manga

Kuroko’s Basketball threat suspect admits to charges in court

Kuroko’s Basketball threat suspect admits to charges in court

Hirofumi Watanabe cites jealousy as motive & vows to kill himself when released

Hirofumi Watanabe, the suspect in the Kuroko’s Basketball threat letter case, admitted to all the charges in his first day in court on Thursday. He added that he will accept the court’s judgment and any punishment without appeal.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrested the 36-year-old Osaka temporary worker on December 15 and accused him of sending threatening letters to convenience store chains and other establishments linked to Tadatoshi Fujimaki‘s Kuroko’s Basketball manga.

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Attack on Titan bag and shawl let you gear up for fighting giants, fashionable dates

Attack on Titan bag and shawl let you gear up for fighting giants, fashionable dates

Smash hit anime Attack on Titan has a full cast of compelling human characters, but most of the merchandising and promotions that have come with the series’ success are centered on the remorseless, pantless Titans themselves. Whether it’s figurines, burgers, or even beauty products, there just seems to be more love shown for the series’ ostensible villains.

Now, though, comes a way for you to show your loyalty to humanity while also scoring a few style points, with a fashionable Attack on Titan bag and shawl.

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Which manga heroines do Japanese comic fans wish they could be?

Which manga heroines do Japanese comic fans wish they could be?

A complaint commonly lobbed against manga made for young men is that the main character is just a blank slate for the reader to project himself onto, allowing him to vicariously live out his fantasies. That may be oversimplifying things quite a bit, but it’s also hard to deny that many male Japanese comic heroes possess three traits that men almost universally aspire to, namely being strong, cool, and surrounded by women in incredibly short skirts.

But what about women who are manga fans? If given the chance, which female character would they like to be?

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SMAP×SMAP variety show features Colossal Titan on his first day at work

SMAP×SMAP variety show features Colossal Titan on his first day at work

With today’s economy, even colossal titans need extra work. Luckily, their tall statures make them a perfect fit for construction.

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Dragon Ball-style ‘Hunter x Hunter’ illustration delights netizens

Dragon Ball-style ‘Hunter x Hunter’ illustration delights netizens

It’s simply amazing to see what is created when manga artists draw other artists’ original characters. We’ve seen it before when the likes of One Piece‘s Eiichiro Oda and Death Note’s Takeshi Obata celebrated ten years of Naruto with original fanart. Now here’s one from manga artist, Takumi, who has chosen to draw popular manga, Hunter x Hunter, in the style of Akira Toriyama, the man behind classics such as Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball.

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New online manga service features 200 titles, three selectable languages, and no fees

New online manga service features 200 titles, three selectable languages, and no fees

Kadokawa, one of Japan’s largest publishers, is almost ready to roll out its new online manga service, dubbed Comic Walker. There’s so much to like about it that we’re having trouble picking our favorite part.

The voracious media consumer in us is attracted to the large library of titles, some of which can’t be read anywhere else. The ability to instantly translate dialogue into English or Chinese is a plus, too, especially for those time when you’re not up to the challenge of leafing through your Japanese dictionary so you can read the kanji for “particle beam cannon.”

But perhaps best of all is that Kadokawa’s digital manga service is absolutely free.

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From Frozen to Gandalf, Madrid’s cosplayers find inspiration in unlikely places【Photos】

From Frozen to Gandalf, Madrid’s cosplayers find inspiration in unlikely places【Photos】

The Japan Chibi Weekend, held in February in Madrid, is a relatively small player in the anime convention world. Entry costs just 7 euros (US$10),  and its name even means “mini” in Japanese. That doesn’t stop anime and manga fans having a blast though, with a great mix of Japanese and western characters on show in the cosplay competition and around the convention.

Although the two-day event focuses on manga, anime and Japanese culture, the competitors’ handmade costumes included an impressive line-up of Disney and Dreamworks characters, too! Let’s take a look at what was on offer in the Spanish capital at this year’s event.

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Anthropomorphized characters amaze, frighten us, leave us wanting more

Anthropomorphized characters amaze, frighten us, leave us wanting more

Anthropomorphized characters are both incredibly popular and prevalent in Japan, as you’re probably already very aware. From battleships to Japanese companies and municipalities, there’s seemingly nothing that can’t be made human–and probably cute as well! And, perhaps as a challenge to what we assume must be Rule 38 of the Internet–anything can be anthropomorphized and if it hasn’t been anthropomorphized yet, someone will do it–one Japanese Internet user took to 2Chan to request, simply enough, “Images of anthropomorphization, please.”

