movies

Our Japanese correspondent’s report from his first-ever San Diego Comic-Con

Our Japanese correspondent’s report from his first-ever San Diego Comic-Con

Here at RocketNews24, we often send our English-speaking staff out to cover events and places of interest related to Japanese animation and movies. This week, though, we’re pulling a 180 by sending one of our Japanese language reporters, Yoshio, to Comic-Con in San Diego.

Yoshio completed Phase One of his mission with no problems by successfully flying the 10 hours from Tokyo to California. Next on his list of objectives: a blow-by-blow report of Comic-Con’s preview night.

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Our take on Studio Ghibli’s newest anime, When Marnie Was There【Impressions】

Our take on Studio Ghibli’s newest anime, When Marnie Was There【Impressions】

In one way of looking at things, it’s a great time to be a fan of Studio Ghibli. In the course of its history, the famed anime production house has often taken two years between releases, but the recent debut of When Marnie Was There marked the third Ghibli theatrical premiere in the last 12 months.

At the same time, studio co-founder and acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement from anime films also has plenty of long-time fans on edge. Still, we weren’t about to pass up the premiere of a new Ghibli movie, so we grabbed a ticket and went to see Marnie for ourselves.

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Goku coming back to theaters with new Dragon Ball Z movie in 2015

Goku coming back to theaters with new Dragon Ball Z movie in 2015

How many years does an anime franchise have to be inactive before it can be officially declared dead? Given the pace at which fans’ tastes change in Japan, if more than a couple of years go by with no new content, it’s probably time to give up hope, hard as that may for those fervently waiting for a new season of Ranma 1/2, Trigun, or All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku.

But when you’re the most popular martial arts series in the history of the medium, the ordinary rules don’t apply, which is why last year Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods hit Japanese theatres, ending a 17-year drought in Dragon Ball anime. Thankfully, the wait for the next installment in creator Akira Toriyama’s epic won’t be nearly so long, since there’s yet another Dragon Ball Z movie coming next year.

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Japanese jeweler’s glittering gold Godzilla is amazingly detailed, shockingly expensive

Japanese jeweler’s glittering gold Godzilla is amazingly detailed, shockingly expensive

There’s a pretty predictable pattern that merchandising for anime and youth-oriented movies in Japan follows. New hits get inexpensive trinkets, at a price point where kids can purchase them with their allowance. After a decade or two, higher-quality, items start to show up, like Sailor Moon jewelry and Gundam cars, which are priced more in line with what the franchise’s nostalgic and employed fan base is willing to spend.

Since it’s now been 60 years since the first Godzilla movie, some fans who weren’t even in preschool for the legendary kaiju’s debut are now getting close to retirement. With possibly a whole career’s worth of earning, prudent financial decisions, and wise investments, some Godzilla fans can afford to lay out big money to show their respect for the King of the Monsters, which is where this solid gold Godzilla figurine comes in.

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We spend an afternoon in the park with the King of the Monsters at Kurihama’s Godzilla Slide

We spend an afternoon in the park with the King of the Monsters at Kurihama’s Godzilla Slide

Every summer, as part of our effort to see as many brightly colored explosions as possible, my wife and I head to Kurihama in Kanagawa Prefecture to watch the neighborhood’s annual fireworks festival. In the past I always had to work on the day of the event, so we’d arrive just as they started launching the rockets, but this year I had the day off, so my wife suggested heading down early to do a little sightseeing. “We can go to Kurihama Flower World!” she offered, referring to the area’s expansive garden.

Sure, I thought, that might be kind of nice and romantic. I was a little surprised by her enthusiasm, though, since early July isn’t exactly the best time for flower viewing in Japan. It’s right in the gap between when hydrangeas and sunflowers are at their most beautiful, so what exactly did she want to check out there?

“We can see Godzilla,” she explained, which just might be the most convincing argument for going someplace ever.

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Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There previewed 30 seconds in aired footage

Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There previewed 30 seconds in aired footage

Japan’s NTV television network aired a special 30-second preview of Studio Ghibli‘s When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marniefilm on Friday. Sara Takatsuki (GTODaily Lives of High School BoysHaganai) and Kasumi Arimura (Amachan, Hagane no Onna, Clover), actresses who star as Anna and Marnie, introduce the clip.

