anime

Video game maker’s Akihabara pizza joint has great food, not a single maid

Aside from software development, Japanese video game maker Nitroplus has worked on novelization and illustration work for popular anime franchises such as Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Psycho-Pass, and Guilty Crown.

Yes, Nitroplus has its fingers in a lot of pies, including, surprisingly enough, pizza.

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A Big Dragon Ball welcome — for a limited time at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport!

If you’ve traveled to Japan, you may be aware that while Narita Airport has been the main international port of access into the Tokyo area for many years, there is now an increasing number of International flights in and out of Haneda Airport, which functions as the main domestic airport in the Tokyo area. And since Haneda Airport is located much closer to central Tokyo than Narita Airport, and with more flight options through Haneda becoming available, we guess it’s understandable if some travelers to Japan prefer to use Haneda Airport instead.

Well, for a limited time, there may be even more of a reason to fly into Haneda — in the form of a large welcome poster that should delight you particularly if you’re an anime fan!

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16 films based on popular manga series hitting Japanese cinemas in 2014

Manga fans have plenty to look forward to in 2014 with 16 live-action films adapted from well-loved and popular manga series being released next year. From action comics about police robots to romantic stories about high schoolers who bond over body hair removal, there is something for everyone in these upcoming manga-based films. And since some in the academic world are beginning to see the positive side of Japanese comics, you have one more reason to get your non-manga-loving friends hooked through the power of the silver screen.

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Ramen characters prove there’s more to Fukushima than just nuclear sadness

Before March 11 2011, Fukushima Prefecture was pretty much unknown outside of Japan. Within the country, however, Japan’s third-largest prefecture was known for much more than its nuclear power plant. Along with being a producer of delicious, mouthwatering peaches and home to areas of stunning natural beauty, Fukushima was also known as a hotspot for incredible ramen noodles.

Now, some of the more prominent ramen restaurants in the area have banded together to remind us all that the real heart of Fukushima has always been fuelled by ramen power. And they’ve even got shiny, new anime characters to prove it!

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Research institute explains technobabble with awesome retro anime 【Video】

Scientists must often have a hard time explaining deep scientific concepts to the general public without resorting to a lot of wild gesticulating and exasperated sighs. We know we’d get around five minutes into a college physics lecture before giving up and drawing cat doodles in our notebooks for the remaining hour of class.

It’s no wonder, then, that Japan’s RIKEN national comprehensive research institution resorted to making this totally awesome anime to enthrall and amaze our stupid civilian minds with flashing lights and hot robot girls, so we’d sit still long enough for the institute to introduce its new and totally sci-fi sounding SPring-8 Angstrom Compact Free Electron Laser (SACLA).

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Finally, 2013’s list of most dateable anime characters

We’re perpetually jealous of anime characters. Being figments of someone’s imagination, anime protagonists are universally muscular, never have to diet, have awesome super powers and pretty much don’t have to give a single thought to our pathetic real person laws and social norms, so it’s unsurprising that many fans find some of their favorite anime characters to be both sexy and highly dateable.

A recent Tokyo Otaku Mode Survey posed the question to both men and women of 100 countries which anime characters they’d most like to date, with some surprising, and some not-so-surprising, results.

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Live-action Attack on Titan gets release date, new director

With the notable exception of Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, pretty much everybody in the world seems to love Attack on Titan. Although the series got started with a manga serial in 2009, its adaptation into an animated TV series in 2013 rocketed the title to popularity.

There’s been talk of a live-action theatrical version of Attack on Titan for some time, and the project now has a new director, writers, and best of all, a release date.

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Miyazaki in the sky with Gundam: Japan’s astronomical otaku have been naming our asteroids

When a new asteroid is discovered and its orbit is established, the right to name that floating chunk of matter is given to the astronomer who found it. And, somewhat unsurprisingly, a lot of the people who dedicate their lives to astroscience exhibit other nerdy hobbies as well! At least, we have to assume so given the number of space rocks with apparent ties to anime, manga, and other mainstream media. Who would have thought that the heavens are so full of otaku references!?

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Miyazaki’s next project and reaction to latest Ghibli film revealed in interview with Toshio Suzuki

On 2 December at an event to celebrate the release of the Blu-ray edition of Princess Mononoke, an interview was conducted with Studio Ghibli producers including its former president Toshio Suzuki. Over the course of the interview Suzuki gave the audience some brief yet revealing insights into what went on at Studio Ghibli after Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement.

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Gundam creator has harsh words for manga and anime hit “Attack on Titan”

Say what you will about Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, he’s nothing if not outspoken. Previously, we covered Tomino’s somewhat incendiary remarks about kids addicted to video games, and he’s well known in Japan for being less than enthusiastic about rival mecha manga and anime.

Now he’s crossed genres to take aim at Japan’s most recent pop culture export, Attack on Titan – which we suppose defies genres as an alternate universe story about weird giant people attacking towns.

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This street looks exactly like Totoro, if you have horrible eyesight and squint really hard

Tsutsuki, near Yokohama, is making waves in the Japanese media for its unassuming highway that, when viewed from the right angle at night, forms the vague silhouette of Hayao Miyazaki’s beloved character, Totoro.

The lighting on the street in question was apparently deliberately planned by the city so that it would look like “an animal with ears”, but even planners hadn’t intended it to look like studio Ghibli’s famous cat-like mascot.

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Film critic proposes censoring latest Studio Ghibli anime for overseas release

The newest theatrical anime from Studio Ghibli, Kaguya Hime no Monogatari, opened just over a week ago. While we came away impressed, the movie-going public at large hasn’t been coming out in the numbers expected for a release by the legendary animation production house.

