Earlier this year, we brought you the news that Japan’s wacky anti-piracy ads have turned into something of a cultural phenomenon, with body-popping mascots Camera Otoko and Patrol Lamp Otoko getting their own range of figurines. Now a new ad has been released, which features extra characters Popcorn Otoko and Soda Otoko. But what role do they have to play in this mini crime drama, besides providing delicious refreshment?
Totoro may be Studio Ghibli’s most iconic roly-poly creation, but he’s not the only corpulent character from Hayao Miyazaki’s animation house. 1992’s Porco Rosso stars Porco, a heavyset seaplane aviator in 1920s Italy who happens to have the head (and build) of a pig.
But while Porco may not have typical leading man looks, he exudes a dashing, gallant aura, which extends to his cool old-school cool shades. If you’d like to copy his style without duplicating his physique, you’re in luck, as you can now buy official Porco Rosso sunglasses.
4 days ago
If the whole point of buying an anime box set is to have everything you want in one neat package, there must have been a lot of upset fans last summer when Studio Ghibli released the Directorial Works of Hayao Miyazaki. Sure it contained every theatrical feature the anime legend helmed while working for the industry’s most respected production house, but it was missing the Miyazaki-directed music video On Your Mark, which was pulled following the arrest of musician Aska, one of the song’s vocalists.
Three months after the box set went on sale, though, there’s good news for completionists, as Studio Ghibli itself has decided to distribute copies of the video, free of charge, to anyone who purchased the collection.
Because of its time zone, holidays come to Japan several hours sooner than the rest of the world. Last weekend, Halloween came especially early, though, with parades of costumers being held in both Kawasaki and Tokyo’s Roppongi.
But even as Halloween continues to become more and more popular in Japan, one thing that hasn’t changed is the way most people get around by public transportation. Just about everyone takes the subway, whether you’re a student, businessperson, or living snowman from Disney’s Frozen.
Oct 20, 2014
Meet Jaemy Choong, a graphic designer and co-founder of Kickatomic Creatives, a ‘graphic lab’ based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Their incredibly clever designs have been used in logos, prints, corporate identities, and even for Malaysian TV channels.
Discovered by Bored Panda last week, Jaemy C.’s currently ongoing project involves cleverly manipulating postcard-sized movie posters so that they blend in seamlessly with background people, objects, and even a cooked chicken! Join us after the jump for some visually fun movie mash-ups.
Oct 13, 2014
Some people say life is like a movie. Well, that’s certainly true in some respects, since there are many movies and dramas that are inspired by real-life events. But we all know some scenes and plots in movies are blown out of proportion to achieve a more dramatic expression on-screen, and sometimes movie plots are too exaggerated to ever be thought of as anything more than works of fiction.
One Korean YouTuber has seemingly been pondering such issues as well, particularly why kidnap victims in movies and dramas can’t scream for help simply because they have a piece of duct tape over their mouths. And to prove her point, she tries it herself.
Oct 10, 2014
Voice acting seems like it should be a pretty cushy job. You sit in a booth, slip into character, and just, well, talk. Nothing to it right?
Well, for quieter scenes, that may be true, but it’s hard to get a proper performance for a fight sequence without really throwing yourself into the role. So while it may not be as physical as live-action stunt work, when the vocal cast of the newest Dragon Ball Z movie showed up to do their lines, they worked every muscle in their throats and faces, plus a few more, as seen in this video of the recording session.
Oct 6, 2014
Usually all we look for in a theater is comfy seats, a decent sound system, and good movies. If you’re really picky, you might even seek out places with a beer menu, cheap tickets, or a unique schedule. Probably the last thing on your mind would the architecture of the building–but if you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli, you’ll definitely want check out Laputa, a cinema in a building inspired by the legendary Castle in the Sky!
Sep 17, 2014
Japanese movie-goers are currently enjoying the third live-action Rurouni Kenshin film. The franchise is now a certified two-decade hit, debuting as a manga in 1994 before its 1996 anime adaptation and recent film trilogy, and it owes much of its success to the popularity of main character Himura Kenshin.
What makes Kenshin so compelling is that despite his formidable swordsmanship, he’s portrayed as consistently kindhearted and good-natured. In certain scenes, he comes off as downright cute, but Kenshin has never been quite as adorable as this stuffed animal of Hello Kitty cosplaying as the scarred warrior.
Sep 16, 2014
As a kid, playing with crayons always guaranteed hours of fun. The array of exciting colours, combined with an ergonomic design perfect for young hands meant endless artistic possibilities on paper, walls, compliant siblings…
Now Crayolas are providing hours of fun for adults too, thanks to a dedicated artist who’s created dozens of unique crayons that are so adorable and true-to-life you have to see them to believe.
