anime

One Piece takes over Yamanote train for 15th anniversary

The One Piece anime is turning 15 this year, and one of the birthday surprises includes a One Piece takeover of JR’s Yamanote Line.

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You can now get physical with your virtual girlfriend thanks to Oculus Rift and a dubious pillow

Are you starting to feel that your virtual girlfriend just isn’t real enough? Craving the feel of her soft skin against your own? With the technological leaps being made in the field of virtual reality gaming headsets, otaku are being offered the chance to get closer to their digital darlings than ever before. But can they handle it?!

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No Miyazaki, no magic? Studio Ghibli co-founder considering closing production division

Just a few weeks ago, When Marnie Was There, the newest anime movie from Studio Ghibli, hit Japanese theatres. Marnie is actually the second Ghibli release since legendary director Hayao Miyazaki retired from the company, but the first with a general, mainstream target market, as 2013’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya was a much more experimental, avant-garde film in visual style and tone.

Just as Miyazaki has stepped away from feature films, Ghibli producer and co-founder Toshio Suzuki is easing into retirement, and so many anime fans have been watching Marnie while looking for clues as to where Ghibli’s films would be going from here. Judging from statements made by Suzuki, though, the better question isn’t what kind of movies Ghibli will be making in the future, but whether the studio will be making any at all, as he feels that maybe it’s time for the Ghibli production team to close up shop.

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Promotion offers perfect one-week living space for otaku: An apartment pre-stocked with manga

The first time I went apartment hunting in Japan, I was shocked by how bare-bones some of them are. The lack of centralized air conditioning means often you have to go to the appliance store and buy your own AC unit, and oftentimes lighting and even a cooking range aren’t included either.

As a result, it’s always a relief to find an apartment that has any sort of amenities already included. And while a mini fridge or ceiling lamp is a nice freebie, neither one is anywhere near as cool as an apartment that comes pre-stocked with a library of manga.

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Fending off unwanted Kabe-don: A guide

As we’ve talked about before, kabe-don is the trendy new way for Japanese bad boys to soft sexually assault their crush. It consists of a guy approaching a girl he (presumably) has a thing for, who is ideally leaning against a wall, then suddenly smacking the wall with their palm and getting in reaaaaalllly close so the girl can smell his garlic breath.

Oddly enough, a lot of Japanese girls go absolutely wild for the idea of the kabe-don, in the same way guys love the idea of owning a Weird Science-esque sexbot; It’s sexy and cool on paper, frightening and creepy in real life.

Luckily for any girls who find themselves the unwilling recipient of an ill-advised kabe-don, someone has created an illustrated self-defense guide:

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Already got your box set of Sailor Moon DVDs? Then how about a box set of anime accessories?

For anime fans, there’re aren’t many things more frustrating than single volume releases of a series they want to collect. Instead of a slow, expensive trickle of DVDs or Blu-rays with one or two episodes per disc, fans are always happier when they can get the whole series, or at least an entire season, in a nice box set.

Now, merchandiser Bandai is applying that same crowd-pleasing tactic to accessories, with a series of boxed collections of pins and charms inspired by the four seasons of the original Sailor Moon.

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Attack on Titan and Evangelion coming to Universal Studios Japan

Running Universal Studios Japan has to be a pretty tough job, since it’s never quite been able to step out from the shadow of Japan’s theme park juggernauts, Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. You have to figure part of that stems from Universal’s weaker portfolio of beloved characters and settings. Whereas a trip to the Disney parks means a chance to rub elbows with the cast of Aladdin, Toy Story, and The Little Mermaid, visitors to USJ have had to settle for Jaws, Water World, and Backdraft.

But Universal Studios Japan has a new plan that involves not minding the first two-thirds of its name, but that last word, as the park is planning to add new attractions based on Attack on Titan, Evangelion, and other hit franchises from Japan.

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Cute Cardcaptors, titanic females, and the other cool anime figures of Wonder Festival【Photos】

While we spent plenty of time at this week’s summer Wonder Festival snapping pictures of the awesome cosplayers, they’re really not what the event is about. Wonder Festival is actually Japan’s biggest modeling convention, with hundreds of displays of the latest figurines and garage kits.

We sent our Japanese-language reporter Meg out to the Makuhari Messe convention center, and she brought back a batch of photos sure to have anime fans clearing off space on their desk for one more figure.

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From Sailor Moon to Freddy Krueger – The lovely cosplayers of Wonder Festival

We recently made the trip across the Pacific to Comic-Con in San Diego, where we checked out the newest titles from the exhibitors and the costumes made by their fans. Our traveling reporter Yoshio even decided to join in and dress up too.

San Diego wasn’t the only place to see some cool cosplay last weekend, though. Back here in Japan, the summer Wonder Festival, the world’s largest model and figure exhibition, was going on, so we headed over to the Makuhari Messe convention center to photograph the amazing costumes.

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How to make your own Pikachu Burgers!【RocketKitchen】

We recently paid a visit to the Pikachu Café in Roppongi, where we dined on, among other dishes, a hamburger shaped like the electrically charged Pokémon mascot. But while we found ourselves craving seconds, we weren’t sure we felt like waiting in the restaurant’s long line again.

