Whaling film In the Heart of the Sea becomes The Battle with the White Whale for Japanese release

As one of the most celebrated directors of modern cinema, movie fans across Japan are no doubt looking forward to Ron Howard’s upcoming epic, The Battle with the White Whale.

Wait, what?

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Catch the Star Wars Chill: We check out the amazing R2-D2™ Moving Refrigerator in person!【Video】

Remember the awesome, super-expensive R2­-D2™ Moving Refrigerator we reported on last month? Well, we recently went to see an actual model on display!

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Dreamworks’ Ghost in the Shell film casts Sam Riley as villain

Riley joins Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk

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Park Hyatt Hotel honors hotel guest’s request to stay in Bill Murray’s “Lost in Translation” room

On vacation in Tokyo but feeling a little “lost in translation”? Well, if you’ve got the cash to splash, why not make your Japan experience even more memorable by paying homage to the classic comedy-drama of the same name by staying at the Park Hyatt Hotel, considered by some to be Tokyo’s best luxury hotel.

For those who are extremely fortunate, as one Reddit user recently found, you might even score a fabulous night in the suite used by Bill Murray in the movie.

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New Star Wars home collection from Japanese manufacturer brings the Force to interior decorating

If you’ve ever wanted to fill your house with Star Wars furnishings, now you can, thanks to the Star Wars/Premium Home Collection from Japanese furniture manufacturer IDC Otsuka.

The 150-piece plus collection includes cushions, rugs, tableware, ukiyo-e woodblock prints, coat hangers, and even a variety of bobbly-headed Japanese kokeshi dolls.

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Geminoid F: Japan’s android actress with a starring role in a new film 【Video】

A delegation of anime huggy pillows appeared on the red carpet at the recent Tokyo International Film Festival, but they weren’t the only non-human stars whose work was featured at the event. Also screening was Sayonara, a new film written and directed by Koji Fukuda. The fact that one of the Japanese-produced movie’s two female leads is a foreigner would be notable enough on its own, but what really makes Sayonara unique is that her costar is an android.

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Video documentary explores the Essence of Humanity in the film works of Hayao Miyazaki【Video】

Hayao Miyazaki film buffs will appreciate the popular video documentary “Hayao Miyazaki – The Essence of Humanity” created by Lewis Bond, an English film maker. The 16-minute video, featuring a montage of Miyazaki’s much-loved animated films, beautifully explores human nature, Miyazaki’s vision, and the universal appeal of his movies.

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Japan mourns the loss of legendary illustrator Noriyoshi Ohrai

It has been announced that Noriyoshi Ohrai—the Japanese illustrator best known for producing remarkable poster art for Metal Gear Solid as well as for films including the Godzilla series and Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back—passed away from pneumonia yesterday morning at the age of 79.

With a career spanning over half a century and an impressive portfolio of artworks for novels, games and well-known international movie releases, fans around the world are mourning the loss of a great talent and taking a look back at his extraordinary body of work.

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Anime huggy pillows “walk” down the red carpet at Tokyo International Film Festival 【Video】

The Tokyo International Film Festival, as per its name, hosts luminaries of the movie world from around the globe. Kicking off the event is a gala ceremony in which guests walk down the red carpet to greet their fans and the press.

Local artists aren’t excluded from the festivities, though, and this being Japan, a number of high-profile anime works are also screened at the festival. But what do you do when your most recognizable star is a cute 2-D girl?

Simple, you walk down the red carpet holding an anime huggy pillow of her.

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Chinese teen escapes kidnapper with techniques learned in movies

Last month a 13-year-old boy was walking to school when he was suddenly abducted and taken to an abandoned house in the outskirts of Deyang city in Sichuan province. Luckily, the boy was well versed in mobster movies and learned two valuable lessons from them.

Kidnappings usually don’t end well How to escape

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Travel from Kansai Airport to Osaka aboard the Star Wars: The Force Awakens express

The Limited Express Rapi:t that shuttles passengers back and forth between Kansai Airport and Namba Station in Osaka has been offering some fun rides lately. The train’s distinctive deep blue exterior was given a red makeover last year in a Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn promotion and it even received its own superhero earlier this year.

Now passengers are in for another treat with news of the train’s next big adventure: as a jet-black ambassador for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens enterprise. With awesome interior and exterior details, including a wrap that features all the new characters from the upcoming movie, this is bound to be a welcome sight for visitors landing at the airport from November this year.

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The future is here! Celebrate Back to the Future: Part II’s historic day at theme cafes

Do you know what day October 21, 2015 is? It’s the day that Marty and Doc come to the future from 1985! But, sorry Marty, hover boards aren’t quite what they were supposed to be, and we barely made it to five Jaws movies, let alone Jaws 19. One of the only prophecies that may still come true is the Cubs winning the World Series, but even that seems doubtful.

Okay, so Marty might not be overly thrilled with this real version of 2015, but hey, at least he’ll get to go to the limited time “Back to the Future” Cafe if he stops by Hill Valley Ikebukuro in Tokyo.

