ZQ Books Opens the Door to Digital Manga Distribution in the US

Posted by Linda Yau on Jul 25, 2011 in Comic Books

zq1

In the past one of the problems with ebook readers is that it’s difficult to read small text, and this has made it difficult to read graphic novels from the print world. However today with the iPad and similar devices new worlds have opened up for graphic novels fans. Many established companies like Viz and Dark Horse have jumped onto this bandwagon, but now outsider companies from abroad are joining these ranks. Read more…

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The Most Kawaii Voice Actresses You’ll Ever Hear

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 7, 2011 in Animation, Videogames

The Most Kawaii Voice Actresses You'll Ever Hear - idolmaster annuncement

This has to be the most cute sounding video I’ve ever listened to — I believe that it’s an announcement for the first live-action episode of The Idolmaster: Read more…

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Are You Ready for the CLAMP Festival?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 7, 2011 in Comic Books

Blood-C by Clamp

Oh sure anybody can go to an anime convention these days — but this September 24th manga fans in Japan are in for a treat: There will be a one day festival that’s just focused on the manga artist’s collective CLAMP. The gathering will feature music, videos, interviews, skits and of course cosplayers are welcome to attend. Read more…

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Ten Kawaii Retro Anime Commercials

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 6, 2011 in Animation, Japanese TV

Retro Anime Commercials

When ever most of us think of anime we mostly think of TV shows or films — however like the US the use of animation was very popular for commercials in the 50s and 60s. Some of the nicer spots here also feature some amazing stop motion animation which reminds me a great deal of the look that Pixar has these day: Read more…

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Miku Hatsune Stars in a Toyota Advert

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jun 24, 2011 in Animation, Japanese TV

Miku Hatsune Stars in a Toyota Advert

I just came across this cute Toyota commercial which star virtual idol Miku Hatsune: Read more…

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Lisa Alisa: Japanese Inspired Pop Art

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jun 19, 2011 in Animation, Fandom

golden girl by Lisa Alisa

There’s only about a week left, but if you love artwork that’s evocative of anime there’s a wonderful show at the Graphite gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn featuring the artist Lisa Alisa. The images here don’t quite do her work that much justice as they’re large scale paintings which combine some wonderful draftsmanship and some very nice detail. The use of color is also quite vivid and powerful as well. Read more…

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A Map to the Treasures of Otaku Japan (in English)

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jun 19, 2011 in Animation, Fandom

JNTO issues English anime fan map

Are you an anime fanboy thinking of traveling to Japan? well if you are you’re in luck: Japanese National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has put together an English language map of Japan pointing out all of the proper must see otaku highlights. The map also includes a handy calendar which has the dates of various comic book conventions and the like. Read more…

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High and Low: The Kurosawa Kidnapping Classic is Now Playing

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jun 17, 2011 in Cinema

Kurosawa's High and Low poster

If you love Japanese cinema and happen to live in NYC, DC or Tulsa the Akira Kurosawa film High and Low (天国と地獄) will be playing over the next few days. In this 1963 classic Kurosawa teams up with actor Toshirō Mifune for a nice tense kidnapping drama: Read more…

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Cosplay for a Cause

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Jun 1, 2011 in Fandom

Cosplay for a Cause teaser 1

It’s been several months since the magnitude 9.0 Tōhoku earthquake devastated Northeastern Japan, and while the subject no longer dominates our headlines, the entire region remains in need. To help support the relief efforts, a group of  relatively well-known cosplayers have gotten together to create a cosplay calender for charity with 100% of the proceeds going to the Japanese Red Cross society. The full sized calender will open to 11″ x 22″ with the actual photos measuring at 11″ x 17″.

