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Yo-kai Watch Characters Lose Their Smartphone App Popularity Poll to 3 Trillion Yen

The iOS and Android smartphone puzzle game Yōkai Watch Puni Puni opened a popularity poll on November 9 to commemorate the first anniversary of its launch. The game closed the poll and announced the results on Monday, but the promotional campaign may not have created as much cause for celebration as it had hoped. The poll pitted the app's Yōkai Watch characters against "other" objects, concepts, a...
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Market Research Reports Idol Otaku Annual Expenses at US$700

Yano Research Institute released its 2016 otaku market report on December 7. The report published the results of an online survey about individuals' annual otaku expenses. According to the report, idol otaku spent 79,783 yen (about US$700) each in the past year, which was the highest yearly fandom expenses reported among the top 20 types of otaku. That number is down about 16% from the previous ye...
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Evangelion's Anno Criticizes In This Corner of the World's Heroine

Nikkei Business Online published an interview with In This Corner of the World anime film director Sunao Katabuchi (Black Lagoon, Mai Mai Miracle) on Friday. At the end of the interview, which took place in Tokyo on November 30, Katabuchi mentions that he met Neon Genesis Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno the day before. Katabuchi asked Anno if he had seen In This Corner of the World, and Anno repli...
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Hayao Miyazaki Calls AI CG Animation Presentation 'An Insult to Life Itself'

On November 13, Hayao Miyazaki starred in a special about his upcoming CG animation film Kemushi no Boro on NHK titled Owaranai Hito - Miyazaki Hayao (The Man Who Is Not Done: Hayao Miyazaki). The 50 minute documentary included a scene where Miyazaki and former Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki attend a presentation by CGI team at Dwango Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The presentation is led by D...
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Pokémon Go Partners with Starbucks in U.S.

The official Pokémon website announced on Thursday that Starbucks will be a partner for the Pokémon Go smartphone app. About 7,800 U.S. Starbucks stores will become PokéStops and Gyms for a limited time beginning on Thursday. Starbucks will also offer a Pokémon Go Frappucino. The staff of the app previously revealed that Sprint will be the game's first partner in the United States, similar to the ...
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Pole Dancers React to Ending Sequence of Yuri!!! on Ice Episode 10

Techniques identified, critiqued ― Yuri!!! on Ice has already won a crowd of admirers — including real figure skaters — for its fluid and well-informed depiction of ice skating. The ending credits sequence of Episode 10 show Yūri Katsuki and Christophe Giacometti pole dancing, which has earned a new round of appreciation from real pole dancers on Twitter. Rinko Nakamura reacted enthusiastic...
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South Park's Ike Watches Naruto on Crunchyroll, Googles Yuri!!! on Ice

The American adult animated series South Park has been referencing Japanese culture and anime for years. The television show parodied the theme song from Studio Ghibli's My Neighbor Totoro in 2010, Kenny transformed into a Japanese princess in 2013, and the series featured a yaoi episode last year. The long-running show's latest anime reference involves the character Ike Broflovski. In the latest ...
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Mr. Osomatsu, your name, Yūichi Nakamura Win Yahoo! Japan's 2016 Search Awards

Other winners include Dean Fujioka, Keyakizaka 46, Pikotarō ― Every year, Yahoo! Japan honors the subjects or people who have racked up the most searches on its search engine (or who have shown the sharpest climb in searches since the previous year) with the Yahoo! Japan Search Awards. In the anime category, Mr. Osomatsu triumphed, despite technically premiering last year. Another anime also topped t...
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Experience Porno Graffitti Concert via PlayStation VR This Week

Sony Music Entertainment is partnering with Little Star Media to offer J-rock fans a chance to experience a concert through PlayStation VR this week. The virtual reality (VR) platform Littlstar Japan's PlayStation VR app is offering a Porno Graffitti concert from December 7 to December 14. The app's users can experience a 360-degree panoramic video of the rock band's concert. The Littlstar VR Cine...
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Saint Seiya Get Limited Edition 30th Anniversary Golden Watch

Licensed product company Imperial Enterprises is accepting pre-orders for a limited edition watch commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Saint Seiya series. The watch shows the silhouette of Sagittarius glistening on the face and 12 other Zodiac-inspired warriors engraved in the band links. Each is sold in a commemorative box with a picture of the palace on the front. Only 3,000 of the watches...
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Kamen Rider Ryuki Actor Satoshi Matsuda Helps Capture Criminal

Man attempted to take upskirt photos of Matsuda's wife ― Actor Satoshi Matsuda helped assist the capture of a man who had allegedly been attempting to secretly take upskirt photos of Matsuda's wife. According to Kyoto Prefectural Police's Uji station, Matsuda and his wife were shopping at a store in the town of Kumiyama on Wednesday when the man allegedly made his attempt. The 35-year-old man reporte...
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Young Animators NPO Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