Sep 3, 2014
Studio Ghibli seems to be spiraling into a pretty deep identity crisis, with producer Toshio Suzuki murmuring about closing up shop. The question seems to be, can the studio continue making movies at an almost yearly pace, while delivering the quality that’s become as much of a Ghibli trademark as its Totoro silhouette, without a leading visionary like the now-retired Hayao Miyazaki?
Some anime fans had hoped that Hiromasa Yonebayashi, director of 2010’s The Secret World of Arrietty, would fill that role, but his second project. When Marnie Was There, hasn’t universally enchanted audiences during its theatrical release. So if Yonebayashi isn’t the next Miyazaki, then who is?
Definitely not the legendary Hayao’s own son, Goro, and by the younger Miyazaki’s own admission, no less.
Aug 29, 2014
As veteran anime producer Toshio Suzuki continues to dance back and forth over the vague linguistic line of whether or not Studio Ghibli is getting out of the movie-making business, some distraught admirers can already see the vultures circling overhead. If this is the end of the line for Japan’s most revered animation house, it’s a sad day, but at least the format of Ghibli’s releases means there aren’t many loose narrative threads left dangling.
With the exception of 1993’s Ocean Waves, Ghibli’s commercial releases have all been theatrical features, most of which have a definite beginning, middle, and end. For the most part, the studio doesn’t really do sequels, since their films’ endings are just conclusive enough to satisfy fans while still leaving enough unanswered for them to comfortably mull over.
There is one big exception to this pattern, though, which is Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. For decades fans have been hoping for a continuation, and recent remarks by Suzuki are adding more credibility to rumors that such a project could be directed by Evangelion’s Hideaki Anno.
It’s been over a year since the Japanese release of anime legend Hayao Miyazaki’s last film, The Wind Rises. A highly personal film which serves as a powerful closing statement to his storied career, many had hoped it would win Miyazaki his second Oscar, only for the nod in the Best Animated Feature category go to Disney’s juggernaut (and endorser of traditional Japanese cuisine) Frozen.
That doesn’t mean the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has no love for Miyazaki, though, as it’ll soon be bestowing an honorary lifetime achievement award upon him.
Aug 28, 2014
With home entertainments systems always evolving, there seems to be less incentive to head on out to the local movie theatre for a $10 cola and four-year-old running up and down the aisle during an R-rated movie. This means it’s up to the cinemas to raise the stakes and provide new and intriguing movie-going experiences.
Some theaters in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou think they have found such an experience by allowing those in the audience to post their comments onto the screen for all to see while the movie plays. So now when I take my mother-in-law she can ask everyone “Why did Bruce Willis just shoot that guy?” instead of just me.
Aug 27, 2014
The 1997 anime movie The End of Evangelion was in many ways an unprecedented exercise in creative freedom for animation studio Gainax. The franchise-starting TV series had wrapped up a year earlier, with Gainax’s coffers drained and a highly metaphorical, sparsely animated finale. End of Eva would be a reimagining of the ground-breaking anime’s final act, and its theatrical release format meant a bigger budget and no more pesky broadcast content restrictions.
As a result, the film is graphic and jarring in its raw depictions of both violent urges and sexual desire. But while none of that was a problem in theatres, it was a different story when End of Eva was recently shown on TV in Japan, which necessitated some fan-angering cuts, including the movie’s most infamously shocking scene.
Heads-up, gainfully employed readers! While you won’t see any offensive pictures below, the subject matter might not be the sort of thing you’ll want your coworkers to see you reading at work.
Aug 25, 2014
As a car-loving foreigner living in Japan, for me, any cruise around Tokyo can suddenly turn into an automotive photo safari. Japan has tons of cool domestic cars which were never exported to the U.S., and whenever I come across one in the wild, I feel the need to whip out my camera for a few photos.
But while I’m happy my photo collection includes snapshots of Mazda AZ-1s and Subaru 22B Imprezas, motorists in Chiba Prefecture recently spotted something even rarer, in the form of a street-legal trike being ridden by none other than Batman!
Aug 23, 2014
Regular RocketNews24 readers will know doubt have seen our articles documenting some of Japan’s weirder translations of Western movie titles (Malkovich’s Hole, anyone?), or perhaps caught our collection of English movie posters remade using their Japanese titles. But today’s list of 10 adapted movie titles was nominated by none other than Japanese movie watchers themselves, who felt that the new names their country had given to these feature films were actually pretty cool.
Let’s take a little look, shall we?
Aug 22, 2014
In Japan, it’s customary to celebrate the New Year with osechi, meals made of a large number of painstakingly prepared and beautifully presented small dishes. Traditionally, women would prepare all of the osechi for their families ahead of time, setting aside New Year’s Day itself for feasting leisurely.