So instead, we decided to make our own Pikachu Burger by reverse engineering and remixing what we ate in Roppongi, and today we’re sharing our recipe with you. So join us after the break for this easy recipe and a step-by-step guide to building your own pika-tastic burgers!

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Live-action Attack on Titan confirmed for 2 films

Live-action Attack on Titan film director Shinji Higuchi confirmed on Wednesday that the project will span two films. Both are slated to open next summer. The movies are currently filming across Japan including on Hashima Island in Nagasaki Prefecture.

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Boston theatre puts on play about Astro Boy and Tezuka

Osamu Tezuka‘s Astro Boy, in addition to being a historically important piece of entertainment, is also widely beloved around the world. And now, some sixty-plus years after its first inception as a manga, it’s been granted additional life on the stage, thanks to the efforts of playwright and director Natsu Onoda Power, and the folks at the Company One theater company.

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Titans attack Lawson convenience stores, bring tons of anime goodies with them

Pokémon fans recently got some good news when word came that Pikachu will soon be taking over the city of Yokohama. It’s not just cute and cuddly anime icons running rampant in Japan this summer, though.

Next month, Lawson convenience stores across Japan are going to be invaded by the remorseless and/or skinless cast of Attack on Titan, and they’re bringing a staggering amount of merchandise with them..

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Optimus Prime to upgrade from truck form to PlayStation Classic form in 2015

So it’s the 30th anniversary of the Transformers, the 20th anniversary of the original PlayStation, and TakaraTomy Arts is the bolder, crazier cousin of the legendary Japanese toymaker TakaraTomy (who distribute Transformer toys in Japan).

What do these three things have in common? Well, TakaraTomy Arts apparently saw that the venerable console and the adored-before-a-certain-Hollywood-filmmaker-destroyed-it cartoon robot franchise were both celebrating a milestone and decided to commemorate it the only logical way: By combining the two into a new badass toy.

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Pikachus overrunning Yokohama in the cutest rodent invasion ever 【Video】

Every summer, there are certain pests you can expect the country to become briefly inundated with. First come the mosquitos that lay their eggs in the puddles of water that form during the rainy season. Next up, the whining cicadas that serve as an aural reminder of midsummer, whether you want one or not. And last, the jellyfish, buzzkills of the animal kingdom who show up at the beach and deliver their joyless message of “Everyone out of the water!” by stinging swimmers.

But this year, there’s finally some good news, as the city of Yokohama is about to be overrun by Pikachus!

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Our reporter goes looking for fans at Comic-Con…in his Sailor Venus cosplay outfit

Our Japanese correspondent Yoshio recently made the trip for Tokyo to San Diego to attend Comic-Con for the first time. After seeing all the fans in costume showing their enthusiasm for their favorite series, Yoshio got bitten by the cosplay bug and decided to dress up too.

But which character to cosplay as? He knew he wanted someone Japanese, to represent his home country. Someone strong and just, with a kind heart. And while he was at it, why not add long, flowing hair and miniskirt to the checklist?

In other words, Yoshio spent a day at Comic-Con rocking a Sailor Venus outfit.

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“Painful” decorations return! It’s time to bring the pain to your entire room!

When it comes to hobby devotion, no one seems to take it to the limit more often than the Japanese. RocketNews24 has brought you stories about super-fans decorating their cars, vans and bikes in honor of their favorite characters and animation series. A company is now making it easier to take that devotion into your apartment, and especially into your bedroom! Buckle up folks, the following images are as disturbing as you are imagining!

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The amazing cosplayers of (the first two days of) Comic-Con 2014

Our Japanese reporter Yoshio is currently attending his first ever Comic-Con in San Diego. After completing such epic quests as flying across the Pacific and finding a parking spot near the Convention Center, he’s been enjoying Preview Night plus the first two days of the show.

But while Comic-Con is the world’s biggest celebration of comics, animation, movies, video games, and all other sorts of 2-D fiction, Yoshio’s been blown away by something very real and three-dimensional: all of the amazing cosplayers!

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Father posts six-year-old daughter’s anime character drawings online, net users not convinced

Many kids love drawing and playing with colors. Some even drive their parents insane with constant doodles on the walls, tables, and practically any flat surface within proximity. But some are more talented than others, and there’s no doubt that there are child prodigies who can draw better than some adults.

Recently, a proud Japanese dad posted pictures of drawings his six-year-old daughter created of her favorite anime characters. The detailed drawings quickly caught the attention of internet users, with some commenting that the drawings were too good to be created by the hands of a six-year-old! Could this young girl be a budding artist? Check out her drawings after the break!

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Artist paints Totoro, classic Japanese artwork, and more, all on pregnant women’s stomachs

In Japan, there’s a long, proud tradition of drunken men drawing faces on their bellies, then contorting in order to make them appear to talk or sing. Wait, did we say proud? We mean embarrassing.

This doesn’t mean all abdominal art is automatically silly and repulsive however, as one artist is helping enhance the radiance of pregnancy by painting beautiful works of art on the stomachs of mothers-to-be.

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