AEYAC (pronounced "ay-yack"), a non-profit organization (NPO) dedicated to supporting young anime creators, launched a crowdfunding campaign on December 1. The campaign is collecting donations on the JapanGiving fundraising website until December 31. The organization began streaming a video about the crowd-funding campaign on November 29. The campaign is seeking to collect at least 3,000 yen (abou...
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To Love-Ru -Trouble- Darkness Announces Manga's Nipple Count

The To Love-Ru franchise's female characters are known for exposing their "assets" on the page or on the screen. A true test to determine obsessed fans would involve detailed knowledge of every characters' risqué depictions. The publisher of Saki Hasemi and Kentaro Yabuki's To Love-Ru -Trouble- Darkness manga decided to conduct such a test. Shueisha's Jump Square magazine recently held a Supreme Q...
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Minamata City's Anime-Style 'First Love' Podcast Launches 2nd Volume

The city of Minamata, Kumamoto began streaming a new podcast for its "Hatsukoi Project 2016" campaign on November 25. "Minamata Hatsukoi Podcast Toki no Kakehashi" (Minamata First Love Podcast: Suspension Bridge of Time) is the second volume of Minamata's promotional campaign that launched in February. The new podcast volume is a two-part bittersweet "adult love story," and the first part will be ...
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Yui no Shinobi Ninja Riceball Guys Get Manga

The upcoming card-based smartphone game Yui no Shinobi reimagines popular rice ball flavors as attractive ninja fighting to reclaim their land and serve their lord. Visualworks has revealed more than 12 characters and sub-characters so far, and is now adding a prologue manga to its promotion plans. The manga launched on Tuesday with the first two pages and will continue to update on the website ev...
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Japan's Moomin Theme Park Opening Pushed Back to 2019

The Moomin theme park in Japan, originally scheduled to open next year, is pushed back to 2019. Titled "Metsä," the theme park will open in spring 2019 at Lake Miyazawa, which is located in a relatively undeveloped corner of Hannō, in Saitama Prefecture northwest of Tokyo. It will be divided into two zones: a free "Metsä Village" with nature activities and lakefront restaurants and shops, and a "M...
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Charmander Joins Build-A-Bear's Online Exclusive Line-Up

Build-A-Bear is continuing its line-up of Pokémon pals to dress-up and take home. The company announced that original starter Charmander is now available as an online-exclusive option. The stuffed fiery friend is US$61.00 and includes recorded Charmander sounds, a Great Ball hoodie, Lucario hoodie, and a Build-A-Bear Workshop exclusive Pokémon TCG card. Charmander joins previously released Pikach...
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Shueisha Offers 'Jump VR' Mook About VR Tech

Mook also contains instructional manga, columns, 22-year-old Kochikame chapter featuring VR ― Shueisha will offer a new mook (magazine-style book) on December 16 titled "Jump VR." The mook will focus on VR technology and head-mounted displays such as the PlayStation VR, HTC Viva, and Oculus Rift/Touch, and will feature over 40 titles that use the technology. It will also feature instructional manga a...
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Gainax Animation Studio Operating Out of 45-Year-Old Condo

Gainax, the studio behind Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gunbuster, Nadia - The Secret of Blue Water, and Kare Kano, has downsized not only in animation output but also in office space. The company relocated to the "Hattori Building" in Musashino, Tokyo around October. Unlike its previous office space in Mitaka, Tokyo, the new location is actually a 45-year-old housing complex. According to a private cr...
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Konami Puts a Cap on Castlevania Unreal Engine Fan Remake

2016 has not been a good year for fan games. YouTuber and developer Dejawolfs is the latest to receive a cease and desist from a video game company, in this case it was Konami putting an end to their Unreal Engine remake of Castlevania. Dejawolfs had put in over a year into the game before receiving the letter last month and completed the first level back in April. The project was aptly titled Cas...
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Support Kumamoto Earthquake Relief with One Piece Merchandise

Donations accepted as "hometown taxes" ― Over seven months after the earthquakes that devastated Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu this year, the area is still rebuilding. As Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece, is from there, he is pitching in to help with a campaign using One Piece artwork. The campaign, which also includes One Piece-themed trains and stamp scavenger hunts, involves donating money ...
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Pokémon Bring Wedded Bliss for One Couple

Two big Pokéfans tied the knot on Saturday with enough Pokémon memorabilia to make any collector smile. One attendee shared images for the bride and groom's centerpieces and themed artwork on Twitter, and the photos have since been retweeted over 48,000 times and liked 64,000 times. Small terrariums with Pokémon in their natural habitats were at the tables. Guests were greeted by pixel artwork of ...
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Cup Noodles Continues Its Final Fantasy XV In-Game Campaign in Weird Ad

In September, Square Enix revealed that Nissin Cup Noodles would appear in Final Fantasy XV, going so far as adding a noodle-themed side quest. Fans were somewhat incredulous as to the results. Nothing says Final Fantasy like a Cup of Noodle billboard next to a trailer in the desert. pic.twitter.com/m5Hdszbl9E— NickMeteorain (@NickMeteorain) November 30, 2016 Final Fantasy XV real for having that ...
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Celebrate New Cardcaptor Sakura Manga with Wand, Cards, Clow Book and More

