manga

Fushigi Yugi stage adaptation gets cast and schedule as Mysterious Play becomes a real one

Over the past few months, there’s been a string of stage adaptations of hit anime and manga announced. But while we’re sure plenty of fans are psyched about the upcoming Naruto play and One Piece kabuki performance, fans of girls’ comics, or anime series with fewer than 600 episodes to wade through, might be feeling a little left out.

Luckily for them, there’s a more female-oriented, reasonably concise franchise about to become live performance theater, with the opening in March of a stage version of the Mysterious Play, or as it’s better known, Fushigi Yugi.

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Dattebayo! 12 awesome cast photos from the upcoming Naruto live spectacular

Fans of Naruto, the hit manga series that graced the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine every week, were dealt a heavy blow back in November 2014 when the epic series ended after 15 years.

While they may have closed the book on the manga series, thankfully it’s not the last chapter in the Naruto franchise, as all our favourite characters will be returning, this time on stage in a live action spectacular set to tour Japan from 21 March 2015.

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Attack on sobriety! Attack on Titan teams up with plum wine maker for new anime alcohol

Along with its naked giants and high-flying fight scenes, anime and manga mega hit Attack on Titan is defined by its oppressively bleak atmosphere. Its world is one in which not only do rampaging monsters want to eat you, the ruling aristocracy is ready to kick you out of the walled city if you’re too big a drain on its resources.

Compelling as its story may be, after spending enough time in that setting, even fans of the series could find themselves needing a stiff drink. If so, they might want to reach for a glass of the soon-to-be-released Attack on Titan plum wine.

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Cute anime railway girls keep passengers company on Tokyo Skytree train

Japan is no stranger to weird and wonderful product collaborations between companies. We’ve seen Mos burger x Mister Donut creations, a Hello Kitty invasion of The Very Hungry Caterpillar books and even Sailor Moon girls teeing up with sanitary pads.

So when the ten-year anniversary of the Tetsudou Musume (Railway Girls) anime rolled around this year, their new collaboration could have taken them anywhere. Thankfully, the girls have gone the more conventional route – by tying up with an actual train and riding together with you in 2-D form inside the carriages.

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Cosplay as Sailor Moon’s classmates with official uniforms of the anime heroines’ schools

When most anime fans think of the core cast members of Sailor Moon Crystal, they picture them in their sailor-style combat suits. But while they do indeed don those brightly color-coded getups when it’s time to do battle with the forces of evil, the teen heroines spend most of their week dressed in the uniforms of ordinary junior high students.

If you’ve ever wanted to cosplay not as Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, or Venus, but as their alternate non-magical girl identities, now’s your chance, as you can now buy official uniforms of the schools attended by the Sailor Senshi.

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Is “Ago-kui” the next “Kabe-don”?

Kabe-don” ranked among Japan’s top anime buzzwords of 2014. Facing a woman with her back on the wall, the man places his hand on the wall beside her with a “don!” (the Japanese sound routinely used to represent something hitting a hard surface), with his face close to hers. This situation common in girls’ comics is also frequently seen in TV dramas and movies, and many young women who watch this scene dream of finding themselves in a similar situation with the object of their affections.

But is the ago-kui set to be 2015’s kabe-don and among its most-used phrases?

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Buddha vs Eva, Ultraman, Gundam and Lady Liberty: How the otherworldly measure up

If you’re a fan of mecha anime, you’ll know all about towering robots and the impressive displays of power they show during large-scale, epic battles. One of the titans of the mecha world, Gundam, is so revered in Japan he’s been recreated to scale and stands looking out over Tokyo Bay, wowing crowds with his strength and height.

Gundam might not be so happy, however, to learn that a picture doing the rounds on the internet is making him look tiny when compared with his peaceful brother from another otherworldly realm. To be fair though, not much can compete with Ushiku Daibutsu, the tallest Buddha statue in the world, who lives just a 90-minute train ride from Narita Station.

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You’ll be surprised when you see who draws these adorable moe characters

Do you know what the creator of Naruto, Masahi Kishimoto, looks like? How about Hello Kitty‘s artist, Yuko Shimizu? Despite their drawings being prevalent all over the world, most people have probably never seen the true faces of these famous artists. With this in mind, amateur artists around Japan have been tweeting  #イラストと描いた人 (an illustration and the artist who drew it), including their own picture beside a work of their art.

Unfortunately, a lot of people choose to hide their faces behind cosplay masks, editing techniques or just facing away from the camera. Some don’t even post a real photo! However, the artist behind the really cute drawings above decided to post a real, unhindered picture, but it might not be what you’re expecting…

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10,000 fans pick the sports anime that influenced them the most

Sports anime remains popular in Japan, despite its checkered history in the West. Stories of characters overcoming emotional and physical obstacles to bring their team to victory or rooting for the underdog against the better funded team resonates with genre fans. Charapedia asked 10,000 fans which sports anime “moved” them the most. Here are the results!

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New line of Sailor Moon apparel is fashionable enough for adults, still has magical girl charm

No matter how much you like Japanese animation, odds are you’ll reach a certain age where you need a dressier wardrobe than a closet full of anime T-shirts. It’s a milestone a large chunk of Sailor Moon’s fanbase is hitting these days, as it’s now been more than 20 years since the series’ TV premiere.

