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Chihayafuru, Love Live!, Macross Delta Among Sculptures at 2016 Sapporo Snow Festival

It's deep in the middle of winter, and in Hokkaido, Japan, that means it's time for the Sapporo Snow Festival, that island's celebration of snow, ice, skiing, skating, and all things winter. It's most famous for its exhibition of snow sculptures, which frequently reference trending pop culture. This year does not disappoint, with several creations celebrating Japan's signature anime. The upcoming ...
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Pack of Cute Guys Puts the "Gum" into "Shinsengumi"

Third incarnation of "Gum Boyfriends" project ― If you've ever developed romantic feelings for your chewing gum, then it's likely that you're a big fan of Gum Kare! (or Gum Boyfriends), a project by the food corporation Lotte that anthropomorphizes Japanese gum brands into cute boys. The project was launched in 2014 and includes six gum-based characters. The main character is an "extremely ordinary s...
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New Chinyūki Theater Ad Warns Patrons Against Using Cell Phones

Japanese theater patrons this month may find themselves being admonished not to using cell phones during the movie from an unlikely source: Chinyūki. The ad features Tarō (Ken'chi Matsuyama) bickering with his companion, Genjō (Kana Kurashina), apparently very profanely. But it turns out Genjō's chain isn't the only one Tarō's yanking. The tagline promises "A truly BLEEPing live-action movie." Chi...
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Japanese Anime Fans Pick Which Characters They Want to Get Valentines From

Wide spread, though K-ON! is popular ― Valentine's Day is approaching, and in Japan that means women must give chocolates to their male coworkers, colleagues, classmates or friends. But of course there's a romantic element to it still, and men daydream about getting fine chocolate from their secret crushes. The college student-oriented website My Navi Gakusei no Madoguchi polled 205 male college stud...
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Learn How to Draw Character Designs with Kill la Kill's Syūichi Iseki

Course oriented towards aspiring animators ― In December 2015 and January 2016, animator Syūichi Iseki (Kill la Kill, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, The Mystic Archives of Dantalian) taught an online course on character design. That course is now available for purchase. The course is divided into four parts. Part 1 is an introduction and discusses the differences between character design for anim...
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Aichi Prefecture to Build Major Convention Center at Nagoya Airport

Could it be home to Comiket in 2020? ― The 2020 Olympics has thrown the future of Comic Market (or Comiket), Japan's biggest dōjinshi convention, into doubt. Tokyo Big Sight and Makuhari Messe, Tokyo's biggest convention centers, have been earmarked to hold Olympics events. There is a scarcity of other suitable events spaces in the Tokyo area. A Comiket questionnaire recently asked dōjin circles whet...
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Take a Closer Look at Pokémon's 20th Anniversary Nendoroids

The Pokémon Company International kicked off 2016 with a series of announcements to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pokémon Red & Blue. Included in that announcement were Nendoroids of the game's classic starters' evolutions and protagonist. The first of these Nendoroids are the characters Red, his rival Green, and Mew. They also come with a backpack and two Pokéball accessories. Both character...
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Columbia Records Marks Dragon Ball's 30th Anniversary with CD Set

Dragon Ball anime series is in the middle of its 30th anniversary celebrations. V Jump published the Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary Super History Book, a look back at 30 years of one of Japan's most famous manga anime. Columbia Records is also celebrating with a three disc CD and DVD set. The track line up for the CD is still forthcoming, but Columbia did announce the seven videos included on the D...
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New PreCure Illustration Collection Chronicles Heroines From Original to Latest

From Futari wa Pretty Cure in 2004 to this year's Mahō Tsukai Precure!, Toei's giant magical girl franchise has introduced 12 television series and even more tie-in films. An upcoming illustration collection will take fans through the timeline with 78 pages full of sketches, commentary, and artwork. Bonus posters are included in the back of the book. Futago Kamikita×All Precure Illustration Colle...
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Cerevo Inc's Psycho-Pass Dominator Gets Release Date

Cerevo Inc. first introduced its impressive replica of The Dominator from Psycho-Pass last summer. Originally dubbed the Dominator Maxi, the highly-realistic prop includes lights, sounds from the anime series, and an expanding Eliminator mode. The Cerevo version goes above and beyond previous Dominators created by Bandai's Proplica line and Ichiban Kuji's release with a camera viewer and wireless...
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Japanese University Tests Aspiring Students Using JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

"How many countries did the Joestar group pass through? ― It's college entrance exam season in Japan, and high school seniors are flipping through textbooks and study guides and crunching out math problems long into the night. At times like these, it's best to put down the manga and focus on your studies, right? Well, one university shows that a little understanding of manga can be educational too. ...
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ERASED, Durarara!!, Dagashikashi Top Ranked for Winter 2016

We're four weeks into the Winter 2016 anime season. Japanese fans on Charapedia and Nico Nico Douga weighed in on their most anticipated shows in December, selecting Assassination Classroom and ERASED, respectively. Anime News Network readers also weighed in, selecting Assassination Classroom as the #1 choice, followed by Durarara!!×2 Ketsu, Snow White with the Red Hair, Ajin, and Fairy Tail Zero....
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Kobe Women's University Produces Time-Travel Anime Short

