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Former Kinema Jumpo Editor Explains 'your name.'s' Lack of Rank on Best Film List

Last Tuesday, film magazine Kinema Jumpo revealed its list of the 10 best Japanese films of 2016. Sunao Katabuchi's film In This Corner of the World ranked at #1. That is a remarkable achievement for the anime based on Fumiyo Kono's To All The Corners Of The World (Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni) manga. However, many fans were surprised that Makoto Shinkai's smash-hit film your name. (Kimi no Na wa.) d...
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Light Novel Author Takes Hands-On Approach to Marketing Latest Work

Hits streets of Akihabara to promote "Creepy Man" ― Manga artists, animators, and light novel artists tend to be reserved and even shy, hiding behind generic or inhuman avatars to represent themselves to the outside world. Takeshi Nakazawa is not one of these. He took a hands-on, open approach to marketing his latest light novel, Kimoi Man. Nakazawa took to the streets of Akihabara, Tokyo's electroni...
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6-Year-Old Idol Skips Kindergarten After TV Program Falsely Reports Boy She Likes

A 6-year-old Japanese girl was in tears on Monday after someone spread a rumor about a boy she supposedly likes. That little girl happens to be the idol Ai-chan 6-sai (Ai-chan 6 Years Old), and the one spreading false information was the Fuji TV variety program Furutachi-sun. The program's episode that aired on Sunday was discussing the youngest idols and had a feature about Ai-chan 6-sai. A femal...
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Super Mario Odyssey's Hero Gets Tall in Grand Theft Auto IV Crossover Video

Between illustrating Mario's short stature in comparison to "real" humans and revealing a metropolis called "New Donk City," Nintendo's trailer for its upcoming Super Mario Odyssey Switch game is raising many eyebrows among gamers. As a response, YouTube user CrowbCat created a crossover video that shows a taller version of Super Mario Odyssey's hero in the world of the Grand Theft Auto IV game. A...
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Professional Artist-Writer Team to Teach Manga Class in Japan This Year

Guest lecturers include Hisashi Eguchi, Fumiyo Kono ― Daisuke Nishijima (Dien Bien Phu, Sekai no Owari no Mahōtsukai) will teach a manga class this year with his friend, the writer Sayawaka. Genron Hirameki ☆ Manga Kyōshitsu ("Principles of Shining Manga Class") will begin in April and ends in March 2018. In a total of 14 sessions, students must submit 10 manga rough drafts and story pitches. In the ...
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'OtaKing' Animator Also Makes 'Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team With More Realism'

Paul "OtaKing" Johnson, an English animator who creates "retro anime-styled 2D animation films," recently launched a Patreon campaign to cover living expenses and allow him to focus on projects. In addition to animating a Street Fighter fan film, Johnson is working on a tactics-based mecha film that he describes as "Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team with more realism." He began streaming a vide...
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Real-World Ghost in the Shell Tachikoma's Personality Depends on You

A half-size interactive Tachikoma robot, like those seen in the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex anime, is debuting at the I.G Store Tour Shop in Osaka's Asia and Pacific Trade Center on Thursday. The website Animate Times began streaming a video on Tuesday that highlights the limited opportunity for people to meet the good-natured robot. People who download Karakuri Products' iOS app Virtu...
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'PPAP' Singer Pikotarō Holds Concert With Silent Siren, LiSA

The comedian and singer Pikotarõ, known for his viral song "PPAP (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen)," will perform at the famed Nippon Budōkan arena in Tokyo on March 3. The band Silent Siren (live-action anohana special's theme song) and singer LiSA (Fate/Zero, Sword Art Online theme songs) will also perform at the "Pikotarõ PPAPPT in Nippon Budōkan" concert. The Cream Stew comedy duo's Shinya Ueda will a...
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1,500 People Attend Girls und Panzer Character Kay's Birthday Party

The Girls und Panzer setting town of Ōarai, Ibaraki held a birthday party for the character Kay on Saturday. The actual birthday of the Saunders Girls High School's Sensha-Dō team commander is January 17, but that did not stop fans from celebrating three days early. About 1,500 people attended Kay's birthday party in the town's northern Isohama area. The event was held in the parking lot of the Ōa...
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Kumamoto Manga Festival Accepting Applications for Aspiring Manga Artists

Manga creator hopefuls have another chance to make their debut thanks to this year's Kumamoto Manga Festival. The festival is accepting applications until February 15. The entries arean "extra" competition tied to the annual Silent Manga Audition. The site states clearly that entries should focus on one thing above all else, bringing happiness to the readers. The judges are looking for manga that...
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Pikachu Gets Cozy in a Ketchup Bottle Sleeping Bag

Pikachu's love for tomatoes knows no bounds as the character continues his singing and merchandising campaign for Japanese food company Kagome. Pikachu previously starred in the “Ketchup Daze! Pokémon Campaign,” and the partnership is being revitalized with this year's "Ketchup ni Muchū! Pokemon Campaign 2017". From Februray 1 to March 31, customers who buy Kagome ketchup products can send in thei...
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Web Manga Discusses Problem of Parent–Child Relations in Japan

If you visit schools and other public places in Japan, you may come across posters encouraging parents to listen to their children. These posters promote parents' compassion for their children and aim to persuade them to avoid using too much harsh criticism. Parents in Japan have come under scrutiny for not showing enough sympathy and empathy for their children, and their children may find it hard...
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Figure Build Close-up: Super Saiyan 3 Son Goku, Kid Buu, and Perfect Cell

