List of anime directors fans expect the most from topped by….Goro Miyazaki?!

It’s been almost half a year since Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement from animation direction, leaving a empty seat at the top of Japan’s pile of anime talent. Miyazaki himself has even voiced his concerns about whether or not his juniors in the industry will be able to replicate the results that Studio Ghibli achieved when he was at the helm.

With the medium in a state of uncertainty, Japanese telecom provider NTT Docomo asked fans which director they expected to pick up the banner of the Japanese animation industry. Their surprising answer? Hayao Miyazaki’s son, Goro.

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Ah My Goddess, Patlabor artists draw figure-skating gold medalist Hanyū

19-year-old male figure skater Yuzuru Hanyū won the hearts of fans in Japan and across the globe this week. It’s not just his Olympic gold medal in Men’s Free Skating that has everyone talking. Hanyū also bears a striking resemblance to Neon Genesis Evangelion Shinji Ikari. Viewers are also fans of his cute Winnie the Pooh tissue cozy.

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Take a glimpse into the natural habitats of female Japanese otaku 【Photos】

While we here at RocketNews24 have no shortage of stories on geeky men in Japan, it should be noted that there are plenty of women that fulfill the otaku stereotype of being obsessed with anime, manga and video games. The recently published photo book Corrupted Rooms gives readers a peek inside the cramped living quarters of 50 self-professed otaku and shows the extreme level of dedication these women have to their hobbies. From rooms packed with action figures to racks of cosplay outfits, click below to catch a glimpse into the world of the female otaku!

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Otaku app lets you shop from your phone with help of cute mascot

Soon Japanese otaku will have even less reason to leave their rooms. Mobile software company have announced a shopping app dedicated exclusively to anime goods, and with its own moe mascot to make the experience even sweeter!

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Over 1,000 fans pick the coolest old guy voice actors

The Goo Ranking website held a poll to see which “old guy” voice actor fans think is the coolest. The poll was inspired by the recent Tiger & Bunny film and about 1,054 fans weighed in. Here are the full results:

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Anime fan’s level of obsession is a lot funnier than the reason he’s selling his collection

As media consumption patterns change in Japan, leading to less advertising revenue and lower DVD sales, merchandising is becoming an increasingly important way for anime producers to turn a profit. Not that the hardcore fans mind being given the opportunity to purchase a poster or coffee mug featuring their favorite character, mind you. And if the products happen to be limited editions, with the premium pricing such a designation entails, well that’s just a nice extra bit of otaku cachet.

One fan, though, is selling off his entire collection in one all-inclusive package. Quite often this sort of thing is the result of finding a flesh and blood girlfriend who doesn’t approve of decorating your walls with pictures of scantily-clad anime babes, but the reason for this collector’s fire sale isn’t anything nearly so happy.

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Despite being some of the most iconic anime villains ever, we’re still not sure how to feel about the monsters of Attack on Titan. On the one hand, they’re giants hell-bent on eating the tasty humans hiding behind the walls of their cities. On the other hand, there’s something unmistakably, well, goofy about them. Many of them have baby-like proportions and dorky haircuts. Quite often, they shuffle around listlessly, almost as if they can’t be bothered to chase after their terrified snacks. They have no concept of pants.

Somehow, the Titans have ended up with a sort of twisted charm that makes us unsure whether we’d rather fight them or keep them as pets. Luckily, with the new Attack on Titan smartphone game, you can do both!

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Hayao Miyazaki, Rumiko Takahashi nominated for Eisner Hall of Fame

Comic-Con International announced on Wednesday that the Eisner Awards judges have selected three individuals for the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame this year, as well as 14 nominees for four more inductees.

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Manga legend Shigeru Mizuki’s longevity seems to come from lots of burgers and desserts

Shigeru Mizuki is one of Japan’s most loved comic artists, having created the manga Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro in 1959. Although the serial ended after a 10-year run, the light-hearted story about the traditional Japanese spirits called yokai still has a strong following today, thanks to multiple animated and live-action adaptations premiering as recently as 2008.

Mizuki isn’t resting on his laurels either, despite turning 92 next month. He started a new manga series just last December, and the energetic nonagenarian has recently released a book cataloguing the eating habits that have resulted in his long life. So what does his diet consist of? A surprisingly large amount of junk food.

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Does anime food have a place in the 3D world?

Animesia is a project combining two things dear to the hearts of the Japanese – anime and food. The title itself is a play on the word anime and the casual Japanese word for food, meshi. Run by The Association of Japanese Animations, it aims to turn the 2D dishes seen in your favourite animes into real, edible morsels, for a limited time only!

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Japanese company builds giant robot you could be piloting right now

Chiba Prefecture’s Wonder Festival is a bi-annual figure and model expo. The event’s bread and butter is figurine of anime and video game characters, in both frighteningly realistic and sexily unrealistic varieties.

But while the first thing most people associate with the event is toys, if your model is made of metal instead of plastic or urethane, and it’s self-propelled to boot, you’ve crossed the line of three-dimensional art and moved into straight-up engineering. Of course, Wonder Festival’s exhibitors aren’t going to stray too far from their fanciful roots, so what do you get when you combine technology with science fiction? You get this amazing giant robot, which is so easy to pilot that attendees could test drive it.

