TV

Attack on Titan to run on Adult Swim’s Toonami Block

Attack on Titan to run on Adult Swim’s Toonami Block

Adult Swim, the American television network paired with Cartoon Network, announced on Saturday that it will run Attack on Titan in its Toonami programming block. The anime series will premiere on the network on Saturday, May 3 at 11:30 pm ET.

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Japan’s public broadcaster goes thug-style, tags the house of man who refuses to pay fees

Japan’s public broadcaster goes thug-style, tags the house of man who refuses to pay fees

We’ve talked before about the oddities of how Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, goes about collecting its fees from ordinary citizens. Rather than sending you an official bill in the mail, collectors will come to your door and ask you for a stack of cash to cover the 13,600 yen (US$133) Japanese residents are technically supposed to pay.

However, many people refuse to pony up the money, since there’s no official penalty for nonpayment, and many feel that NHK’s programming is sub-par and rarely watch it. However, should you make one particular NHK collector walk away empty-handed, he just might mark your house for all to see, as he apparently did to one person we talked to.

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George Clooney appears in Kirin beer ad, sounds a bit like Batman when he speaks Japanese

George Clooney appears in Kirin beer ad, sounds a bit like Batman when he speaks Japanese

As we’ve seen before, Hollywood stars who ordinarily wouldn’t be seen dead in a commercial in their homeland for fear of damaging their reputation as a serious actor aren’t quite so shy when it comes to commercials in Japan. With Japanese companies eager to push stacks of cash stars’ way in exchange for endorsing their products, occasionally a big-name actor will pop up on billboards over the famous Shibuya scramble intersection and on primetime TV.

This week, smirking silver fox George Clooney follows in Leonardo DiCaprio‘s footsteps by lending his face to a Japanese commercial, in this case one for Kirin Brewery Company’s Green Label brand of beer. Clooney is no stranger to ads even at home, but Kirin’s commercial – which sees the actor painting a house and communicating with a small bird – is kind of an odd one, partly because it doesn’t have an awful lot to do with beer, and partly because, to our ears at least, Clooney appears to be channeling Christian Bale’s Batman for his single word of Japanese dialogue.

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Japanese Twitter user ruins Thomas the Tank Engine for everyone with ultra-creepy drawing

Japanese Twitter user ruins Thomas the Tank Engine for everyone with ultra-creepy drawing

Well, that’s a much-loved part of my childhood ruined forever…

I have fond memories of rushing home as quickly possible every Monday afternoon circa 1986, pulling my mother along behind me after she had kindly come to meet me from school, and constantly asking her what time it was, fretting that I might miss even a snippet of the opening credits of kids’ TV show Thomas and Friends.

Had I known that there was just some creepy nude guy inside that little blue tank engine, though, I might have instead dragged my feet as much as possible so as not to give my four-year-old self, already with a highly active imagination and a fear of anything that wasn’t my cat or jam sandwiches, any additional nightmare fuel.

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I am the one who knocks (you out): Street Fighter meets Breaking Bad in genius animation

I am the one who knocks (you out): Street Fighter meets Breaking Bad in genius animation

The only thing we love more than videos about our favourite forms of entertainment are crossover videos that bring them together in one place. Doing precisely that, a talented British animator has just made our Monday that bit more bearable by posting a video titled “Ryu VS Jesse” to YouTube, which combines the worlds of much-loved video game Street Fighter and smash TV show Breaking Bad. And the result is simply awesome.

Full video after the jump.

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Good news for robot and pop idol fans: new Macross anime series is on the way!

Good news for robot and pop idol fans: new Macross anime series is on the way!

It’s hard to think of an anime franchise that’s had a bigger impact than Macross. Aside from being a huge hit in its native Japan, the military sci-fi saga has provided no fewer than three gigantic boosts to anime’s international popularity. The original Macross, repackaged internationally as Robotech in 1985, provided many English speakers with their first taste of Japanese animation, a feat repeated by its 1994 direct-to-video follow-up, Macross Plus. Macross’ first theatrical feature, 1984’s Do You Remember Love?, is even largely credited with kick-starting the practice of fan-produced anime translations.

Now, the franchise is poised to bring in yet another crop of new fans, with the announcement that a new Macross TV series is on its way.

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Man spends $140,000 a month on cosmetic surgery, girls still aren’t impressed

Man spends $140,000 a month on cosmetic surgery, girls still aren’t impressed

Imagine dropping vast sums of cash on plastic surgery in an effort to make yourself appear more attractive, only to be told by a host of female celebs on national television that they wouldn’t touch you with a barge pole.