Figures are provided courtesy of Bluefin Distributors Dragon Ball Z has given us some of the most iconic character designs in anime. Transformed into action figures, they're instantly recognizable. This week, I built three of the latest versions of Dragon Ball Z model kits, all from the Figure-rise Standard collection. Bandai Japan released this line in 2016 to improve on the articulation and det...
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Trigger's Anime Beer Ad Pulled Off YouTube

NPO objects to commercial showing young people with beer ― Anyone looking to rewatch Kirin Beer's animated commercial by Trigger's Fukoka studio will be disappointed — the ad is no longer on YouTube. The most likely reason appears to be a public statement released by ASK, a Japanese non-profit specializing in the prevention of alcohol or drug related issues, encouraging Kirin Beer and Trigger to remo...
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Doraemon & Nobita Make Landfall on Antarctica

Nobita, Doraemon, and his friends are heading to Antarctica for their latest adventure in Eiga Doraemon: Nobita no Nankyoku Kachi Kochi Daibōken (Doraemon the Movie 2017: Great Adventure in the Antarctic Kachi Kochi). To celebrate the film, Nobita and Doraemon actually went to visit the penguins in the extreme cold 14,000 km away from Japan. Antarctica was the duo's second stop after first visitin...
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Gintama's Life-Size Kondō Is Sweet as Honey for Jump Shop Display

Certain Jump Shop stores are celebrating Valentine's Day with large Gintama-themed displays. The Tokyo Dome City location features large figures of Gin and Sadaharu, while the Yokohama shop is displaying a particularly sweet life-size statue of Kondō. The shop is displaying the character's honey-smeared body that appears in the anime's 65th episode. Jump Shop allows and encourages fans to take pic...
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Nadesico Turns 20 with New Ruri Hugging Pillow Cover

Last week marked Japan's annual "Coming of Age Day" where individuals who turned the age of majority within the last year put on their very best and celebrate together. Anime fans also celebrated series that are now the age of majority, i.e. 20 years old. One of these shows is Martian Successor Nadesico, a sci-fi comedy starring the stone-faced, silver-haired Ruri. The character herself isn't 20 ...
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'Mighty Morphin' Meower Rangers' Is the Power Rangers Remake We Wanted

The Power Rangers and their nemesis Rita Repulsa are getting a modern make-over for this year's film release, but what if producers nixed the slick, cool redesign for the cute and furry route? The official Power Rangers YouTube channel shows the film that could have been with the "Mighty Morphin' Meower Rangers." The main cast is replaced with dubbed over felines and even Zordon looks quite a bit ...
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Pokémon Evolved Mod for Ark: Survival Evolved Returns After DMCA Hit

The Pokémon Evolved mod designed by The Mystic Academy, hmind, and Tbjbu2, was previously hit with a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) claim but is now once again up and available for download on Steam. The mod brings the world of Pokémon to life by altering the Ark: Survival Evolved multiplayer online survival game. The Mystic Academy surmises that the previous DMCA was actually sent by a c...
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'your name.' Meets Fist of the North Star in Fan-Made Manga

Anime and manga fans are always eager to make mashups combining their favorites stories. Dōjin group Ojō no Yokushitsu (Daughter's Bathroom) recently unveiled the Unu no Na wa. crossover manga that combines Makoto Shinkai's your name. (Kimi no Na wa.) film and Buronson and Tetsuo Hara's Fist of the North Star manga. Twitter user @melondorobou tweeted pictures of the dōjinshi manga on Friday. The J...
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Shokotan to Help Select 2020 Tokyo Olympics' Mascot

31-year-old Shoko "Shokotan" Nakagawa, one of the hosts of the Meet Up at the Pokémon House? and fan of exoskeletons is signing on as an official member of the Mascot Selection Review Conference for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020. The committee explained that Nakagawa was chosen for her deep understanding of Japanese subcultures, like anime, and what's popular in the eyes of young ...
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English Animator 'OtaKing' Previews 20-Min. Street Fighter Fan Film

Paul "OtaKing" Johnson, an English animator who creates "retro anime-styled 2D animation films," announced on Saturday that he launched a Patreon campaign to cover his living expenses and allow him to focus on his current projects. He began streaming two videos to announce the campaign and preview his planned 20-minute Street Fighter fan film. The first video introduces Johnson and his projects an...
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Steve Jobs Manga's Authors Ume Tour Akihabara, Talk Tech in French TV Program

Steve Jobs was an enigmatic and controversial figure. His personality and work ethic were the subject of 2015's Steve Jobs film starring Michael Fassbender. His relationship with PC revolutionary Steve Wozniak is also in the film, and the focus of the manga Steves by Tokyo Toy Box manga team UME. UME launched their biographical manga in Big Comic Superior in 2014 and recently wrapped the manga aft...
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Watch Spriggan's Minagawa Draw His Latest Manga Kaiō Dante

Spriggan and Project ARMS artist Ryoji Minagawa launched his latest manga Kaiō Dante ("Dante" Ocean King) in Shogakukan's Monthly Shonen Sunday magazine in December 2015. The story follows a boy living in the middle of the 18th century during the height of sea exploration. To celebrate the release of the manga's second volume, Minagawa is giving away a drawing to one lucky winner via lottery. User...
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Bandai Launches Twitter Campaign for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Necktie, Earrings

