TV

Swoon news – Visiting Japanese reporter becomes news himself as Thai women fall in love with him

Fetch me my smelling salts, Watson, this woman has fainted!

They say that love knows no bounds, and that regardless of the languages two people speak, kindred spirits will always find a way. That’s mostly nonsense, especially when you’re eyes-deep in legal documents or trying to explain tax returns to someone who can barely comment on the weather let alone discuss their hopes and dreams, but when it comes to spotting a hottie, trivial things such as national borders and words do not even factor into it. Case in point: women in Thailand are currently going nuts about one particular Japanese journalist who visited their country earlier this month, resulting in a flood of photos and comments about him being uploaded to Facebook and Twitter, to the degree that national newspapers and TV stations began reporting it as news.

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Incest-themed TV anime sparks decency investigation. What were the odds?

It’s a tough time for anime studios. The boom days of direct-to-video productions, when consumers would happily plunk down 5,000 yen (US$48) or more for 30-minutes of animation, sight-unseen, are long gone. At the same time, TV ad revenue is hard to come by, and in some cases, non-existent for anime programs. So in order to produce a hit these days, you’ve got to put your product on television first, and then find a way to leverage its broadcast popularity into subsequent DVD and Blu-ray sales.

The real tricky part is striking a balance between showing enough for free to keep people watching and interested, yet offering the prospect of something they can’t see on TV in order to drive home-video purchases later. An easy choice for this is sexual content, and the closer a show treads to the censorship line, the more wondrous the delights awaiting viewers in the unrated DVDs are assumed to be.

Recently, one anime may have aimed a little too high in appealing to the lowest common denominator, and is now the subject of a broadcast decency investigation.

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Believe it or not, this Japanese swimsuit model is not in her 20s (or 30s)

There’s a common phenomenon where people born and raised in Japan appear younger than their actual age to people who grew up in the West. On a trip to Los Angeles, for example, my wife and I wanted to shoot pool at a local bar, but were turned away at the entrance. She had forgotten to take her passport with her when we went out, and the doorman wouldn’t let us in without proof she wasn’t a minor, despite the fact that we were both in our 30s at the time.

The effect is amplified when the person in question looks young even by domestic Japanese perceptions, such as with actress and TV personality Maiko Ito, whose age we’d never have guessed by looking at her.

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5 ways Japanese TV shows are broken, according to expats

There are certain things almost everyone who moves to Japan seems to like. The food? Tasty and healthy. Public transportation? Clean and punctual. But Japanese TV? Let’s just say there’s a reason Internet access is one of the first things new arrivals in the country look to outfit their apartments with.

It turns out this lukewarm reaction to the country’s programming isn’t just a foreigner thing, either, as some 75 percent of Japanese citizens polled by the Asashi Shimbun newspaper also said that TV has become boring. Today we look at why.

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Air quality in Beijing now so poor that sunrises are being broadcast on giant TV screens [UPDATED]

As if today being a Monday wasn’t depressing enough, media outlets are reporting that the air quality and visibility in China’s capital city has become so bad that the state has begun televising live footage of sunrises on enormous screens ordinarily used for advertising. That’s right: with the real thing now almost completely hidden behind a thick layer of smog, people are actually watching nature on TV.

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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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Don’t own a television? Japan’s public broadcaster doesn’t care, but still wants your money

Paying taxes works a little differently in Japan. Often, large companies will simply deduct the required income tax from employees’ paychecks, and even file the necessary paperwork for them. On the other hand, workers have their earnings taxed twice, with residency taxes which are based on their income from the previous year and must be paid quarterly. Like most things in Japan, resident taxes can be paid with a fat wad of cash at the convenience store.

But perhaps the weirdest of all are government fees for public television in Japan. Not only do the bill collectors go door to door soliciting payment, but some administrators are looking to make people pay the fees whether they own a TV or not.

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Pikachu kisses his audience in Pokémon XY anime opening, gives glimpse of another dimension

In case you’ve been trapped under a giant boulder for the last few weeks, Japan – nay, the world – is currently once again gripped by Pokémon fever. Along with the new Pokémon X & Y titles for Nintendo 3DS, the new animated TV series is currently being lapped up by fans.

But one eagle-eyed viewer in Japan has spotted something both cute and a little odd in the show’s opening credits. In typically adorable fashion, a few seconds after the show’s opening song begins, everyone’s favourite pocket monster, Pikachu, gives the camera a friendly little kiss. But what on earth is going on inside his mouth!?

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Japanese dancer wins America’s Got Talent, calling show title into question【Video】

We introduced our readers to the “dance-ish” performer Kenichi Ebina when he first appeared on the popular NBC performance program America’s Got Talent earlier this year and summarized The Matrix in a 90-second dance routine. We knew then that he was something special, but little did we know he would go on to take the top prize, becoming not only the first Japanese but also the first dancer to do so.