Stars Takahiro Sakurai, Eri Kitamura ― The History Department at Kobe Women's University has an unusual idea for attracting students: a 12-minute anime short starring a time-traveling rabbit. Titled Historical, it is part one of an anticipated series of three episodes. The anime focuses on Shiki Kanotsuno (Ayaka Fujimoto), a high school senior with an upbeat personality but no clear idea of where she...
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Final Fantasy Artist Yoshitaka Amano's 'Candy Girl' Character Gets High-End Merch

The Ginza Mitsukoshi department store is hosting a pop culture-focused "Discover! Tokyo" event until February 16 with exclusive items designed by Final Fantasy and Vampire Hunter D artist Yoshitaka Amano. The department store's seventh floor will feature an art gallery of Amano's work and merchandise featuring his "Candy Girl" character. Some of the items for sale include a 100% silk scarves (19,...
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New Halloween Eli Ayase Figure is Spooky & Sweet

Pre-orders are opening on Friday for Alter and MegaHouse's Halloween-themed Eli Ayase figure. The 1/7-scale figure was first shown off at the Mega Hobby Expo in November and shows the school idol and student council member in a bustier, mini-skirt, garters, and witch hat. She also wears pumpkin-orange shoulder puffs with bat wings and totes a jack-o-lantern full of candy. The figure is based on t...
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Lord Krishna in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final Gets Negative Reception from Hindu Statesman

Rajan Zed, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, is none too pleased about the depiction of the Hindu deity Krishna in Sega's Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final role-playing video game. The Nintendo 3DS role-playing game is slated for release in Japan next week. It features the god wearing a feathered fedora, tailed coat, shorts, and boots with a golden flute. Zed pointed out that allowing...
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Meat-Loving Zeushi-kun Gets Brand New Animated Short

Japan's National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations' meat-loving mascot "Zeushi-kun" will get a new animated short on February 10. The previous ads' stars will return to reprise their roles. "Zeushi-kun" is a character created by ZEN-NOH, Japan's National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations, to promote the sale of domestic meats. Zeushi-kun (Kana Hanazawa) is a p...
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Arina Tanemura Draws Idolish 7 Project's 'GOOD NIGHT AWESOME' Album Jacket

The Idolish 7 "big media-mix project" has already collaborated with anime studio NAZ and BONES for the group's animated music videos while also including a smartphone game, music releases, manga, and a serialized novel. Manga creator Arina Tanemura (Full Moon O Sagashite, The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross, Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura) drafted the original character designs for the proj...
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Future GPX Cyber Formula Celebrates Bleed Kaga's 20th Birthday With Wine

The racing anime Future GPX Cyber Formula first premiered in Japan in 1991, but the series itself takes place in the future. One of its supporting characters, Bleed Kaga is celebrating his in-universe 20th birthday this year the way most people do when they reach legal drinking age: with alcohol. The Shiraito Shuzo Company will offer a limited run of sparkling Chardonnay Rosé wine in his honor. O...
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New Shiseido Ad Shows Make-Up's Versatility by Transforming 1 Woman into 8 Looks

Hair care and cosmetics company Shiseido previously used make-up to transform a room of high school boys into convincing female counterparts. The company is sticking with the theme of their products versatility with a new ad. The looks range from vampy to geisha to decora with one catch: they're all the same model. [Via Rocket News 24]
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'Prius! Impossible Girls' Car Parts-as-Girls Project Adds Vocaloid Song in Latest Promo

Toyota's "Prius! Impossible Girls" project debuted last month with 40 car parts reimagined as girls, some even assigned voice actresses like Kana Hanazawa. On January 25, the site added its "Real Voice Song" section with the track "Shijō no Koe" (Test Drive Voices) produced by Oster Project with the Vocaloid GUMI. The song utilizes the thoughts of 50 Prius test drivers sang by GUMI. Toyota instruc...
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Hatsune Miku iDoll Nendoroid Will Dance Her Way Into Your Heart

Hatsune Miku has seen many transformations. Fans have tried their hands at different techniques to bring the Vocaloid to life. Good Smile Company and Yukai Engineering's iDoll Tokyo might have finally nailed it down with a Hatsune Miku Nendoroid that both sings and dances. The video also hints at some communication abilities. iDoll first created its concept idols, Hikari and Miki, both pint-sized...
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Pokémon, One Piece, Eva, Rose of Versailles Prepare for Valentine's Day

You could send chocolates to your favorite tennis prince or chow down on potato chips this Valentine's Day. On the other hand, there's plenty of limited edition anime goods to enhance the romance, whether it's edible Eva Units or adorable cards to help you catch all the hearts. The Pokémon Company, One Piece, The Rose of Versailles, and Neon Genesis Evangelion will all offer their own tie-in for ...
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Anime, Manga Stars Come Out to Pay Respects to Late Shigeru Mizuki

Prolific manga creator Shigeru Mizuki, the mind behind award-winning works like Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, and Showa: A History of Showa Japan (Comic Showa-Shi) and the favorite Kitaro passed away at the age of 93 in November. A large memorial service was held on Sunday at the historic Aoyama Funeral Hall in Minato, Tokyo. The service was hosted by Mizuki's wife and chief mourner Nunoe Mura ...
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Nintendo Planning Attractions at Universal Studios Japan Theme Park

