Last month, we took a look at a pair of kicks from anime fashion retailer Super Groupies and shoemaker Ubiq featuring Mega Man, the super fighting robot that’s loved by everyone (except video game publisher Capcom, it seems). But while the Mega Man shoes are actually pretty unisex in design, this month Super Groupies and Ubiq ae teaming up again with footwear that’s just for the ladies, with sailor-collared sneakers inspired by anime and manga Cardcaptor Sakura, and a dazzling necklace too for fans of the magical girl.
While some video game characters have settled into more or less permanent relationships with their publishers, like Nintendo’s Mario or Bandai Namco’s Kazuya and Heihachi Mishima, not every digital hero gets to enjoy a never-ending string of sequel appearances. For example, it’s been five years since the release of Mega Man 10, which so far serves as the final installment in the action platforming series.
But the Blue Bomber’s memory lives on in the hearts and minds of the many fans he acquired during his salad days following his 1987 debut. So even if publisher Capcom has kicked Mega Man to the curb, you can still show your love for the character with these retro-cool Mega Man kicks.
Feb 5, 2015
Shoemaker Nike owes its success as much to the marketing that backs its footwear as the science behind it. But as one of the biggest athletic apparel companies on the planet, the Nike swoosh is hardly a rare sight these days, so if the Oregon-based company really wants to catch people’s eyes, it has to get a little more flamboyant with its designs.
That’s as true in emerging markets as it is in established ones, which is why Nike’s new pair of kicks made especially for China might be the wildest the company has ever made, and come packed with all sorts of imagery meant to make sure fortune smiles on theirs wearers while everyone is looking at their feet.
With her many collaborations with a multitude of designers and brands, it seems like Hello Kitty has merchandise for just about everyone. But while the range from cheap Kitty-chan trinkets to premium luxury items means Japan’s most famous 2-D cat has covered the demographics of both young and old as well as rich and poor, things are a little bit less balanced when it comes to the catalogue of Hello Kitty tie-ins for men versus those for women.
The ever-industrious Kitty is looking to make things a little more even, though, and last year corporate parent Sanrio announced the Hello Kitty Men Project. As part of the initiative, this month fashionable dudes in one fashionable Tokyo neighborhood can get their hands on three new Hello Kitty items made just for men.
Mexican clothing company Heredia Clothing has been promoting their line-up of Dragon Ball Z sneakers for a few months now, but fans heading to Expo TNT on January 31-February 1 in Guadalajara can also get their kicks autographed by the original Mexican voice actors for Goku and Vegeta, Mario Castañeda and Rene Garcia.
Jan 16, 2015
Cardcaptor Sakura is in the midst of a revival right now. We’re not sure what’s sparked the renewed interest in creative team Clamp’s magical girl franchise, as we’re still a year away from the manga’s 20th anniversary, and three years from that mark for its anime adaptation.
Still, plucky elementary school student and protagonist Sakura Kinomoto seems to be popping up more and more these days. A recent poll of anime fans named Cardcaptor Sakura the series they most want rerun on TV, and just last month we saw the release of a collection of cosmetics based on it. Now, in the latest round of new goodies, you can pair your manga makeup with some cute and stylish Cardcaptor Sakura shoes.
Jan 3, 2015
Whether you’re coming to Japan as a tourist or a new resident, getting into the island nation usually means taking a plane. With luggage space at a premium, odds are you haven’t packed more than two or three pairs of shoes, which is fine for a running start in the country. With all the walking involved in public-transportation-embracing Japan, though, wear and tear are going to set in before long, and you’ll find yourself in need of a new pair of kicks.
Odds are, though, that you didn’t come all the way to Japan to blow your travel budget on new shoes. If you’re just getting started as a working professional here, you’re probably also a little light on cash. So to keep your feet comfortable, outfit stylish, and wallet happy, today we’re taking a trip to one of Tokyo’s best-kept secret bargains, the Tokyo Shoe Distribution Center, to pick up a selection of footwear at less than 990 yen (US$8.40) per pair.
Dec 18, 2014
The holidays can be a lonely time if you live alone. Sure, having a little time for yourself is nice and all, but there are only so many nights in a row you can spend silently sipping bourbon and staring out at the falling snow before it starts to become legitimately depressing/arguably alcoholism.
