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Lupin 'Steals' Statue, 'Obama' Attends Afro Samurai Show

posted on 2009-12-08 12:51 EST
Promotional stunts highlight Lupin III project, Afro Samurai: Resurrection screening

Not-So-Daily Links of the Day: Just after dawn on Monday, an unknown individual or individuals absconded with the 29-year-old Moyai statue from Tokyo's busy Shibuya train station. All that remained where the giant stone statue once stood at station's south entrance is a giant white canvas that read, "Thanks for the Moyai. Lupin Steal Japan steal-japan.jp"

Since last month, that steal-japan.jp website has been taking suggestions for what people want to have stolen. The website then announced on December 1 that the anime thief character Lupin III would steal the statue, and a similar announcement poster was even put on display near the station. According to the Mainichi Shimbun paper's Mantan Web site, the Lupin Steal Japan Project is a collaboration between the NTV television network, the TMS Entertainment anime studio, and Heiwa — a manufacturer of the Japanese upright pinball machine games known as pachinko.

In a separate development on Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and U.S. President Barack Obama — or distinctive likenesses thereof — appeared at a special Tokyo screening event for the Afro Samurai: Resurrection movie. The Gonzo-animated film will open in Japanese theaters on December 12, or almost 11 months after Spike TV premiered it in America.

Comedians Kuruo Hatoyama and Nozomu "Nocchi" Satō filled in for the prime minister and the president, respectively, to celebrate the global success of Afro Samurai: Resurrection. Also in attendance were the director Fuminori Kizaki (far left in photo), original manga creator Takashi Okazaki (second from left), and art director Shigemi Ikeda (third from left). Ikeda brought along his Primetime Emmy Award for his Afro Samurai: Resurrection work — the first Japanese-animated production ever awarded or even nominated for the American television awards.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web, Trend News, animeanime.jp


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