Hot on the tail of Universal Studio Japan's second wave of "Cool Japan" attractions opening last month, Nintendo is throwing its hat into the ring. The company announced plans to expand its character licensing for attractions at the theme park in Osaka, with no other details. The Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka currently hosts "4D" experiences and rides based on Neon Genesis Evangelion...
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Wazamonogatari Novel Promoted with 2nd 8-Bit Game Video

NisiOisin's second light novel volume in the "Off Season" of the Monogatari Series got a second 8-bit game promotional video. The video is designated as the first in the "Kyūketsuki Quiz-Hen" (Vampire Quiz Chapter). In the video, Koyomi's sister Karen Araragi retrieves red books before Shinobu appears. The game can be played by scanning the website's QR code on a mobile device. Players traverse a ...
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Dragon's Dogma Online Arms Characters With Potato Chip Bag Shields

Street Fighter collaboration also announced ― CAPCOM's Dragon's Dogma Online game is arming its fantasy-themed characters with a flavorful shield. Staff announced a collaboration with Calbee potato chips at Chiba Makuhari Messe at the Tōkaigi 2016 (Game Party Japan 2016) event last weekend. The announcement was made as part of overall updates for the game's 'Season 1.3.' Players will be able to obtai...
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Sanrio Characters Fantasy Theater Casts Kirimi-chan as Mermaid, White Rabbit, Mercury

Sanrio's singing salmon-fillet mascot has transformed into a magical girl and garnered fans from collectors to voice actors. Sanrio's upcoming puzzle game app Sanrio Characters Fantasy Theater casts the company's stable of mascots as familiar fairy tale characters. Kirimi-chan is returning to the sea in the game as The Little Mermaid where she might woo Prince Cinnamoroll and transform into a huma...
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Takashi Miike Gives Interview on Upcoming Terraformars Live-Action Film

Explains why all-Japanese cast was used ― The famous Japanese director Takashi Miike (Ace Attorney, Yatterman, Sukiyaki Western Django) recently gave an interview with the Japanese cinema site Eiga Natalie on his upcoming film, Terraformars. When asked why he had changed the original manga's multinational cast into one that is all-Japanese, he replied that "the best thing to do with the budget and t...
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Comiket Questionnaire Implies Possible Move Westward in 2020

Shortage of usable facilities in Tokyo region ― A recent questionnaire distributed to dōjin circles that attend Comic Market (Comiket), Japan's largest dōjinshi convention, implied that the 2020 Comiket events might move out of the Tokyo region. The question is, "If Comic Market cannot be held in the capital region due to the 2020 Olympics, would you participate if it was held in Osaka or Nagoya?" Th...
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Crying Politician Ryūtarō Nonomura is Back

Behaves bizarrely in trial ― Hyōgo prefectural assemblyman Ryūtarō Nonomura became a pop culture sensation in Japan in 2014 when he apologized at a press conference for alleged embezzlement of public funds on trips to hot springs resorts. While politicians often make public apologies in Japan, Nonomura's was in a class of its own, thanks to his exaggerated behavior, including dramatic crying, fist pu...
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Celebrate Valentine's Day with Nana Mizuki's New Potato Chip Flavor

On January 28, 20 lucky winners of a contest held in October got to tour the factory of Calbee, a Japanese snack foods company, with a special tour guide: Nana Mizuki, the singer/voice actress who's the new face of Calbee's "Poterichi" line of potato chips. They also attended a surprise birthday party for Mizuki (she turned 36 on January 21), got to taste her homemade curry, and heard what Calbee...
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Japan's KitKat Flavors Now Include Sake

Nestlé's KitKat chocolates are well known for their Japan-only flavors like grilled potato, cherry blossom, fruit parfait, and more. Many of these are only available in particular areas of the country and serve as regional souvenirs while others, like Green Tea flavor, are Japan-exclusive and popular with tourists. Green tea is seen as quintessentially Japanese, and Nestlé is looking to add anothe...
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Snow Miku Sky Town Reveals Gorgeous Miku Kimono Figure

Snow Miku Sky Town, the shopping area in The New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido, is one of three retailers selling a gorgeous Hatsune Miku figure starting on February 1. The 1/8-scale figure depicts the virtual idol looking serene in a red kimono with cranes printed on the fabric. She carries a parasol by a spray of mums and roses while a bird alights on her hand. The figure is created by Stronger b...
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Isetan Shinjuku Will Sell Limited Lupin the Third Ukiyo-e Prints

Custom Italian suits, kimono, trench coats also for sale ― The Isetan Shinjuku Store's Fashion Museum will hold a Lupin the Third themed event from February 3-8. "LUPINISSIMO IN ISETAN 2016" will sell Ukiyo-e prints of the famous thief and his crew. Six different designs will be available, including a print signed by creator Monkey Punch. The prints were created using the Takezasa-Do woodblocking te...
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Cold Snap in Japan Prompts Debate Over Proper Schoolgirl Fashion

Cuteness or comfort? ― While America's east coast struggled through a historic blizzard last weekend, East Asia faced a similar problem: a record-breaking cold snap which brought sleet to subtropical Okinawa, hypothermia to Taiwan, and snow in Vietnam. Mainland Japan also witnessed bitter cold, with temperatures dropping to -9° C (15° F) in Kansai and snow 50 cm (19.5'') deep in Kanto, sending the co...
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Sanrio Boys Project Gets Manga on MangaOne App, Sho-Comi Magazine

