movies

Finally! Attack on Titan director says TV anime’s second season will start production in 2016

I recently compared Attack on Titan to an 800-pound gorilla, since the smash hit anime has become so big and powerful it can do whatever it wants, such as actively forming partnerships with both Universal Studios and rival Marvel/Disney. But maybe the better analogy is to a cow.

Since the end of its broadcast run in September of 2013, the franchise has been spun off into side-story manga, novels, compilation movies, and live-action adaptations. For the most part, fans have happily lapped up the comparatively delicious offerings of all this milking, but what everyone has really been waiting for is some sort of timetable for a continuation of the anime TV series itself.

Thanks to its director, we finally have one.

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Live-action Attack on Titan posters show new characters and weapons, plus one huge absence

It’s a big month for Attack on Titan. Between an art exhibit opening in Tokyo, a crossover with Marvel’s Avengers, and at least one of the naked giants finding a proper job, the biggest anime and manga hit of the last decade is even more in the spotlight than usual these days, which makes it only fitting that we’re getting our first in-costume glimpse of the cast of next summer’s live-action Attack on Titan movies.

Leading trio Eren, Mikasa, and Arumin are all present and accounted for. But while they’ll be joined by several new characters specially crafted for the films, one fan favorite apparently isn’t making the transition to live-action.

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New Dragon Ball Z movie bringing back an old villain on April 18

In 2013, perhaps the most famous of anime’s many spikey-haired protagonists,
Dragon Ball Z’s Goku, returned after a 17-year hiatus. While the film, subtitled Battle of Gods, didn’t really stray from the pattern of wacky hijinks and super-powered martial arts battles Dragon Ball Z had already established in its hundreds of TV episodes and dozen-plus movies, fans in general were happy and satisfied just to be able to spend an hour and a half with a group of old animated friends.

They’ll have the chance to do so again soon, and an ad for next year’s Dragon Ball Z movie shows that rejoining the cast of familiar heroes will be one of their most memorable foes.

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Author insinuates Hayao Miyazaki isn’t right in the head, says The Wind Rises is full of lies

In listening to people talk about anime director Hayao Miyazaki, there’s a collection of words you’ll hear over and over. Genius. Visionary. Legend.

So it was a little surprising to hear the man behind one of Japan’s most popular films from the last year instead voice his suspicions that Miyazaki isn’t quite right in the head.

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Should we call this snoring, talking Totoro plush toy cute or awesome? Either way, we want one

While in Los Angeles to accept an honorary award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, famed director Hayao Miyazaki mentioned that he has a new anime in the works, giving his fans around the globe huge smiles and racing pulses.

With no production timetable yet in place, though, we’re in for a bit of a wait until we can see the new anime. No one’s sure exactly how long that wait is going to be, but it’s probably going to be long enough that maintaining the level of excitement caused by Miyazaki’s comment isn’t going to be good for your heart. So if a few deep breaths aren’t enough to calm you down, we recommend taking a few moments to relax with this adorable Totoro stuffed animal that naps and murmurs in its sleep, just like the anime film original.

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Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”

Legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki is in Los Angeles right now, as he’s making a rare trip to the U.S. to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. While we’re sure plenty of fans are excited to see Japanese animation’s most respected figure receive such a prestigious honor, there’s something else for them to be happier about: Miyazaki’s statement that he’s not even close to done making anime.

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Beautiful models and actresses delivering boxed lunches in Tokyo with new bento service

Bento, Japan’s multi-dish boxed lunches, come in a variety of styles. While it’s most common to make your own or pick one up at a cheap takeout joint, there’s also a whole sub-industry of high-class bento delivery services that cater business conferences and other high-rolling events.

Of course, rich and powerful clients tend to have demands as high as their positions on the corporate ladder. They expect the food to be delicious, the service to be impeccable, and now, with Platinum Lunch, they can expect their bento to be delivered by beautiful models and actresses.

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Japanese Amazon reviewer tells us why Alien vs Avatar is awesome and Dark Knight sucks

Aside from the fact that they still exist in large numbers, one of the interesting things about video stores in Japan is the range of titles they offer in the new release section. Perusing them, you might find future Oscar candidate or big budget Marvel production sharing the exact same shelf space as the latest made-for-cable offering that would make Sharknado look like Fellini.

However, sometimes films get a little too close to their apparent sources of inspiration which can lead to confusion among Japanese people. One such movie the misleadingly titled Alien vs Avatar. It’s a film title that has led netizens to question “Hey, aren’t they both aliens?” While universally panned by all who have seen it, one online reviewer in Japan thought it was particularly great… copyright issues aside.

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Japan’s latest anti-piracy ad features wacky new mascots Popcorn Otoko and Soda Otoko

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?

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New Studio Ghibli sunglasses will make anime fans look like fat pigs

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.

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Ghibli distributing free discs of arrested singer’s music video cut from Hayao Miyazaki box set

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.

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Frozen’s Olaf spotted out and about on the Tokyo subway

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.

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A little perspective: Malaysian graphic designer cleverly mixes movie posters and real life

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.

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Movies vs Reality: Can duct tape really be used to shut someone up? Korean YouTuber finds out

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.

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Dragon Ball Z voice actors go crazy in the booth, show just how tough the job can be【Video】

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.

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Catch a film in Laputa, the Tokyo movie theater inspired by Studio Ghibli’s classic animation

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!

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Rurouni Kitty! Sanrio’s beloved cat cosplays as anime’s iconic swordsman in plushie form

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.

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Ghibli, Star Wars, Breaking Bad: artist carves crayons into amazing characters

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.

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Studio Ghibli is not Studio Goro – Hayao Miyazaki’s son denies being his father’s successor

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.

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Ghibli top dog calls Evangelion director “driving force of anime,” raises hopes for more Nausicaa

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.

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