anime

Evil Villain “Colonel Muska” Leaves Japanese Orphanage Stacks of Goodies

Here’s a news story that managed to warm even our cynical, Internet-jaded hearts to the core.

A man going by the name of Colonel Muska, the nefarious villain from Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky, has made a surprise donation to an orphanage in Tokushima city on the island of Shikoku, Japan.

The mysterious stranger left a pile of expensive leather school backpacks as well as a copy of the Ghibli feature film on DVD outside the orphanage, along with a letter simply saying “Please think of this as an early Christmas present. Yours, Colonel Muska”

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Japanese Politician Takes a Stand Against Parents Naming their Children Pikachu

It’s not easy being a kid. If you’re fat the other kids make fun of you; if you’re skinny the other kids make fun of you; if you get good grades they make fun of you… Kids don’t need a genuine reason to be tease their peers; they can make one up just as easily.

But when your parents name you after their favourite thing – be it the weather on the day you were born, the place you were conceived or their favourite snack food – things get awkward for poor little Windy Latrine Butterfinger.

Although authorities have been known to intervene when parents try to call their child things like Akuma, meaning devil in Japanese, and @ as once rejected by authorities in China, the vast majority slip through the net. Since kanji, the Chinese characters used in the Japanese writing system, are based on meaning and can be read in a variety of different ways, parents giving their child a kanji-based name (some choose phonetic kana script, but this is usually just for girls) are able to choose both their child’s name and how it will be written.

For the most part, parents choose names that convey their love or hopes for their offspring, but in the land of otaku nerdism, sometimes parents just can’t help but get carried away.

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Japanese Plastic Figure Stop Motion Videos Look Amazing, Make Little Sense

This might be what Toy Story would look like if it were made by Japanese nerds: amazing, fluid animation, incomprehensible story line. There’s even an appearance by Hentai Woody

Check the video, called “The Worst Thing”, below:

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Japan Takes a Shot at Minimalist Pixel Art; How Many Can You Recognize?

Minimalist Pixel Art is the term given to a series of simplified, multi-colored block representations of iconic characters. They quickly achieved meme status after appearing on the web in 2010, and were even given physical shape with a German ad campaign for LEGO earlier this year.

The original images have also made the rounds in Japan, where they are known as “pictures that people well get if they know them”, and have recently inspired some Japanese netizens on internet message board 2channel to start a minimalist pixel party of their own.

Take a look at the images in the gallery below, and don’t feel bad if a few fly over your head: you’ll need a pretty firm grounding in Japanese culture to recognize a few of them.

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Here’s What Anime May Have Looked Like in Ancient Thailand

As the popularity of Japanese anime has spread around the world, many foreign artists have paid tribute to the genre by drawing characters from popular anime series in the style of their own country’s animation.

Sometime this turns out really cool, like the cast of One Piece reimagined Disney-style. But for art styles that aren’t as easily adaptable as Disney, such cultural crossovers can get a little bizarre.

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Mercedes-Benz Creates Anime Series or Commercial… or Both

Mercedes-Benz seems to be pulling out all the stops to advertise their 2013 model of A-Class car, the A 180.  In fact they have created a six-minute animated feature starring the A 180, in a rollicking race for the ultimate prize titled Next A Class.

Luckily, I grew up in the era of advertisements thinly veiled as cartoons. All the Noids or Cavity Creeps in the world couldn’t sway my purchasing preferences.  Years of Chester Cheetah and Fido Dido have hardened my mind to the subliminal messages animations can carry.

So although this anime short was well made and entertaining, it in no way swayed my opinion of this sleek new A 180 that perfectly combines the high performance of a sports car with the economic sensibility of a compact.

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From My Neighbor Totoro to Ninja Turtles: Anime Food in Real Life!

Few things could delight kids (and big kids!) more than mimicking their favourite TV shows, movies and videogames, and sitting down to the exact same meal that their heroes enjoy.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles always had the most mouth-watering pizza; Ponyo and Sousuke had home-made ramen noodles; Pop-eye had canned spinach… OK, so maybe not every cartoon meal is the greatest, but putting together food that looks exactly as it did in our favourite shows is sure to inspire even the most kitchen-shy of us to have a go, not to mention encourage fussy eaters to try something new.

