anime

Otaku Internet services: For all your online Japanese geekery needs

When it comes to language learning, one of the biggest problems is staying motivated. Memorizing 100 kanji for a test next Friday might get you through the work, but memorizing 100 kanji so you can read your favorite comics or talk online with fellow comic-fans will really light a fire under your keister. And we all tend to learn better when we’re having fun! We think someone proved that with science and stuff. It might have been Mr. Sato…he’s been playing with the chemistry set again.

Anyway, we know a lot of our readers are both Japanese-language learners and manga/anime fans. If you fit that description and you’re always looking for something to help keep you motivated to study, why not add these sites to your daily reading list? It might be difficult to get through everything at first, but if you keep with it, you’ll be reading like a champ in no time! Just don’t ignore your real homework! We don’t want any angry Japanese teachers knocking on our doors…

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Like all things Evangelion, whether this hoodie is creepy or cool depends on the viewer’s interpretation

Over the past several months, we’ve seen wave after wave of wearable Sailor Moon merchandise, from accessories to lingerie to even bibs. But what about the other colossal ‘90s anime hit featuring combat-ready adolescents, Evangleion? Is there no new way to dress yourself in a way that shows your love for the franchise that ping pongs back and forth between scenes of its 14-year-old protagonists battling horrific aliens and coming to grips with the sexual confusion and frustration of puberty?

Why yes there is, and you can keep yourself warm at the same time with this crazy zip-up Evangelion hoodie.

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Snazz up your wardrobe with style cues from Tiger & Bunny characters

Looking for some style inspiration? How about Barnaby Brooks Jr. and Kotetsu Kaburagi from Tiger & Bunny? Premium Bandai’s Bandai Fashion Net has started selling clothing inspired directly by the characters’ duds from the upcoming Tiger & Bunny The Movie -The Rising- film (check out all the new character wardobes and designs at the official website).

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Turn any anime character into a glasses gal with this awesome photo frame

In our modern world of contact lenses and laser eye surgery, no one really needs to wear glasses. Nevertheless, there are some people who choose to do so, as well as another set of not entirely overlapping glasses fans who simply feel the object of their affection looks all the cuter with a set of corrective lenses.

Now, a new glasses stand from anime merchandise producer Funny Trick lets you instantly transform your favorite characters, even those with 20-20 vision, into bespectacled beauties.

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Live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service film’s new images feature Tonbo, Osono

Website Crank In!! posted six new images from the live-action film of Eiko Kadono‘s fantasy novel series Kiki’s Delivery Service (Majo no Takkyūbin) on January 4. The images feature Kiki (Fūka Koshiba) and various other characters, including Tombo (Ryōhei Hirota, above) and Osono (Machiko Ono, below).

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Korean idol group’s Sailor Moon cosplay sets fans of anime and K-pop against each other 【Video】

As fans continue to wait for the now twice-delayed debut of the new Sailor Moon TV series, numerous companies have been taking advantage of their anxious anticipation by featuring the beloved magical girls of the hit ‘90s anime in their offerings and advertisements. We recently saw Japanese intimate apparel manufacturer Peach John release a line of Sailor Moon-themed bras and panties which sold out almost immediately, but the power of Moon marketing is too great to be contained in its native Japan.

A troupe of Korean idols recently appeared as the Sailor Moon cast in a music video and accompanying TV commercial, causing a schism on the Internet in the process.

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Applications for Japan Self Defense Force increase by 20% thanks to moe

Cuteness sells, even if what you’re selling is recruitment for the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) and the National Defense Academy (NDA). Since last July, the JSDF’s Okayama Provincial Cooperation Office has been using three adorable mascot girls to raise awareness for the JSDF. The girls represent each military branch of the forces, sporting the uniforms for each. Momoe Kibi represents the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (Army), Mizuho Seto represents the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (Navy), while Airi Bizen represents the Japan Air Self Defense Force (Air Force). If the design aesthetic looks familiar, it’s because the girls were created by Humikane Shimada, the original character designer behind such military-inspired moe series like Strike Witches and Girls und Panzer.