The Cardcaptor Sakura manga, which debuted 20 years ago, is returning to store shelves with a new story arc, the Clear Card arc. To celebrate the occasion, toymaker Takara Tomy is unveiling a bevy of Cardcaptor Sakura goods to rekindle those childhood memories and hopefully attract some new fans. Sakura's iconic Sealing Wand has been recreated 52 cm (20 inches) long. It comes with five Sakura Card...
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First "Superhuman Sports Games" Held in Tokyo

Blast energy from your hands with the power of virtual reality ― The Superhuman Sports Society has been developing sports that use machinery and advanced technology to transcend the physical limitations of the human body and go in new directions in sports. Their efforts were on display on November 23 at the first Superhuman Sports Games, held in Tokyo Tower Media Studio. The first sport we see in the...
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Themed Sake Warms Up Inuyasha, Kinnikuman Fans This Winter

Anime-themed sake lets fans drink in their favorite shows, including Moyashimon, AnoHana, Urusei Yatsura, and Lucky Star. This winter, thirsty otaku will be able to get a taste of two manga and anime: Inuyasha and Kinnikuman. Niigata Prefecture's Fujinoi sake brewing company has already offered Urusei Yatsura, Maison Ikkoku, and Ranma 1/2 sake inspired by Niigata native Rumiko Takahashi's manga. ...
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One Piece Film Gold's Limited Edition Includes Real Treasure Chest

The official website for One Piece Film Gold announced details of the anime's home video releases on Thursday. For the ultimate unpirated home-video experience of this year's box-office hit, fans can purchase the anime film and hide it with the rest of their booty in an exclusive treasure chest. The One Piece Film Gold Blu-ray Golden Limited Edition box set includes a special treasure chest with ...
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CNN Article Spotlights Japanese Dating Sims for Women

With the recent success of games like Tōken Ranbu and Idolish 7, the female market is increasingly in the Japanese pop cultural spotlight. CNN, too, has recently written an article surveying the rise in popularity of reverse harem games and putting them in the context of Japan's sagging birth rates and a society-wide aversion to sexual intercourse. Gangsters in Love The article profiles women like...
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Twelve More Ninja Rice Balls Revealed

Salmon, tuna, Spam, and more ― The upcoming card-based smartphone game Yui no Shinobi reimagines popular rice ball flavors as ninja fighting to reclaim their land and serve their lord. While four character designs had been revealed earlier in November, twelve more have been unveiled since then, creating quite the cast of tasty young men. Masunosuke Sakenobe represents salmon and is described as an ov...
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Grave of the Fireflies Tops Poll of Anime's Most Miserable Endings

The Goo Ranking website asked readers which anime has the most "miserable bad ending" for its characters. The site conducted the poll from November 14 to November 16 and published the results on Friday. The #1 anime on the list comes as no surprise to most classic anime fans. Grave of the Fireflies follows 14-year-old Seita and his four-year-old sister Setsuko in the final days of World War II in ...
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Sword Art Online Heroines Sparkle for Mobile Game Christmas Event

The girls of Sword Art Online are getting into the holiday spirit for a limited time event in the Sword Art Online: Code Register mobile game. Each of the female characters will appear in the special outfit until December 25. The outfits range from Santa-inspired to a glittering snow bride. Asuna Yuki Sinon Suguha Annette Players can participate in the event for a chance to get a six star Annette ...
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Resident Evil Classifieds: Security Zombies Wanted for Live-Action Film Premiere

If those part-time retail and fast-food gigs aren't enough to make ends meet, becoming a zombie could be the answer. The part-time job news service An has a listing seeking security guard zombies for the world premiere of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. The listing is searching for two zombies to act as security at the live-action film's world premiere red carpet event at Tokyo's Roppongi Hills ...
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Saki Setting to Hold Summit for Anime Holy Sites

Ryoko Shiraishi to hold discussion ― The Lucky Star shrine in Washimiya, the Girls und Panzer bastion of Ōarai, and now the your name setting of Hida: these are just a few of the more well-known anime "holy sites" that dot Japan. When an anime is set in a certain locale, or even if background scenery strongly resembles a certain locale, that anime's fans will flock to the area to see the sights for t...
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Become a Mascot-Loving Ikemen With Sanrio Boys Cosplay

The retail chain Animate's cosplay shop ACOS unveiled Sanrio Danshi (Sanrio Boys) cosplay school uniforms on Thursday. The outfits transform Sanrio fans into mascot-loving ikemen characters from the multimedia project. The Hijirikawa High School uniforms include a jacket with embroidered patch, pants, and a neck tie. People who want to create accurate cosplay will have to supply their own white s...
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The Sailor Guardians Know a Good Car When They See One in Latest Ford Commercial

