug 29, 2014
Aug 28, 2014
He may have created one of anime’s most successful franchises, but Yoshiyuki Tomino, father of Gundam, hasn’t let his years of success mellow him out any. If anything, just the opposite seems to be happening, as he’s recently dished out harsh condemnations of both mega-hit Attack on Titan and listless Japanese youths.
As the debut of his newest series, Gundam Reconguista in G, draws near, Tomino seems to be staying the acerbic course, with a wide-ranging complaint about the current state of anime voice acting, plus some regrets about his prior collaboration with famed sci-fi designer Sid Mead.
Aug 26, 2014
In the past, we’ve seen multiple cars decked out with special paint jobs and accessories honoring Mobile Suit Gundam. But what if you want to show your love for anime’s longest-running mecha series, in a slightly more elegant kind of way? Is there any way for you to drop a large sum of cash on Gundam merchandise not to park in your garage, but to place on your living room mantle or dining room table?
There is now, with high-quality Gundam porcelain.
Aug 23, 2014
Fans of Japanese animation are quick to point out that it’s not just for kids, with less of the stigma attached to its Western counterpart. Still, even anime tends to be heavily youth-oriented, and fan favorites can quickly fade into obscurity.
For a quick example, ask an anime enthusiast about Bubblegum Crisis. Depending on their age you’ll get a description of either the 1987 direct-to-video series, the 1997 TV reboot, or directions to the closest convenience store where you can buy a pack of Bazooka.
As further proof, in a recent poll people in Japan revealed which shows turned them into lovers of anime, with completely different top five lists for fans in their teens, 20s, and 30s.
Jul 10, 2014
I love Tokyo’s awesome, full-scale statue of Gundam as much as anybody. I try to at least stop by and say hello to Japan’s most famous giant robot whenever I’m in Odaiba, and when time permits, I’m happy to sip a beer or munch on a pretzel from the adjacent shopping center as I stare up at the 18-meter (59-foot) tall mecha.
As I mentioned before, though, it has always seemed a little ironic that the monument is stationary. After all, the series is called Mobile Suit Gundam. Shouldn’t he be moving?
Actually, in a few years, he just might.
Jul 9, 2014
With all of the cool, capable characters in anime, it’s not too hard to see the appeal of cosplay. For many fans, literally spending a few minutes in the shoes of their favorite hero or heroine lets them feel every bit as strong, smart, or beautiful as the costume’s usual 2-D inhabitant.
Confidence boost aside, though, slipping on a costume sadly still leaves you with all of the shortcomings you have when you’re wearing an ordinary T-shirt and jeans. Dressing up as Attack on Titan’s Mikasa won’t really transform you into a highly skilled acrobatic swordswoman. Wearing the same nondescript school uniform of the newest harem series’ blank slate male protagonist make you irresistible to women.
Likewise, all the fictional computer power behind Gundam still won’t prevent you from getting lost in the real world.
At one point in the Gundam franchise, there’s a scene where cadets are shown training with the hit anime’s giant robots by shooting humongous paintballs at each other. Until today, you could have made the argument that it was the silliest use of guns in the hundreds of hours of animation that make up the complete saga.
But not anymore, because now there are Gundam water pistols.
Jun 29, 2014
It’s amazing how memory fades over time. Trying to recollect my favorite childhood programs is often a foggy mess. For example, I remember one cartoon where the good guys drove robot cars with arms and the bad guys were these weird plant cars. For the life of me I can’t remember the name of that show in spite of the deep-rooted hatred of trees and vegetables it instilled in me.
Shows like that were great but as they say, the true classics are the ones that stand the test of time. Surely Gundam, arguably the most famous giant robot anime, is among that class, right? Magazine R25 suggests it might not be. Despite Mobile Suit Gundam’s long legacy of series, R25 claims that 51 percent of Japanese men in their twenties who were surveyed said they “do not know Gundam.” Read More
One of the most legendary and enduring anime franchises of all time is the quintessential mechafranchise Mobile Suit Gundam. But which entry to the franchise is really the greatest of all? Fan informational site Akiba Souken recently ran a two week poll from June 6 to June 18, gathering votes from 3,025 participants to decide once and for all which series, OVA, or movie is really the fan-favorite Gundam work, the top of which are as follow:
There’s a unique challenge for anime professionals working on a franchise with as long a history as Gundam, which aired its first episode 35 years ago. Since each new series does away with the war mechs of its predecessors, designers are always under pressure to come up with giant robots that look more powerful, technologically advanced, and, in the case of the villains’ machines, sinister than what fans have seen before.