If it’s anime-inspired food you’re looking for, cooking website Bistro Animeshi (a combination of “anime” and “meshi”, meaning rice or food) has everything from the fish pie delivered by Kiki herself in Kiki’s Delivery Service to Naruto’s favourite ramen noodles. As well as providing step-by-step recipes for each dish, the food blog makes every effort to match the original dishes as much as possible. We’re sure that you’ll be blown away by what they have to offer.

Plenty of tantalising food photos after the jump!

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Watch the Opening Minutes of Evangelion 3.0 & Official Utada Hikaru Music Video Now

After three years of waiting and months of promotional tie-insEvangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo finally debuted in theaters across Japan at midnight tonight.

To get fans pumped up for the long-awaited release (as if they weren’t enough already), Nippon Television Network aired both of the previous Rebuild of Evangelion movies over the past two Fridays— Evangelion 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone on November 9 and Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance last night— and topped it off with a special treat by broadcasting the first six minutes and 36 seconds of Evangelion 3.0 after the ending credits of last night’s showing.

We are pleased to bring you those six minutes and 36 seconds, as well as the newly-released music video for Sakura Nagashi, the Evangelion 3.0 theme by Utada Hikaru, below.

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Japan’s Most “Painful” Athletic Meet and Car Festival Brings Hoards of Otaku to Washinomiya

Thanks to popular anime, Lucky Star (Raki☆Suta), all of Japan has become familiar with the city of Washinomiya in Saitama prefecture.  The Washinomiya Shrine in particular has become famous among fans because of its appearance in the opening credits of the anime.  As a result, every year since 2007, Washinomiya Shrine has been invaded by hoards of otaku looking to ring in the new year; 2012 being a particularly busy year with 470,000 Lucky Star fans visiting the shrine.  Cities associated with popular anime often see an influx of visitors looking to take pictures and recreate scenes from their favorite anime, especially those that have been featured in magazines highlighting popular anime and manga locales, like Washinomiya Shrine.

Recently, a different kind of otaku gathering took place in Washinomiya.  Named “Crush Fest in Washinomiya 2012,” this event is arguably the most “painful” otaku athletic meet in all of Japan.  At the same time, a “painful” car festival took place, bringing in anime otaku from far and wide.

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One Piece Creator Eiichiro Oda’s Take on Himura Kenshin is…Insulting, at Best

Ruroni Kenshin, or Samurai X, as it was originally known in English, is one of the most beloved manga of all time.

Some would say it’s even better than the best-selling manga of all time, One Piece. Others would point out that they’re both good in their own right and shouldn’t be compared. After all, both are representative works of Shonen Jump magazine, and One Piece artist, Eiichiro Oda, even used to be an assistant for Nobuhiro Watsuki when he was working on Ruroni Kenshin.

In fact, Oda respects his former sensei so much that he even contributed a stylized portrait of Ruroni Kenshin‘s hero, Himura Kenshin, to the most recent issue of Shonen Jump. 

The only problem is it looks nothing like Kenshin.

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Cute Anime Girls Driving Sales of Windows 8 in Japan

On October 29, Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said that since its release on Friday, Windows 8 has been selling at a higher rate than Windows 7, the best-selling version of Windows to date.

Despite confusion over alleged magic touch screen-imbuing capabilities, Windows 8 seems to be doing well in Japan as well— so well, in fact, that limited-quantity DSP editions of the operating system, which feature two unofficial Windows 8-themed “moe” mascots, are already beginning to sell out, proving once again that the Japanese will buy anything with a cute anime girl on it (not that there was a lack evidence).

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Top 9 Anime Situations That Seem Likely to Happen, but Never Do

How many times have you ever been running to school late in the morning, rushing to get to class before the bell rings, only to turn the corner and bump into someone of the opposite sex, who you consequently fall in love with?

If your answer is more than “none,” chances are you’re either an anime character or an extremely well-organized stalker. Let’s face it: while there are plenty of situations found in anime or manga that seem like they could play out in real life, most are unlikely to ever naturally occur unless by some bizarre fluke.

Niconico News recently asked 500 of their readers to brainstorm some of the most common examples of such situations. Check what they came up with below!