Last month, Usagi and Luna longed for a 2017 Ford Fusion in the company's latest Overdub advertisement. In the company's latest commercial, she's convinced the other Sailor Guardians of the vehicle's many perks especially its parking assistance feature. The cast of Viz's new dub for the original series return to reprise their roles, too. Ford has previously created Overdub YouTube ads with David H...
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Race to Make Your Own Sonic Plush at Build-A-Bear

Build-A-Bear Workshop announced on Thursday that it is partnering with Sega to offer Sonic the Hedgehog plush. This year marks Sonic's 25th anniversary, and this is the first time Build-A-Bear has collaborated with Sega. A limited-edition bundle available online for US$35 includes an exclusive Gold Ring and 4-inch by 6-inch print. The Sonic Team designed the print in Japan for Build-A-Bear. The o...
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Girls und Panzer Collaborates on 6th Ibaraki Blood Drive

Girls und Panzer is again teaming up with the Ibaraki Prefecture Red Cross Blood Center to promote a blood drive. The anime's characters Miho, Saori, Hana, Yukari, and Mako appear as nurses on promotional posters in blood donation rooms. The collaboration is running from December 1 to January 31. People who donate 400 milliliters of blood in Ibaraki Prefecture during that period will receive one ...
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Yuri!!! On Ice's Makkachin Tissue Case Heads to Real-Life Rinks

The official Twitter account for the Yuri!!! On Ice television anime announced on Sunday that Victor's dog-shaped tissue case is heading to the real world. In the anime, figure skater Victor appears rink-side with a brown tissue box case inspired by his own poodle named Makkachin. The real Makkachin tissue cases will be made of fluffy "poodle boa" fabric and retail for 3,400 yen (about US$30). Av...
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Power Ranger Film's Rita Repulsa Hijacks Official Twitter Account

The new Power Rangers film stars Elizabeth Banks as classic villain Rita Repulsa, albeit heavily modernized and sans giant hair horns. Instead, the character shows an strange affinity for weird products like coyote urine hunting spray. At least, that's what she was promoting when the character took over the official Power Rangers Twitter account for Cyber Monday. 65 million years later and I'm sti...
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Life-Size Statue of Oreimo's Ayase Previewed in 1/2-scale Prototype

In honor of Tsukasa Fushimi's 10th anniversary since his debut as a light novel author with Jūsanban-me no Alice, fans were allowed to vote on which character from his more famous light novel series, Oreimo, would be converted into a life-size statue. The series' star Kirino was passed over in favor of her best friend Ayase with 40% of the vote. A 3-D model of the statue's proposed pose was shown...
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56-Year-Old JoJo Creator Araki Wins Best Dresser Award

The Men's Fashion Unity association held the 45th Best Dresser Awards in Tokyo on November 30. The JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga's fashionable creator Hirohiko Araki received the Best Dresser Award for the academic and cultural category at the event. Entertainment news website MAiDiGiTV began streaming videos from Araki's appearance at the event on Wednesday. After Araki receives his award in the...
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Fairy Tail's Hiro Mashima Already Beat FFXV

Square Enix's Final Fantasy XV role-playing game dropped in Japan on Tuesday, prompting excited fans to download and marathon through the game as soon as possible. Fairy Tail manga creator Hiro Mashima was no exception. He wrote on Twitter that he was counting down the hours until the game was available. He also mentioned the benefit of being self-employed, in this case. FF15まであと4時間!明日は休むと自分で決められる...
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Jiro Taniguchi Explores Venice in Louis Vuitton Travel Book

In 2014, manga creator Jiro Taniguchi continued his relationship with France when he was hired by luxury brand Louis Vuitton to pen one of its travel books. The company has published a number of high-end travel guides for destinations like London and New York, but Taniguchi's book exploring Venice is unique for being entirely illustrated. Until recently, the volume was only available in Louis Vuit...
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City Erects 9.3-meter Replica of Dragon Quest's King Slime — Out of Hay

Not to be outdone by Chikuzen's seven-meter straw Shin Godzilla, Saitama Prefecture's Gyōda city has constructed a 9.3-meter replica of Dragon Quest's King Slime monster out of hay in its Ancient Lotus Park. This is the city's third year constructing straw art in the park. The King Slime was made by harvesting straw from a rice paddy in Gyōda that also was cut to create Dragon Quest art during the...
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Pharmaceutical Company's Eye Drop Anime Gets More Episodes

Japanese company Santen Pharmaceuticals added more episodes to its Eyedrops online anime short series. The company is producing the shorts to teach people about how the human eye works, and how eyedrops can help maintain it. Of course, they've judged that the easiest way to make this understandable is by using anthropomorphized anime versions of eyedrop active ingredients. The anime's prologue and...
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Pokémon Sun & Moon Starters Star in Animated Shorts

