Watch Studio Ghibli’s ‘Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo’ Short Film

Posted by Michael Pinto on Apr 25, 2013 in Anime, Cinema

Studio Ghibli's Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo

This short film was commissioned by Hideaki Anno for The Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo in 2012 as part of a special Tokusatsu exhibition. The film is directed by Shinji Higuchi and marks the first time that Studio Ghibli produced a live action film: Read more…

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These Gundam Robotic Vacuum Cleaners Don’t Suck

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 19, 2012 in Anime, Hobbies and Collections

Gundam Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

In Japan Sharp is showing off two robot vacuum cleaners which have been given a Mobile Suit Gundam theme. Apparently these are variations on their existing Cocorobo robot cleansers which include a voice recognition system. Here they are on display: Read more…

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Danboard: A Cult Cardboard Character Captured in Plastic

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 12, 2012 in Anime, Hobbies and Collections

danboard plastic model kit

If you aren’t familiar with Danboard he’s a cardboard action figure who is based on an issue of the Yotsuba&! manga. The original model kit that became popular in Japan was produced by Revoltech, but this newest kit caught my eye because it’s made out of plastic! What;s nice about this new kit is that the cover features an illustration by the japanese artist Hidetaka Tenjin who is famous for his beloved illustrations of Mobile Suit Gundam and Macross. Shown below are a number of examples from Japan of local hobbyists who had fun with this kit: Read more…

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Live-Action Ace Attorney Film Coming to Blu-Ray This August

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Jun 20, 2012 in Cinema, Videogames

ace_attorney_film_br

An official Japanese street date has been announced for the home video release of the Ace Attorney live-action film. From all of the trailers I’ve seen, the film looked pretty amazing, having accurately depicted the events as they occurred throughout the game, from the over-the-top costumes and special effects, to the ridiculous dialog and plot twists. Set for release on August 22nd, both the Blu-ray and DVD release will feature the full 135 minute film, audio commentary with both directors of the game and film. They’ve also included a bonus disc with promotional and behind-the-scenes footage. Unfortunately there probably won’t be any English subtitles on the discs, but at least you expect to see a version of the film fan-subbed within a month or two of the release, as that’s usually the case with films like this. Just do yourself a favor and buy a copy anyway. Read more…

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Mind-Controlled Cat Ears Street-Dated

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Apr 17, 2012 in Hobbies and Collections, Tech

neurowear vol.1 necomimi

Remember these? Last May we posted a video for Nuerowear’s mind-controlled fashion accessory “necomimi” — or cat ears. That right, they’re a pair of car ears you can control with a thought. Until now, they haven’t been made available for sale. The first batch will go on sale at the Nico Nico Super Conference being held in Chiba later this month for just 7,900 yen — that’s about $100 a pair. Of course, that’s a special price just for the event. They’ll actually retail for about $112 after that. I still can’t imagine anyone wanting to sport a pair of these on a daily basis, but once again, I’m sure they’d make for a fantastic addition to any cat-girl cosplay. Read more…

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Tokyo Disney, the Anime? I Wish

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Mar 28, 2012 in Animation, Japanese TV

Japan has its fair share of strange commercials, but this latest one for Disney’s Tokyo resort has to be one of the most adorable ads I’ve ever seen — so much, that the animated short has me convinced that I’d sit through an entire animated series centered around it. The 30 second anime short tells the story of a little girl and her time spent visiting the theme park over the years, from her first time as a kid, to meeting her future husband, eventually growing old together. It’s well animated, and the cute rendition of “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” fits it so well. Am I weird for wanting them to make more of these? I’ve included a bunch of screenshots from it after the jump.

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Ozma: A Look at the New Leiji Matsumoto Anime Series

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 24, 2012 in Animation

Ozma: the New Leiji Matsumoto Anime Series

If you grew up with Star Blazers, Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999 the new Leiji Matsumoto series Ozma will bring a smile to your face! This new show will have a science fiction theme (of course!) and will start airing in Japan on March 16th this year. Below is a look at some of the character designs which remind me a great deal of Captain Harlock: Read more…

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A Japanese Star Wars Videogame from Twenty Years Ago

Posted by Chris Sobieniak on Jan 18, 2012 in Star Wars, Videogames

vlcsnap-2012-01-09-12h24m05s232

Released only for the Japanese Sharp X68000 computer in 1991 from MNM Software, here’s a unique adaptation of the classic Star Wars arcade game rendered in vector graphics: Read more…