The cute guys of "Sanrio Danshi" (Sanrio Boys) project are expanding into the world of manga. The company opened the project's official website last week with four yet to be revealed sections. On Friday, the website opened its "Manga" section and announced the characters will be adapted by Mai Andō (Amakute Zuru Iwana no Naka) on the MangaOne app beginning in April followed by a different manga ad...
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Asuka Nishi Wins 2015 Best Fundoshist Award

Award honors those who have done most to popularize Japanese loincloths ― Forget about elaborate kimono or ornate samurai armor: The traditional Japanese clothing that the Japan Fundoshi Association wants you to care about is the fundoshi, or loincloth. Every year the association honors the "fundoshist" that does the most to popularize the traditional underwear with the Best Fundoshist Awards. This y...
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Virtua Fighter Figmas Retain Classic Polygon Designs

Sega's original Virtua Fighter 3D fighting game debuted in arcades in 1993 with its line-up of polygonal brawlers. Akira Yuki , Pai Chan, Lau Chan, Wolf Hawkfield, Jeffry McWild, Kage-Maru, Sarah Bryant, Jacky Bryant, and Dural battled their way into gamers' hearts in eight titles and earned the franchise the moniker "grandfather of 3D fighting games." Good Smile Company's figma line is honoring ...
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To Love-Ru -Trouble- Darkness Artist Creates 1-of-a-Kind Tissue Box (NSFW)

Box contains an uncensored surprise ― The tissue box has two popular uses: it's a companion when you're laid up with a cold or if you're having some private time. The latter is referenced as a joke in anime series quite often. Bachelor pads strewn with used tissues or a character staring at a blue computer screen reaches for one. The audience know the implications. To Love-Ru -Trouble- Darkness manga...
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Former Sailor Uranus VA Megumi Ogata Reacts to New Sailor Moon Crystal Cast

"Enjoy the differences between the old and new anime" ― Just in time for Sailor Uranus's birthday, the new cast members of Sailor Moon Crystal were announced on January 27. Among these was Junko Minagawa as Haruka/Sailor Uranus. Megumi Ogata, who played the role in the original Sailor Moon anime series, reacted to the announcement on Twitter. Ogata admitted to being surprised at the volume of message...
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Project Diva X Celebrates Megurine Luka's 7th Birthday With Medley Video

The official YouTube account for Sega's Project Diva game franchise began streaming a medley video from the Hatsune Miku Project Diva X game on Friday to celebrate Megurine Luka's seventh birthday. Crypton Future Media first released Megurine Luka as the third Vocaloid2 software on January 30, 2009. The video features the following songs: "Ai Dee" by Mitchie M "Akahitoha" by Kurousa P (White Flame...
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Get Your Heart Pounding with The Top 20 Anime & Manga Love Confessions

If you're trying to get in a romantic mood for Valentine's Day or get some inspiration for your own love confession, Charapedia has compiled the Top 20 anime and manga love confessions based on user votes. Which moments were the most heart-pounding? Check out the answers below but Beware of Spoilers. The Most Heart-Pounding Anime & Manga Love Confessions Hitagi Senjōgahara to Koyomi Araragi (Monog...
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Pirated Manga Artist Gujira Not Quitting After All

Lands deal for English-language version with FAKKU ― Last weekend, we reported on the erotic manga artist Gujira, who threatened to quit after discovering that his manga had been downloaded illegally 25,000 times. The news prompted a debate on Twitter over piracy and how to fight it, as well as lamentations from Gujira's fans and fellow dōjinshi artists about his impending departure. Gujira clarified...
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New Idol Group 'Lilygirl' Appeals to Yuri Fans

Mika Ichinose & Haruhi Nakajima star as high school drama students ― A new project, Lilygirl, will showcase idol groups that express yuri (schoolgirl homosexual) relationships. A short film was made that features Mika Ichinose (also of the idol unit Kamiyado) and Haruhi Nakajima (also of the idol unit Junes Princess). They play sophomore students at a girls' high school who are both in the drama club...
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Participants Dismantle 180,000-Brick Dragon Quest Builders Wall in 3.5 Hours

The Dragon Quest monsters depicted on the 80-meter wall covered in Lego-like bricks in Shinjuku Station were dismantled in about three and a half hours by fans. The wall was part of an advertising campaign for the launch of Dragon Quest Builders for PS3, PS4, and PS Vita on Thursday. Passer-byes could remove the 180,000 blocks to "defeat" the depicted monsters and reveal a mural underneath. When t...
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One Piece FamilyMart Lottery Includes Kimono Nami, Robin Figures

FamilyMarts across Japan will launch a One Piece lottery campaign early next month with a variety of prizes. Two standouts are figures of Nami and Robin in kimono but lucky customers can also win a Furoshiki style handbag, desktop figures, party plates, and handkerchiefs. The lottery prizes include: Prize A: Nami figure Prize B: Robin figure Prize C: Furoshiki style handbag Prize D: Party plate P...
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Sailor Moon Crystal Stationery Shows All 10 Sailor Guardians