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Incredible New Animated Music Video “Transfer” Wins Fans the World Over

You know something’s a hit when people all over the world are taking to their keyboards to express their amazement and tweeting the links like the internet’s about to be switched off.

Created by music group Ongaku Unit and featuring the vocal talents of hugely-popular voice actor and singer Megumi Nakajima, the video, titled “Transfer”, has already found much love abroad, with many claiming that the video is nothing short of “a revolution” and “the future of music videos”.

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Bloodbath: Why Do So Many Anime Characters Have Nosebleeds When They’re Aroused?

Any anime or manga fan will tell you that the sight of characters suffering sudden, sporadic nosebleeds when they’re sexually aroused is not uncommon in Japanese-created works.

A male character catches a glimpse of a girl undressing, a girl has the object of her affection wink seductively at her, a character trips and finds his face inches from a female character’s ample bosom; the result is always the same- a flushed face followed by a gushing nosebleed.

The idea is that sexual arousal causes an increase in blood pressure, which in turn sets off a nosebleed. It’s certainly true that arousal or embarrassment can cause us to flush– I can clearly recall my face bursting into flames when I was 12 years old and the girl in my class whom I was madly in love with was dared to kiss me on the cheek– but could it really cause a nosebleed?

NicoNico News turned to a medical professional to find out whether there’s any truth to the anime phenomenon, or whether it’s just an old wives’ tale…

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Japan’s Armed Forces Show Their Playful Side: Moé-Style Attack Helicopter Wows Crowds

“It just goes to show that we really do live in a peaceful country.”

A quote from an internet user sums up the mood perfectly after Japan’s Self Defence Forces unveil a unique attack helicopter covered with manga-influenced designs and colours.

Presented as part of an air show in Chiba prefecture last weekend, the quirky new helicopter quickly stole the show, with hundreds of people taking photos and video to share on the internet.

Whether we’d ever see a helicopter like this fly into battle or not, there’s no denying that it has an awful lot of charm.

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Ukraine’s Anime Girl and Real Barbie Meet Face to Eerie Face!

Two girls from the Ukraine have made a splash around the world with their unusual aesthetic choices.

First we have newcomer, 19 year-old Anastasiya Shpagina, who’s industrial strength make-up job transforms her into three dimensional warm blooded anime girl.  In the other corner we have 21 year-old Valeria Lukyanova, who surprised the world with her appearance of a “Real Barbie Doll” which is rumored to be the result of extensive plastic surgery.

And now for the first time these two titans of body modification collide for a photo shoot of epic disproportions.

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Fuji TV Introduces Awkward “Digital Announcer,” No One Sure if They’re Supposed to take Her Seriously

Fuji TV proved itself the forerunner of equal opportunity employment for digital labor earlier this week when they announced they had brought CG character Lune Anri on board as the network’s newest announcer.

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Hilarious Comic About Room-Sharing Jesus and Buddha, “Saint Onīsan”, to Become Animated Movie

It was revealed yesterday that Saint Onīsan, quite possibly this writer’s favourite manga right now, is to become an animated feature film.

For the unfamiliar, Saint Onīsan (lit. Saint young man), is Hikaru Nakamura’s serial comic that tells the tale of Jesus and Buddha, who come down to Earth from heaven for a little rest and relaxation, setting up camp in a small apartment in Tachikawa, Tokyo.

Constantly on a budget but always keen to explore, Jesus and Buddha do their best to keep their true identities secret while experiencing as much everyday human life as possible. Doing everything from experiencing local festivals to shopping for a rice cooker, the pair often find themselves getting into genuinely hilarious mishaps. Read More

The Question Dividing Japan: Which Girl Would You Rather Date?

I don’t know about other guys, but even if I’m in a healthy relationship I will sometimes encounter a girl who completely grabs my attention and doesn’t let go.

Maybe she’s stunningly beautiful, maybe she exudes charisma and style; whatever it is, there’s just something about her that captivates me—but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m romantically interested.

It’s like I’ve been trying to tell my wife for the past three hours while she’s locked herself in the bathroom with my wallet and phone: there are some girls you want to date and there are some girls you just want to look at.

Just take a look at the illustration above, which sparked an online debate over ideal girlfriends vs. ideal eye-candy after being poster to Twitter earlier this week.

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