Thankfully, just because you’re too old to be buying all your clothes at an anime convention dealers room doesn’t mean you have to give up entirely on combining your passion for animation with what you wear. Fashion brand Tralala is launching a new line of Sailor Moon apparel that’ll be instantly recognizable to fellow fans, while still allowing you to fly fashionably under the radar with anyone who’s never seen the show.

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Cardcaptor Sakura shoes have captured our attention with their stylish nod to the anime classic

Cardcaptor Sakura is in the midst of a revival right now. We’re not sure what’s sparked the renewed interest in creative team Clamp’s magical girl franchise, as we’re still a year away from the manga’s 20th anniversary, and three years from that mark for its anime adaptation.

Still, plucky elementary school student and protagonist Sakura Kinomoto seems to be popping up more and more these days. A recent poll of anime fans named Cardcaptor Sakura the series they most want rerun on TV, and just last month we saw the release of a collection of cosmetics based on it. Now, in the latest round of new goodies, you can pair your manga makeup with some cute and stylish Cardcaptor Sakura shoes.

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Sailor Moon color contacts are here to make your eyes look out of this world

With the hundreds of TV episodes and multiple theatrical features that make up the franchise, for decades fans have had their eyes fixed on Sailor Moon. Now, though, they’re getting the opportunity to turn things around and fix Sailor Moon to their eyes, with a new line of decorative contact lenses from anime’s most successful magical girl series ever.

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Track the stylistic evolution of Eiichiro Oda’s most famous One Piece characters

It’s hard to believe that One Piece, Japan’s best-selling manga series in history, will be celebrating its 18th anniversary this July. With 76 collected volumes of manga, a mega-popular anime television adaptation, an upcoming theme park, and hordes of international fans, the series is stronger than ever after almost two decades.

A recent post by a Japanese internet forum user showed the evolution of series’ creator Eiichiro Oda’s artwork by comparing older pictures of the Straw Hat Pirates with more recent ones side-by-side. While most of the changes are fairly subtle, the slight differences were still enough to spark an online debate about which of the two drawing styles is better. Which is your personal preference?

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Is One Piece sexist? Twitter user posts scathing essay about Japan’s favorite manga

One Piece is the top-selling manga of all time, with over 350 million volumes sold in Japan alone. For fans of the series, it’s a no-brainer why the comic is so popular. The author/artist Eiichiro Oda is a master storyteller, turning what could have been a run-of-the-mill shonen manga into something special. One Piece often tackles deeper themes including racism, abuse of power, justice, moral ambiguity, and of course, big dudes with sweet powers slamming into each other.

What’s even more surprising are the readership demographics. Nine out of ten people who buy One Piece are adults, and over half of the manga’s readers are women. This might make it seem like it appeals to everyone, but apparently that is not the case. Japanese Twitter user @ykhre recently tweeted a controversial essay, making her case for why One Piece, despite its broad appeal, is sexist.

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Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】

For many cosplay enthusiasts, the appeal of the hobby is deeper than just the clothes. The most dedicated cosplayers don’t just slip on costumes, but also the personas of their favorite characters from Attack on Titan, Final Fantasy, or, well, Persona.

But while the perfect cosplay photograph might recreate the flawlessly cool poses of anime and video game icons, the reality of how those shots get produced is often quite a bit less stylish, as shown in this series of behind the scenes peeks at cosplay photo shoots.

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Crazy cute cosplayer Nekomu captivates at Comiket, considering a career in comics

One of the best things about Comiket, or any kind of convention really, is just wandering around checking out what everyone else is wearing. In Japan especially, you can expect to see a high level of polish and detail when it comes to the outfits dedicated cosplayers wear for the benefit of everyone else’s aesthetic appreciation. But, as in life, it seems like those cosplayers who are naturally blessed with beauty tend to be the ones drawing everyone’s eye. Just ask this incredibly cute young lady, who was one of the unofficial stars of Comiket 87.

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What would Youkai Watch look like drawn by famous manga artists? Well, it would look like this!

Many of you will undoubtedly have heard about the social phenomenon that is Youkai Watch. Indeed, the game, manga and anime series has been so immensely popular that some may even say that it has taken over Pokémon’s role as Japan’s favorite character franchise. Naturally, with that kind of popularity comes an abundance of fan art, so Japanese social trend and information compilation site Naver Matome has put together an article introducing selected works found on Twitter that stand out for a specific reason — for giving us an idea of what Youkai Watch may look like in the hands of some famous manga artists!

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Happy New Year, manga fans: Artists share their one-of-a-kind New Year’s cards on Twitter

Meeeeh! Baaah!  In Japan, it’s tradition to send friends and family New Year’s postcards called nengajo, thanking them for everything from the year before and wishing them well in the year to come. The cards often feature the animal of the new year’s zodiac; if you haven’t guessed yet, 2015 is the Year of the Sheep.

While usually sent in the mail, with the onset of the digital age, many people are turning to the non-traditional medium of social networking to deliver their nengajo. This year, some ever-creative manga artists took to Twitter to share their hand-drawn New Year’s greetings with fans around the world. Join us after the jump for a look at the best.

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One Piece themed amusement park due to open in Tokyo this March

Anime and manga fans will soon have even more reason to visit the country that offers the opportunity to eat Pikachu-themed meals at the Pokémon restaurant or gaze up in awe at an 18-foot tall giant Gundam. The long-awaited world’s first One Piece amusement park will be arriving on March 13 2015 in Tokyo!

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“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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