Now, one film critic is speculating that the movie may have trouble bolstering its lackluster box office numbers with overseas revenue, stating his opinion that Kaguya Hime no Monogatari may not be screenable in certain markets outside Japan without censoring multiple scenes.

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Anime fans ecstatic over Taiwanese fan-made short “Attack on Railgun”

A Taiwanese film production group has released their short film Attack on Railgun, which merges two popular anime series into an incredibly well made and high quality homage. The short combines the worlds and characters from Attack on Titan and A Certain Scientific Railgun to create an exciting new story in the live action movie. Japanese fans of the anime series have been impressed with the CGI, the plot line and especially the fact that all of the actors speak Japanese in the short film!

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French artist gives new perspective on Sailor Moon and Disney princesses with X-ray illustrations

In recent years, there has been a backlash against the numerous princesses in Disney’s films. Criticisms have been lobbed at films spanning the many decades of the studio’s animated canon, with complaints that earlier princesses are too inactive, and that more recent heroines are too sexualized in design.

Regardless of whether or not you agree that Disney’s princesses are having a negative influence on the impressionable minds of children, I think we can all agree that what’s most important is not how someone looks, but rather the quality of their character and integrity. The highest form of beauty is inner beauty, and it’s important that we help our children develop the skills necessary to look inside of a person to see what they’re really made of.

And I can’t think of a better way to do that than by examining X-rays of Disney princesses.

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Japan now has Evangelion-themed electric car chargers, and they are awesome

As waste gasses from fossil fuels continue to choke our planet and money-grubbing businessmen propose plans to frack (and that’s not some coy euphemism) the very ground we walk on to get at even more of the stuff, more and more people are doing their bit to be kind to the environment. Solar panels can be seen up on the roofs of residential buildings, people separate their waste so that as much of it can be recycled as possible, and more consumers than ever are choosing electric or hybrid vehicles.

And now, Japanese motorists have another reason to go green: Evangelion-themed electric car charging stations!

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The real reason Doraemon is blue? New sadder tale rewrites the robot cat’s past

Japanese children have been growing up with the resourceful robo-cat Doraemon since his creation in 1969. And while the original manga may have ended more than 15 years ago, the anime series and movie installments continue to provide fresh conflict for the funny feline and his human friends.

But with so much material to keep up with, there are bound to be a few contradictions along the way. Recently, the widely understood reason behind Doraemon’s blue coloring was flat-out replaced by an even sadder version of the tale. So, why is it that a robotic cat from the near-distant future is earless and blue?

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Why is Studio Ghibli’s latest movie struggling at the box office?

We recently made the trip to our local theater to watch Kaguya Hime no Monogatari, the latest full-length feature from anime powerhouse Studio Ghibli. But while we felt the film delivered the same high-quality we’ve come to expect from the studio, we were also struck by how different it is in style and tone from what audiences have become used to in Ghibli’s anime.

As a matter of fact, the shift from the norm seems to be a little too jarring for many fans, who aren’t filling seats in the same droves they ordinarily do for Studio Ghibli’s offerings. The situation is severe enough that one Japanese film critic is already condemning the movie’s opening weekend box office numbers as a financial failure.

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Parents create amazing Studio Ghibli mural for daughter’s nursery before she’s even born

As a kid, I remember watching reruns of Mighty Mouse on TV with my dad. It was a fun little show, but what made it really special was knowing that he enjoyed it when he was growing up, and that he was sharing his memories and at the same time he was making new ones with me.

Likewise, it’s been a couple decades since Japanese animation gained a steady foothold internationally, and we’re starting to see overseas fans of the medium having kids of their own. But how to pass on that anime passion to your kids? You could go the direct route and administer a severe beating each and every time they ask to watch say, Disney’s forgettable 2000 CG film Dinosaur instead of something with more artistic merit, like Hayao Miyazaki’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky.

Or, like one couple, you could go with the gentler option of painting an awesome mural of Studio Ghibli characters in the nursery, letting their quality speak for itself.

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South Park’s anime-style “Princess Kenny” video arrives in Japan, chuckles and confusion abound

A recent storyline in the often controversial, always hilarious animated series South Park focuses on the run-up to the Black Friday sales, and sees the fictional town’s inhabitants turning into murderous, bargain-hunting zombies prepared to gouge one another’s eyes out if it means getting a new TV for a fraction of the normal retail price.

At the same time, a war rages between the town’s kids over which console – Xbox One or PlayStation 4 – they should band together to nab in the sales, and results in Microsoft’s Bill Gates handing out weapons to young Xbox One fans (one per child, in the name of safety) to aid them in their struggle. Not wanting to be outdone, Sony strikes back by granting the leader of the competing faction – none other than parker-wearing mumbler Kenny – the power to become a real Japanese princess, transforming him into an doe-eyed anime beauty, complete with his own Japanese theme song.

Of course, it didn’t take long for clips from the show to make their way to Japan…

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Hard-to-swallow cannibal manga Pupa to be released as anime for public consumption

Pupa is the touching (horror) story of extreme devotion between siblings, chronicled in a manga series. It tells the remarkably original tale of how a young girl became a monster craving to feed off human flesh, and how her older brother offered up his own living body as her “food source”. Spoiler alert: it takes a lot more than one meal to finish him off! If you’re anxious to check out it out, the anime version of Pupa was previously scheduled for autumn 2013, but a new release date of January 2014 was just announced via Twitter.

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