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Happy 60th Birthday to J-Pop Genius Ryuichi Sakamoto

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 17, 2012 in Cinema

Ryuichi Sakamoto by Andy Warhol

Since the late 70s Ryuichi Sakamoto has been a musical powerhouse of J-pop and numerous film soundtracks. He got his start playing the keyboards with the pioneering electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) from 1978 until the group broke up in 1983. After that he went solo and also produced records for quite a few other artists in addition to working on movie scores. One of his first soundtracks was for the 1983 film Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. Of course as an anime fanboy my favorite from the 80s was the soundtrack to the 1987 film Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise. Read more…

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12 Cool Calendars from Japan for 2012

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 7, 2011 in Animation, Anime

2012 Calendar -- Pixiv

What I love about calendars from Japan is that it gives you that something different — something fanboy to look at all year. Read more…

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Samurai Star Wars Prints Are Both Clever and Classy

Posted by Ben Huber on Dec 4, 2011 in Star Wars

Samurai Star Wars Prints

Have you ever wanted some art to spiff up your geek abode? Finding excellent art prints of your favorite movie or book isn’t hard these days, but every once in a while you catch a glimpse of something truly special. Case in point: Steve Bialik’s delightful Samurai Star Wars prints. These six 11″ x 27″ prints feature several popular Star Wars characters reinterpreted in the style of traditional Japanese art. It’s quite an interesting circle, given the inspiration Star Wars took from Japanese history (something that was probably the basis for these prints). One thing I must note is the fantastic use of color in these – I particularly like the “Emperor” and “Jabba the Hutt” prints, they’re really eye-catching. These would make great pieces for any fan’s home, so if you’re interested in any of these, be sure to check out Steve’s site where he has them available for purchase. Read more…

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Western Devs Making Waves in Japan

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Nov 29, 2011 in Videogames

Skyrim character close-up

When it comes to Western games, Japan has always seemed a bit stand-offish. I never really understood why, but every time the question was posed, Japanese developers would often cite everything from cultural differences and attention to detail, to their love for story-driven narratives. For as long as I can remember, Japanese gamers would echo those sentiments, often avoiding foreign games like the plague. That was, until recently.

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Classic Daicon Anime Reanimated in 3D

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 26, 2011 in Animation, Anime

Diacon IV animation reanimated in 3D

In the early 80s two short animation films created for the Diacon science fiction convention would give a start to an animation studio that would become known as Gianax. I first watched these animations on well worn VHS tapes in that era and all these years later the animation still holds up. But it seems that some younger otaku have adopted the shorts and made them their own by doing a recreated and updated 3D version which looks pretty nice — check it out: Read more…

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Yoda Endorses Instant Ramen

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Nov 23, 2011 in Japanese TV, Star Wars

Just like Darth Vader’s cameo in a series cell phone ads, Yoda recently starred in a Japanese commercial for Nissin’s Cup Noodles — speaking English, no less. Of course, they had to subtitle him, but it would seem the Jedi master wants Japan to recover from its recent tragedies as much as anyone else; the commercial ends with him wishing the force be with the entire nation, kind of a sweet little gesture on Lucas’ part. I wasn’t aware you could use the force to boil water, though. Also, the line “Boil Japan.” looks a bit strange out of context. Oh well, it’s still kind of cool.

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Dessert Inspired Anime Characters

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 11, 2011 in Anime, Hobbies and Collections

Dessert Inspired Anime Characters

This collection of illustrations reminds me of an anime take on those Strawberry Shortcake characters from the 80s: Read more…

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One Piece x Hello Kitty: Manga Pirates Go Pink!

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 11, 2011 in Animation, Hobbies and Collections

One Piece x Hello Kitty

At long last the One Piece x Hello Kitty goodies are hitting the shelves in Japan for all of those kitty pirates who want something cool for Christmas! This collection includes a line of phone charms, ear buds, a notebook and of course and iPhone case which can be purchased online (of course your ill need to know how to read Japanese): Read more…

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From Software’s Gundam Unicorn Detailed

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Nov 9, 2011 in Anime, Videogames