Rowlet, Litten, Popplio, and of course Pikachu are shown playing together in a series of animated shorts. The starters from Pokémon Sun & Moon are taking over Twitter thanks in part to a hugely successful game launch. Nintendo is continuing the campaign with these shorts showing the Pokémon interact with their corresponding elemental attributes. If you haven't made a decision as to which starter i...
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Voice Actors' Line Stickers Inspire Cute Plush Keychains

The Line social networking and instant messaging app allows users to communicate through a words as well as a huge variety of stickers. The "Seiyū Stamp" sticker set features cute illustrated versions of Japanese voice actors. Sega's online shop is letting those stickers enter the real world as plush keychains. Hiroshi Kamiya The 14-centimeter (about 6-inch) plush keychains recreate Line stickers ...
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Hatsune Miku Holds Concert With Kodō Taiko Group

An official website and Twitter account for Hatsune Miku's latest collaborative concert launched on Thursday. The virtual idol is teaming up with the famous taiko group Kodō for special concerts on March 4-5. The concerts are part of NHK's This is Nippon Premium Theater series of performances to welcome the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo. The series aims to promote and highlight Japanese traditional cultu...
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Smell Like a Skater With Yuri!!! On Ice Body Products

From face cushions and Nendoroids to sweatshirts, the popular television anime Yuri!!! on Ice has already unveiled a variety of products to let fans experience their favorite characters in new ways. Now the Cozy Wave retail website is offering fans a chance to smell the "floral scents of love" through hand cream, body soaps, and fabric mists. Hand Cream Yuri Body Soap Viktor Body Soap Yūri Body S...
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DC Comics' Live-Action TV Shows Offer Final Fantasy XV Xbox One

The upcoming Final Fantasy XV PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game is teaming up with DC Comics' live-action television shows that air on The CW network. Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow are participating in a campaign to offer an exclusive Final Fantasy XV Xbox One console. The game's official YouTube account began streaming crossover promotional videos for the campaign on Wed...
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Full Lineup Revealed for This Year's Kōhaku Song Contest

Annual New Year's TV special pits men against women ― The NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen ("Red and White Song Contest") is a long-running New Year's Eve tradition on Japanese TV, pitting two teams of female singers (the red team) and male singers (the white team) against each other. While the red team won last year, the white team has an overall lead with 36 wins against 30. The teams in this year's contest, ...
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Donald Trump Already Makes an Appearance in Baki-Dou Manga

Pledges allegiance to Yujiro ― Yujiro Hanma of Baki the Grappler is truly a fearsome man. Stronger than any missile, faster than any bullet, more muscled than any bodybuilder, he strikes terror into all who behold him. He's so powerful, he forced America to withdraw from Vietnam at age 16. Faced with this kind of overwhelming strength, it's become something of a tradition for American presidents to m...
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Music Box Ornament Recreates Sailor Moon S Ending

Items on Sailor Moon fans' holiday wish lists this year might include a Blu-ray/DVD box set, Usagi's bed covers, a 20th anniversary guidebook, Black Lady's earrings, or even a Proplica Sailor Moon Super S Kaleidomoon Scope. Bandai unveiled a new item to add to the list on Thursday. The Proplica×Figuarts Zero chouette Tuxedo Mirage Memorial Ornament lets fans recreate the ending to the Sailor Moon...
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Real-Life Hentai Kamen Spotted in Tokyo

Wanted for indecent exposure ― A woman in Tokyo spotted a real-life Hentai Kamen — a superhero who gains his powers from wearing panties over his head — on the streets on November 24. But while Hentai Kamen is a hero in a comedy manga, the woman was evidently not amused by the man's behavior and alerted the police. The incident occurred at 12:20 AM in Wada 1-chōme, Suginami Ward. The man wa...
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Player Claims to Beat Pokémon Sun & Moon With 1 Magikarp

Although Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon just debuted in Japan and North America on November 18, some players have already beaten the games. One talented player is even claiming to have become Alola League Champion by using a single Magikarp that holds and Everstone to prevent evolution. Twitter user @Nakano_Official posted images on Thursday to prove the accomplishment. The pictured level-70 Magikar...
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Japanese Fans Pick Cutest Chinese Girls in Anime & Video Games

Classic 1980s character trounces rivals ― Hair in double buns, a knack for martial arts, a determination to make her kids study, preferences for qipao (Chinese dress) and ending sentences with "aru" (or er) — if a character has two or more of these traits in anime or Japanese video games, there's a pretty good chance they're supposed to be Chinese. While they may be stereotyped, unrealistic and ...
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Mochademia Project Imagines Coffee Beans as Magical Schoolgirls

Casting call out for voice actors, be they rookies or pros ― Coffee is the latest item on the seemingly endless list of things that are being anthropomorphized in Japan. The "Mochademia" project is being launched to educate the public about the many varieties of coffee beans and their subtle differences; it does this by reimagining them as magical girls enrolled in an academy, Mochademia, that trains...
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New Haruhi Suzumiya Commercial Airs