The official website of the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal anime unveiled the visual for the anime's third season on Monday, followed by cast announcements on Wednesday. The key visual was the first look fans got of the characters drawn by the series' new character designer Akira Takahashi. Fans get a look at some more images for the series that were created for an campaign with AEON retail ...
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Dengeki G's Announces Love Live! Sunshine Mini-Units Name Poll

The original Love Live! starred nine girls who made up the idol group μ's. Within the group itself were mini-units of three girls each with their own name designations and singles. The group "Printemps" includes the characters Honoka, Kotori, and Hanayo, lily white includes Umi, Rin, and Nozomi, and BiBi includes Eli, Nico, and Maki. Dengeki G's Magazine will run a poll starting on February 1 for ...
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Studio Colorido Animates 2nd Puzzle & Dragons TV Commercial

Studio Colorido (Taifū no Noruda) animated a second 30-second TV commercial for the hugely popular mobile phone game Puzzle & Dragons. The commercial began streaming on Wednesday and is titled "Fuyu no Seishun" (Winter Youth). The commercial follows the same boy who transferred into a new school in Tokyo in the first commercial. It's now winter and he realizes one of his female classmates is inter...
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My Melody Also Gets Q Transformers Toy

Tamashii Nations is already transforming Sanrio's My Melody with a Chōgōkin Action Figure for the character's and the toy line's 40th anniversary. Now, Takara Tomy is crossing the rabbit mascot over with its own popular Transformers toy line. The toy was released on January 18, the same day as My Melody's birthday. She transforms into a pink truck similar to Optimus Prime. The My Melody toy costs...
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Man at Arms' Blacksmith Forges Erza Scarlet's Sword & Armor

Blacksmiths Matt and Kerry Stagmer, Ilya Alekseyev, and the Man At Arms: Reforged team recreated Erza Scarlet's sword and armor from the Fairy Tail anime series. The crew starts with 1075, 1095, and W2 steel for Erza's sword. They had to reinterpret some of the technical details of the weapon based on the the anime's design while also making practical improvements. The group simultaneously makes E...
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Kojima Gets Shout Out in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Fans and retailers drew their own opinions after Hideo Kojima and game developer Konami's business relationship fizzled last year. The mind behind the Metal Gear Solid franchise has since launched the game studio Kojima Productions, was inducted into The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame, and is hard at work at on his game. He also made a visit to Star Wars: The Force Awakens ...
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Cat Lingerie Proves Purrfect Fan-Art for Pixiv

Last week, images of cat lingerie sold by by Chinese brand NONORI caught the attention of Japanese netizens. The string bikini bottom features pointed cat ears and the tied tube top-style bra has a cat head-shaped cut-out. The lingerie comes in both black and white. The feline features stoked a firestorm of fan-art, not unlike last year's cut-out white ribbed turtleneck. Fans immediately began dra...
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Kaden Shōjo Mobile Game is Ending Service in March

Bancho Works' Kaden Shōjo (lit. Home Appliance Girl) has re-imagined label makers, refrigerators, espresso machines, hair dyers and more as girls since it launched last year. The game featured 100 real life home appliances as cute girls, even crossing over with Madoka Magica. On Sunday, the game's official Twitter account announced the game would come to end. Service for the mobile game will offi...
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Classic Anime Reimagined For 'Surreal' Boxers, Tights, More

Swimmy Design Lab is teaming up with the anime from your childhood and reimagining it as a surreal, fever dream. The company is redrawing the characters in a style reminiscent of "Doland" and "Sanic" memes but instead its Astro Boy, Detective Conan, Urusei Yatsura, and Minky Momo. The designs are being sold on boxers, tights, tote bags, tablet cases, and more. Customers can also custom order a T-...
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One Piece Capsule Toys Hang On for Dear Life

Capsule vending machines will be stocked One Piece cup companions who desperately want to stay afloat. The line-up of five characters all have Devil Fruit powers, an attribute that greatly weakens them if they become submerged in water. The line-up includes Tony Tony Chopper, Ace, Luffy, Doflamingo, and Law all balancing precariously. The toys will debut at the end of the month for 300 yen (US$2....
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Japan's All-Female Takarazuka Musical Revue Coming to New York City

Japan's long-standing, all-female musical theater troupe is coming to America to perform the Tony Award-winning musical Chicago this summer. The Takarazuka Revue will be in town to perform six shows at the David H. Koch Theater from July 20-24. Tickets will go on sale for US$50-110. The group is an icon of Japanese culture, adapting everything from Rurouni Kenshin and Lupin the 3rd to the life of ...
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Hello Kitty Arms Herself in Sailor Suit and Machine Gun Collaboration

Of the many things Hello Kitty has dressed up as, from Love Live idols to giant robots, none have seen Sanrio's popular mascot wielding a machine gun. The design is part of Hello Kitty's collaboration with the live-action Sailor Suit and Machine Gun: Graduation film starring idol Kanna Hashimoto. Hello Kitty's version is a little more tame; the gun is pink and appears to have a cork stuck in the b...
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Shinjuku Station Hosts Interactive Dragon Quest Builders Wall

Square Enix's Dragon Quest Builders is launching for PS3, PS4, and PS Vita on January 28. The game follows the franchise's original hero as he attempts to rebuild the land, quite literally. The game's marketing department took this idea and ran with it for a mural-size poster in Shinjuku Station. An 80 meter wall near the promenade near the Marunouchi Line is covered in 180,000 Lego-like blocks. T...
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SMAP Idol Tsuyoshi Kusanagi Tries to Recreate Cup no Fuchico's Poses