And the Internet gave him exactly what he wanted, with everything from Lipton Ice tea and Doraemon in sexy/creepy human form to an anthropomorphized version of Monday itself. Click below to see what was on display! (Note: Not all of these images are entirely safe for work.)

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New staff information officially released for upcoming Sailor Moon anime

New staff information officially released for upcoming Sailor Moon anime

Despite all the delays, fans eagerly awaiting the new Sailor Moon anime this year have reason to celebrate again! Following up last month’s initial announcement, we are pleased to report that even more staff information has been officially released. This time around, we have confirmation of the names behind the Chief Animation Director, Art Directors, and Composer.

The new anime, which is part of a 20th anniversary celebration of Naoko Takeuchi’s classic Sailor Moon manga and anime, will be broadcast simultaneously around the world starting in July via Niconico Douga, a Japanese video sharing site. The original manga and anime both debuted in 1992 and concluded way back in 1997, so it’s about time that this new adaptation gets on the air!

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The top five manga that should be published in America

The top five manga that should be published in America

Japanese manga fans in the US are probably lamenting the relative stagnancy of the market nowadays compared to its heyday about a decade ago. While American bookstores still stock a large selection of manga and The New York Times publishes a manga section on its bestseller list, it’s about time for a new series to take the US by storm again. The staff of niconico news recently asked one Mr. C, an American veteran of both the Japanese manga industry and DC comics who currently resides in New York City, to share his thoughts about some series that could become big hits if English-language versions were released. Read on to find out his top five manga picks that have the potential to become breakthrough hits in the USA. Who knows, maybe one of these works will usher in a new manga boom in the near future!

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Heroes in Japan post harsh reviews for a Hero’s Sword on Amazon Japan

Heroes in Japan post harsh reviews for a Hero’s Sword on Amazon Japan

Tales have oft been told of the mythical items to be found when journeying through the maze of shopping aisles in Japan’s online realm. From unusual manga characters to riot shields, it seems anything might be possible once you’ve entered through the magical portal known as Amazon Japan. Now it seems that visitors who stop by to make purchases are just as interesting as some of the items on offer, as self-proclaimed heroes and brave warriors from across the nation are buying swords from the marketplace and providing feedback on the efficacy of their items. Latest reviews are aimed at an innocent-looking plastic sword, which is said to be under-performing when it comes to vitality levels and magic ability.

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Manga encourages kids to eat healthy

Manga encourages kids to eat healthy

Study shows that manga can be used to promote good eating habits.

There’s an unwritten rule that seeing food in anime makes seem even more appealing than it would in real life. Now it seems that there may actually be some scientific evidence supporting that idea. A pilot study conducted recently in Brooklyn, New York found that manga can be used as a tool to encourage children and teenagers to increase their fruit intake.

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Ah My Goddess, Patlabor artists draw figure-skating gold medalist Hanyū

Ah My Goddess, Patlabor artists draw figure-skating gold medalist Hanyū

19-year-old male figure skater Yuzuru Hanyū won the hearts of fans in Japan and across the globe this week. It’s not just his Olympic gold medal in Men’s Free Skating that has everyone talking. Hanyū also bears a striking resemblance to Neon Genesis Evangelion Shinji Ikari. Viewers are also fans of his cute Winnie the Pooh tissue cozy.

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Attack on Titan smartphone game lets you command an army of naked giants 【Video】

Attack on Titan smartphone game lets you command an army of naked giants 【Video】

Despite being some of the most iconic anime villains ever, we’re still not sure how to feel about the monsters of Attack on Titan. On the one hand, they’re giants hell-bent on eating the tasty humans hiding behind the walls of their cities. On the other hand, there’s something unmistakably, well, goofy about them. Many of them have baby-like proportions and dorky haircuts. Quite often, they shuffle around listlessly, almost as if they can’t be bothered to chase after their terrified snacks. They have no concept of pants.

Somehow, the Titans have ended up with a sort of twisted charm that makes us unsure whether we’d rather fight them or keep them as pets. Luckily, with the new Attack on Titan smartphone game, you can do both!