That vacuum of isolation when you step inside, shut the door behind you, and realize you’re totally alone can be a serious downer. So today, we’re sharing an extremely easy life hack to, even if just for a second, make you feel like instead of coming home to an empty apartment, you’ve got a group of friends waiting for you.
Dec 2, 2014
While every Studio Ghibli anime film has memorable music, the one piece that just about anyone in Japan can sing along to is “Sanpo” from My Neighbor Totoro. Meaning “A Stroll,” it opens with the lyrics, “Let’s walk! Let’s walk! I’m full of energy. Let’s keep going!”
Not exactly the most profound message, admittedly, but there’s no denying the infectious tune will get you in the mood to strap on your kicks and head out the door. And if you’re going on a walk to look for your very own local forest spirit, we can’t imagine a more appropriate set of footwear than a pair of shoes decked out with Ghibli characters.
Barbie, the popular fashion doll from America, has been a style icon ever since her creation back in 1959. Now, at the age of 55, the controversial bombshell is hitting the streets of Harajuku – quite literally – this time inside the clear soles of some amazing, if kind of creepy, shoes.
While most popular sports anime are about baseball or soccer, creator Takehiko Inoue’s basketball story Slam Dunk is one of the most popular series of all time. Beginning as a manga in 1990 before making the leap to animation in 1993, Slam Dunk played a huge role in boosting basketball’s popularity in Japan.
Slam Dunk’s print and TV run also coincided with four of NBA legend Michael Jordan’s professional championships. Now, the two icons are teaming up with Nike to bring sneaker fans Slam Dunk Air Jordans.
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Sep 20, 2014
As many of you know, Japan maintains a strong sense of uchi and soto, or inside/in-group and outside/out-group. As part of that culture, all people, young and old, are made to change their shoes upon entering most buildings and homes. Students, especially elementary school students, get a special pair of indoor shoes called uwabaki, often called “hallway slippers,” for use while inside the school building. Much like the trendiness of Japanese elementary school backpacks, uwabaki are being seen out on the streets on the feet of fashion-forward women. But are elementary school indoor shoes really that fashionable? You’d be surprised!
What better way to stand out from the crowd than in a pair of sushi socks! Featuring all the firm favourites, from tuna to egg roll, this unique range of legwear is gearing up to be one of the most sought-after products on the Japanese market this summer. Not only do they look great on your feet, they look even better rolled up because that’s when they actually resemble the real thing! Check out the entire collection and see which ones you’d like to have in your bedroom drawers.
We talked recently about a creative smartphone case inspired by Love Live, the current standard bearer for the “cut girls strive earnestly to be the best at something” genre of anime. But while it’s all well and good to be able to dress your phone up in the same uniform worn by the show’s teen idol singers, it doesn’t create a direct connection between fans and the show.
Love Live attire isn’t just for smartphones, though, as there’s now a line of shoes based on the popular franchise.
We’re all for spicing up our wardrobes and dressing for the seasons, but there’s something decidedly unsavory about these canvas shoes…
Jul 8, 2014
Although Mario is occasionally seen riding atop his faithful dinosaur companion Yoshi, and Mercedes-Benz recently hooked him up with a pretty sweet ride, Nintendo’s biggest hero has spent most of his adventures on foot. Even after three decades of running and jumping, though, Mario always seems up for the latest physical challenge life throws at him.
He must have some pretty comfortable shoes, and now thanks to Converse, you can try on a pair of Mario kicks for yourself.
Japan is always on the lookout for a charismatic new character, and right now no one’s star is rising faster than Funasshi. The frenetic flailing and bubbly babbling of the anthropomorphic pear has been winning over fans across Japan and even overseas.
Soon, those who just can’t get enough of Funabashi City’s unofficial mascot can show their devotion with a pair of Funasshi shoes.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you achieve your dream? If that’s got you thinking about a career change, you may want to look to the Land of the Rising Sun because in Japan there are some unusual employment opportunities available. From human dog food testers to bad smell specialists, we’ve found seven surprising jobs for you to consider. And they’re all ready and waiting for you in Japan.