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Sony’s new PlayStation Vita Slim ad is awesome, features gaming penguins 【Video】

We fell in love with Sony’s new PlayStation Vita Slim the very first moment we got our sweaty little hands on a demo unit at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, but this new commercial, which features rocking gaming penguins of every colour the new device is available in, made us even more eager to buy one.

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TV staffer makes hilarious walk-on appearance during live news segment

There’s nothing quite like a good live TV slip-up, be it a weatherman sneakily playing an online video game in the background or a pair of monkeys at the zoo getting down to a little R-rated action despite the presenter’s best attempts to hide it. And this one, which took place on Japan’s national public broadcasting network, is an absolute a doozie.

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2013 Fall Anime Preview – Part 1

It’s almost that time again! The Fall 2013 anime season is absolutely jam-packed with something for every kind of fan. There’s no way you can watch all of these though, so have a skim through this list (put together by Gigazine and translated by yours truly) to pick out the ones you’ll be following.

Read on for the first 20 series that will be hitting screens next week.

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New Pokemon anime taking it back to ’96, Coming this October!

Were you one of the millions playing the battery life out of Pokémon Red, Green, or Blue back in the late ’90s? If so, your days fishing for magicarp have probably taken a backseat to a 9-5 job and changing diapers. Perhaps you feel a little disconnected after the several iterations that followed the original games over nearly two decades and feel that the poké balls have been passed to younger generations?

If any of this applies to you, the people behind Pokémon want to say they understand and have prepared a special treat in store. Coming 2 October to TV Tokyo a new anime series will begin titled Pokémon the Origin and follows the storyline of the original set of games.

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‘Die die die die die die!’ Fans rage after variety show host ‘kicks’ AKB48 starlet

The passion and loyalty of J-Pop group AKB48’s fans is well documented online, with incidents of disgruntled individuals threatening sarin gas attacks over trifling matters such as the group’s involvement in particular advertising campaigns, and grown men tearing up whenever one of the more popular members is caught breaking the group’s code of conduct by having a secret boyfriend.

Most of the time these eruptions amount to nothing, and we have all learned to ignore them for the most part, but an incident that occurred this past weekend has prompted an explosion of AKB fan rage online, with many openly declaring their desire to kill a well-known presenter for ‘kicking’ leading member Mayu Watanabe in the head during a live broadcast.

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Korean media receives harsh criticism for not stopping man from committing suicide

Members of the Korean media have come under fire this week after they filmed a man who warned via his Twitter account that he would jump from Mapo Bridge-a known suicide spot-and made good on his promise.

There staff on the scene made no effort to intervene and have been arrested as accomplices to the man’s suicide.

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New Pokémon XY anime series to air October 17: will Ash finally become a Pokémon Master?

The latest Pokémon TV series has been announced, and it’s due to air this fall! Will Ash finally achieve his dream of becoming a Pokémon Master? I wouldn’t count on it…

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Manga and anime declared good study tools for kids

Children’s books and television shows these days are nothing compared to the ones that many of us had growing up. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. I think back fondly on those days of watching Rugrats and Scooby Doo marathons and scoff at the thought of modern-age children rotting their brains with Spongebob and Annoying Orange. But the fact of the matter is that letting kids subject themselves to those books and animations is important to the development of reading comprehension and critical thinking skills, though the shows now seem like garbage to our fully-developed minds.

In Japan, the same sort of issue arises with kids becoming obsessed with manga and anime. Parents may try to insist that their children put away the comics and pick up a real book. Some may even go so far as to throw out their child’s comic magazines as they begin to pile up. However, according to one of the professors at Tama University, Yuichi Higuchi, in his short essay “Are you a Bad Parent?” keeping kids away from their anime and comics is a terrible thing to do!

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Man sues Japan’s public broadcasting corporation for excessive use of foreign loan words

Risuku (risk), kea (care), toraburu (trouble), asuri-to (athlete); I can’t understand what the hell they’re talking about!” vented 71-year-old Gifu Prefecture resident Hoji Takahashi.

Takahashi, a former public servant and sponsor of the “Cherish the Japanese Language Group,” filed suit against Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) in Nagoya district court on June 25 for emotional distress. Claiming he is unable to comprehend programming content due to the broadcaster’s excessive use of foreign load words, or gairaigo, Takahashi is seeking 1.41 million yen (US$14,000) for the pain and suffering he has had to endure.

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Set your DVR – 10 new anime to watch out for this summer!

Unlike the U.S. television cycle of new episodes from fall to spring with reruns through the summer, Japanese TV chugs along with continuous new content. The calendar gets broken up into four blocks of 13 weeks each, and with a new one starting next month, there’s a slew of anime about to premier. Hold on to your butts, anime fans–this is going to be a fun season!

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