manga

“No low angles!” and other Comiket cosplay photography rules

We had a great time at Comiket this weekend and saw enough to fill a few photo books! Of course, it’s impossible to talk about everything, but one of the more eye-catching things we noticed were the cosplay photography rules. There’s a good chance you remember this little tweet from this past summer, showing a cosplayer surrounded and photographed at low angles. And probably not for better lighting…

Well, it turns out, that kind of photography probably isn’t within Comiket rules!

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Oscar and Andre tie the knot? The manga wedding that’s been 40 years in the making

As many of our readers are undoubtedly aware, manga is one of the biggest industries in Japan, and there are literally thousands of manga to be enjoyed out there. But among all those countless comics, there are a select few that have withstood the test of time and have been read and loved over periods spanning decades.  Comic artist Riyoko Ikeda’s classic Rose of Versailles is one such work, the title and characters still widely recognized by the Japanese public more than 40 years after its first serialization in the girl’s comic magazine Margaret. In fact, a new volume of Rose of Versailles containing a selection of omnibus stories was released in August this year, making it the first new comic to come out from the series in four decades!

Now, Ikeda has collaborated with Japanese marriage and wedding information magazine Zexy and created a sweet little side-story that also doubles as a leaflet for couples preparing for their wedding. And what makes it extra delightful for fans of the manga is that it involves Oscar and André, the two main characters, finally getting married! Well, we can almost hear the fans collectively crying out, “It’s about time!

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Check out the awesome cosplay at Comiket 87! 【Photos, Photos, and more photos】

It’s the end of December and that can mean only one thing: Comiket is in full swing! Today was only the first day, but the cosplay (and the crowds) were utterly amazing. With about half a million people expected to visit over the three-day event at Tokyo Big Sight, you should hardly be surprised that people from all over Japan–and some from around the world–flock to the doujinshi spectacular.

We headed down on Sunday afternoon and captured a few photos of our favorite cosplayers. And by “a few” we mean “a metric crapton.”

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In the name of the moon, I will marry you! Couple holds awesome Sailor Moon wedding in L.A.

A while back, we took a look at some Japanese wedding receptions that took cues from Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda and Konami’s Beatmania rhythm game. Japan isn’t the only place where fictional fandom and romantic nuptials cross paths, though.

This month, an American couple that seems to love Sailor Moon almost as much as they love each other took their vows, and not only are the outfits they wore for their ceremony the classiest cosplay we’ve seen in a long time, they’re just the beginning of the wedding’s many elegantly beautiful anime-inspired touches.

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The true meaning of December 25: The birth of Levi from Attack on Titan

With all of the secular Christmas decoration displays at shopping centers, and Japan’s focus on finding a date at this time of year, it’s all too easy to forget the real reason for the holiday on December 25. Really, the central figure in our minds shouldn’t be Santa, nor the cute girl or hot guy you just went on a Christmas Eve date with.

Christmas is a day when we should all stop for a moment to remember that the holiday is an observation of the birth of an amazing individual. Someone who, at times when our souls are tested, has always been there to show us the way, through his combination of wisdom, courage, and ability to effortlessly slice a 30-meter giant to death.

In other words, happy birthday, Attack on Titan’s Levi!

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Becoming Sailor Moon now as easy as saying “moon prism power, make-up!” (and opening your wallet)

Sailor Moon has taken the anime world by storm this past year with the revamped Sailor Moon Crystal. Ever since it premiered this summer, we’ve gotten Sailor Moon lingerie, tortilla chips, and even a holy grail air freshener, but it’s only recently that we’re finally able to do the one thing we’ve wanted all along: become a sailor scout ourselves.

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Naruto fans turn message maker system’s interface lemons into ninja lemonade with awesome artwork

Manga artist Masashi Kishimoto’s ninja saga Naruto finally came to a close last month. But after 15 years of being on the receiving end of the awesome artwork and heartfelt words of the Naruto cast, fans now have a chance to send some of their own with a nifty message-writing tool on the franchise’s official website.

