anime

Amazing! This 3-D itasha looks like a portal into the anime world

A true symbol of status for a whole lot of folks is the kind of car they drive. So what does it say about a person when a larger-than-life magical girl is bursting out the back of their van?! Someone is either absolutely amazing or amazingly disturbed to have so much love for an animated character. Either way, this has got to be one of the most awesome things we’ve ever seen rolling down the Japanese highway!

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2013 Fall Anime Preview – Part 2

Carrying on from Part 1, here’s the rest of the Fall anime line-up! We hope you’ve brought your notebooks!

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2013 Fall Anime Preview – Part 1

It’s almost that time again! The Fall 2013 anime season is absolutely jam-packed with something for every kind of fan. There’s no way you can watch all of these though, so have a skim through this list (put together by Gigazine and translated by yours truly) to pick out the ones you’ll be following.

Read on for the first 20 series that will be hitting screens next week.

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World-class fan art mistaken for designs from the new Sailor Moon anime, goes viral *UPDATED*

Fans have been pretty patient with the production team for the upcoming newest installment in the Sailor Moon anime franchise. After all, the previous animated TV series wrapped in 1997, so the sudden announcement of a continuation last summer was enough, in and of itself, to put them in a good mood.

Still, there’s only so much people can take. Originally slated to begin last summer, not only did the new show fail to make that air date (it’s currently been rescheduled for this winter), not so much as a single piece of artwork for it had been released. Fans started to get agitated. Sailor Moon already has some of the most iconic designs in Japanese animation. Just add a few more detail lines, slap on some shiny digital paint, and give us a peek at the new series, already! There had better be a good reason for the hold-up.

Today, however, a series of ultra-detailed character drawings surfaced online, alleged to be official character designs from the new Sailor Moon. Sadly, this turned out to be misinformation, but the designs are nevertheless incredibly impressive.

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Attack on Titan’s author causes a stir with his less-than-stellar sketches

On September 1, fans flocked to the Utsunomiya branch of Animate to attend an autograph event for Shingeki no Kyojin: Attack on Titan‘s author, Hajime Isayama. During his Shinkansen train ride to Tochigi Prefecture, the artist doodled up some ideas for pictures to draw along with his signature when meeting with his fans. He took a snapshot that quickly spread through the Twittersphere of what everyone assumed would be a superb work of art…

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Attack on Titan beauty product will keep you better-looking than series’ monstrous villains

For the most part, people in Japan take pride in being well-groomed. Skin care gets particular priority, and individuals especially concerned about looking their best carry around packs of oil-blotting papers called abura torigami. When you don’t want to wait until you get home to wash a day’s worth of grime off your face, they’re handy little things, and we mean that literally.

Abura torigami tend to be pretty small, so much so that you’ll usually see people stretching them out with both hands to get the maximum use out of the precious surface area each one offers. Granted, this looks dainty and adorable when a cute girl does it. Other people, though, such as the RocketNews24 male writing team, are far too ruggedly handsome to ever be considered “cute.” Are there no larger abura torigami for the rest of us?

Indeed there are, thanks to a tie-up with anime smash hit Attack on Titan.

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Language of the otaku has infiltrated our Internet forums

I’m sure that many of our readers are acquainted with the Japanese word otaku and its assimilation into English. For those that aren’t, it is a special label given to people who are especially obsessed with what might be considered nerdy hobbies, particularly those related to Japanese anime and manga. In Japanese, it can refer to any person with an obsession, whether it be half-naked figurines or interior design, but it almost always carries the negative connotation of being obsessed to the point of anti-social behavior. In the Western world, however, being an otaku is a badge of honor for many. People who like Japanese manga, anime, and games will often self-identify as otaku and join together with others of like interests over the Internet and other social outlets.

For better or worse, this circle of online anime fanatics has adapted a small vocabulary of Japanese words, creating a sub-set of Internet slang that bridges the language gap between these two similar cultures. Japanese pop culture enthusiasts worldwide cling to words like baka, moe, hentai, and more. But is this particular aspect of otaku culture a healthy thing to have spread? For example, there’s also the potentially disillusioned concept of “mai waifu.”

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Fans become melancholic themselves over the announcement of the end of the Haruhi Suzumiya manga!

The manga for the fan favorite series, “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu), drawn by Gaku Tsugano, will release its final chapter in the next edition of the monthly manga magazine, Shonen Ace (on sale 9/26), and fans are already feeling a little bit down in the dumps.

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Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle limited edition boxset in our sweaty little hands!

It’s finally here, the video game that anime and manga fans have been drooling over for months: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle. And better yet, our resident manga fan and gamer extraordinaire Kuzo managed to grab us one of the “Gold Experience Box” sets, which comes with a heap of limited edition Jojo merchandise.

Join us after the jump as we rip into this box of delights!

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Top 10 series that got Japanese fans hooked on anime

As the birthplace of modern anime culture, Japan has more than its fair share of hardcore anime fans, or otaku. But what starts someone out on the potential path to wall-to-wall DVD box sets, shelves of figures, and a bed full of love pillows? An online survey asks Japanese people to reveal the series that showed them the light.

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Do you remember giant robots? Full-scale Macross Valkyrie lands in Yokohama

The deployment of anime mecha to Yokohama continues. Earlier this month the Ingram from police story Patlabor made an appearance in the bayside city, and now comes a life-size VF-25 Valkyrie from Macross Frontier.