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Sporty nerds gather in Nagano to show off their anime and manga-inspired snowboards

Snowboarding is fairly popular in Japan and there’s no doubt that anime and manga are deeply ingrained in the psyche of many people across the nation. So we suppose this ita-board, or “painfully nerdy snowboard” event isn’t too much of a surprise considering the constant appearance of ita-sha (painful cars), ita-suit (painful suit), and even ita-heli (painful helicopters). What did surprise us is the national association dedicated to nerdy snowboards and the annual event that hosts them.

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New Sailor Moon series to debut in July, broadcast over the Internet!

Sailor Moon is among the most well-known anime in the world. Since their debut two decades ago, the “magical girls” have spawned thousands of toys, live action dramas, video games and even a musical. Needless to say, the series has incredible staying power and is still held dear by fans all over the world.

Unfortunately, the last new Sailor Moon anime episode was broadcast in 1997, leaving fans wishing for more animated magical adventures for well over a decade and a half.

Fortunately, the long wait is nearly over!

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Naruto’s fictional apartment valued at $100K

Real estate brokerage Movoto generally focuses their interests on, you know, real estate, but every now and again, they’ll also post their estimates on fictional properties. Most recently, they turned their interests to Naruto Uzumaki’s apartment in Hidden Leaf Village. Factoring in location, furnishings, size, and market, they came up with $100,000.

Here’s the listing they whipped up:

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Meet the $1,200 Attack on Titan figure that sold out in two hours in Japan

It wasn’t long ago we brought you news of an amazing DOLK doll loved by manga artists for its unprecedented 80 moveable parts and surprising elegance and beauty. Now, the company has teamed up with respected manufacturer I.O.S (Immortality of Soul) to bring joy to another legion of fans, this time with a 60-centimetre figurine based on a popular character from the hit anime series Attack on Titan.

As fans will know, this young man’s name is Levi, and his following is so huge that pre-sale orders for his doll were filled within just two hours of opening, despite a hefty US$1,200 price tag. We take a closer look at the awesome figure and find out what makes it so special.

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How to properly pronounce “Ghibli” and other fun trivia about the legendary animation studio

Two Thousand Thirteen was a year of ups and downs for Studio Ghibli with the release two feature-length films (Kaze Tachinu and Kaguya Hime no Monogatari) and the retirement of their greatest director, Hayao Miyazaki.

Now as the year comes to a close, it might be a fitting time to take a look back at some Ghibli films and learn some things we might not have noticed the first time around in a collection of facts compiled by Japanese website, Naver Matome.

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Video game director/composer Yumi Hashimoto tells us about Japan’s indie scene and her newest title

Not so long ago, making a video game was strictly for big businesses. Putting out a quality product required expensive workstations, plenty of office space to house the development team, and huge distribution and advertising budgets.

But at the same time as the cost of producing blockbuster interactive entertainment continues to skyrocket, a growing number of independent game creators are showing that with some reasonably priced development and project management software, a talented team can put together gaming experiences that rival anything from corporate-backed studios in terms of emotional impact.

We sat down for a chat with a young woman with the dream and drive to do just that, indie game director and composer Yumi Hashimoto.

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Perhaps Japan’s most painfully nerdy <em>itasha</em> car yet

Japanese has plenty of phrases based on the word sha/automobile. Some of these are pretty straightforward, like Nihonsha and gaisha, which literally mean Japanese and foreign car, respectively. Things get just slightly more complicated with the truncated Amesha or American car.

Today, though, we bring you a fine specimen of itasha. Stemming from the word itai (“ouch”), itasha are cars plastered with anime decals that are so palpably hardcore in their devotion to illustrated fiction that they outright hurt to look at. But what we’re about to show you is awkward even by itasha standards.

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Cosplayers pose, perform, and get a suntan at Singapore’s cosplay festival 【Photos】

Over the weekend, I stopped by the End of Year Cosplay Festival (EOY) held at Marina Barrage in Singapore. Although I love anime, I’ve never been to an anime convention or cosplay festival for one simple reason: I hate crowds. But this time around I had a friend, who coincidentally is a cosplay photographer, to show me the ropes of treading through a people-packed cosfest, so I braved the crowds to bring you guys (and girls) some fabulous cosplay photos!

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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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