anime

South Park’s anime-style “Princess Kenny” video arrives in Japan, chuckles and confusion abound

A recent storyline in the often controversial, always hilarious animated series South Park focuses on the run-up to the Black Friday sales, and sees the fictional town’s inhabitants turning into murderous, bargain-hunting zombies prepared to gouge one another’s eyes out if it means getting a new TV for a fraction of the normal retail price.

At the same time, a war rages between the town’s kids over which console – Xbox One or PlayStation 4 – they should band together to nab in the sales, and results in Microsoft’s Bill Gates handing out weapons to young Xbox One fans (one per child, in the name of safety) to aid them in their struggle. Not wanting to be outdone, Sony strikes back by granting the leader of the competing faction – none other than parker-wearing mumbler Kenny – the power to become a real Japanese princess, transforming him into an doe-eyed anime beauty, complete with his own Japanese theme song.

Of course, it didn’t take long for clips from the show to make their way to Japan…

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Hard-to-swallow cannibal manga Pupa to be released as anime for public consumption

Pupa is the touching (horror) story of extreme devotion between siblings, chronicled in a manga series. It tells the remarkably original tale of how a young girl became a monster craving to feed off human flesh, and how her older brother offered up his own living body as her “food source”. Spoiler alert: it takes a lot more than one meal to finish him off! If you’re anxious to check out it out, the anime version of Pupa was previously scheduled for autumn 2013, but a new release date of January 2014 was just announced via Twitter.

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Run, fat boy, run! Moe cuties return to help men shed pounds in running app Burn Your Fat With Me 2

With Thanksgiving looming over our North American readers and the eatathon that is Christmas not far behind it, the folks at Creative Freaks are clearly worried about our waistlines. Following on from the success of last year’s Nenshou: Burn Your Fat with Me!! and July’s insult-you-until-you’re-slim-’em-up Nenshou for Girls, the developer has just released a true sequel to the fitness app-cum-dating sim, taking a slightly different approach this time around.

If having abs of steel and not breaking into a sweat halfway through your evening meal aren’t incentive enough for you, perhaps dating a moe-style cutie and having her be your personal trainer each day will be enough to get you off your couch and into your running shoes?

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Doreamon get his first ever CG overhaul in upcoming movie, “Stand By Me: Doraemon”

Those encountering the wide-mouthed blue robot that is Doraemon for the very first time could be forgiven for not realising that he’s supposed to be a cat. And even once filled in we’re sure that few people would ever imagine that this earless robo-feline should be any more popular than the thousands of other quirky anime characters that exist in popular culture today.

But for most Japanese, and perhaps a handful of Westerners who were introduced to the anime as kids, Doraemon is a seriously big deal, and fans are currently buzzing with excitement following the news that one of Japan’s most-loved characters is not only getting a brand new movie of his own, but will be appearing in gorgeous 3-D computer generated form for the first time ever.

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Anime lies! Akihabara is actually “ugly and boring,” Chinese netizens say

If anime culture were a religion, Tokyo’s Akihabara district would be its holiest site. With all the maid cafes, manga shops and cute “moe” cartoon girls plastered everywhere, Akihabara is usually a must for visitors to Japan interested in all things geek. However, Chinese netizens recently argued (on a site that hosts pirated Japanese anime nonetheless) that the geek mecca is actually really boring and Japan is using anime to make other countries think it is cool and beautiful. Sharpen your claws and join us after the jump for more.

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7-Eleven’s One Piece “Gomu-Gomu no Mi”: Looks kind of like an alien brain, but it sure is tasty

Always keen to cash in and come up with some new character-themed promotions, Japan’s 7-Eleven recently began selling blueberry and whipped cream-filled bread made to look like none other than Gomu Gomu no Mi Devil Fruit from the One Piece manga and anime.

We couldn’t resist finding out what the fruit that made Monkey D. Luffy the man he is tastes like, so when we spotted the new sweet bread at our local combini we grabbed one right away. Join us after the jump for our full taste test.

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Video game and anime themed leather wallets for all your video game and anime spending needs

Do you have an important date or job interview coming up? Why not seal the deal by flashing your handmade Mega Man wallet so everyone knows you’re playing with power? And if you don’t have a Mega Man wallet, then Sova Leatherworks can make one for you!