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Manga legend Shigeru Mizuki’s longevity seems to come from lots of burgers and desserts

Manga legend Shigeru Mizuki’s longevity seems to come from lots of burgers and desserts

Shigeru Mizuki is one of Japan’s most loved comic artists, having created the manga Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro in 1959. Although the serial ended after a 10-year run, the light-hearted story about the traditional Japanese spirits called yokai still has a strong following today, thanks to multiple animated and live-action adaptations premiering as recently as 2008.

Mizuki isn’t resting on his laurels either, despite turning 92 next month. He started a new manga series just last December, and the energetic nonagenarian has recently released a book cataloguing the eating habits that have resulted in his long life. So what does his diet consist of? A surprisingly large amount of junk food.

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You can look at this life-size Super Sonico anime figure, but you can’t touch

You can look at this life-size Super Sonico anime figure, but you can’t touch

Last Sunday, while the Tokyo area was still blanketed in white from the previous day’s snowstorm, we braved the cold and made the trip out to Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture for the winter installment of Wonder Festival. The bi-annual model expo is packed with the latest anime and video game-inspired figurines, including a fully-operational robot suit and hyper-realistic sculpture of one of Attack on Titan’s monsters from the torso up.

But the Attack on Titan figure wasn’t the only giant bust on display, as there was also a life-size statue of voluptuous anime character Super Sonico. In keeping with her exotic dancer-quality figure, though, her display area had some strip club-style rules, such as no groping allowed.

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Who is the greatest manga creator ever? Japanese comic fans cast their votes

Who is the greatest manga creator ever? Japanese comic fans cast their votes

Some hardcore fans of manga comics take their devotion to an almost religious fervor. So strong is their enthusiasm that Osamu Tezuka, the medium’s more prolific and prominent pioneer, is commonly referred to as “The God of Manga.”

Manga, however, is far from a monotheistic religion, and in the 25 years since his passing, other artists have seen their creations go on to achieve the same fame and popularity as Tezuka’s. A recent survey of 24,420 Japanese comic fans recently chose four other artists for the pantheon.

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Scout Corps now accepting recruits for upcoming Attack on Titan Real Escape Games

Scout Corps now accepting recruits for upcoming Attack on Titan Real Escape Games

As its popularity continues to grow, Attack on Titan seems to be seeping into the real world more and more, whether with figurines (in both hyper-realistic and, well, potato versions) or replicas of the heroes’ 3-D maneuver gear. Soon, though, fans will have a chance to reverse the trend and experience the world of the hit anime first-hand at a series of Attack on Titan-themed escape games.

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Girls manga magazine comes with cool perfume mixing set, puzzling beauty advice columns

Girls manga magazine comes with cool perfume mixing set, puzzling beauty advice columns

The monthly comics anthology Nakayoshi is the oldest of Japan’s big three girls manga magazines, debuting months before rival Ribon and decades ahead of Ciao. Most of Nakayoshi’s readers are elementary and junior high school girls, but with over 50 years in circulation, there are generations of adult women who grew up reading its titles such as Princess Knight, Sailor Moon, and Cardcaptor Sakura.

One such former Nakayoshi kid is our Japanese correspondent Anji. While Anji’s a little older than the magazine’s target market, she was recently enticed into buying her first issue in years by the freebie included with Nakayoshi’s March issue: a perfume set that allows you to mix your own fragrances.

That cool giveaway wouldn’t be the only thing that surprised her about the magazine she used to know, however.

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Manga secret agent team has handsome looks, plus backaches, cavities, and sties

Manga secret agent team has handsome looks, plus backaches, cavities, and sties

As completely fictitious forms of media, we usually don’t see the characters in anime and manga suffering the physical ill effects of their action-packed lifestyles. Shouldn’t Evangelion’s Shinji have severe whiplash from all the times his scrawny frame gets tossed around while piloting his giant robot? How does Kenshiro, hero of post-apocalyptic epic Fist of the North Star, not get a wicked eye infection after spending the whole of his adult life wandering a desert wasteland without so much as bottle of eye drops?

The answer, of course, is that those aren’t what Evangelion and Fist of the North Star are about (they’re about turning humanity into delicious Tang and making dudes’ heads explode, respectively). But by skipping over these real world problems, are creators missing an opportunity to make their characters more nuanced, relatable, and ultimately, attractive?

At least one artist seems to think so, as a new manga series has just begun featuring a cast of handsome men all suffering from physical ailments such as hay fever and stiff shoulders.

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