Unfortunately, it isn’t very user-friendly. But just like how Naruto’s titular blond ninja never gives up in the face of adversity, so too have fans found a way to work around the clunky interface and come up with some powerfully cool creations.

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One Piece becoming a kabuki play with the Straw Hat Pirates taking the stage in Tokyo

Between the huge success the One Piece franchise has found in comics, animation, video games, and associated merchandising, you wouldn’t think there’d be too many more avenues for it to expand into. And honestly, it doesn’t have to, as Eiichiro Oda’s manga, the starting point of the tales of pirates, treasure hunting, and friendship, is still going strong, with its 76th collected volume being released later this month.

But just like the Straw Hat Pirates don’t have to embark on grand adventures, but choose to do so anyway, One Piece is about to head into uncharted waters, as the anime and manga franchise is set to become a kabuki play.

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“2D vs. Katana” exhibition shows off recreations of swords from anime and video games in Osaka

Last year, Tokyo’s Ueno Royal Museum held an exhibition of Japanese swords inspired by the mechanical and character designs of landmark anime Evangelion. As cool as some of the pieces looked, though, you won’t find any scenes in the giant robot franchise where someone actually fights using a katana.

On the other hand, right now the Osaka Museum of History is holding an event that goes even further in bridging the gap between fantasy and reality, by displaying recreations of amazing blades seen in anime, manga, and light novel illustrations.

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The Holy Grail of Sailor Moon merchandise will help your room smell as nice as Princess Serenity

As cool as the collection of magical items used by Sailor Moon are, you have to admit that most of them wouldn’t exactly be the most practical things in your daily life. For example, a tiara that transforms into a disc of monster-killing energy when you throw it? That’s handy if you’re an anime heroine, but what if you’re just an ordinary fan who’s not running into evil creatures at a pace of literally once a week?

So while your first reaction to the news that merchandiser Bandai’s new Rainbow Moon Chalice replica does not, in fact, transform you into a more powerful version of your preexisting alter ego, in the long run, you’ll probably appreciate the fact that it instead fills your room with a pleasing smell.

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Can you guess the second Japanese inspiration behind this Polish artist’s beautiful illustration?

As someone who’s been a fan of anime and manga since long before they were as internationally popular as they are today, I’m always kind of happy when I see their visual cues show up in artwork from other countries. Sometimes it comes in high-profile productions, like when The Simpsons gave a tip of their animated hat to Studio Ghibli, but at the same, there are countless less well-known designers and artists whose styles can be traced to Japan’s cartoons and comics.

Take Polish illustrator Magdalena “Meago” Kania, for example, and her drawing of a blond with exquisitely thick, wavy hair who also sports the facial features and proportions commonly associated with anime and manga. But those aren’t the only Japanese inspirations the illustration contains, as we can spot one more when we take a step back and look at the whole picture.

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‘Parasyte’ opening gets re-animated in the style of the original manga【Video】

When the anime adaptation of early-nineties horror manga Parasyte hit the small screen in Japan this year, the contrast between the artwork of the original manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki and the updated new-style character designs of the anime left some fans disappointed.

Inspired perhaps by this same sentiment, Niconico user kurobaru has hand-drawn the opening sequence of Parasyte -the maxim-, staying as close to Iwaaki’s original old-school manga style as possible. Join us after the jump for a look at how it turned out!

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New poster shows live-action Attack on Titan’s Titan, who’s double the size of his anime version

Last month, we got our first look at the cast of the two upcoming live-action Attack on Titan films, dressed in the costumes they’ll appear in. But while the actors and actresses looked snappy in their Scout Corps uniforms, the first batch of images neglected to show the movie’s literally biggest characters: the Titans themselves. That’s been rectified now, though, as a new poster shows the gruesome visage of the series’ most iconic giant, and producers have revealed that he’s even bigger than his anime inspiration.