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Gundam-themed Toyota doesn’t come with beam saber, is awesome anyway

Sometimes, despite the director’s best efforts otherwise, the villain of a movie or TV series ends up stealing the show. Luke Skywalker became the archetypical example of a pure-hearted but bland hero, while dark side practitioner Darth Vader went on to become a true cultural icon.

Similarly, you’ll be hard pressed to find any viewers of long-running anime mecha franchise Gundam who name its original hero, Amuro, as their favorite character. His nemesis Char, on the other hand, has legions of fans, even though his last on-screen appearance was way back in the 1988 motion picture Char’s Counterattack. Despite his occasional attempts to drop space colonies onto Planet Earth, fans are drawn to the stylish Char, who has always had cool robots and a cool mask. Now, he’s got a cool car, too.

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Ginza’s Evangelion exhibit is amazing! We are (not) surprised

From August 7 through to the 26th, the Matsuya Department Store in Ginza held a large exhibit on their 8th floor, celebrating the creation and overwhelming success of the new Evangelion movie series. Over the span of 21 days more than 100,000 people went to see the exhibit featuring a large amount of original artwork used in the planning and production of the movies.

The exhibit was broken up into five sections: The history of Evangelion, the groundwork, the creation, a selection of drawings straight from the movies, and finally a store full of merchandise. Keep reading to learn more about this awesome display!

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Photos of the JoJo train are finally here and it’s not just the outside that looks cool

Earlier this week, we told you about the Yamanote Line train that will be decked out with the characters from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle (coming to PS3 on August 29). At the time, we could only provide you with a few artist renditions of what the train might look like. But now, may we proudly present to you 31 photos of the actual JoJo train, inside and out!

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Dangan Ronpa and Ted come together for some bear-y cute naughtiness!

Though Ted may be the most-well-known naughty teddy bear in the world, he is by no means the only one. We imagine that Monokuma, of the murder-mystery game/manga/anime Dangan Ronpa, may be a close Japanese second with its cackling and murderous tendencies. For fans of both of the animated characters, it might seem like a perfect match to have these black-humored bears on the screen together.

Alas, there’s probably no one mad enough to approve that combination, right?

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JoJo’s All-Star Battle Train to promote Jojo’s bizarre new fighting game

On August 29, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle will become available on PlayStation 3. It’s a fighting game that features all of the major players from the immensely popular manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. How popular, you ask? This beat-‘em-up video game is currently the top-ranked game on Amazon, thanks to the huge numbers of pre-orders, it’s so highly anticipated. One might think that a game such as this doesn’t need any more hype, but those who know JoJo know that this particular franchise will stand for nothing less than extremes!

Starting on August 26, one of the trains on Tokyo’s looping central railway, the Yamanote Line, will be plastered both in and out with characters from JoJo’s new fighting game!

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Zombies and vampires are out, anime witches are in, according to this wildly overfunded Kickstarter project

Little Witch Academia went live on YouTube in March of this year and quickly amassed over 600,000 views, instantly placing the Japanese Trigger Studios’ anime creation onto the radars of anime fans worldwide.

The enterprising folks at Trigger Studios, savvy businessmen on top of being superior animators, decided to ride fan excitement over to Kickstarter, a magical service that turns fan excitement into free money through the miracle of crowd funding. And boy did that prove to be a wise choice.

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Ghibli’s Miyazaki hints at possible Nausicaa sequel

For all of Studio Ghibli’s acclaim, the famed House That Miyazaki Built has never once put out a direct sequel to one of its works. While various thematic threads run through all of Miyazaki’s films, the man, for all his genius, apparently lacks the attention span to stretch a concept into two films. That or he was just really hates the idea of tacking numbers to his movies’ titles.

However that may change soon if comments Hayao Miyazaki made at a recent interview promoting his latest film and ode to tobacco smoke, The Wind Rises, are to be believed.

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From cameos to creepy-crawlies: 15 little-known facts about Studio Ghibli movies

Known the world over for their heartwarming stories and breathtaking animation, Studio Ghibli’s animated feature films have been capturing the hearts and minds of movie lovers young and old for years. With Kaze Tachinu currently soaring high above our heads and Kaguya Hime no Monogatari scheduled to arrive in just a few short months, the studio is showing no signs of slowing down, with both productions sure to attract whole new legions of fans.

But did you know that Studio Ghibli’s movies are literally crawling with easter eggs, secrets and sly winks, and that many of Ghibli productions have links to popular culture the world over? Test your Ghibli knowledge and maybe even learn a thing or two with this list of 15 little-known facts about our favourite animated movies.

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Japan’s defensive military sees surge of popularity thanks to… anime tanks?

On August 25, the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) will be running its big annual firing practice called the Fuji Sougou Kaiyoku Enshuu. Literally, the name means “Fuji Comprehensive Steam-Powered Exercise,” and it is the country’s largest military test using live ammunition. Anyone who wishes to come and observe the strategic simulation must apply for the opportunity, but after receiving a record number of applicants, it’s estimated that only about five percent of the people who applied will be allowed to enter!

So what caused this explosion of interest in military maneuvers? Many people are crediting the anime Girls und Panzer as one of the main contributors. This lighthearted anime focuses on a group of high school girls studying “the way of the tank” as though it is a traditional martial art. The anime’s popularity has encouraged thousands of civilians to pursue knowledge of Japan’s current military capabilities and to see the tanks in action!

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