manga

NASA and JAXA Holding Manga Character Contest, Design a Mascot for their Mission

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are joining forces on the Global Precipitation Measurement Project (GPM Project).

Now that all the abbreviations are out of the way, the two space agencies are holding a manga character contest to find some 2-D spokespeople (or spokesthings) to represent this project in promotional and educational materials.

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Off to College Comics: The Top 10 Manga for Those University Bound

Spring is the time of graduation ceremonies in Japan and while the junior high school students are ruffling feathers with their risqué photos, the high school kids are getting ready for that life-changing transition to college life.

After countless hours of prep courses and after-school cram schools they have acquired the knowledge to enter tertiary education, but very little instruction is given on how to adapt to the social life of university.

That’s where manga comes in. To fill that void of knowledge, Naver has compiled a list of comics that have hit home with university students in Japan. Sure, some of them deal with unrealistic subject matter such as conversations with bacteria, but they still manage to capture the general atmosphere of college life pretty well.

So without further ado, if you’re about to make the switch to a campus or if you’re just looking for a new manga series to get into, sit back and enjoy this list of university-themed manga.

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The Love Affair Behind A College Beauty Queen’s Amazing 33kg (73lb) Diet! How Ever Did She Do It?

Ahh, the things we do for love … but of course, love takes many forms, sometimes with astonishing results.

Just a month ago, we brought to you the story of the amazing cosplay diet that had the Japanese internet buzzing. Now, there’s another young lady who achieved equally incredible results dieting — motivated by her love for a manga comic, no less. And we have to say our hats were off to her when we learned how she shed off the weight. Read More

Osamu Tezuka’s Three Biggest Works Celebrated in Collector’s Stamp Sets

Like collecting comics? Like collecting stamps? If you happen to like both, then just try keeping your hoarding urges in check for this news.

Japan Post will be releasing three sets of stamps honoring the works of manga and anime legend Osamu Tezuka. The sets celebrate 40th, 50th, and 60th anniversaries of three of his biggest successes.

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The Best of the Best of Manga: Shonen Jump’s 20 Best Sellers of All-Time

As anyone will tell you, Japan is home to many major manga “monthlies” and “weeklies,” and of course the can be bought virtually everywhere from convenience stores to train stations. Among these many titles, however, it is without a doubt that Weekly Shonen Jump reigns supreme.

In the 90s the popularity of Shonen Jump soared and the stories it put out captured the hearts of young Japanese boys and girls everywhere, resulting in peak of 6 million copies sold. Although those numbers have fallen to 3 million in recent years, the company has stuck to its tried and true formula. Popular titles such as Dragon Ball and One Piece get serialized weekly in the magazine and then 10 episodes are compiled into comic books.

In this article we’re going to show you the all-time sales ranking of these books – something that we’re sure will appeal to both manga fans and newbies alike.

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“Manga Drawing Kit” That Comes With Girls’ Comic Magazine Way Too Impressive To Be A Freebie

Did you love to draw as a child? If you’re a girl, chances are you went through a phase of being infatuated with drawing pictures of princesses wearing fluffy gowns and diamond tiaras. (Sorry, I wasn’t quite sure what little boys would be crazy about drawing.) Well, for those of you who haven’t quite grown out of that phase, a special little kit that comes free with a recent issue of a popular girls’ comic magazine may make you squeal with delight. In fact, it’s been a hot topic on the Japanese Internet and even has professional manga-ka (comic artists) interested and impressed. The topic of all this attention? It’s the “Super Mighty Comic Artist Set (Super Saikyo Manga-ka Set)” brought to you by the comic magazine Nakayoshi. Read More

Desperate to Pee? Let Someone Else Shoulder the Burden with this Genius Invention: the Pee Baton!

Gadget-laden robot cat from the future Doraemon is something a national treasure here in Japan. Since the appearance of the original manga of the same name back in 1969, the subsequent TV series has been watched by multiple generations and is still on the air today. As well as remaining popular with adults and kids alike, the Japanese Foreign Ministry once declared the mechanical time-traveller the country’s official “animé ambassador”, meaning that the earless mechanical cat is sure to be around for a long time to come yet.