Read more…

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13 Assassins Looks Dead Gorgeous

Posted by Michael Pinto on May 9, 2011 in Cinema

13 Assassins

Directed by Takeshi Miike the film 13 Assassins is playing at quite a few art houses — if you’re into samurai films this looks pretty amazing. Here’s the trailer: Read more…

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Space Battleship Yamato Director Goes to Monster Island

Posted by Michael Pinto on May 5, 2011 in Animation, Cinema

Friends: Naki on Monster Island - Friends: Mononoke Shima no Naki, もののけ島のナキ

Film director Takashi Yamazaki who brought Space Battleship Yamato to life in the world of live action back in 2010 is working on a kids film which will be called Friends: Naki on Monster Island. Like the Yamato film this picture will have a bit of SMAP by making use of the voice over talents of Shingo Katori and Kouichi Yamadera. Here’s a trailer: Read more…

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Kawaii Cartoon Canines: Our Favorite Anime and Manga Dogs

Posted by Linda Yau on Apr 18, 2011 in Animation, Comic Books

kakashi-and-the-dogs

As you can see from all of the nin-dogs surrounding Kakashi, dogs are known as “man’s best friend” — and as such they’re very well represented in anime and manga from Japan. Here’s a list of some of our all time favorites: Read more…

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Manga Worth Meowing About: Our Favorite Cartoon Cats from Japan

Posted by Linda Yau on Apr 11, 2011 in Animation, Comic Books

neko_bus

Cats, cats, cats… you can be allergic to them in real life, but what about an animated or a drawn version cats, either in the form of mascots or characters? Take a look at this selection of cats, and be prepared to be a gooey puddle at the end. Shown above is Nekobus from My Neighbor Totoro — and here are a few of our other favorites: Read more…

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Ten Notable Tweets from Japanese Based Tweeters

Posted by Linda Yau on Apr 4, 2011 in Fandom

TwitterBird_601A5BBC

Twitter as a social medium, is conversation or line of thoughts in 140 characters or less. It has taken the world by storm, since its inception in 2006. In this past year, it has made its availability to other countries, creating a global community. Twitter has become a valuable tool in communication for Japan crisis awareness to other parts of the world. When nearly all lines of normal communication became compromised, Twitter was useful with just a cell phone or a computer, and an internet connection. There currently is a #quakebook that has began, because of Twitter. Read more…

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CLAMP: An Introductory Guide to an Awesome Manga Team

Posted by Linda Yau on Apr 3, 2011 in Comic Books

clamp

CLAMP as manga creators has had phenomenal success and a large following of anime and manga fans around the world. For some fans, their passion with the Japanese animation began with watching a CLAMP title. CLAMP works did have origins in manga though. As a team of female mangaka/creator, they began during the 1980’s as a doujinshi/comic group. They are still currently actively with creating more series that is bound to be picked up by American publishers. Dark Horse has been acquiring and re-publishing some of their works in omnibuses. Read more…

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Japanese Plutonium Propaganda

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Mar 30, 2011 in Science

This video has been making the rounds on twitter for the past few days, and while I don’t exactly find it humorous — especially considering how many people are still suffering overseas — I found it very interesting watch. For those of you who don’t speak Japanese, it’s a government sponsored propaganda cartoon that insists that plutonium is not as harmful as activists may have led you to believe. I’m not sure when this film was drawn, but judging by the fact that it’s completely hand-drawn, I’m sure it’s safe to assume it wasn’t recent. I certainly hope any kid ever exposed to this would know better by now.

Read more…

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Manga Vampires with a Bite

Posted by Linda Yau on Mar 28, 2011 in Animation, Comic Books

blood

Whether it is cries of fear or sadness, or maybe even of laughter. Vampires have been a continuing viable market that ensnares people to follow the stories of these tormented immortal individuals. In graphic novels or manga, there are memorable vampires-type characters that left an impression with its fans and viewers. Read more…

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Nine Reasons Why Kodansha Will Become a Beloved American Brand

Posted by Linda Yau on Mar 28, 2011 in Comic Books

Akira manga cover: issue #1

Since 1909 Kodansha has been an influential publisher with titles that are beloved to Japanese fans for generations — however it’s only recently that they’ve set out to make their name in America. Their blockbuster titles include Akira, Oh My Goddess, Card Captor Sakura and Ghost in the Shell to just name a few. Up until this point Kodansha have released their titles through Random House’s imprint of Del Rey, but now they’re ready to make their own name. Here are nine Kodansha titles worth getting to know (some of which you may already know): Read more…

