anime & manga

Doing it Wrong: 20 Laughably Bad Chinese Character Cakes

The aesthetic quality of a character cake can be judged by the degree of reluctance felt before cutting into it. Some cakes are so well-crafted that taking a knife to them would be nothing other than desecration of art. Conversely, some cakes are so insultingly terrible that basiac survival instincts would compel most people to take knife in hand and stab them out of their misery.

A series of images recently shared on Chinese Facebook ripoffsocial networking site Renren suggests character cakes in China fall into the latter camp.

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Start Your S² Engines! Team Evangelion Racing Has Sleek Paint Jobs and Sexy Plugsuit Cosplay

Right up there with the NERV Android Phone, Team Evangelion Racing has to be one of the more badass Evangelion crossovers we’ve seen. It’s got sleek cars decked out in Eva colors, a team of race queens cosplaying in sexy plugsuit-inspired outfits, and an exclusive lineup of Eva racing apparel for you to throw your money at—what more could a fan ask for!

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Eyes on the Prize: A Look at Japanese Pop Culture Trends Through Arcade Prizes 【October 2012】

One fun way to see what anime or game series are currently popular with kids and otaku in Japan is to visit an arcade and take a look at the prizes up for grabs in the crane machines, or UFO catchers, as they’re often called in Japanese.

Unlike North America, arcade culture is still going strong in Japan and UFO catchers are one of the main attractions. Always found on the first floor of arcades, these machines are stocked with the latest limited-edition figurines and plushies of popular characters, many of which can only be acquired as UFO catcher prizes (or on Amazon at obscene prices).

Japanese toy company Banpresto has announced their newest lineup of CRANEKING arcade-exclusive prizes, available this October. Check what toys are hot on the Japanese arcade scene below!

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Cruel Chicken’s Thesis: Is Colonel Sanders a Closet Cosplayer?

An image of a Colonel Sanders statue dressed up as Evangelion Unit-01 has been making the rounds on the Japanese internet…again.

Though the image above first popped up on the net over a year ago, its recent resurface makes a good opportunity to examine Japan’s fascination with dressing up the KFC mascot in further detail.

Check below for more pictures!

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Is Incest Japan’s Latest Literary Craze? Popularity of “My Little Sister” Light Novels on the Rise

Japanese “light novels” are a type of short and often serialized young adult novel that are usually heavy on dialogue and light on narrative depth. The growing popularity of light novels has made them common choices for manga and anime adaptations, such as the Haruhi Suzumiya series.

One of the more popular light novel series in recent years is My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, which tells the story of a normal high school student who finds out his prodigious younger sister is actually a closet otaku, obsessed with anime and incest-themed adult computer games…

It’s probably less unwholesome than it sounds (at least by Japanese standards), and the point is that the series has become so popular that it has spawned an anime and manga series as well as several video games.

It has also seemed to usher in a new craze of light novels about the relationship between normal older brothers and their not-so-normal little sisters.

That’s totally wholesome…right…?

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Survey Shows 16 Out of 16 Foreigners Would Like to Date a Japanese Person, but What Would They Like to do on Their Dates?

In the midst of present day globalization, and with international marriages on the rise, how do Japanese people fare on the ‘international stage’ of dating?

We decided to find out by sending our reporter to Comiket 82 earlier this month and asking REAL LIVE foreign visitors if they would like to date a Japanese person.

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Live2D Provides a Leap in Animation by Merging the Best of 2D and 3D animations

I could never really get into those CGI animated movies like the ones Pixar makes.  For some reason the 3D animation always appeared stilted no matter how well it’s done.  Traditional 2D animation always had a much smoother and strangely more lifelike quality to it but it’s not without its limitations either especially in the realm of video games.

Live2D, developed by Cybernoids seems to have successfully taken the superior aesthetics of 2D art and rendered it into the superior flexibility and efficiency of 3D more smoothly than ever seen before.

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Why do Foreigners Like Japanese Manga so Much? We Head to Comiket to Find Out!

While manga is ubiquitous in Japan — just ride the subway in any major city and you’ll see people from all walks of life flipping through a comic book — many Japanese people are surprised to hear how popular manga has become overseas. After all, aren’t Westerners only interested in macho superheroes or short comic strips?

Perhaps that was the case in America before, but in recent years many major bookstores have begun to reserve more space near the front of the store for Japanese comics and in some European countries like France and Germany manga occupies a large portion of overall comic sales.

But why?

Earlier this month, we sent one of our Japanese reporters to Comic Market (or “Comiket“), the world’s largest self-published comic book fair and otaku mecca, to interview real live foreigners and ask them why they like Japanese manga so much.

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Why Do Foreigners Like Japan so Much? We Head to Comiket 82 to Find Out!

Many foreigners view Japan as some marvelous dreamland of technology and culture; a place where crazy is the norm and embracing fantasy in everyday life is acceptable.

But to Japanese people, Japan is just that place you were born. Everyone and everything is routine, and it’s often difficult to see why the rest of the world get’s so worked up about “Japanese culture.”

Earlier this month, we sent one of our Japanese reporters to Comic Market (or “Comiket“), the world’s largest self-published comic book fair and otaku mecca, to interview real live foreigners and ask them what it is they really think about this country.

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Your Favorite Nintendo Games As You’ve Never Seen Them Before, As Traditional Japanese Prints

Ukiyo-e Heroes are a group of artists who work in the medium of tradional Japanese woodblock printing (ukiyo-e), a style most strongly associated with Japanese culture.  This group has turned their facebook page into a virtual gallery displaying their favorite muse: video games.

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A Couple of Train Stations Create Their Own Cutie Gods in an Effort to Boost Tourism

Sadly with Japan’s many recent economic woes, visitation to the remote stations of Kofuku and Aikoku has been low.  So in an effort to drum up some visitors, the local communities did what anyone would do in this situation.  They made some gods.

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Hakone Opens an Evangelion Themed Souvenir Shop, Hopes They Don’t Get Overrun With Fans Again

Following the opening of Evangelion Store Tokyo-01, and with the release of the third installment of the reboot series, Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, a new Evangelion souvenir shop is scheduled to open in the town of Hakone on 14 July.

Hakone, which serves as the backdrop for the Evangelion story (where it’s renamed as Tokyo-3), is happy to be home to the second official Evangelion store, called “Eva Shop” but is also hoping they don’t get a repeat of what happened two years ago.

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Here’s to your beautiful Pokemon Eyes! These anime-inspired eye make-up designs are dazzling!

Do you have a favorite comic or anime that you hold dear to you heart? Well, you may not want to express your love for your favorite anime character in a way as permanent as a tattoo, or in a more extreme case, subdermal implants, but wearing anime-inspired make-up that you can wash away sounds like it could be fun doesn’t it? (More importantly, it’s not irreversible!) And as you can see from these Pokemon eye make-up designs, anime themed make-up doesn’t have to look nerdy at all; in fact, the make-up in these pictures look quite striking! Read More

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