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Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade now showing in Japan with exclusive merchandise

Never has there been a more enchanted tale than that of a school of young witches and the small, newly founded animation studio that created them. Their success story reads like a fairytale: two former Gainax employees create Studio Trigger in 2011, release the animated short Little Witch Academia two years later, and thousands of fans across the world immediately fall madly in love with their film, eagerly raising funds through Kickstarter for a follow-up movie, which surpassed its goal of US150,000 in five hours, and ultimately made $625,518 for their next film.

Now it’s time to see what this group of dedicated fans helped to create, as the new film, Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade has finally hit big screens for a limited two-week run in Japan. And to add to the excitement of the highly anticipated release, there’s a line of exclusive merchandise available for film-goers to purchase until the film finishes screening on 23 October.

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Hollywood movie of Battle Angel Alita on track with Robert Rodriguez directing, Cameron producing

Battle Angel: Alita, known as GUNM in Japan, is one of anime and manga’s highlights of the ’90s. The original manga, created by Yukito Kishiro, ran for about five years from 1990 to 1995 with a newer series running from 2000 to 2014, in addition to two OVAs produced in the ’90s. The post-apocalyptic setting and cyborg main character have ensured the property’s popularity for decades, both domestically and abroad.

It’s been long known that James Cameron is a fan of the series and has been trying to produce a Hollywood film version for around 15 years — but things are finally starting to take shape. Today, news broke that a new director is in negotiations to take on the project.

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Tiger & Bunny coming to Hollywood, fan matches each character with perfect actor

San Diego Comic Con is famous for getting all the big announcements and sneak peaks about new projects, but New York Comic Con is getting large enough that major news stories are being broken at the East Coast convention. Some of the biggest news over the weekend for anime fans was the announcement of a live-action Hollywood film adaptation of Tiger & Bunny. With such a mammoth announcement, it didn’t take much time for someone to come along and fan-cast the entire series. Judging by looks alone, we are pretty impressed with their choices and while we probably won’t see so many amazing actors come together for one movie, it’s always nice to dream.

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20 of the best outfits seen at this year’s New York Comic Con 【Pics】

As the more worldly wise of you will no doubt already know, New York City is not in Japan. Nor is it in any other part of Asia. But as you’re probably also aware, we at RocketNews24 just can’t pass up a bit of quality cosplay when we see it, especially when much of it is based on characters from the island many of our team now call home.

Sadly, our bosses refused to pony up the cash for a plane ticket to the Big Apple so we could check out New York Comic Con 2015 for ourselves, but our friends over at Pixable (you do know we’re on Pixable now, right?) were there with cameras in hand, and they were good enough to share their photos with us.

Check out 20 of our favourite cosplayers at New York Comic Con 2015, after the jump.

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Kimutaku to star in Blade of the Immortal live-action film directed by Takashi Miike

When one of Japan’s most controversial directors teams up with one of its sexiest actors to make a film about the manga world’s most cursed samurai, the ripples of excitement that usually surround a live-action movie announcement turn into a veritable tidal wave.

The upcoming film adaptation of Hiroaki Samura’s manga Blade of the Immortal is set to be one of the most anticipated films of 2017. Until then, fans of the original manga series will have to wait to see what lies in store when 42-year-old boy band member and heart-throb actor Kimutaku takes on the role of a masterless samurai living in an immortal body.

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Sword Art Online anime movie announced, will feature all-new storyline from creator Reki Kawahara

Japanese fans of the Sword Art Online light novel series know all about the importance of attending the seasonal Dengeki Bunko festivals in Tokyo. This is the main stage on which Japanese publisher ASCII Media Works and its Dengeki Bunko imprint make all their big announcements regarding the series, and it was no different at the Dengeki Bunko Autumn Festival held in Akihabara on Sunday, where it was revealed that Sword Art Online will be made into a new anime movie, with an all-new storyline from its creator Reki Kawahara.

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If Darth Vader owned an iPhone, he’d probably keep it in a stunning wooden ukiyoe Star Wars case

There’s always been a strong connection between Japan and the George Lucas-helmed Star Wars franchise. From the samurai-influenced Darth Vader and Stormtrooper costume designs through to the film’s storyline, which borrows heavily from Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 film Hidden Fortress, Lucas himself is the first to admit he owes a lot of his creative inspiration to the Land of the Rising Sun.

So it’s nice to see that Japan is reciprocating the love with a number of Star Wars creations of their own. From samurai-styled figurines to ukiyo-e woodblock prints, these Japanese-styled homages to the epic American film franchise are the perfect way to get ready for the December 18 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And now you can carry the force wherever you go, with a gorgeous wooden iPhone 6 case that’s so beautiful even a Sith Lord would stand in line to buy one.

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China looks to be getting a live-action version of anime Doraemon, starring an actual cat 【Video】

There’s a unique problem that the producers of anime-to-live-action adaptations face. Even if the casting director can gather a group of actors that look just like the source material’s human characters, what do you do about the non-human characters?

Using practical effects and animatronics for all those loveable robot companions and magical creatures limits the variety of movements they can handle and the angles you can film from. On the other hand, using post-production CG effects leaves the actors in the difficult position of having to perform while imagining costars that aren’t really there, which often leads to less-than-convincing results.

Maybe that’s why an upcoming Chinese live-action version of Doraemon has decided to go with the obvious solution and just use a real cat for the titular feline robot.

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