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An Interview with Anime & Manga Bloggers For Japan

Posted by Linda Yau on Mar 21, 2011 in Fandom

Japan Earthquake

Anyone paying attention to Asian news these past several weeks would have realized that a devastating triple threat has happened in Japan. On March 11, 2011 around the Northern east coastlines of this island nation, there was a strong earthquake that resulted in devastating tsunamis, and what is now the concern of Japan in controlling a nuclear incident around its nuclear plants. Every day checking certain tweets on Twitter, there is an official notification of how much casualties there has been, with also thousands of people displaced or suffering. This incident has caused casualties and victims that surpass Japan’s Hanshin Earthquake in 1995. Japan needs an incredible amount of money or resources in order to rebuild. So many people around the world, celebrities, or civilians have banded to join up the cause of fundraising and donating time or money for Japan relief. The better option in other countries, out of Japan, of course is to send money to charity foundations to supply aid. Read more…

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Vintage Japanese Commercials Starring George Lucas

Posted by Linda Yau on Mar 14, 2011 in Star Wars, Television

Japanese Commercials Starring George LucasPrior to the availability of Youtube, there is little to no chance that viewers can see foreign commercials that well known people can be involved in. Certainly in the United States, unless with a right fee, you really wouldn’t catch popular and established celebrities selling commercials. However if you are in a country like Japan, you’ll see many celebrities selling Japanese products. Like Bill Murray in the movie Lost in Translation. You can see Arnold Schwarzenegger selling instant cup ramen, Leonardo DiCaprio selling a car, Brad Pitt selling a cell phone, with enough money, the choice is clear. Consider these following commercials starring George Lucas. Read more…

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The Thinking Fans Manga Publisher of Choice: Vertical Inc.

Posted by Linda Yau on Mar 14, 2011 in Comic Books

Vertical Inc. logo

Given the stress on the market, it’s been hard times for the manga publishing industry here in the States. Firstly you now have am established discerning generation of fans who want the latest; secondly you have more competition than ever to grab the best licenses from Japan; and lastly many chain stores which use to be booming are now closing their doors. Yet one publisher has met all of these challenges the old fashioned way — by focusing on quality, quality and oh yes quality. It’s for the reason that Vertical, Inc. while many other publishers have faded from the scene. If you’re new to manga (or want to introduce a friend) here is a selection of our favorites from Vertical: Read more…

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What Flavor of Otaku are You? A Quick Guide to Anime Fandom

Posted by Linda Yau on Mar 7, 2011 in Animation, Fandom

otaku

For hobby enthusiasts, developing a passion and devotion to an industry takes time, and while it can be visually measured with how much you own (thus bringing in the materialism and consumerism aspect). There is more to the limited examples for what was presented in Tokyopop’s search for the Greatest Otaku. Otaku can be defined as being loving all things Japanese anime, or obsessive introverts, but to be a devoted fan really is have the knowledge and sincere passion for it. Similar to uncovering the layers of an onion are identities and fandoms of this niche cultures that is worth exploring and considering. Before getting to the list, I have to mention that some of the labels I have used is an approximation of how a certain fandom treats aspects of the anime hobby. Read more…

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Ten Spring Anime Titles Worth Watching

Posted by Linda Yau on Feb 21, 2011 in Animation

Deadman Wonderland

Graphic novel look of Deadman Wonderland

Japanese anime run on a four season schedule, so to be serious about this hobby, a fan must be aware of anime that is going to be happening in the following season. The next season is slated to begin from March until June. Referring to the chart below, anyone would realize that there is a number of titles already announced. From those announced titles, these are my ten choices to not just watch, but know that a lot more fans might be checking out. Read more…

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An Authentic Evangelion Uniform

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 31, 2011 in Animation, Fandom, Hobbies and Collections

Evangelion Uniform

Shown here are two cosplay uniforms from Evangelion (Ichi Junior High School girls uniforms of the New Tokyo City 3) which are being released in Japan. According to an interview on the site selling the apparel they actually went a step further and added some additional detail that wasn’t in the anime series. And just to make sure those detail were right the character designer from the show was involved in the design process. Read more…

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