Jun 4, 2014
The dark magical girl anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica has a release history as complicated as its title. Originating as a 12-episode TV series in 2011, the show became so popular that it was released as two compilation movies in theatres during 2012. Most recently, there was a third theatrical feature that premiered in 2013, featuring the original cast with evolved or corrupted powers and personalities.
So it’s only fitting that the fashion designer 2 PM Works’ Madoka Magica shoes, which sold out during their initial production run, are back again, this time with two new, upgraded pairs of pumps.
If you’re tired of lace-up sneakers and boring fluffy house slippers, there’s a new type of footwear that’s sure to shake up the shoe industry. Inspired by 1960s house party cuisine, Fondue Slippers are a thin replica of your foot that combines the satisfaction of not wearing shoes with all the fun of melted cheese. They’re kind of like those barefoot running shoes, just without all the false health benefit claims and they’re coming to you straight from (of course) Japan.
- “We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map1
- Top 10 things Japanese people do that puzzle us (but we still want to hang out together)2
- New smartphone game lets lonely gamers blow up, unleash other misfortunes on lovey dovey couples3
- Haruki Murakami answers the question, “What is the meaning of life?”4
- What if Elsa was from some other country? 24 Hetalia variations of the Frozen queen5
- Vanishing Japan: Five things to see before they disappear completely6
- New Sailor Moon cafe in Tokyo has live public anime viewing and themed food and drinks7
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker8
- Naruto’s not over yet with new manga chapters, anime series coming soon!9
- Past and present photos of Japanese fashion models make us wonder, where have all the gyaru gone?10
- “We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map1
- Looking for a new favourite animal? Take your pick from these six adorable Hokkaido natives2
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker3
- Japanese girl finds “school love,” but with a surprising “partner”4
- Past and present photos of Japanese fashion models make us wonder, where have all the gyaru gone?5
- Buyer’s remorse? Not if you’ve got confidence like this girl6
- Japanese women list the top 10 lies they can spot the second a guy says them7
- 10 weird and wonderful things you can find in a Japanese drugstore8
- Bizarre video series gives pervy weirdos a glimpse of girls’ panties in very specific situations9
- What if Elsa was from some other country? 24 Hetalia variations of the Frozen queen10
- Marine park offers chance to shake hands with a loveable otter1
- “We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map2
- Cats sitting politely outside Japanese convenience stores restore our faith in felines3
- What’s your type? Photo of two Japanese models spurs netizens to talk body type 【Poll】4
- Forget the dress, how many shades of blue do you see here?5
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby6
- Half-Japanese beauty chosen to represent Japan at Miss Universe 20157
- Looking for a new favourite animal? Take your pick from these six adorable Hokkaido natives8
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin9
- Get a haircut, a manicure and an eyeful at this saucy salon in Vietnam10
- Marine park offers chance to shake hands with a loveable otter1
- Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo2
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby3
- “We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map4
- Literal breastplate will give you a cosplay-ready, anime-class bust in seconds 【Photos】5
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”6
- Cats sitting politely outside Japanese convenience stores restore our faith in felines7
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing8
- What’s your type? Photo of two Japanese models spurs netizens to talk body type 【Poll】9
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】10
- Vanishing Japan: Five things to see before they disappear completely
- New Sailor Moon cafe in Tokyo has live public anime viewing and themed food and drinks
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker
- Naruto’s not over yet with new manga chapters, anime series coming soon!
- Past and present photos of Japanese fashion models make us wonder, where have all the gyaru gone?
- Monjayaki, the popular Tokyo dish you’ve probably never heard of 【RocketKitchen】
- How would you feel about peeing in one of these “voyeurinals”?
- South Korean media wants the world to know that “cherry blossoms originated there”
- KanColle anime character’s catchphrase “poi” is POIsed to take over the world! POI POI!
- Nine of our Japanese writers share the restaurants they absolutely must visit again!
- 4 Japanese beauty fads that Westerners just don’t understand
- Gift giving fails: Japanese girls tell you what NOT to buy
- Superheroes invade Thai wedding, guests just smile for the camera 【Photos】