Steph M. is the artistic talent behind Sova Leatherworks in Tacoma, USA. Although she sells a wide range of patterns on her wallets, it’s her self-confessed geekiness which led to the series of handcrafted wallet designs based on video games and movies that have been attracting attention in Japan.

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Too hot to be a nerd? We visit the fabled Animate worker who has the ladies of the Internet talking

You’ve already been introduced to Yuya Uchida, the attractive worker at the Osaka Nipponbashi branch of Animate, a chain of anime and manga stores in Japan. He has inspired countless Internet debates regarding his status as both an otaku and a hottie, prompting one user to comment, “Hot guys should be banned from watching anime.” We knew we had to go out to Osaka to find this mythical hotaku™ and see for ourselves if he really is as irresistible as the Internet makes him out to be.

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Vocaloid’s fandom evolves beyond the music and becomes the face of young Japanese otaku

Last month, we posted an article capturing the changes in anime art style over time. These adjustments in overall style can come on so slowly, but when laid out side-by-side, they become so blatantly apparent, it’s amazing that such a large breadth of drawing styles could all come under the umbrella of Japanese anime. It would seem that with every passing decade there comes an attraction to a different art style.

In the special interest magazine, Febri volume 19, there is an interesting report called Portrait of a Modern Otaku, which classifies these trends in popular Japanese anime according to “generations,” starting with Space Battleship Yamato and all of its fans falling into generation one. Generation two is represented by Gundam, while fans born of Evangelion and erotic dating simulators belong to generation three. Today’s twenty-somethings likely identify with the fourth generation of fans frontlined by The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. And finally, the youngest bunch, teenagers and below are classified together with none other than Kagerou Project.

But wait. How could it be that an offshoot of Vocaloid, the computer voice simulator, is the poster child for this most recent generation of otaku? The development of Vocaloid fandom itself, holds the answers.

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After waiting so long to watch the live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service trailer, we kind of wish we hadn’t

Despite being over 20 years old, Kiki’s Delivery Service is still one of the most beloved films from legendary anime house Studio Ghibli. When news broke earlier this year of a live-action remake of the story of a young witch coming of age in the big city, fans were elated.

Since the first still shot of lead actress Fuuka Koshiba dressed as heroine Kiki was released last May, we’ve been waiting with bated breath for a trailer. When we heard one had finally been released, we pulled it up on YouTube with all the excitement of a kid tearing open a present on Christmas morning.

Of course, sometimes you’re a naughty kid and Santa brings you a lump of coal, which is just how disappointed we felt when we saw the special effects for the live-action Kiki.

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Fan of recent swimming anime, Free!, finds clever way to crawl into bed with the characters

September 26 of this year marked the end of the series finale of the popular swimming anime, Free!, though fans of the series remain highly active on the Internet and at doujinshi (fan comic) events.

Recently, there’s been a real flurry of excitement within the Free! fandom on Asian blogs and online gossip columns over one fan’s genius idea to get the series’ token sweetheart to lie between her sheets. Because who wouldn’t want to sleep next to such beautiful 2-D biceps, right?

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Glico gets some cute new mascot characters, but no one can figure out why

For decades snack company Ezaki Glico has supplied Japan with delicious munchies such as Pocky, Pretz, and Papico, not to mention a slew of other snacks that don’t happen to begin with the letter P! Until now, the company name was enough to grab people’s attention and promote the purchase of their tasty products. If pressed to choose an icon with which to represent the well-known brand, many might choose the 300-meter running man, as seen along the Dotonbori Canal in Osaka. However, not even he could be considered a true mascot.

Now, breaking tradition, Glico has just released official images of their all-new official mascot characters, Lico and Guri. These anime-style characters are the embodiment of cute and cool, but are pulling some conflicted reactions from Japanese Internet users. Take a look at their introduction video and decide for yourselves whether the creation of these characters is welcome or just plain weird.

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Internet Explorer looks to win back fans with new moe/anime mascot Inori Aizawa

About a year ago, Microsoft learned the power of moe mascots when their Windows 8 platform sold in record numbers in Japan. This was largely credited with the addition of the Madobe Sisters, Yuu and Ai.