And ends up getting dunked ― Cup no Fuchico is a popular line of drink companions featuring an unassuming office lady created by Kitan Club who hangs on, climbs over, and otherwise keeps a watchful eye on your drink. Her popularity has lead to further collaborations, like turning Fuchico into earbuds, dressing up for Christmas, and turning to the tables to explore underneath the cup. SMAP idol Tsuyos...
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Teekyū Director Shin Itagaki Animate Glay's Music Video

Director Shin Itagaki (Teekyū, Gurren Lagann Parallel Works) teamed with GLAY's Hisashi (Ace of Diamond, Kaikan Phrase) to produce an animated music video for the new single "Kanojo wa Zombie" (She's a Zombie). The concept was envisioned by Hisashi who asked the style to mimic Studio Trigger director Hiroyuki Imaishi (Kill la Kill, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt). The music video is one of four ...
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Eren Picks a More Mundane Line of Work in Latest Attack on Titan Game

As a member of the Survey Corps., Eren has the dangerous task of traveling beyond the safety of the city walls and directly into Titan territory. In KOEI Tecmo Games' upcoming Attack on Titan game, they're giving Eren a safer line of employment. Or at the very least, a different uniform. The game is collaborating directly with LAWSON's convenience stores to distribute an exclusive LAWSON uniform c...
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New Koromon Figure Set Reveals Digimon's Bathroom Secrets

MegaHouse's GEM line of high-quality figures has introduced much of Digimon's staple cast already. Now the figure and goods manufacturer is adding some pint-sized Digimon to its "Korokore!" desktop figures. Specifically, its a set of Koromon doing wacky things, like holding a slice of watermelon with its ears, taking a nap on a pillow, sitting with baby Hikari "Kari" Kamiya, posing with his mouth...
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Canadian Figure Skater Kevin Reynolds Performs Routine to Cowboy Bebop's Tank

Canadian figure skater Kevin Reynolds performed his short program at the 2016 Canadian National Figure Skating Championships to a classic anime opening theme song. Reynolds sampled Yoko Kanno's "Tank!" from Cowboy Bebop to accompany his set while dressed as Spike Spiegel. The skater shows off some seriously fancy footwork, landing a quadruple Salchow-triple toe loop and triple flip. Although he fe...
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Kana Hanazawa Doesn't Understand Her Latest Commercial

Performs stunts to promote new smartphone ― It's not unusual for stars to perform in Japanese commercials, but what they're asked to do can sometimes lead to head-scratching. Even Japanese stars can get perplexed at their commercials, as Kana Hanazawa (Akane in Psycho-Pass, Kuroneko in Oreimo, Zange in Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens) demonstrates. Hanazawa is promoting Sharp's new AQUOS smartphone and...
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Dagashikashi Inspires Its Own Snack Collaboration

It seems natural that a manga like Dagashi Kashi would get its own branded snacks. That's what its readers thought, anyway, and in the January 20 issue of Weekly Shonen Sunday, a collaboration was announced with two established noodle brands from the Oyatsu Company: Baby Star and Butamen. Hotaru looks especially porcine because buta means pig. Dagashi Kashi Butamen (above) will be available on Fe...
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Pokémon's Full Minute-Long Version of Epic Super Bowl Ad Streamed to Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Short version of live-action ad to air on February 7 ― The official website for the Pokémon franchise posted the full 70-second version of the live-action commercial that will air during the Super Bowl football game on February 7. The commercial celebrates the 20th anniversary of the first games. Upcoming products include Nendoroids of the game's classic starters' evolutions and protagonist, clothing...
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Uniqlo Introduces Ultimate Muscle to T-Shirt Lineup

Manga chosen to represent Japanese pop culture ― Uniqlo, a Japanese clothing store with an international presence, has always played a role in spreading Japanese pop culture to a global audience with its unique T-shirts and other clothes. Now it's Ultimate Muscle's turn to be added to its T-shirt stock. Uniqlo will roll out a line of T-shirts called UT ("the new Model T") in the spring and summer fea...
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Japanese Music School Held Sound! Euphonium Concert

Videos now available on YouTube ― The Freshmen Wind Ensemble at Senzoku Gakuen College of Music, a music school in Kawasaki, held a concert on October 24 devoted entirely to the Sound! Euphonium soundtrack. Four pieces from the program have just been uploaded to YouTube: "Starting the project," "RYDEEN," "Crescent Moon Dance," and "Tutti!" Sound! Euphonium fans can watch the playlist here; the concer...
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High School Girls Head to Studio in Latest Installment of Dōjin Anime Series

Includes guest appearance by heavy metal guitarist ― Anime fans with a passion for rock will be glad to hear that Metako and Muffyu, the high school girls of the "High School Girls Shop for a --" web anime series, are back with another installment. This time, they've apparently run through Muffyu's shopping list and opt to visit a studio to make the most out of the sound equipment there. "High School...
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Watch Japan's Self-Defense Forces Band Play Girls und Panzer Tunes