Campaign promotes new Converse sneaker line ― Fans of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable can win neckties and earrings inspired by the ones worn by Yoshikage Kira and Rohan Kishibe. The clothing can be won by participating in a Twitter campaign. Follow @BANDAIFN, the Twitter account of Bandai Fashion Collection (or BanColle!) and retweet the following tweet announcing the contest: \フォロ...
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Treat Your Valentine to Mr. Osomatsu Parfait, Anime Cakes

Japan's otaku retail chain Animate unveiled the latest products in its line of Animate Cafe character cakes on Thursday. The Mr. Osomatsu "Valentine Cafe Set" offers themed parfaits that anime fans can choose for their sweethearts (or themselves). Mugs in the limited-edition set feature the likenesses of the six Osomatsu brothers and sweet treats. Each 10-centimeter (about 4-inch) chocolate banana...
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Girls und Panzer Girls Become Waitresses for Restaurant Collaboration

For the Girls und Panzer film's latest collaboration, the anime's characters will transform into waitresses at the chain restaurant Coco's. The campaign will run from January 19 to March 1. People who order from the collaboration set menu will receive one of six themed A4-size clear files. A new file will be available every week. The collaboration menu includes beef hamburg steak (seen below), sea...
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Life-Size Majora's Mask Replica Bewitches The Legend of Zelda Fans

Figure maker First 4 Figures unveiled on Monday its Majora's Mask figure inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask video game. The company is streaming a making-of video for the replica: First 4 Figures describes the mask in the original game: “You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?” The Majora's Mask is a mysterious artifact that was once used by the Ancient Tribe for their bewitchin...
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Rose of Versailles Collaborates With Valentine's Day Chocolate Sale

Every year, Japanese women buy chocolate to give to their significant others on Valentine's Day. The men then return the favor on White Day, March 14. This year, women will be flocking to the upper floors of Takashimaya department stores to buy high-end Rose of Versailles-themed chocolates. Japan's Takashimaya department stores are collaborating with Riyoko Ikeda's manga for the chain's annual Amo...
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Accessories Designer Taps Into Pac-Man, Space Invaders for High-End Items

British fashion accessories designer Anya Hindmarch's latest collection is tapping into 80s and 90s nostalgia, from the classic yellow smiley face to the familiar pixelated faces of Namco's Pac-Man and Taito's Space Invaders. The games' ghosts and and aliens were revitalized by Hindmarch into a series of purses, bags, coats, and other accessories. A first look at our new space in @galerieslafayet...
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Yuri!!! on Ice Co-Creator Visits Main Character's Hometown

Yuri!!! on Ice co-creator Mitsurou Kubo recently traveled to Karatsu, Saga. Anime fans may know the city as Hasetsu, main character Yūri Katsuki's hometown. Akinori Kawakami, representative of Karatsu's Michelin-starred steak restaurant Caravan, is also the president of the "Association to Connect Hasetsu and Karatsu." Kawakami posts Yuri!!! on Ice-related messages and images on his Twitter and Fa...
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Bandai Namco Holds Retro Game Manga/Writing Contest

Game Center CX host Shin'ya Arino judges ― Bandai Namco has opened its extensive catalog of classic video games to Japanese fans interested in creating dōjin works (fanfiction, or fan-made video games) based on them. In order to encourage more creative output, it is holding a contest for manga, novellas and essays based on its games. Suggested themes include "What happened to Pac-Man's hands?," "Moji...
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High School Fleet, Barakamon Voice Actress Nozomi Furuki Marries

Japanese voice actress Nozomi Furuki announced on her official blog on Thursday that she has married and entered the family register. Furuki did not name the person she married. Furuki said, "[He's] that sort of bright person that's natural and laughs spontaneously when we're together. I want to build a family who can't suppress their smiling faces." The voice actress thanked fans for their suppor...
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Love Live! Sunshine!! Announces Worldwide 'Image Girl' Poll Results

The official website for the Love Live! anime announced the results of the Love Live! Sunshine!! "World Image Girl Election" poll on Friday. People around the world voted for one Aquors girl each to become PR ambassadors for different "regions" of the world. Here are the results: Chika Takami: Taiwan Riko Sakurauchi: Germany Kanan Matsuura: Australia Dia Kurosawa: Singapore Yō Watanabe: China Yosh...
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Comico Classifieds: 'Extra' Manga Character Wanted

Ever dream of becoming a character in your favorite manga? The manga website and app comico could make your daydreams into reality. comico is taking applications for one person to fill the "manga extra performer part-time job" position. The part-time job news service An posted a listing for the position on Thursday. An is partnering with comico for the project, and it is accepting applications unt...
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Bowser Demonstrates Nintendo Switch Console's Parental Controls

Bowser is the last character that comes to mind when parenting is involved but the dastardly princess-napper is the father to seven equally mischievous kid koopas (or at least Bowser Jr., his other offspring were demoted from his lineage, apparently). Nintendo brought out Bowser and Bowser Jr. introduce the Nintendo Switch console's parental controls. The app will allow parents to monitor what kin...
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Tokyo Joypolis Reveals Its Sword Art Online Attractions