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The magic of Ghibli comes to life in these amazing moving movie posters!【GIFs】

The magic of Ghibli comes to life in these amazing moving movie posters!【GIFs】

If you’ve seen or read Harry Potter, you’ll probably be familiar with how things such as newspapers and paintings move in that magical world. Wouldn’t it be awesome if those were for real? Imagine having a glimpse of a movie trailer packed within a movie poster!

We’re not here to discuss Harry Potter today though. A hardcore Studio Ghibli fan recently cast their own magic on the world-famous Studio Ghibli productions, creating some amazing animated “movie posters” that took our breath away! See them after the break!

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Chinese students recreate movie magic with mortarboards and Photoshop【Photos】

Chinese students recreate movie magic with mortarboards and Photoshop【Photos】

A while back the Internet went crazy for one Korean high school’s ‘anything goes’ yearbook photos, but it looks like they’ve got some competition on the scene now from these Chinese university students who decided to do something a little different for graduation.

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Attack on Titan movie looking for two extras to play the titular giants

Attack on Titan movie looking for two extras to play the titular giants

Last month, anime, movie and travel enthusiasts all got excited over the Japanese tour company offering a package that included being an extra in the upcoming Attack on Titan live-action movie. Sadly, only 50 lucky people were chosen, and everyone else who had dreamed of stepping into the world of the most popular anime in decades is out of luck.

Or are they? Just like how Attack on Titan keeps viewers on their toes with plot twist after plot twist, there’s been an exciting development regarding the live-action adaptation, which is now looking for a new pair of extras to play two of the Titans themselves.

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Olaf from Disney’s Frozen is cute enough to eat!

Olaf from Disney’s Frozen is cute enough to eat!

It’s par for the course that an animated Disney film will include a loveable sidekick providing lighter moments throughout the narrative. But it’s not often that these secondary characters can be replicated so well in edible form. Olaf from Disney’s Frozen though, is an absolute treat for cooks who want to add some cute flair to their meals and sweets. His round, white snowman figure is easily created from rice, potatoes, Japanese radish and even sweet icing. Take a look at some of these gorgeous incarnations of Olaf in the food world.

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Tomonoura: Where Ponyo and Wolverine crossed paths

Tomonoura: Where Ponyo and Wolverine crossed paths

With her unique mix of weird and cute, you’d be hard-pressed to find an animation fan who doesn’t recognize Ponyo, the fish-girl from legendary director Hayao Miyazaki’s 2008 film of the same name. On the other side of the Pacific, just about anyone with even a passing interest in comics at any point in the last 40 years knows who Marvel’s Wolverine is.

While one character is a symbol of innocence and whimsy, and the other of machismo and toughness, Ponyo and Wolverine’s paths have actually crossed, in a small fishing port called Tomonoura, where the mutant superhero made such an impression on the locals they named a rose after him.

And no, this isn’t fanfiction we’re talking about.

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Attack on Thanksgiving! First animated Attack on Titan movie to open in November

Attack on Thanksgiving! First animated Attack on Titan movie to open in November

Fans of Attack on Titan are sort of in the doldrums right now as far as developments go for the smash hit anime and manga franchise. The recent release of a new collected volume for the comic means there’s likely to be a long wait until the next is released. The live-action adaptation isn’t scheduled for release until 2015, and the 50 lucky participants of the package tour that involves filming the movie have already departed.

Thankfully, there’s still one thing to look forward to in 2014, and that’s the first of two upcoming animated Attack on Titan compilation movies, which now has a release date.

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Is this tequila ramen with pitch-black broth and action movie tie-in macho enough for you?

Is this tequila ramen with pitch-black broth and action movie tie-in macho enough for you?

In recent years, ramen has been making a name for itself as a respectable, in some cases almost gourmet meal. Japan’s favorite noodle dish has even reached the point where some women feel it’s an acceptable choice for a dinner date (provided you follow certain rules).

That doesn’t mean ramen has been entirely gentrified, though. There’s one noodle joint in Tokyo that’s currently offering a throwback to the machismo that used to define the dish, with a bowl of ramen that has an action movie tie-in and is seasoned with tequila.

