anime

Arabic opening song for popular Japanese anime confuses Japanese netizens 【Video】

When I was a kid, I used to watch Japanese anime that were dubbed in English or Mandarin because the original versions were not broadcast on the local TV channels. Most of the time, the theme songs of these anime remained in Japanese, and I had fun singing along to the catchy tunes even though I had absolutely no idea what the lyrics meant. However, it isn’t entirely uncommon for international versions of anime series to have theme songs localized to the audience’s native language and tastes for music.

Recently, a clip of the Arabic version of the popular anime series, Arupusu no Shojo Haiji (Heidi, Girl of the Alps) has been making waves among Japanese netizens due to its localized opening song, which was starkly different from the Japanese original. Videos after the jump!

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New Studio Ghibli movie revealed for 2014: When Marnie Was There【Newsflash】

Seemingly not content with having two brand new movies out this year in the form of Kaze Tachinu and The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Japan’s Studio Ghibli has just announced that a new animated feature, Omoide no Maanii (When Marnie Was There), based on the novel of the same name by English writer Joan G. Robinson, will be hitting screens in Japan in summer 2014.

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Flash mob performing Totoro theme song will melt your heart, make you want to join in

One of the things that makes the anime classic My Neighbor Totoro so magical is the way the titular forest spirit appears out of nowhere. Time and time again in the film, he quietly makes his entrance, does something adorable and enchanting, then fades away into the forest. The understated beauty and child-like wonder of these moments is so powerful that you can’t help but wonder how much better the real world would be with more flashes of pure positive emotion.

That’s exactly what visitors to a suburban shopping center in Yokohama recently got.

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Look sexy by moonlight with official Sailor Moon lingerie

Like any good anime magical girls, Sailor Moon and her comrades transform into special costumes before taking on the forces of evil. But as cool as their sailor-themed battle gear looks on TV, pleated skirts in vibrant primary colors are a little loud by contemporary Japanese fashion standards. So how can the many fans the Sailor Moon franchise has attracted over the past two decades feel a little closer, wardrobe-wise, to their beloved heroines?

By slipping into a set of Sailor Moon lingerie.

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First full-length trailer for live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service shows off sets, cast, new theme song

Last month, we saw a brief teaser trailer for the upcoming live-action theatrical version of Kiki’s Delivery Service. Happy as we are for another chance to see our favorite magical parcel carrier on the big screen, our first look at the film’s flying effects didn’t do much to excite us, especially when compared against the lovingly crafted visuals of the story’s 1989 animated adaptation by Studio Ghibli.

Now, the producers of the live-action Kiki are back with a full-length trailer. Being the open-minded cinemaphiles/Kiki fanboys that we are, we decided to give the plucky witch one more chance to impress us, while also getting an earful of the film’s new theme song.

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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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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’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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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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