Gundam Unicorn RX

Not to long ago, From Software announced they were developing a PS3 game based on the latest entry in the Mobile Suit Gundam saga, Gundam Unicorn. Seeing as the series of OVAs are still in production, the game will only cover the first three episodes to date, and should include most, if not all, of the mobile suits depicted in them.  According to a recent issues of Famitsu, developers have been working to increase the speed of the gameplay while trying to take into account the heavy feeling associated with piloting a mobile suit. I’m not really sure how the two will mesh, so I hope they can find some middle ground. They also mentioned that Sunrise — the studio responsible for the anime, seemed rather impressed with the level of detail they’ve captured with the in-game models. Read more…

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Gotham Lolita: The Fashionable Side of New York Comic Con

Posted by Christian Liendo on Oct 16, 2011 in Fandom, Hobbies and Collections

The Fashionable Side of New York Comic Con: Photo by Christian Liendo

Many a stylish fangurl could be spotted at New York Comic Con this year — this photo essay not only includes those into goth lolita looks, but also those cosplayer who go that extra mile: Read more…

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Japanese Ducks Can Sell Me Anything

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Sep 13, 2011 in Japanese TV, Television

So can cats for that matter. That’s why I’ve fallen in love with Afflack’s Japanese commercials. Admittedly, I’ve been obsessed with them ever since I stumbled across their original “Maneki Neko Dakku” CM months back. Something about a dancing cat and duck makes me swoon every time I see it. It helps that the song is really cute and catchy as well. In fact, it was so catchy that the company released a full version of it complete with a music video. While I’m sure these ads would probably flop in the US, it’s amazing to see how it has caught on in Japan. The latest commercials feature ARASHI’s Sho Sakurai and idol/actress Aoi Miyazaki playing a duet on an organ while the duck and cat join in. It’s terribly cute, and will probably have children all over Japan begging their parents to switch their providers as a result. Then again, when it comes to Japan, cute is always chic.

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Hours with Yuruppy! Your Cute Virutal Pet!

Posted by Linda Yau on Sep 5, 2011 in Hobbies and Collections, Tech

Yuruppy is a word that may sound strange, but in the context of a toy, perhaps not so strange. If you know what Tamagochi then learning about another new word is not problem. Yuruppy is a virtual pet toy for the people who are allergic to real animals, but want to experience what it is like of taking care of a feline or furry companion. Unlike Tamagochi though, your Yuruppy friend won’t die, when you are away from it for hours. Read more…

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One Piece and Hello Kitty Together At Last!

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 29, 2011 in Animation, Comic Books, Hobbies and Collections

One Piece and Hello Kitty to Collaborate

Great news for those of of us who love manga pirates and cartoon cats: Sanrio and Toei Animation are planning a merchandising plan for ONE PIECE × HELLO KITTY for a wide range of products which will come out in November. Goodies will include clothing, stationery, cosmetics and even fashion accessories. The branding will feature Kitty dressed up as Chopper, and hopper will sport a kitty hat (which make sense given how much Tony Chopper enjoys all things pink). Read more…

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The Puella Magi MS-005 Kyouko Gundam

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 22, 2011 in Anime

Puella Magi MS-005 Kyouko Gundam

For those who like their old school anime mecha but need their magical girl fix I present the The Puella Magi MS-005 Kyouko Gundam. And for you model making fanboys and fangurls who like a challenge you might want to check out the Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Kyubey Papercraft kit (which is in a Pepakura Designer format). Read more…

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Angry Birds Bento Box

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 19, 2011 in Fandom, Hobbies and Collections, Videogames

Angry Birds Bento Box

Why just waste those angry birds by throwing them at pigs when you can make lunch out of them? If you want to recreate this clever bento box recipe you can find a guide at food.insing.com. Read more…

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Sunrise Bringing Back the Odaiba Gundam

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Aug 10, 2011 in Animation, Fandom

Odaiba Gundam

I never had a chance to see it person, but Odaiba’s full-scale Gundam statue had served as a magnet for giant robot enthusiasts and tourism from around the globe. I had hoped to catch a glimpse of the statue after it had moved to Shizuoka, but the statue was dismantled at end of March. Given the recent drop in tourism, I’ve wondered if we’d ever have another chance to see the statue again. It doesn’t look likely, but Sunrise Studios recently announced plans to display at least a portion of the statue in Odaiba later this month. Starting Sunday, August 21st, visitors to Odaiba island’s Shiokaze Park can pay 500 yen to gain admission to the event between the hours of 6 AM to 10 PM. No word on which parts of the statue will be on display but guessing by the image on the official site, I assume it’ll be the head. Sure, it’s not the full statue, but it’s still a piece of history and definitely worth checking out.

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