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Can these swimsuit clad cosplay waitresses interest you in some “Shaved Leg Hair Pasta”?

Can these swimsuit clad cosplay waitresses interest you in some “Shaved Leg Hair Pasta”?

It’s not really a secret that Japan can sometimes get a little carried away with its youth obsession. Look no further than the abundance of pre-pubescent, yet disturbingly sexualized, anime characters and girl idol bands with shockingly young “retirement” ages – around 21 in many cases – for proof.

It’s one thing to have a creepy countdown to when Hermione Granger turns 18, but it’s kind of way creepier to just lose all interest in celebrities altogether when they reach official adulthood.

Anyway, a new Japanese film called Sweet Pool Side and a limited run promotional cafe for the film may have just set a new precedent in youth-obsession creepiness. The film, according to the trailer, is lightly related to the trials and tribulations of being on the high school swim team but also focuses on a young boy’s decision of whether or not to shave the pubic hair of one of the girl’s swim team members (at her request). He then at one point appears to eat some of the girl’s body hair.

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Tropfest: The world’s largest short-film festival comes to Japan for one day only

Tropfest: The world’s largest short-film festival comes to Japan for one day only

Have you heard of Tropfest? For thousands of Australians, the name conjures up images of picnics, green grass and long, warm days that turn into night, bringing out stars like Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush.

It’s the biggest short-film festival in the world, born in a small café in Sydney in 1993 and growing every year, travelling to places like New York, Abu Dhabi and Cape York. This year the outdoor film festival is making its debut in Japan, bringing with it Aussie food stalls and a great selection of film shorts.

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Frozen fan gets hot under collar when husband asks what the big deal is, asks for divorce

Frozen fan gets hot under collar when husband asks what the big deal is, asks for divorce

I’m fortunate in that my wife and I have fairly similar tastes in movies and TV shows. We both agree that Modern Family is funny, seeing the Hulk beat up Loki in The Avengers is deeply satisfying, and that the anime Escaflowne is an extremely compelling take on the standard plotline of “boy meets girl, girl falls in love with other boy, and by the way both boys pilot giant robots.”

At the same time, we’re also mature enough to respect each other’s opinions when they do diverge. Unfortunately, not all spouses can agree to disagree when it comes to entertainment, as is the case with the woman in Japan who’s looking for a divorce because her husband isn’t a fan of Disney’s Frozen.

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How many have you seen? – The top 75 animated films of all time according to Total Film

How many have you seen? – The top 75 animated films of all time according to Total Film

We’re going to go ahead and assume that a lot of you are fans of anime and almost all of your are animated film fans. So are we.

That’s why we took notice when film enthusiast website Total Film put together a list of the 75 greatest animated films of all time.

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Sexy models of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger arrive to terrify, arouse, and confuse fans

Sexy models of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger arrive to terrify, arouse, and confuse fans

Japan’s desire to look at attractive women is more or less insatiable. Despite having sizable swimsuit modeling, adult video, and animated pornography industries, the country still finds itself with not enough eye candy.

So now, model maker Kotobukiya has gone looking for female beauty in the most unlikely of places, by turning the iconic villains of slasher movies franchises Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street into sexy girls.

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Travel agency gives vacationers the chance to be extras in upcoming Attack on Titan movie

Travel agency gives vacationers the chance to be extras in upcoming Attack on Titan movie

Japan loves package tours. For many of them, you meet up with your tour guide and fellow travelers, hop on a bus for the countryside, then spend a few days relaxing in a hotel with some occasional shopping or sampling of local delicacies. It’s more or less the definition of safe and convenient, if not exactly exciting, travel.

If you’re looking for a trip with a little more adrenaline, though, there’s a tour next month that includes an activity set to get any anime fan’s pulse racing: helping to create the Attack on Titan live-action movie.

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Military advisor on ‘Godzilla’ explains why red flares are used to combat the monster

Military advisor on ‘Godzilla’ explains why red flares are used to combat the monster

Warner Bros./Godzilla Trailer

“Godzilla” opened in theaters late Thursday evening.

If you’ve seen the trailers, you know one of the coolest parts is a skydiving sequence, showing members of the military paratrooping from a plane in order to engage the monster.

Check it out:

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