In classic Japanese variety show fashion, that’s precisely what TBS’s Watashi no Nani ga Ikenai no!? has in store for viewers next week, according to a recently released teaser trailer.

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7 hilarious/inexplicable Japan moments in South Park

7 hilarious/inexplicable Japan moments in South Park

With its crude animation and humour, South Park shocked audiences when it first aired back in 1997, with viewers unsure of its place in the schedules and target audience. Since then, Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s animated comedy has grown to become arguably one of the most entertaining, risqué and cutting-edge shows on TV today, with episodes pumped out at breakneck speeds so as to ensure that their content is always as topical as it is amusing.

With endless spoofs, homages and no-holds-barred social commentary, South Park has entertained audiences in dozens of countries for almost 17 years now, but there’s one theme in particular that just keeps cropping up season after season: Japan.

So come with us today as we take a look at seven of South Park’s most memorable and outrageous “Japan” moments. Trust us when we say that this isn’t one for the easily offended.

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NHK TV worker woken by earthquake, gives viewers a show by accident

NHK TV worker woken by earthquake, gives viewers a show by accident

As you already know, the third anniversary of the 3/11 Tohoku disaster was remembered this week through a variety of activities, including a fundraiser by Yahoo! Japan which saw the company donating roughly $250,000 to charity. The anniversary was also marked by a powerful earthquake off the coast of Kyushu at around 2 am on March 12, injuring about 14 people and wrecking havoc on innocent anime figures.

It also brought grins to all of the NHK viewers and Twitter users who happened to catch the public broadcaster’s footage of a confused-looking man running around an office in his underwear!

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Live-action series Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist could well be all kinds of awesome 【Photos】

Live-action series Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist could well be all kinds of awesome 【Photos】

Based on Capcom’s hugely popular Street Fighter fighting games, upcoming TV series Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist began life back in 2010 as a mere seed of an idea. Three years later, fans of the video games went nuts when the project surfaced on Kickstarter asking for funding, only for it to suddenly disappear again when it was snapped up by a private production company.

Since then there has been so little news about Assassin’s Fist that we were starting to wonder if it would ever see the light of day, but recently released photos and one website’s extremely positive first impressions have our hands tingling with hadouken power more than ever.

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Some of China’s top leaders are apparently obsessed with ‘House Of Cards’

Some of China’s top leaders are apparently obsessed with ‘House Of Cards’

The country of China, including some of its top leaders, can’t get enough of the Netflix drama “House of Cards,” The Washington Post’s William Wan reports.

On Sohu, the Chinese equivalent of Netflix, “House of Cards” has been the No. 1-streamed show since the debut of Season 2 last Friday. Streams of both seasons top Sohu’s rankings, ahead of “The Big Bang Theory.”

And according to Sohu (via the Post), most of China’s 24.5 million views of Season 1 of House of Cards came from government-sector employees and residents of Beijing. The state-run Xinhua News Agency wrote last week that “a large number of government and enterprise executives and opinion leaders also strongly recommend” the show.

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“Are you married yet?” – Chinese ad attempts to guilt-trip young women into trying the knot

“Are you married yet?” – Chinese ad attempts to guilt-trip young women into trying the knot

Chinese dating company Baihe.com has taken the unusual step of producing an ad that attempts to guilt-trip young women into marriage. In it, an elderly woman who is steadily inching closer to death pesters her granddaughter to find a man and tie the knot, constantly asking, “Are you married yet?”

Eventually – and we swear we’re not making this up – the troubled young woman resolves that she should stop “being picky” and decides to marry right away.

The full WTF? video after the jump.

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Swoon news – Visiting Japanese reporter becomes news himself as Thai women fall in love with him

Swoon news – Visiting Japanese reporter becomes news himself as Thai women fall in love with him

Fetch me my smelling salts, Watson, this woman has fainted!

They say that love knows no bounds, and that regardless of the languages two people speak, kindred spirits will always find a way. That’s mostly nonsense, especially when you’re eyes-deep in legal documents or trying to explain tax returns to someone who can barely comment on the weather let alone discuss their hopes and dreams, but when it comes to spotting a hottie, trivial things such as national borders and words do not even factor into it. Case in point: women in Thailand are currently going nuts about one particular Japanese journalist who visited their country earlier this month, resulting in a flood of photos and comments about him being uploaded to Facebook and Twitter, to the degree that national newspapers and TV stations began reporting it as news.

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Incest-themed TV anime sparks decency investigation. What were the odds?

Incest-themed TV anime sparks decency investigation. What were the odds?