The Girls und Panzer television series and film has brought big bucks to the town of Ōarai in Ibaraki prefecture. The government's coast guard has teamed up with promotional posters to teach things like water safety. The Japanese Self-Defense Force's Music Corps is taking the reins in a Girls und Panzer collaboration. The band played "Girls und Panzer Suite" at the Ibaraki Prefectural Cultural Cen...
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Platinum Games' Hideki Kamiya Not Pleased After He's Caught Running Stop Signal

Vents frustration on Twitter ― Hideki Kamiya, the designer of popular games like Bayonetta, Okami and Viewtiful Joe who works at PlatinumGames, had an unfortunate run-in with the law on January 21. According to a bitter post on his Twitter account, Kamiya ran a stop signal on his bike, but was caught "by the police" thanks to media cameras. (According to a later post, he was surrounded by five of th...
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Toriyama Expresses Dissatisfaction With Dragon Ball Adaptations

Interview, rough drafts, sketches, guest drawings, scathing comments, and more ― On January 21, the editors of the magazine V Jump published Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary Super History Book, a look back at 30 years of one of Japan's most famous comics. The book contains a commemorative manga, sketches, a long interview with Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball's creator), Weekly Shonen Jump magazine covers, co...
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His and Her Circumstances Voice Actress Wins Prestigious Literary Award

Also comments on possibility of return to industry ― Yukiko Motoya is most known to anime fans for her role at age 19 as Aya in His and Her Circumstances, although she also appears as the model in the ending theme to FLCL. Since those roles, however, she has drifted away from the anime industry and pursued a different passion — the theater, where she has achieved renown as both a playwright and ...
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Erotic Manga Artist Threatens to Quit Unless Pirates Stop

While content creators have varying reactions to piracy, generally they're not too thrilled about it as it cuts into their profits. Gujira, an erotic manga artist (Gal toka Bitch toka Iroiro), is having a particularly hard time coping with illegal downloads of his work. On Twitter on January 17, Gujira complained that he had received notice via mail that copies of his manga books had been illegall...
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Yandere Simulator Proves Too Brutal for Twitch

Yandere Simulator is unforgiving in its sandbox-style setting where players can murder other classmates all in the name of love. How a player goes about pulling off the crime ranges from killing someone and disposing of the evidence, faking a suicide, or kidnap and torture. This proved to be a bit much for the streaming service Twitch. Yandere Simulator's developer "YandereDev" announced that the ...
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Dead or Alive 5 Last Round Adds Classic Tatsunoko Costumes

The girls and boys of Dead or Alive 5 Last Round are teaming up with the classic characters from Tatsunoko Production for a new set of costumes. The fighters will take design cues from Yatterman, Yatterman Night, Time Bokan, The Genie Family, The Adventures of Hutch the Honeybee, Tekkaman, Casshan, Hurricane Polimar, Gold Lightan, and this season's Nurse Witch Angel Komugi R. The 16 costume set is...
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Sanrio Opens Website for Its Mascot-Loving Boy Mascots

Sanrio debuted "Sanrio Danshi" (Sanrio Boys) Twitter account in December. The project introduced five attractive male characters who just so happen to love Sanrio character products. On Friday the company opened a special site dedicated to the group with a story section and character profiles. The character profiles will be added next week and the site will reveal four other sections in the future...
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Limited Evangelion Store Will Open in Osaka

On February 10, to celebrate the recent opening of the new Evangelion the Real 4-D: 2.0 attraction at Universal Studios Japan and the Evangelion shinkansen running through Osaka, a limited Evangelion Store will open in the Lucua department store's Isetan closet location. The Osaka Evangelion Store will be in business until March 1 with limited edition goods on sale, including items based on the E...
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'Romance Wedding' Design Added to Sailor Moon Marriage Registration Form Selection

The star couple of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon are gracing Japanese marriage registration forms with a fourth design. The new image shows Usagi and Mamoru posing at their own wedding in front of a floral pavilion. Konin Todoke previously issued marriage registration forms featuring Usagi and Mamoru kissing under a crescent moon, the series' magical items, and Sailor Moon in her Crystal design sit...
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Life-Size Saekano Statue Production Doubled To Meet Demand

Demand for the life-size statues of Megumi Kato, the video game heroine conjured up by Saekano's Tomoya Aki was so great that Aniplex doubled production from 10 to 20 statues. Each statue measures 158cm (62in) high for 1.98 million yen (US$16,751). Like most expensive, limited edition memorabilia, interested customers can enter their information into a lottery. The 20 winners will be able to purc...
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Shizuoka Muslim Association Runs Anime Video to Promote Mosque Construction Campaign in Shizuoka

Campaign launched in 2010 seeks 300 million yen ― The Shizuoka Muslim Association is running a campaign, seeking funds to build a mosque in Shizuoka prefecture. To promote the campaign, the Shizuoka Muslim Association produced an anime video, and began streaming it in June from the Muslims in Japan website. Sakura Takagi (Kill la Kill, Parasyte -the maxim- key animation) and Kana Kōno (Dragon Ball Z:...
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Unico Floral Jellies Are Pretty Enough to Eat

Osamu Tezuka's beloved Unico manga is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special collaboration with the floral sweets company Havaro. Starting on February 1, the company will create a pink jelly accented with edible flowers to mirror a similar, albeit much larger, version that appeared in the manga's fifth chapter. The jelly will come inside a pink box made to look like a giant Unico manga v...
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Shueisha's 2nd 'Manga Trailer' is For The Walk Drama Film