Tokyo's Joypolis theme park revealed more details this week on its upcoming collaboration with the Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale film. The attractions are launching on January 21 and running until to February 26. The "Gekijō-ban Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale- - in JOYPOLIS Extra Stage Joypolis o Kōryaku Seyo!" (Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale - in Joypolis Extra Stage Capture Joypol...
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SMAP Idol Group Members Issue Farewell Messages to Fans

The popular idol group SMAP broke up on December 31 after performing music together for more than a quarter century. Although the pop stars are continuing with their solo careers, they issued SMAP farewell messages to fans on January 5. Here is their joint messages as a group: Everyone's support, all of it, is reaching us. We're taking in everyone's feelings, all of them. Gratitude from the heart....
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Yuri!!! on Ice's Title Song Features in Figure Skating Music Book

Most fans of the Yuri!!! on Ice anime agree that the show was "born to make history." The first home video volume shipped on December 30 and sold a combined 50,878 copies. The Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases ranked #2 and #3 on their respective Oricon sales charts. The anime's soundtrack CD also debuted #1 on Oricon's weekly digital album chart for the week of December 19-25. Now the series' title s...
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A-Fit Team Shows Anime Fans How to Exercise to "Cruel Angel's Thesis"

Anisong Fitness is an exercise program designed to get anime fans (or whoever else ate too much fried chicken and rice cake soup over the holidays) moving with catchy, energetic anime songs. Starring Gō Takahashi as the A-fit Teacher and Yūki Takada, Yakko and (the animated) Sakura Asahina as A-fit Girls, the program comes up with fun, dance-like moves to make sure viewers get their workout. The ...
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The Eccentric Family Anime to Serve as Special Goodwill Ambassador For Kyoto

Anime series also gets special gallery train on Kyoto's famed Eizan Railway ― P.A. Works hosted a special "Tanuki Gathering At The Forest Of Tadasu" event on Thursday for its The Eccentric Family (Uchoten Kazoku) franchise. In addition to a wealth of new information about The Eccentric Family 2 sequel anime series, the event also revealed that the franchise has been inaugurated as a Kyoto Special Goo...
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Jimmy Choo Designs Code Geass Pumps

Otaku blogger and entrepreneur Danny Choo announced on his website on Tuesday that his father is following in his footsteps to design Code Geass-themed merchandise. Malaysian fashion designer Jimmy Choo, who is based in the United Kingdom, unveiled designs for a blue and red high-heeled shoe that features the bird-like Geass symbol. Jimmy Choo is known for designing high-end, handmade women's sho...
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The Male "Absolute Territory": Socks with Suit Pants

Just don't wear short socks ― Zettai ryōiki ("Absolute Territory"), or the miniskirt/thigh-high stocking combo favored by some Japanese high school girls, is a pervasive fetish in Japanese pop culture, as a glance at female characters in anime or light novel covers will tell you. But is there a male equivalent? Given how rarely men in Japan bare their skin, it might seem not to be the case, but one T...
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Akira Amano Designs Yukata for Sale at Upcoming Exhibition in Kyoto

The Kyoto University of Art and Design's Galerie Aube will hold an original exhibition titled "NEW Akira Amano Exhibition in Kyoto" from January 20 to February 12. The event organizers announced some of the event's contents on Tuesday. The venue will display newly designed original yukata by Amano as well as 120 key animation frames. The yukata designs are based on Amano's manga series Reborn! and...
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Ellen-Sensei Returns to Educate Youth in Alcohol Board Game

Last year saw the rise of Ellen Baker, an assistant language teacher in the latest edition of Japan's first-year New Horizon junior-high English textbook. The blonde teacher immediately endeared herself to Internet users. She inspired so much fan art that the publisher and creator asked for discretion in how she was depicted. The Internet being what it is, unauthorized products were made anyway. H...
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200+ Voice Actors Choose Top 25 of Their Own in TV Special

Rina Ikoma called out for not recognizing Ace's voice actor ― On January 9, TV Asahi aired Ninki Seiyū 200-nin Honki de Eranda! Seiyū Sōsenkyo ("200 Popular Voice Actors Chose Honestly! Voice Actor General Election"), the results of a poll among over 200 voice actors of the 25 members of their field that they "really think are great." The special attracted significant buzz among seiyuu fans on social...
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Kamome Hamada Launches 1st Boys-Love Manga Based on True Story

The popular manga genre of boys-love, often written by women, depicts romantic relationship between men. Although they showcase gay relationships, some critics have mixed reactions to these stories because they are geared toward straight women. Boys-love manga typically serve to entice women by showing attractive bishōnen characters in idealized relationships rather than providing accurate depicti...
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January & February's Light Novel Titles are Really Weird

They include longest light novel title ever ― As light novel fans (or most anime fans, given how often light novels are adapted into anime) can tell you, the current trend is towards longer and longer titles, the better for time-pressed browsers to glean the plot at a glance. The results can be pretty strange, like What If the Girl Manager of a High School Baseball Team Read Drucker's Management? (Mo...
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Hatsune Miku's 10th Anniversary Countdown Website Opens

The most well-known virtual idol will be celebrating her big ten-oh anniversary this year on August 31. In that short time, Hatsune Miku has become the face of her own racing team, holds her own yearly festival in Sapporo, and performed with the likes of Lady Gaga. She continues to appear in concert and sells products from electronics to shampoo. Piapro opened a countdown website for Hatsune Miku....
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Tokyo Suburb Uses Anime Short to Promote Local Sake Breweries