With Gundam Unicorn’s NZ-999 Neo Zeong, piloted by baffling-named antagonist (and Toyota owner) Full Frontal, we think the animators did a pretty good job. From its sharp, angular lines, blood-red paint job, and the crevices in the sheet metal produce murky shadows, the mobile armor appears immediately menacing and dangerous.
Unless that is, you remove the head unit and replace it with a cute anime girl or kitty cat.
- Commercial reminds Japan’s tired commuters about the drawbacks of living far away from work1
- Korean illustrator gives Western fairy tales a whimsical Eastern makeover【Pics】2
- 【TBT】Chinese bootleg DVDs improve on originals in every way3
- Shippers rejoice! 10,000 anime fans pick their favorite same-sex pairings4
- Pixel’s film posters feature Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Galaga, more5
- A farewell to fries: Twitter users document their last meal of L-size Mcdonald’s potato snacks6
- Why aren’t there more female entrepreneurs in Japan? Pull up a chair… 【Women in Japan Series】7
- Dating websites offer advice on how to land a famous Japanese boyfriend (or at least stalk him)8
- Lonely Japanese life hack: Make your empty apartment look like a party (at least in the entryway)9
- This crazy 4-minute clip is the most epic fan-made anime tribute we’ve seen this year10
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood1
- Character images of new Digimon Adventure series released, expected to air in spring 20152
- Korean illustrator gives Western fairy tales a whimsical Eastern makeover【Pics】3
- Chinese dude bags super hot Ukrainian wife, generates major envy online4
- Alice in Moeland! Japanese netizens react to art style of new US book cover5
- Japan’s cutest rodent commuters take the high-road【Video】6
- Director of Summer Wars and Wolf Children announces new anime film: The Boy and The Beast7
- Life imitates (Sword) Art (Online) as Japanese gamers find they can’t log out of online RPG8
- Oppai Taisou Hand, the pink plastic hand that will exercise your boobs to new heights9
- Hayao Miyazaki reveals the kind of otaku he hates the most10
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood1
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin2
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours3
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】4
- How to say “I love you” in Japanese – 47 different ways 【Videos】5
- Japanese man proposes to girlfriend with Guinness World Record-winning GPS drawing6
- Historic Kyoto temple first in Japan to offer gay weddings7
- A Ghibli mystery solved — the identity of exotic looking food in Spirited Away revealed!8
- Hayao Miyazaki comments on Chihiro’s final test scene in Spirited Away9
- Fashion gone wrong? Boob shirts take Twitter by storm10
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher1
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”2
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】3
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China4
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood5
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin6
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked7
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls8
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea9
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours10
- A farewell to fries: Twitter users document their last meal of L-size Mcdonald’s potato snacks
- Why aren’t there more female entrepreneurs in Japan? Pull up a chair… 【Women in Japan Series】
- Dating websites offer advice on how to land a famous Japanese boyfriend (or at least stalk him)
- Lonely Japanese life hack: Make your empty apartment look like a party (at least in the entryway)
- This crazy 4-minute clip is the most epic fan-made anime tribute we’ve seen this year
- Evacuation orders issued as town in northern Japan is flooded by rising tidewaters
- Life imitates (Sword) Art (Online) as Japanese gamers find they can’t log out of online RPG
- Character images of new Digimon Adventure series released, expected to air in spring 2015
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood
- Scandal as pretty star of the “Sunflower Movement” is found to have a shady past
- CosBox: A rentable room in Tokyo for creating cosplay masterpieces
- Bizarre otaku dancing catches on as Wotagei spreads around the world【Videos】
- Awkward: Official PlayStation montage features image taken from Wii U game, Pixiv user’s fan art