Now they’re hoping lightning will strike twice and jolt some new life into their web browser Internet Explorer. As more and more people have flocked to browsers like Chrome and Firefox over the years, IE looked as though it was heading the way of Netscape thanks to sluggish speeds and compatibility problems.

However, IE’s newest mascot, Inori Aizawa promises and end to these design flaws along with some lasers and high speed robot battles.

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The animated meals in Ghibli’s movies have our mouths watering

Ghibli films are celebrated the world over for their enchanting art, beautiful world-building, and family friendly plotlines. Stylistically, there are many things that set these movies apart from other animated titles, both in terms of common themes and art quality. The backgrounds will be scenic. The children will fly. Tears will fall like big, fat drops, and the food will always, always look enticing.

Latching on to that latter truth, Japanese news source My Navi Woman asked its readers which of Ghibli’s mouth-watering morsels they would most like to eat. 225 women responded, leading us to six of the most desirable dishes featured in Ghibli films.

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We can (not) believe it. Did this theater just leak the release date for the final Evangelion movie?

So, got any plans for December 31? Going to the temple at midnight to ring in the new year? Got a hot date for the annual gathering at Tokyo Tower?

If the website of one theater operator is to be believed, you could pass on both of those, and instead watch the final theatrical installment of hit anime Evangelion.

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Halloween cosplay at the Pouch/RocketNews24 Japan offices – 2013 edition

As Halloween becomes increasingly popular in Japan, people are finding more and more opportunities to show off their costumes. A few years ago your only chance to dress up would be a private party with some friends, but now there are parades and even neighborhoods with trick-or-treating for kids (sadly almost always in the afternoon, but it’s a start).

Last year, our sister site Pouch experimented with the idea of Halloween costumes in the workplace, giving the team a boost in solidarity and energy. Could they repeat that success this year?

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Twitter user names Japan’s three worst fandoms

Whenever fans of a particular thing gather, there are bound to be some people who act out and reflect badly on the rest of the group. Usually, these people are the outliers, largely ignored by the majority of the fans. However, some select fandoms seem to attract a disproportionate number of bad-mannered crazies and develop a terrible reputation on the whole. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a comic, anime, movie, musician or a sports team at the source, I’m sure there’s at least one fandom for which you can relate.

Japan certainly has its fair share of obsessive fan bases. One Twitter user decided to put together a graphic for the country’s three worst offenders and their reasons why. Now, while we don’t want to over generalize and say that everyone in these fandoms is as rude as described, we can certainly see where they’re coming from…

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Evangelion? Cool. Katana? Cool. Evangelion and katana? Very cool!

Evangelion, known to its fans simply as Eva, has already earned itself a spot in history as one of Japan’s most popular anime ever. The franchise has such wide appeal that its characters have been used to promote everything from lingerie to cheeseburgers.

Now, Eva’s cast of teenage protagonists is helping to drum up interest in something a little more traditional than the high-tech robots they usually pilot with their newest promotional crossover, the Evangelion and Japanese Sword Exhibition.

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Adorn your legs with JoJo’s Bizarre tattoo tights

Female manga fans understand that there’s more to Japan’s comic industry than the schoolyard romances and shojo sparkles with which we are targeted. A lot of us really love the action, the fighting, and the hero adventure stuff too! Thankfully, there are at least a handful of manufacturers out there who understand where we’re coming from. One such company is catering to us girls with less feminine fandoms by bringing us tattoo tights from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure!

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These one-eyed manga comic heroines are totally safe for work, slightly less so for your sanity

One of the most distinctive aspects of Japanese comics and animation is the size of the characters’ eyes. From a design standpoint, larger eyes make are easier to emote with, and some of anime and manga’s most expressive, and thus memorable, characters have had some of the biggest eyes. As the eyes became bigger, anime artists were left with less and less space to draw the nose and mouth, both of which are often tiny compared to those of Western cartoon characters.

But there’s only so much room on the face, and now we’re seeing the twistedly logical conclusion to the big-eyed trend in the growing popularity of otherwise cute female manga characters with only one eye.

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