Sayaka Ōhara stars as main character ― Fussa, one of Tokyo's western suburbs, has historical architecture, a pleasant river, American-style bars serving a local American military base, and two old sake breweries — and all within an hour's train ride of Shinjuku, Tokyo's bustling heart. To encourage more domestic and foreign tourists to come, the city, along with the Fussa City Society of Commerc...
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Metal Gear Solid Voice Actor Akio Ohtsuka Marries

The voice acting agency Mausu Promotion announced on Saturday that voice actor Akio Ohtsuka has married. The agency did not reveal the name of Ohtsuka's new spouse because she is a regular person not affiliated with voice acting. Ohtsuka, son of late voice actor Chikao Ohstsuka (One Piece's Gold Roger, Mobile Suit Gundam 00's Aeolia Schenberg), divorced fellow voice actor Yoko Soumi (Super Lovers'...
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Rose of Versailles's Oscar Makes an Appearance on Sumō Banner

13th Rose of Versailles volume goes on sale January 25 ― Fans of classic shōjo manga attending this month's sumō tournament are in for an unexpected treat: Oscar, the iconic protagonist of The Rose of Versailles, is gracing a kenshōmaku ("prize banner"). Sumō wrestlers raise prize money from sponsors, often corporations, who split it between the Japan Sumō Association and the winners of sumō bouts. I...
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Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans Exhibition Will Reveal Barbatos' New Form

An upcoming exhibition focusing on Gunpla and Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans will reveal the latest form of Mikazuki Augus' Barbatos Lupus mobile suit. The exhibition is opening on January 20 at the Nagoya Parco building. This is the first time the Barbatos Lupus' new form will be released as a Gunpla model. Barbatos, Graze Ein, and models based on mecha from the series' second season w...
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Message Hidden in Mini Famicom Urges Users to Not 'Break Everything'

Nintendo's Mini Famicom console shipped in Japan in November with 30 fan-favorite games and none of the worries about unsaved progress. However, deep within the console's emulator code, one user discovered a hidden message. Twitter user Hiromitsu was cracking the emulator to create a ROM and found a message in English. It reads: This is the hanafuda captain speaking. Launching emulation in 3..2..1...
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Mr. Osomatsu Brothers Welcome Customers to Udon Chain

Also: mook, location-based game, Nanana crossover in the works ― Over a year after its premiere, the Mr. Osomatsu train keeps rolling, with new events, collaborations and collectible goods introduced each month. The January 2017 "Osomatsūshin" ("Osomatsu News"), a newsletter posted each month (on the sixth day, in honor of the six Matsuno brothers) to keep the fanbase up-to-date on the latest develop...
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Square Enix Displays Kingdom Hearts Stained Glass Clock in Shinjuku Station

Exhibit also featuring art, music, video lasts until January 15 ― Square Enix opened a Kingdom Hearts exhibit in the Metro Promenade walkway of Shinjuku station in Tokyo on Monday. The exhibit only runs until January 15, and includes a large stained glass clock featuring some of the most iconic art from the series. Fans flocked to the exhibit on Monday to take pictures, look at the art, and listen to...
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Pikachu Dons Vulpix Garb to Celebrate Sapporo Pokemon Center's Redesign

Available as plushie, keychain, lacquerware, and more ― With the winter snowfall in Sapporo, the local Pokemon Center has been redesigned to evoke the white landscape of Hokkaido. To accompany this change, the Pokemon Center is offering new goodies celebrating the new games Pokemon Sun and Moon and the Alola Forms of their Pokemon. The already cute Vulpix now has an even cuter, white, Ice-type Alola...
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Touken Ranbu Exhibition Celebrates Game's 2nd Anniversary

The Touken Ranbu -Online- game is holding the Touken Ranbu -Honmaru Haku- exhibition to celebrate its second anniversary. The exhibition gave Comic Natalie an exclusive look on Thursday, and the website shared some pictures. The exhibit has eight areas, including sections devoted to the character Mikazuki Munechika and the game's anime, musical, stage play adaptations. A two-minute video plays in ...
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Pokémon Gets Cherry Blossom Merch for Spring

Japan has a long history of hanami (flower viewing) in springtime. People gather under sakura (cherry blossom) trees to eat, drink, and enjoy each other's company. Pokémon is getting in on the action this year with a new line of spring-themed cherry blossom items. The official Pokémon website unveiled the hanami merchandise line in December. A male Pikachu and female Pikachu, who are apparently a...
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Galaxy Express 999's Maetel Welcomes Tourists to Fukuoka

Galaxy Express 999 character Maetel will soon welcome anime pilgrims and regular tourists alike to the city of Kitakyushu, Fukuoka. Visitors to Kokura Station will be able to pose for photos with a statue of Maetel and an anime backdrop. The train station serves as a gateway to the city, and the Maetal photo spot will stand inside the station's tourism information center. Digital signage outside t...
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Show by Rock!! Real Escape Game Comes with Plasmagica CD