Perhaps the thing that people love most about Doraemon, though, is his seemingly bottomless pocket, from which the character produces all manner of gadgets and inventions in order to assist his human pal Nobita. Although the “dokodemo doa” (lit. “anywhere door”) is often given as the answer to the age-old conundrum “Which of Doraemon’s gadgets would you most like to have?”, it doesn’t stop people imagining what else could buried deep down in there.

In that vein, Yahoo! Japan recently announced the winner of its 2012-2013 Adults Only Doraemon Contest, in which contestants were asked to come up with an invention that they’d like to pull out of Doraemon’s pocket and use in real life, with the top prize being awarded to 50-year-old Rieko Honjou for her “Pee Baton”.

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Nine Anime Characters Women Want as Lovers, a Notorious Thief and an Infamous Murderer Top the List

Fantasy’s a wonderful thing.  With a little imagination things can be exactly the way you want it to be. Perhaps that’s why movies, animation, literature and more are so timelessly popular.  They show us life the way it will never be.

The list makers over at Otome Sugoren who teach us that everything can boil down to 9 items, like party manners, otaku relationships, and inter-gender video game etiquette have compiled the nine characters from anime and manga that women wish they could be with in real life.

Now, I like me some whimsy as much as the next guy, but I’m left dumbfounded by the thought process that went into some of these choices.

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Japan’s Top 10 Cosplay Costumes of 2012

With the myriad of cosplay costumes available in Japan, first-time cosplayers must be overwhelmed with all the choices. Luckily, Cospa, a major cosplay costume company in Japan, has narrowed down the choices, releasing the 2012 costume sales rankings. Coming in at number one is everyone’s favorite vocaloid, Hatsune Miku.

Check out the rest of the top ten cosplay costumes of the year:      

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Fan-Made “Dragon Ball Z: Saiyan Saga” Trailer is Finally Out! Take Notes, Hollywood

Big-budget live-action remakes of anime and manga are tricky business. One one hand, you’ve got to please the fans, who you know will be sitting in the theater with pen and paper scrutinizing every scene. But you also have to make money, which often means watering down the source material to make it digestible for regular movie-goers. As a result, live-action remakes are usually denounced by fans (and critics), but still manage to turn a profit in the box office.

This is why we love DragonBall Z: Saiyan Saga, a live-action non-profit Dragon Ball Z trailer made by fans not because they want to make a buck, but because they love the series so damn much.

The 5 minute 44 second trailer was finally released on YouTube yesterday after months of production, and looks absolutely amazing. Check it out below!

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【Rocket Food】 Dragon Quest Slime: Cute, Delicious and Made in Four Easy Steps!

Dragon Quest fan? Hungry? Have a few spare minutes? You’re in luck, my friend!

Thanks to the culinary creatives over at Japanese website Bistro Animeshi, we’re about to bring you the first of what we hope will be many recipes for character and anime-themed food! That’s right, over the past few years we’ve tendered to your loins, tickled your funny-bones and now we’re aiming to tantalize your tonsils.

If it’s in the Ghibli movies, we’ll help you recreate it! If you once saw One Piece‘s Luffy shove it down his neck, we’re on it. From the tasty to the downright weird, we’re here to help you cook up your anime dreams.

Welcome… to Rocket Food!

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SoftBank Funds New Social Network for Collectors and Cosplayers

Want to share your plastic Gundam model collection with your friends but too embarrassed to upload it to Facebook?

On November 29, Japanese internet company SoftBank and subsidiary Yahoo! Japan launched WONDER!, a social network where otaku can upload photos of their PVC figures, plastic models, cosplay, and original illustrations.

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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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Does One Piece Rip Off Disney? Only with the Best of Intentions

I remember reading the first few chapters of One Piece and being surprised to see a giant sea serpent that looked suspiciously similar to the moray eels Flotsam and Jetsam from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought so, and apparently that wasn’t the last time a Disney “rip off” appeared in the series.

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Microsoft to Have Booth at Japan’s Largest Comic Convention, Selling Limited-Edition Windows 8 PC

Microsoft Japan is getting serious about their anthropomorphic operating systems.

Until recently, these characters, also known as OS-tans, were nothing more than unofficial fan-made creations. However, as we saw last month with the popularity of the  Windows 8 DSP edition, Microsoft has begun to embrace their anime mascots, perhaps realizing their marketing potential among the otaku, or nerd, demographic. And now, for the first time ever, Microsoft will be delving into the belly of the beast and running a booth at Japan’s largest comic book convention, Comic Market.

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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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