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Fan creates cosplay bag from favorite anime series by attaching severed heads of its characters

You can’t talk about the currently airing anime Terra Formars, and the manga it’s based on, without touching on the designs for its humanoid cockroach antagonists. Almost everyone finds them unsettling, but that discomfort isn’t just being caused by their intimidatingly muscled physiques and blank stares. A vocal group of international anime fans also contend that they don’t so much resemble the sturdy six-legged bugs the series’ creator cites as their inspiration as much as racist caricatures of people of African heritage.

Japanese society tends to not be so reflective on the implications, whether intentional or not, that its domestically produced fiction carries when it trickles out to a global audience, though. The debate over whether or not Terra Formars’ art is insensitive or not is largely non-existent in Japan, where the aliens are taken at face value as fictional characters in a fictional setting. As such, fans feel no qualms wearing their love of the show on their sleeve, or, in the case of one cosplay enthusiast, on his bag, which is decked out with what look to be the severed heads of the divisive characters.

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Naruto stage play releases first photo, announces cast, adds performances outside Japan

With the Naruto manga all wrapped up, we imagine a lot of fans are feeling sort of lonely. Sure, there’s an animated movie coming up, and you can still catch episodes of the weekly anime series, but with no more issues of the comic to look forward to, it must seem like the series’ cast of charismatic ninja have drifted just a little farther away.

Soon enough, though, Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura will be just a few rows of seats away from their adoring public, as the Naruto stage play is set to open this spring, and producers have just announced the cast and released the first shot in-costume photo of the star of the show.

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Alice in Moeland! Japanese netizens react to art style of new US book cover

What do you think of the artwork featured in the new omnibus edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass? When Japanese twitter user kasunoko tweeted a pic of the cover image, netizens in Japan were quick to claim that the artwork “doesn’t look very American”. In fact, several of them were of the opinion that the artwork seemed a bit on the, erm, Japanese side. Hmm, we’re not sure what they’re talking about, but check out the images after the jump and let us know your thoughts!

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Freelance illustrator wows Twitter users with daily pictures of high school girls

One of the great things about the Internet is giving freelance and independent artists the opportunity to connect with audiences who might otherwise not have been able to access their work. Whether it’s mind-melting masks or fabulous Final Fantasy fan art, there’s something for everyone and a market for nearly anything.

Kazuharu Kina might just be one of the best examples of a niche Japanese artist making it big on the Internet–and once you see his illustrations, you’ll probably understand why.

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Hajime Isayama drew the Attack on Titan voice cast as their characters

After a stage event, voice actress Marina Inoue snapped the ultimate selfie, one that included herself, fellow Attack on Titan actors Yui Ishikawa (Mikasa Ackerman) and Yuuki Kaji (Eren Jaeger), and series director Tetsuro Araki. While the picture itself is already pretty cool, Attack on Titan mangaka Hajime Isayama took it one step further, drawing the cast as their respective characters, along with a manga-fied version of Araki.

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Ridiculously talented artist shares timelapse videos of sexy new Naruto fanart

Talented digital artist Sakimichan is back with more gorgeous fanart! You may remember her for her other incredible Naruto fanarts or her gender-bent Disney portraits. Here we’ve got three more new portraits of Naruto characters done in her distinctive style, as well as timelapse videos showing exactly how she creates her masterpieces.

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Anime fans vote with their pervy wallets, crowdfund gigantic strap-on penguin boners

Crowdfunding, in its most idealized and theoretical form, should optimize the way financial resources get used. Projects that embody things held to have value should succeed, and things that society feels it can do without shouldn’t.

In practice, though, sometimes frivolous initiatives succeed even as noble causes die on the vine, because real-world economics often have more to do with wants than needs. But even while we understand that principle, what we can’t quite wrap our heads around is how a crowdfunding project for strap-on anime dongs got enough pledges to meet its goal.

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