Title of theme tune remains secret ― Starting next weekend, Sanrio Puroland, a Sanrio-themed amusement park in western Tokyo, will hold a real escape game based on the character project Show by Rock!! Players will receive a CD of the game's theme song, sung by Plasmagica (Eri Inagawa, Sumire Uesaka, Manami Numakura and Ayane Sakura), as a prize for participating. As for the name of the song, players ...
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Chocolate Instant Noodles Celebrate Valentine's Day in Japan

Myojo Foods, a subsidiary of Cup Noodles maker Nissin Foods, released shortcake-flavored yakisoba noodles in its Ippei-chan Yomise no Yakisoba line in December. The dried noodle package includes a "beam" of vanilla mayonnaise. Although the concoction seems to have garnered a less than stellar reception, Ippei-chan recently unveiled its next sweet installment: chocolate-flavored yakisoba. The yakis...
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Original Digital Monster Toy Remake Adds 20th Anniversary Digimon

Bandai announced plans last month to release remakes of its original Digital Monster keychain toys to mark the 20th anniversary of the Digimon franchise this year. The company unveiled details of the new devices on Friday and began accepting pre-orders. The new Digimon Zubamon will debut on the device to celebrate the franchise's 20th anniversary. The toys will also offer Digimon from the first f...
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Crayon Shin-chan Marks 25th Anniversary With 'Ora wa Ninkimono' Music Video

TV Asahi began streaming an "Ora wa Ninkimono 25th Mix" music video on Friday to celebrate Crayon Shin-chan's 25th anniversary. Musician Hyadain (also known as Kenichi Maeyamada) is performing his rearranged version of the anime's 1993-1995 opening theme song to celebrate the anime's 25th anniversary. Dancer Takahiro Ueno choreographed the dance in the video. The city of Kasukabe, Saitama, which i...
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Made in Abyss Dōjinshi Gets Praised by Manga's Creator

"Too helpful... I plan to use it a lot" ― Manga artists and other media creators have mixed feelings about the dōjin (fan-made material) based on their works, although with the prominence of dōjin conventions like Comiket it's hard to ignore. Akihito Tsukushi, the artist behind Made in Abyss, gave a glowing review to one dōjinshi covering his manga. "Made in Abyss no Doshigatai Hon" ("The Hopeless Bo...
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Russian Anime Characters Show Off Their Silver Hair

Anime loves to endow its characters with a rainbow of hair colors. Character appearance tropes are alive and well, especially when it comes to anime hair. Japanese net users recently noticed one particular trend: silver-haired Russians. Russian anime characters are often depicted with whitish, grayish, or golden hair. Here is a sample of such characters: Victor NikiforovYuri!!! on Ice He is a 27-y...
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Voice Actors Shinnosuke Tachibana, Ao Takahashi Marry

Voice actor Shinnosuke Tachibana announced on his official blog on Thursday that he married fellow voice actor Ao Takahashi on January 1. Tachibana complimented Takahashi's strong curiosity and wise consideration. He said that he has realized the things he has seen and felt up until now are only a small part of what the world has to offer, and he is looking forward to new experiences with his wife...
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Giant Korean Robot Designer Plans to Help Quake-Hit Fukushima

CNN reported on Monday that Hollywood designer Vitaly Bulgarov is developing a 13-foot "robot-powered suit" called Method-2 in Gunpo, South Korea. Bulgarov's latest project is the live-action Ghost in the Shell film starring Scarlett Johansson. He designed the Lamborghini Lockdown for the Transformers films and a robotic boy suit for the latest Robocop film. However, the visual effects expert insi...
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Poochy, Yoshi Fail at Fetch in Woolly World 3DS Game's Video

Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World is heading to the Nintendo 3DS on February 3. Nintendo began streaming the "Go Fetch!" stop-motion animated short for the game on Wednesday. In the video, Yoshi's planned game of fetch unfortunately doesn't go as he had hoped. Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World players can unlock 30 animated shorts "showing the daily life of Yoshi and Poochy." The above short will be one o...
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Yamakan, Toshio Okada Criticize Production Committee System

They claim that it incentivizes smaller production budgets ― Anime director Yutaka Yamamoto, or "Yamakan" (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Wake Up, Girls!, Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens), and former president of Gainax Toshio Okada, or "the Otaking," have a history of criticizing the anime industry, even going so far as to declare anime "dead." At a Christmas Eve discussion at Akihabara UDX Galler...
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Figure Build Close-up: Ingram 1 Mobile Police Patlabor Action Figure

Figures are provided courtesy of Bluefin Distributors How do you know that 1989's Patlabor withstood the test of time? Well for one, they're still releasing high quality action figures inspired by it. I've been marathoning Patlabor during the slow in-between space after Fall 2016 and before Winter 2017 anime, and now I have a companion to watch it with me, the Bandai Hobby Robot Spirits Ingram 1 ...
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Final Fantasy Brave Exvius Video Previews Ariana Grande's Character, Remixed Song

Square Enix North America began streaming an Ariana Grande music video announcement on Thursday for Square Enix's Final Fantasy Brave Exvius smartphone game. The video reveals that a remix of Grande's "Touch It" song will debut in the game with the singer's character. The video provides a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the song and previews the character. The Grammy-nominated singer and a...
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Kirby Ichiban Kuji Prizes Include Plush Waddle Dee