The February issue of Shueisha's Jump SQ. magazine published a short "manga trailer" earlier this month to commemorate the Japanese theatrical release of the live-action The Walk film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, and Charlotte Le Bon. Manga creator Hira Hamaya drew the manga. Jump SQ.'s website has posted a one-page preview of the manga. The "manga trailer" is a part of a new proje...
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Gamer Plays Ocarina of Time Using Only an Ocarina

Gamer and streamer MonotoneTim used a little technological wizardry to really get into character as Link. Using an actual ocarina as a controller, he took on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and played through the game in a six and half hour stream. Initially, he struggles to get the controls down as different notes function as directional controls and buttons. By the time Tim gets to the firs...
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Live-Action Attack on Titan Tops Most Disappointing Movie Ranking

Even the urging of creator Hajime Isayama couldn't keep director Shinji Higuchi's live-action Attack on Titan film out of a recent "most disappointing movie" poll. HiHo magazine's March issue published its "2015 Fiscal Year Stinker Awards" listing the year's top 10 most disappointing films. In first place is the the first live-action Attack on Titan film, that was lambasted by some 140 Japanese cr...
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Maki Love-Liver's Outfit Takes the Cake

Love Live and its dedicated fanbase have grabbed attention beyond otaku circles and into mainstream consciousness. The term "Love-Liver" was nominated as a top buzzword of 2015. One particular fan even appeared in a men's fashion magazine sporting his itasha-style memorabilia outfit dedicated to Kotori. These attention-drawing outfits show off a Liver's favorite character and their dedication to c...
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Mr. Osomatsu Bros. Get Plushies, Signing Seals

The brothers of Mr. Osomatsu have taken the anime world by storm, garnering enough attention to get their own video game and sell-out magazines. The series' popularity on pixiv is leading to predictions of a Comiket dōjin surge next year. In the midst of this, Osomatsu and the gang are also inspiring an increase in merchandises. This includes a new plush dolls from Takara Tomy and signing stamps ...
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Saint Seiya 30th Anniversary Exhibit Will Display 12 Life-Size, Golden Armor Saints

The Golden Saints will be true to their name in an upcoming exhibit at Tokyo Akihabara UDX in June. The 30th anniversary exhibition will host 12 life-size replicas of the Saint's Golden Armor for the first time. Staff already completed versions Gemini Saga, Leo Aiolia, Virgo Shaka, Scorpius Milo, Sagittarius Aiolos, and Aquarius Camus. This exhibition will feature newly created versions of Aries ...
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Latest Monogatari Novel Promoted with Super Mario Game Spoof

Wazamonogatari, the second light novel volume in the "Off Season" of NisiOisin's Monogatari Series is getting a mobile game tie-in. The website will formally launch on January 30, but is currently hosting a Super Mario spoof video depicting Koyomi's sister Karen Araragi hitting a block that rotates out the kanji of the series' previous novels. When the block displays "Waza," Shinobu and a donut co...
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Otaku On the Receiving End of GOP Strategist's Trump Supporter Insult

The term "otaku," in reference to anime otaku, is used more as a snide insult in Japan compared to its use in the West. The label used to have a heavy social stigma that has only recently begun to subside. Republican strategist Rick Wilson made it known that Western anime fans' reputation apparently isn't unlike their Japanese counterparts when he likened Donald Trump supporters as "childless sing...
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Metal Gear Solid Fan Remake 'Shadow Moses' Project Posts 1st Trailer

The Unreal Engine 4 has brought countless games into stunning 3D thanks to dedicated fans. The Kanto region from the original Pokemon Red & Blue games was adapted by "Preston Dunagan" on YouTube last week while Mario, The Legend of Zelda and Sonic the Hedgehog have also made the jump into the 3D world. The group iRam Gamer is working on recreating the original Metal Gear Solid using the same engin...
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Street Artist Hides Replica Legend of Zelda Artifacts in Austin, Texas

Street artist Ezekiel Buchheit is adding a little adventure to the Austin, Texas area. The multi-talented Buchheit, who is also a software engineer and dog daycare owner, is hiding Legend of Zelda items straight from the games around town in hopes of adding a sense of fun to residents' everyday lives. The project is dubbed "Hyrule in Austin," and includes Buchheit's handmade items from the game. T...
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Color Version of 1 Million Yen Life-Size Lum Figure Revealed

Rumiko Takahashi's original alien girlfriend is being recreated as a life-size statue with supervision by Takahashi herself. A few teaser images of the prototype were shown last month. PALSHOP, Shogakukan's commercial site, is finally revealing all the goods with full-color images. Lum's pedestal of stars features a handwriting print of Rumiko Takahashi's signature. Lum measures 164cm high (64.5i...
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Free!'s Iwami Tops Ranking of Rural Locales to Live

Safety, convenience, hospitality to newcomers are deciding factors ― Iwami, a seaside town in Western Japan's Tottori Prefecture, is graced with picturesque coastal scenery. It's the setting for the popular swimming anime Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. But according to the magazine Inaka Kurashi no Hon ("Book of Country Living"), it's remarkable for another reason — it's the best rural area to live in...

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