It’s a tough time for anime studios. The boom days of direct-to-video productions, when consumers would happily plunk down 5,000 yen (US$48) or more for 30-minutes of animation, sight-unseen, are long gone. At the same time, TV ad revenue is hard to come by, and in some cases, non-existent for anime programs. So in order to produce a hit these days, you’ve got to put your product on television first, and then find a way to leverage its broadcast popularity into subsequent DVD and Blu-ray sales.

The real tricky part is striking a balance between showing enough for free to keep people watching and interested, yet offering the prospect of something they can’t see on TV in order to drive home-video purchases later. An easy choice for this is sexual content, and the closer a show treads to the censorship line, the more wondrous the delights awaiting viewers in the unrated DVDs are assumed to be.

Recently, one anime may have aimed a little too high in appealing to the lowest common denominator, and is now the subject of a broadcast decency investigation.

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Believe it or not, this Japanese swimsuit model is not in her 20s (or 30s)

Believe it or not, this Japanese swimsuit model is not in her 20s (or 30s)

There’s a common phenomenon where people born and raised in Japan appear younger than their actual age to people who grew up in the West. On a trip to Los Angeles, for example, my wife and I wanted to shoot pool at a local bar, but were turned away at the entrance. She had forgotten to take her passport with her when we went out, and the doorman wouldn’t let us in without proof she wasn’t a minor, despite the fact that we were both in our 30s at the time.

The effect is amplified when the person in question looks young even by domestic Japanese perceptions, such as with actress and TV personality Maiko Ito, whose age we’d never have guessed by looking at her.

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5 ways Japanese TV shows are broken

5 ways Japanese TV shows are broken

There are certain things almost everyone who moves to Japan seems to like. The food? Tasty and healthy. Public transportation? Clean and punctual. But Japanese TV? Let’s just say there’s a reason Internet access is one of the first things new arrivals in the country look to outfit their apartments with.

It turns out this lukewarm reaction to the country’s programming isn’t just a foreigner thing, either, as some 75 percent of Japanese citizens polled by the Asashi Shimbun newspaper also said that TV has become boring. Today we look at why.

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Air quality in Beijing now so poor that sunrises are being broadcast on giant TV screens [UPDATED]

Air quality in Beijing now so poor that sunrises are being broadcast on giant TV screens [UPDATED]

As if today being a Monday wasn’t depressing enough, media outlets are reporting that the air quality and visibility in China’s capital city has become so bad that the state has begun televising live footage of sunrises on enormous screens ordinarily used for advertising. That’s right: with the real thing now almost completely hidden behind a thick layer of smog, people are actually watching nature on TV.

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First full-length trailer for live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service shows off sets, cast, new theme song

First full-length trailer for live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service shows off sets, cast, new theme song

Last month, we saw a brief teaser trailer for the upcoming live-action theatrical version of Kiki’s Delivery Service. Happy as we are for another chance to see our favorite magical parcel carrier on the big screen, our first look at the film’s flying effects didn’t do much to excite us, especially when compared against the lovingly crafted visuals of the story’s 1989 animated adaptation by Studio Ghibli.

Now, the producers of the live-action Kiki are back with a full-length trailer. Being the open-minded cinemaphiles/Kiki fanboys that we are, we decided to give the plucky witch one more chance to impress us, while also getting an earful of the film’s new theme song.

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Don’t own a television? Japan’s public broadcaster doesn’t care, but still wants your money

Don’t own a television? Japan’s public broadcaster doesn’t care, but still wants your money

Paying taxes works a little differently in Japan. Often, large companies will simply deduct the required income tax from employees’ paychecks, and even file the necessary paperwork for them. On the other hand, workers have their earnings taxed twice, with residency taxes which are based on their income from the previous year and must be paid quarterly. Like most things in Japan, resident taxes can be paid with a fat wad of cash at the convenience store.

But perhaps the weirdest of all are government fees for public television in Japan. Not only do the bill collectors go door to door soliciting payment, but some administrators are looking to make people pay the fees whether they own a TV or not.

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Pikachu kisses his audience in Pokémon XY anime opening, gives glimpse of another dimension

Pikachu kisses his audience in Pokémon XY anime opening, gives glimpse of another dimension

In case you’ve been trapped under a giant boulder for the last few weeks, Japan – nay, the world – is currently once again gripped by Pokémon fever. Along with the new Pokémon X & Y titles for Nintendo 3DS, the new animated TV series is currently being lapped up by fans.

But one eagle-eyed viewer in Japan has spotted something both cute and a little odd in the show’s opening credits. In typically adorable fashion, a few seconds after the show’s opening song begins, everyone’s favourite pocket monster, Pikachu, gives the camera a friendly little kiss. But what on earth is going on inside his mouth!?

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