Ichiban Kuji unveiled a new "Hoshi no Kirby sweet party" line of prize drawing goods on Tuesday. Judging by the prize line's art, Kirby and Waddle Dee have fallen into a contented sleep after stuffing themselves with sweets. Here are the prizes: A Prize:Kirby Full-Stomach Plushie B Prize:Waddle Dee Full-Stomach Plushie C Prize:Blanket D Prize:Hoshi no Kirby Teacup and Saucer E Prize:Pastel Design...
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Director Osamu Yamasaki Discusses Anime Industry's Working Conditions

Long hours, hard work, low pay, and no job stability ― Last November, an animator at P.A. Works caused a controversy by posting a picture of their budget on social media. After lunch expenses, bus fare, and rent were subtracted, @hoke_hokke had only 1,477 yen ($12.55) left for personal use. Animators that have not been able to graduate from in-betweener to key animator after three years of work had ...
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Universal Studios Japan Previews Godzilla 4D Attraction in TV Ad

The Godzilla the Real 4D attraction will debut at the Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka on January 13. Universal Studios Japan began streaming a television commercial for the attraction in December. The attraction utilizes the theme park's 4D theater that incorporates features like 3D images, mist, seat movements, and air blasts to give visitors the feeling that they are part of the acti...
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World's Largest Evangelion Statue Earns Guinness Record in Shanghai

The ChinaJoy gaming expo unveiled a gigantic Evangelion Unit-01 statue in Shanghai last summer. The statue was recently rebuilt in a new location in Shanghai, and it made its official debut on Tuesday. The game developer heitao, maker of one of China's Evangelion smartphone games, planned the giant statue. When it appeared at ChinaJoy, the Spear of Longinus sat on the ground next to Unit-01. Howev...
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Love Live! Film Trends #1 on Twitter During TV Broadcast

The sequel of the Love Live! School idol project television anime, Love Live! The School Idol Movie, aired on Japan's NHK E Tele network on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. The broadcast was part of this year's special anime programming to celebrate the New Year's holiday. Viewers got in on the celebration by tweeting with the hashtag "#lovelive" and the words "Gekijōban Love Live" (Love Live film) in Japanes...
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Hunter × Hunter's Yoshihiro Togashi Draws Avant-Garde Musicians

Jun Togawa, a pop artist known for her unconventional, operatic, and harsh vocal style and avant-garde artistic sensibility, has released an album with Vampillia, a rock/metal band with a similarly offbeat style. Watashi ga Nakō Hototogisu ("I am a Singing Cuckoo") looks back at Togawa's 35-year career with nine rearrangements of her past hits by Vampillia (and re-recorded by Togawa) and a new sin...
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'Blue Butler,' 'Black Exorcist' Characters Swap Outfits in Dreams

In Japan, the tradition of hatsuyume (first dream) encourages people to interpret their first dream of the new year to discover how the next 365 days will treat them. Due to spending the night of December 31 taking part in traditions like hatsumōde (first shrine/temple visit) and hatsuhinode (first sunrise), many Japanese people traditionally experience this dream on the night of January 1. Dreami...
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Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Gintama Voice Actress Mikako Takahashi Marries

Voice actress Mikako Takahashi announced on her private blog for fan club members on Saturday that she has married. She did not name who she married, and she said she entered the family registry a short time ago. She decided to make the announcement then after deciding the timing with her agency. Takahashi thanked fans for their support and said, "Even though I'm married, I'm me. I want to do my b...
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Voice Actress Rina Satou Announces Marriage, Baby Boy

Voice actress Rina Satou (Mikoto in A Certain Magical Index, Negi in Negima!, Hayato in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable) welcomed in the new year with an 11:59 PM post on December 31 on her blog, *☆.Rina Diary.☆* Although it was mostly typical fare like thanking her fans for their support and reflecting back on her activities, she also dropped a more important announcement in the...
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Cospa Announces Top Cosplay of 2016

Love Live! dethroned from top spot ― Cospa, Japan's main cosplay retailer, announced on January 1 the most popular cosplay items of 2016. Sound! Euphonium: Girls' summer uniform High School Fleet: School uniform Love Live! Sunshine!!: School uniform Persona 5: Boys' school uniform Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Girls und Panzer: Kuromorimine Girls' High School panzer jacket KanColle: Kashim...
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Webcomic Shows Comiket Fanatic Transported Back to Warring States Era

"Over a thousand soldiers?... That's really small-scale!" ― Massive crowds of young men, a fierce jostle for scarce resources, enduring long, fatiguing marches and waits with low supplies of food and water — Comic Market (Comiket) and other big anime conventions can seem almost like medieval battles. If making it through multiple conventions each year makes you feel hardy and well-seasoned, you ...
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Shogakukan's Big Comic Spirits Manga Magazine Likes Cats

The fourth and fifth combined 2017 issue of Shogakukan's Weekly Big Comic Spirits magazine shipped in Japan on Monday as an ode to cats. The special issue features the text "I like cats." on the cover. The issue includes "cat fortune-telling" with illustrations (seen below) by manga creator Sensha Yoshida. Readers can find out which breed of cat they are. Scottish Fold Russian Blue American Shorth...
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Shuuichi Ikeda Yelled at Kouichi Yamadera While Recording Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack

