anime

Absolutely nothing but knee-highs at Akihabara’s new sock emporium

A while back, we told you about Japan’s Knee-High Socks Day. Held on November 28, or 11-28, the date was chosen because of some wrangling of the Japanese language that enables 11 to be pronounced “ii” (Japanese for “good”), and 28 “knee high.”

By the same linguistic basis, though, you could make the case that February 8, or 2-8, is just as fitting as Knee-High Socks Day. Of course this means losing the “11 = good” portion of the equation, but true fans would argue that the adjective is redundant anyway, as knee-high socks are always good.

In celebration of Knee-High Sock Day 2, why not attend the grand opening of a new shop in Tokyo that sells nothing but that particular piece of clothing?

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Ranma 1/2’s Happōsai voice actor Ichirô Nagai passes away

Ichirô Nagai, the voice actor of Sazae-san‘s Namihei and Ranma ½‘s Happōsai, was discovered after he had collapsed in a Hiroshima City hotel on Monday morning. He was taken to a hospital, but he passed away. He was 82.

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Our anime dreams come true as we operate a robot suit from Appleseed

For years, science fiction movies have been teasing us with visions of high-tech wonders that remain frustratingly just out of reach. Where are our flying cars? Shouldn’t we at least have those hovering skateboards by now? How is it we can put a man on the moon, but we haven’t perfected an automated kitchen that can read our thoughts and cook what we want for dinner?

But today, the waiting ends for one of our technology-based dreams, as we operate a powered robot suit from anime and manga hit Appleseed.

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Hairstyles from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures no less unusual in real life

Back in October, cosmetics manufacturer Shiseido held its Japan Original Beauty exhibition at the company’s new building in Tokyo’s swanky Ginza district. One of the highlights of the show was a recreation of a portion of the pantheon of characters in long-running manga and anime series Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures, with special effort placed on duplicating the cast’s wildly styled and colored hairdos.

But with over 100 collected volumes of comics in the series, obviously every character couldn’t be fit into the display. So Shiseido is back again with a group of new additions to its collection of real-life Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures models.

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Attack on Titan social game’s promo streamed

Japanese mobile game publisher Mobage began streaming a promotional video for its Shingeki no Kyojin ~Jiyū e no Hōkō~ (Attack on Titan: Howl Toward Freedom) game for smart phones on Wednesday. The promotional video tells players that they must fight against enemies outside of the Wall Rose using forbidden weapons.

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Limited Hayao Miyazaki figurines created for Tsunami Relief

Martin Hsu and Bigshot Toyworks have teamed up to create a limited run of “Miya-san” figures modeled after acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki.

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Shonen Jump’s J-Stars Victory Vs. game video features theme song

Namco Bandai Games began streaming the fourth promotional video for its J-Stars Victory Vs.”team battle action” video game on Tuesday. The 158-second video features the new theme song “Fighting Stars.”

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Apparently short on cash, Gundam takes a part-time job at 7-Eleven

With 35 years as Japan’s favorite mecha anime, the Gundam franchise has grown to include dozens of TV and direct-to-video animated series, manga comics, and video game adaptations. With such a long history, some of them are, of course, less successful than others. Certain fans shook their heads at V Gundam’s cast of middle schoolers. Others were baffled by G Gundam’s schoolgirl uniform-inspired robot designs. Even the TV series that started it all, 1979’s Mobile Suit Gundam, has more than its fair share of goofy villains of the week who come and go like so many Scooby Doo criminals.

But despite the franchise’s occasional detours into outright silliness, the 1988 theatrical release Char’s Counterattack enjoys almost universal acclaim, both for the gravitas of its story and the commensurate visuals. Which makes it all the more disheartening to see the robot piloted by the film’s hero apparently reduced to having to take a job at convenience store 7-Eleven.

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One Piece’s Chopper stars in 5-minute stop-motion “Cry Heart” short

Some diligent animators took Banpresto‘s “One Piece Cry heart ~Fuyujima ni Furu Sakura~) (One Piece Cry heart ~The Cherry Blossoms That Fall on Winter Island~) line of crane game prize figures and created a five-minute stop-motion short last month. The “One Piece: Cry heart~” short recreates the famous “Hiluluk’s Cherry Blossoms” scene from Eiichiro Oda‘s manga and anime:

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Twitter user exposes test-taking “geek” to the world, geek sees tweet and turns to confront him

It’s January, which only means one thing to Japanese high school students: University entrance exams. These tests can be a source of extreme stress of Japaneses students, and many of them spend hours upon hours every day studying in class, at home, or at cram schools. Substandard test scores means they’re denied entrance–and spending the next year or two studying to take the tests again.

One of the hardest tests is the Center Test, which is used by both public and some private schools to make admittance decisions. Like the SATs or ACTs on steroids, it covers a range of topics and is, by anyone’s standards, really freaking hard. So what does the picture above have to do with the Center Test? Click below to find out!

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Otaku Internet services: For all your online Japanese geekery needs

When it comes to language learning, one of the biggest problems is staying motivated. Memorizing 100 kanji for a test next Friday might get you through the work, but memorizing 100 kanji so you can read your favorite comics or talk online with fellow comic-fans will really light a fire under your keister. And we all tend to learn better when we’re having fun! We think someone proved that with science and stuff. It might have been Mr. Sato…he’s been playing with the chemistry set again.