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Japanese amateur wrestling champion finds fame online for his taste in nerdy hobbies

The man pictured above is Tomoyuki Oka basking in the glow of winning the All-Japan Sambo Championships. Having excelled in the Russian grappling sport, he exhibits all the features of supreme manliness: a square hair-lined jaw, steely and dominant glare, burly muscles that dwarf his first place trophy (the Putin Cup), and a half-hearted effort at those “V” fingers that Japanese people usually pose with in pictures.

But wait a minute… What’s that under his sambovka?

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You can look at this life-size Super Sonico anime figure, but you can’t touch

Last Sunday, while the Tokyo area was still blanketed in white from the previous day’s snowstorm, we braved the cold and made the trip out to Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture for the winter installment of Wonder Festival. The bi-annual model expo is packed with the latest anime and video game-inspired figurines, including a fully-operational robot suit and hyper-realistic sculpture of one of Attack on Titan’s monsters from the torso up.

But the Attack on Titan figure wasn’t the only giant bust on display, as there was also a life-size statue of voluptuous anime character Super Sonico. In keeping with her exotic dancer-quality figure, though, her display area had some strip club-style rules, such as no groping allowed.

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Want to be an extra in the upcoming Attack on Titan movie? Check out this list of weird criteria

Attention, die-hard Attack on Titan fans! The producers of the upcoming live-action Attack on Titan movie slated for release next year are looking to recruit suitable extras. Since there are unfortunately no titans available for casting in real life, they’ll have to make do with humans and a bit of CGI magic. So why not give it a shot? Just be sure to confirm your eligibility beforehand with the requirements listed on the official recruiting announcement (which is itself quite amusing).

Do you think you’ve got what it takes to transform into a convincing titan?

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Who is the greatest manga creator ever? Japanese comic fans cast their votes

Some hardcore fans of manga comics take their devotion to an almost religious fervor. So strong is their enthusiasm that Osamu Tezuka, the medium’s more prolific and prominent pioneer, is commonly referred to as “The God of Manga.”

Manga, however, is far from a monotheistic religion, and in the 25 years since his passing, other artists have seen their creations go on to achieve the same fame and popularity as Tezuka’s. A recent survey of 24,420 Japanese comic fans recently chose four other artists for the pantheon.

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Scout Corps now accepting recruits for upcoming Attack on Titan Real Escape Games

As its popularity continues to grow, Attack on Titan seems to be seeping into the real world more and more, whether with figurines (in both hyper-realistic and, well, potato versions) or replicas of the heroes’ 3-D maneuver gear. Soon, though, fans will have a chance to reverse the trend and experience the world of the hit anime first-hand at a series of Attack on Titan-themed escape games.

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Girls manga magazine comes with cool perfume mixing set, puzzling beauty advice columns

The monthly comics anthology Nakayoshi is the oldest of Japan’s big three girls manga magazines, debuting months before rival Ribon and decades ahead of Ciao. Most of Nakayoshi’s readers are elementary and junior high school girls, but with over 50 years in circulation, there are generations of adult women who grew up reading its titles such as Princess Knight, Sailor Moon, and Cardcaptor Sakura.

One such former Nakayoshi kid is our Japanese correspondent Anji. While Anji’s a little older than the magazine’s target market, she was recently enticed into buying her first issue in years by the freebie included with Nakayoshi’s March issue: a perfume set that allows you to mix your own fragrances.

That cool giveaway wouldn’t be the only thing that surprised her about the magazine she used to know, however.

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Funimation to Stream Ben-To Fighting Comedy Anime This Month

North American anime distributor Funimation confirmed on Thursday that it acquired the streaming rights to the Ben-To anime. The company will begin streaming the anime with English subtitles to subscribers on Tuesday, February 11, followed by free streaming on February 28.

Funimation describes the story based on Asaura‘s “school serious/gag action” light novel series:

Every day an epic struggle rages in grocery stores across Japan—the battle for half-priced bento boxes! Once the discount stickers go on, ravenous brawlers start throwing punches in a knockdown, drag-out war over who gets to take home the cheap eats…

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Manga secret agent team has handsome looks, plus backaches, cavities, and sties

As completely fictitious forms of media, we usually don’t see the characters in anime and manga suffering the physical ill effects of their action-packed lifestyles. Shouldn’t Evangelion’s Shinji have severe whiplash from all the times his scrawny frame gets tossed around while piloting his giant robot? How does Kenshiro, hero of post-apocalyptic epic Fist of the North Star, not get a wicked eye infection after spending the whole of his adult life wandering a desert wasteland without so much as bottle of eye drops?

The answer, of course, is that those aren’t what Evangelion and Fist of the North Star are about (they’re about turning humanity into delicious Tang and making dudes’ heads explode, respectively). But by skipping over these real world problems, are creators missing an opportunity to make their characters more nuanced, relatable, and ultimately, attractive?

At least one artist seems to think so, as a new manga series has just begun featuring a cast of handsome men all suffering from physical ailments such as hay fever and stiff shoulders.

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How sweet! Fans send 8,000 boxes of Valentine’s Day chocolate to one anime character

Unlike in the West, in Japan it’s primarily girls who hand out gifts of chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Although the most common pattern is for a woman to give sweets to her boyfriend or secret crush, the holiday’s scope has been expanded to include relatives, coworkers, or any guy whose kindness she feels indebted to, regardless of whether there’s any romantic sentiment involved or not.

In recent years, the recipient doesn’t even have to be a real person, as this giant haul of Valentine’s Day chocolate for a single anime character proves.

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