... But don't get your hopes up ― The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was all the rage ten years ago, but subsequent installments in the franchise have failed to ignite the same excitement and fan interest as the first season did. A new commercial for Haruhi Suzumiya, however, aired during a recent broadcast of Magic of Stella on Tokyo MX. Fan anticipation in Japan spiked since it looked like it might ...
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Shinkai's 'your name.' Setting Earns 18.5 Billion Yen From Anime Pilgrimage

The setting of Makoto Shinkai's smash-hit film your name. (Kimi no Na wa.) is profiting from the anime's success. A Japanese television program recently reported that tourists have brought in 18.5 billion yen (about US$164 million) to the local economy around Hida, the northernmost city in Gifu Prefecture. About 750,000 fans have already flocked to the area as one of the latest anime pilgrimage s...
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Drone Version of Last Exile's Vanships Under Development

Full-size version to be on display at Tokyo Comic Con ― If watching Last Exile made you dream of zipping through the skies in a vanship, your dream is getting a little closer to reality. EnRoute, an unmanned vehicle manufacturer, is developing drones based on Tatiana's vanship. Preorders for the drone will begin on December 1 at Gonzo's official store, Gonzo Style; hopefully you have 198,000 yen ($1,...
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Pokémon Go Gives Thanks With In-Game Event, Ditto Launch

Pokémon Go trainers have many reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving. Niantic and the development team announced on Monday a special in-game event to thank fans for their support. The worldwide event launched on Wednesday at 12:00 a.m. UTC (7:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday), and it will run until November 30. During the event, players receive double XP and Stardust when they complete in-game actions. Sa...
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Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Celebrates Pokémon's 20th Anniversary

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise, and Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is joining in on the celebration. The official Pokémon YouTube channel began streaming a video on Tuesday that highlights the reappearance of the parade's Pikachu balloon. The video encourages Pokéfans to use the hashtag "#Pokemon20" on YouTube to share their individual Pokémon stories. People who put...
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Kayako & Sadako Now Haunting the Virtual Realm

The Ring series' Sadako and The Grudge series' Kayako are moving on from the realm of the living to haunt virtual reality. From December 2-4 and December 9-25 at Laforet Harajuku, Hybrid Mind Market will hold a virtual reality experience featuring the spooky stars of Sadako VS Kayako to celebrate the film's home video release. The VR simulation recreates Kayako's house where the user is attacked b...
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Project-H Breaks Down Hentai Stats for U.S., World

Digital Manga's hentai manga imprint Project-H created an infographic breaking down where and what hentai is enjoyed. Crunchyroll's infographic showed what Fall 2016 anime were trending, while Project-H's looks at artists, type, and the amount of time spent browsing naughty books. The stats break down as: Countries That Spend the Most Time Enjoying Hentai Estonia Ireland Slovenia USA Denmark The U...
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Anime Fans Rank Most Attractive Black-Haired Female Characters

The Charapedia website announced the results of a poll on Thursday that asked fans which black-haired female anime and manga characters they find most "charming" or attractive. The poll ran from November 10 to November 16. Among the respondents, 59.9% were male and 40.1% were female. Participants in their 10s or 20s made up 62.0% of the voters, and people in their 30s or above made up 38.0%. Here ...
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Pokémon Illustrator Trading Card Sells for an Impressive US$54,000

The ultra-rare Pokémon Illustrator trading card brought in a tidy sum at auction last week. Heritage Auctions announced on Monday that the card pulled US$54,970, slightly more than the expected US$50,000. The card is not technically an official in-game card, but a prize given for winning an art contest held by CoroCoro Comic magazine between 1997 and 1999. Three were held, with a total of 39 winne...
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Hatsune Miku Will Light Up The Winter Sky at Sapporo's Snow Miku Festival

Every year, Sapporo throws the Snow Miku festival and rakes in over 100 million yen (about US$839,433) in revenue, with about 40 different companies participating in the promotion. This year's festival is taking place from February 6-12 at Odori Park, Sapporo Factory, and Sound Lab mole where visitors can see the new Miku snow sculpture, browse vendors for exclusive merchandise, attend workshops, ...
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Figure Close-Up: Dragon Ball Z Model Kits

Figures are provided courtesy of Blue Fin Distributors There's a lot of merchandise out there for anime fans, and beyond the DVDs and Blu-rays and all that, by far the most collectible of them are the figures. My personal experience with them has mostly been with the simple, un-posable statues, but Bluefin was kind enough to send something a little bit different my way: These are the Figure-rise ...
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Japanese Fans Choose Anime's Biggest Tearjerkers

Major Ghibli downer oddly missing ― Some anime fans are emotionally vulnerable and sob whenever their favorite character dies or even when the story takes an unwelcome turn. Even those with a more hardened heart have definitely had moments when they find their eyes watering or themselves getting choked up over a poignant scene. Accordingly, the Japanese fan poll site Goo Ranking surveyed its readers ...
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Protect Yourself With Government-Issued Sailor Moon Condom Packs