Anyway, we know a lot of our readers are both Japanese-language learners and manga/anime fans. If you fit that description and you’re always looking for something to help keep you motivated to study, why not add these sites to your daily reading list? It might be difficult to get through everything at first, but if you keep with it, you’ll be reading like a champ in no time! Just don’t ignore your real homework! We don’t want any angry Japanese teachers knocking on our doors…

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Sailor Moon fan art: Often baffling, sometimes terrifying, and occasionally both

Like many people, we’re happy about the recent announcement that the new Sailor Moon series will finally debut this July, and are keeping our fingers crossed that the third time is indeed the charm for the release date of the twice-delayed project. All the same, we’re getting a little impatient, not the least because the upcoming anime’s producers have yet to release so much as a single promotional sketch for it.

It’s gotten to the point that in order to sate our desire for Sailor Moon imagery, we’ve had to turn our attention to non-official creations. But while a few months ago we stumbled across some amateur drawings that looked so professional we mistook them for the real deal, we found out that the quality of Sailor Moon fan-art isn’t always as high as the enthusiasm of the fans behind it.

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Like all things Evangelion, whether this hoodie is creepy or cool depends on the viewer’s interpretation

Over the past several months, we’ve seen wave after wave of wearable Sailor Moon merchandise, from accessories to lingerie to even bibs. But what about the other colossal ‘90s anime hit featuring combat-ready adolescents, Evangleion? Is there no new way to dress yourself in a way that shows your love for the franchise that ping pongs back and forth between scenes of its 14-year-old protagonists battling horrific aliens and coming to grips with the sexual confusion and frustration of puberty?

Why yes there is, and you can keep yourself warm at the same time with this crazy zip-up Evangelion hoodie.

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Snazz up your wardrobe with style cues from Tiger & Bunny characters

Looking for some style inspiration? How about Barnaby Brooks Jr. and Kotetsu Kaburagi from Tiger & Bunny? Premium Bandai’s Bandai Fashion Net has started selling clothing inspired directly by the characters’ duds from the upcoming Tiger & Bunny The Movie -The Rising- film (check out all the new character wardobes and designs at the official website).

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Turn any anime character into a glasses gal with this awesome photo frame

In our modern world of contact lenses and laser eye surgery, no one really needs to wear glasses. Nevertheless, there are some people who choose to do so, as well as another set of not entirely overlapping glasses fans who simply feel the object of their affection looks all the cuter with a set of corrective lenses.

Now, a new glasses stand from anime merchandise producer Funny Trick lets you instantly transform your favorite characters, even those with 20-20 vision, into bespectacled beauties.

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Live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service film’s new images feature Tonbo, Osono

Website Crank In!! posted six new images from the live-action film of Eiko Kadono‘s fantasy novel series Kiki’s Delivery Service (Majo no Takkyūbin) on January 4. The images feature Kiki (Fūka Koshiba) and various other characters, including Tombo (Ryōhei Hirota, above) and Osono (Machiko Ono, below).

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Korean idol group’s Sailor Moon cosplay sets fans of anime and K-pop against each other 【Video】

As fans continue to wait for the now twice-delayed debut of the new Sailor Moon TV series, numerous companies have been taking advantage of their anxious anticipation by featuring the beloved magical girls of the hit ‘90s anime in their offerings and advertisements. We recently saw Japanese intimate apparel manufacturer Peach John release a line of Sailor Moon-themed bras and panties which sold out almost immediately, but the power of Moon marketing is too great to be contained in its native Japan.

A troupe of Korean idols recently appeared as the Sailor Moon cast in a music video and accompanying TV commercial, causing a schism on the Internet in the process.

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Applications for Japan Self Defense Force increase by 20% thanks to moe

Cuteness sells, even if what you’re selling is recruitment for the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) and the National Defense Academy (NDA). Since last July, the JSDF’s Okayama Provincial Cooperation Office has been using three adorable mascot girls to raise awareness for the JSDF. The girls represent each military branch of the forces, sporting the uniforms for each. Momoe Kibi represents the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (Army), Mizuho Seto represents the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (Navy), while Airi Bizen represents the Japan Air Self Defense Force (Air Force). If the design aesthetic looks familiar, it’s because the girls were created by Humikane Shimada, the original character designer behind such military-inspired moe series like Strike Witches and Girls und Panzer.

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Sporty nerds gather in Nagano to show off their anime and manga-inspired snowboards

Snowboarding is fairly popular in Japan and there’s no doubt that anime and manga are deeply ingrained in the psyche of many people across the nation. So we suppose this ita-board, or “painfully nerdy snowboard” event isn’t too much of a surprise considering the constant appearance of ita-sha (painful cars), ita-suit (painful suit), and even ita-heli (painful helicopters). What did surprise us is the national association dedicated to nerdy snowboards and the annual event that hosts them.

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New Sailor Moon series to debut in July, broadcast over the Internet!

Sailor Moon is among the most well-known anime in the world. Since their debut two decades ago, the “magical girls” have spawned thousands of toys, live action dramas, video games and even a musical. Needless to say, the series has incredible staying power and is still held dear by fans all over the world.

Unfortunately, the last new Sailor Moon anime episode was broadcast in 1997, leaving fans wishing for more animated magical adventures for well over a decade and a half.

Fortunately, the long wait is nearly over!

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