Of course, the price for that relaxation on January 1 is a frantic bout of cooking at the end of December. Hoping to avoid that, more and more households have begun buying pre-made osechi, either to replace or supplement a smaller quantity of home-cooked food.
Mass-produced osechi doesn’t come cheap, though, so we imagine some people might scoff at the idea of buying Frozen osechi, until you realize that it’s Frozen with a capital F, as in Disney’s runaway computer-animated hit.
Aug 20, 2014
Since I am in no way a gentleman thief, I can only guess as to what that lifestyle must be like. I imagine though, that staying one step ahead of the law means a lot of meals on the run, so it makes sense that Japan Railway stations are rolling out a new batch of baked goods endorsed by anime’s most roguish criminal mastermind, Lupin III.
The timing no doubt has something to do with the upcoming release of the live-action Lupin III movie. Even purists who scoff at the shift away from animation might want to check out the Lupin breads though, as their packages feature redone anime designs for the cast based on the actors portraying them in the new film.
Aug 19, 2014
With Hayao Miyazaki being the most recognized face of Studio Ghibli, and producer Toshio Suzuki the most currently active, there’s usually not a lot of room left in the spotlight for director Isao Takahata. One of Ghibli’s founding members, Takahata served as producer for the company’s first official release, Castle in the Sky, and his written and directed five films for Japan’s most respected animation house including the critically acclaimed Grave of the Fireflies.
Fans of Takahata’s work have learned to be patient, though, as his most recent film, 2013’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya, came 14 years after his previous feature, 1999’s largely forgotten My Neighbors the Yamadas. Foreign fans have had to wait even longer, but Princess Kaguya is almost ready to head overseas, as distributor GKids has announced a release date and put out a teaser trailer to whet North America’s appetite.
- Japanese men list the top four reasons why they dumped their past girlfriends1
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher2
- Shibuya celebrates Halloween 2014 with crazy costumes and huge crowds3
- Anime’s 10 biggest male perverts, as chosen by Japanese fans4
- Five ways to trap your boyfriend into revealing that he’s cheating on you, and why they are dumb5
- Thai schoolgirl invents eco-friendly method of roach disposal using 3 simple ingredients6
- Get inspired by these 700-year-old words from a Japanese monk7
- Why Japanese doesn’t need swear words8
- Amazing schoolgirl drummer nails anime theme, and her music career is just getting started9
- Three Kyoto sushi shops are sending girls reeling in culinary delight10
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher1
- Why Japanese doesn’t need swear words2
- Korean high schools allow “anything goes” yearbook photos, with hilarious results3
- Chinese woman in no mood to have SUV towed shows she has towing capacity too 【Video】4
- Gorgeous Taiwanese woman recruiting “temporary boyfriends” to fund her China travels5
- Man revives woman with AED, branded a “pervert” for removing her clothes to apply electrode pads6
- Korean cosplayer’s gender-bending costumes confuse us for a moment, then leave us mesmerized7
- Attack of the Clones: Finalists in this year’s Miss Korea contest once again looking eerily alike8
- Is the Fountain of Youth in Thailand? 1965’s Miss Universe still looks pretty incredible9
- Cats trapped in circles! Japanese blogger shows the best way to outsmart your kitty【Photos】10
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher1
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】2
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked3
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China4
- Man revives woman with AED, branded a “pervert” for removing her clothes to apply electrode pads5
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked6
- Watch liquid turn into food at Japanese sample food factory 【Videos】7
- Japanese mothers react to being called by their first names after years of just being “Mama”8
- Cats trapped in circles! Japanese blogger shows the best way to outsmart your kitty【Photos】9
- “Beautiful foreigner walking a polar bear” spotted at Shibuya’s famous crossing10
- “Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】1
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star2
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls3
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher4
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】5
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China6
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later7
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons8
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea9
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked10
- Thai schoolgirl invents eco-friendly method of roach disposal using 3 simple ingredients
- Get inspired by these 700-year-old words from a Japanese monk
- Why Japanese doesn’t need swear words
- Amazing schoolgirl drummer nails anime theme, and her music career is just getting started
- Three Kyoto sushi shops are sending girls reeling in culinary delight
- Taiwanese YouTuber’s punny pick-up line gets him a girl’s number in just 36 seconds
- “Why bother?” Survey says one in three Japanese young adults doesn’t see the point in effort
- Just a load of crap? Villagers in China claim drink made with manure is effective against cancer
- Life’s not perfect? Says who? This woman’s life is too perfect to be true!
- Our Japanese writer shares his tale of the night he was joined by an unwelcome guest
- Can we have a parfait? Pretty please, with fried shrimp on top?
- You guys, Donut Selfies are totally the next big thing
- Attention serious meat lovers: The all-you-can-eat Whoppers from Burger King is back!!