Japan to give out 60,000 heart-packaged condoms & leaflets to stop STDs ― 25 years later, Sailor Moon is still protecting us, though the Dark Kingdom's got nothing on real-world dangers. Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare launched a public awareness campaign on Monday to warn of sexually transmitted infections or diseases (STIs or STDs) such as syphilis which are spreading rapidly among y...
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Universal Studios Japan Adds Detective Conan Real Escape Game

Detective Conan jumps on board Universal Studios Japan's Universal Cool Japan 2017 (January 13 to June 25) event series alongside the Evangelion XR Ride, Godzilla the Real 4D, Attack on Titan the Real 4D 2, and Monster Hunter the Real attractions. The Detective Conan the Escape real escape game captures the world of Detective Conan while providing all the typical elements of an escape game. Player...
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Transform Yourself into Fist of the North Star Character in App from SUNTORY Beer

Ever wanted to know what you would look like as a Fist of the North Star character? In a new app by Suntory Beer Company, only available through a QR code on the back of a specially marked six packs of the MALT's beer, you can transform into a Fist of the North Star character. The iOS and Android app "Feast of the North Star by the MALT'S" is unlocked when you hover your phone over a six pack. It...
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Japanese Comedian Portrays Elder Toguro in Yu Yu Hakusho × Monster Strike Commercial

Also: another comedian covers "Hohoemi no Bakudan" ― As part of an ongoing Yu Yu Hakusho crossover in the popular smartphone game Monster Strike, famous Japanese comedian Naoki Matayoshi appears in a short commercial as Elder Toguro. He's perched atop the vast shoulders of his younger brother, who's busy playing the game. Elder Toguro introduces himself, announces the collaboration, then admits "Elde...
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Relax Like Royalty in K: Return of Kings Loungewear

Online anime-inspired clothing and accessory retailer Super Groupies unveiled its latest loungewear on Friday. The site is offering two loungewear sets inspired by the K: Return of Kings characters Saruhiko Fushimi and Misaki Yata. Saruhiko Fushimi Misaki Yata Each polyester "roomwear" set costs 10,800 yen (about US$97). Fans who buy the Misaki set will receive a special skateboard charm. An addi...
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Robot Anime Director Masami Obari Marries Gundam Model Maker

Anime director Masami Obari announced on Twitter on Monday that he has married professional model maker Ritsu Togasaki. They held a ceremony in Okinawa on Monday and entered their names into a family register. 突然ですが、皆さまにご報告がございます。私事ですが、私大張正己はモデラーの戸ヶ崎葎さんと入籍させていただき、本日無事、愛する沖縄で挙式しました!今後は今まで以上に仕事に燃えつつ、僕にとって最高&最強のパートナーと2人で助け合い、幸せの雨をたくさん降らせたいと思います! pic.twitter.com/3ZzJDZ4HOb— 大張正己 MASAMI OBARI (@G1_BARI...
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Video Compares Live-Action Ghost in the Shell Trailer to Original Anime

The first full two-minute trailer for the live-action Ghost in the Shell film debuted at a Tokyo event on Sunday. It didn't take long for fans to find the anime inspirations for images in the new trailer. IGN began streaming a video on Tuesday that compares Production I.G's adaptation of Masamune Shirow's original cyber-police manga to the upcoming film starring Scarlett Johansson. Warning: The vi...
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Osomatsu-san, your name. Nominated for Top Buzzword of 2016

The annual Ryūkōgo Taishō buzzword contest announced this year's 30 nominated terms on Thursday. "Osomatsu-san," "your name.," "Shin Godzilla," "SMAP breakup," "pilgrimage," and "Pokémon Go" made the cut. The awards will select the year's top ten buzzwords from among the 30 nominated words and announce the results on December 1. The other 26 nominated words are: Athletes First (a football agency t...
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Happy Science Religious Organization Forms Female Idol Group

Controversial religious organization Happy Science (Kōfuku no Kagaku) found a new way to target young people, or at least Japanese pop culture fans. After sponsoring various anime in recent years, the organization has formed a six-member female pop idol group. Happy Science announced on Monday that the idol group will launch its activities in December. The group, named anjewel, is composed of 18- ...
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Cocktail Prince Gets a Manga

Debuts in Monthly Sylph in December ― Cocktail Prince, a multimedia franchise about cocktails reimagined as attractive bartenders, is finally getting its first media release: a manga version, which will debut on December 22 in the February issue of Monthly Sylph. The manga will span five installments and will be drawn by Kina Azusa. The manga's story involves a different protagonist from the game and...
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Voting Begins for Yomiuri Shimbun's Sugoi Japan Awards 2017

20 nominees each in anime, manga, light novel, and entertainment novel categories ― Voting has begun for the 2017 Sugoi Japan Awards, a project by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper to promote pop cultural works that fans feel are most deserving of foreign attention. Divided into four categories — anime, manga, light novels, and "entertainment novels" — the awards promote the works that have the "universa...
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'Manners' Video for Kenji Kamiyama's Hirune Hime Anime Film Shows New Footage