Prolific voice actor Kouichi Yamadera (Lupin III's Zenigata, Ghost in the Shell's Togusa, Evangelion's Kaji) shared some secrets on his OHA OHA Aniki television program on Friday from the recording of Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack. Yamadera recalled an incident when he aggravated Shuuichi Ikeda, voice of Char. In the anime film, Yamadera voiced Gyunei Guss, a body guard and prominent fo...
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Akira Toriyama Shares 30 Years of Feelings About Dragon Quest Designs

Dragon Quest game character designer Akira Toriyama shared his thoughts about the series on the "Dragon Quest 30th Soshite Arata na Densetsu e" (Dragon Quest 30th: On to New Legends) television special. Toriyama provided a letter for the program that looks back at his decades of work on the franchise. The special aired on Thursday to celebrate the 30th anniversary since the original Dragon Quest g...
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Watch Kazuya Minekura Draw Saiyuki's Sanzo in 4.5 Hours

Artwork to be on display at Saiyuki Festa 2017 ― Next year is the 20th anniversary of Kazuya Minekura's manga version of Saiyuki. To honor the occasion, Chiba's Makuhari Messe convention center will hold the Saiyuki Festa 2017 ~Series Dai Genga-ten~ ("Great Series Original Art Exhibition"). As the name indicates, fans can see Minekura's rough drafts on display. To whet appetites for the exhibit, the ...
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Ariana Grande to be Featured as Character in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius Smartphone Game

Actress, singer posts preview video of sprite character ― Grammy-nominated singer and actress Ariana Grande announced on her Instagram account on Sunday that she will be featured as a character in Square Enix's Final Fantasy Brave Exvius smartphone game. Grande also posted a short video of her character avatar in different animations. pretty lil thing holds her own in a room of men in suits ♡ I'm SO ...
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Happy New Year 2017 from the Anime World! - Part III

New Game, Is the Order a Rabbit?, ClassicaLoid, Ghibli, Wake-Up, Girls! ― Aikatsu (game) 【フォトカツ!年賀状】あけましておめでとうございます!フォトカツ!年賀カードをお届け♪本年もフォトカツ!をよろしくお願いいたしますアプリ内でアイカツ!特別壁紙を配布中!→https://t.co/zlexuuTVvL壁紙公開は1/6 12:59まで! #フォトカツ pic.twitter.com/4NDeh0qVF9— アイカツ!フォトonステージ!!公式 (@aikatsu_photo) December 31, 2016 Masahiro Anbe (Squid Girl) 今年もよろしくお願いします! pic.twitter.com/6WXkTIWYME— 安部真弘 (@masahiro_lemon) Decem...
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Happy New Year's from the Anime World! - Part II

New Year's is the most important holiday in Japan, with families gathering to share big feasts and visit their local temple. New Year's cards (nengajō) are often sent to friends, family and acquaintances. Figures from the anime, manga and video game fields draw their own (usually featuring their own characters) and share them with the rest of us online. Here, then, is ANN's annual New Year's gree...
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Happy New Year 2017 from the Anime World! - Part I

BanG Dream!, Fūka, Demi-chan, and more ― New Year's is the most important holiday in Japan, with families gathering to share big feasts and visit their local temple. New Year's cards (nengajō) are often sent to friends, family and acquaintances. Figures from the anime, manga and video game fields draw their own (usually featuring their own characters) and share them with the rest of us online. Here,...
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Sword Art Online Film About MMORPG Inspires Real-World AR App

The upcoming Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale anime film centers on “Ordinal Scale,” an augmented-reality (AR) MMORPG. Although the game lets people play while conscious, it soon creates new dangers for Kirito and fellow players. Hopefully Aniplex put some safeguards in place so the same problem doesn't arise in the real world. The company recently released an official iOS and Android AR ...
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Cardcaptor Sakura Manga Inspires Hair Ornament, Bracelet

Do you love Cardcaptor Sakura and your Clow Cards, Sealing Wand, bracelets, pillows, shoes, and cosmetics just aren't enough? This year marks the 20th anniversary of the original manga, so it may be time to stop up on more merch. Accessory brand Aerl*les bijoux just unveiled a hair ornament and bracelets with a starry and flowery design inspired by CLAMP's popular manga. The kanzashi ornamental h...
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ufotable Offers Set of 2009-2016 Awa Odori Posters for 100,000 Yen

Japan's furusato nōzei system that offers tax breaks for donating to municipalities has been gaining momentum since it debuted in 2008. The charitable program has caught on amidst public popularity, and it helps to revitalize regions that have had a dwindling population and funds. Anime studio ufotable announced on Tuesday that it is partnering with the city of Tokushima, which sits on the souther...
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Comiket 91 Plagued by Queue Issues

Attendees spend hours waiting for goods ― Comic Market (Comiket), as Japan's biggest dōjinshi convention, has coped with extremely long queues for a long time. This year's event is no exception: with 170,000 attendees, it's inevitable that many con-goers are forced to spend a good chunk of their day just standing around. Type-Moon's queue drew the most scorn. Contrary to usual practice, Comiket staff...
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Kumamiko Box Set Already Selling at Bargain Bin Prices

After Kumamiko - Girl meets Bear's single-season run ended in June, fans could relive the series by buying the Blu-Ray box sets. These contain additional goodies like bonus OAVs, a film of the series' cast visiting Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, a film of a premiere event in March, creditless openings and endings, and disc labels. Fans lucky enough to get the first run limited editions can enjoy jackets illus...

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