Film by Ghost in the Shell: SAC director opens in March 2017 ― Japanese entertainment news website Cinema Today began streaming a "manners video" on Friday featuring new footage for Hirune Hime ~Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari~ (Napping Princess: The Story of the Unknown Me), the new anime film by director Kenji Kamiyama. The video shows how to behave inside the theater, including: turn off cellphones...
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Studio Ghibli Continues Animation of Chōjū Giga Scrolls With 3rd Ad

Totoro studio animates animals in 800-year-old "manga" to promote power company ― Studio Ghibli animated the famous Chōjū-Jinbutsu-Giga Emaki ("Scrolls of Cartoons of Birds, Animals, and People" or "Chōjū Giga" for short) for a third and final Marubeni Power commercial that debuted in Japan this week. In the video, titled "The Journey Continues," the rabbit runs away from the frog in tears as it begi...
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Persona 5 & SuperGroupies Collaborate on Live-Action Short Film

SuperGroupies and the Persona 5 video game teamed up to promote the website's fashion and the new Persona installment in a stylistic short film. The short film was directed by Masatsugu Nagasoe and the stylist and art director was Tsuyoshi Takahashi. Takayuki Inada and Miki Saitō worked as creative directors on the short. SuperGroupies' also uploaded a behind-the-scenes making of the video to its ...
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Full-Graphic Evangelion Kimono Project Now Taking Orders

Eva unit design chosen ― Fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion with a predilection for traditional Japanese fashion now have a chance to enjoy a rare treat: a furisode (long-sleeved) kimono featuring the Eva units. Developed by Tokyo Otaku Mode, a website specializing in Japanese pop culture merchandise and now expanding into original product development, the kimono was designed with responses to a fan su...
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Tiger & Bunny Again Tops Fan Poll of Desired Anime Sequels

The Anime! Anime! website conducted a poll from October 27 to October 31 that asked fans which anime sequels they want to see. The poll divided anime in two categories: anime inspired by another original work (e.g. manga, light novel) and original anime not based on another work. The website held a preliminary survey on Twitter to select 30 titles to include in the poll. A total of 13,938 people t...
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Controversial Artist Rokudenashiko Working with Film Team on LGBT Law Firm Doc

Documentary is currently raising funds on Kickstarter ― Artist Megumi Igarashi —pen name Rokudenashiko—gained the world's attention after the 44-year-old was arrested for distributing 3D printer data of her own genitalia as part of a backer reward for her crowdfunding campaign to construct a vagina kayak. She was found guilty and fined 400,000 yen (US$3,690) for the crime. She has since married Water...
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Latest Japanese Sword-Turned-Pretty Boy is Designed by Yoshitaka Amano

DMM's Tōken Ranbu mobile game has been nothing short of a sensation among its female fanbase, inspiring two anime adaptations. The game is just one in a long line of "object turned into attractive guy/girl" and even Final Fantasy and Vampire Hunter D artist Yoshitaka Amano is getting in on the action. Amano is participating in Mori Art Museum's "The Universe and Art: Princess Kaguya, Leonardo da V...
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7 Samurai Promote Nissin Cup Noodles With Sports

Nissin Cup Noodles set loose Freestyle Football champion Kotaro Tokuda in Brazil as its soccer samurai in 2014. The brand recruited more extreme sports-playing warriors for a promotional video it began streaming on Tuesday. The video begins with a surfing samurai taking the shores of Rio de Janeiro. Next, skateboarding, biking, skiing, slacklining, and Xpogoing samurai appear. The commercial concl...
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Pokémon Go Event Brings 10,000+ Visitors to Quake-Hit Prefecture

Pokėmon Go launched its current Lapras event in Japan's northeastern Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures on November 11. The event offers increased numbers of Lapras in parts of the coastal region. One goal is to boost the economy of the area hit hardest in 2011's earthquake and tsunami disaster. More than 10,000 people visited Miyagi Prefecture for the event on Saturday alone. The prefecture...
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Look Forward to Yuri!!! on Ice Large Face Cushion & Nendoroids

New Free! Eternal Summer figures also announced ― The Bandai Gashapon booth at Animate Girls Festival 2016 (AGF2016), held November 5-6, showed off a huge Yuri!!! on Ice surprise. Their Munimuni Marshmallow Mascot Big Version is a 27 inch soft cushion of main skater Yūri. As advertised on the display, where visitors could reach in and feel the pillow, Premium Bandai will start selling at the cute, c...
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Conan O'Brien Rips Apart Final Fantasy XV: 'Why is This a Game?'

Late night talk show host Conan O'Brien has previously reviewed video games like Super Mash Bros. for Wii U on his segment "Clueless Gamer." O'Brien, who claims to know next to nothing about video games, tests out the latest offerings while providing comedic commentary. In his latest review, he plays Final Fantasy XV alongside actor Elijah Wood and grows increasingly frustrated with the game's pre...
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Pokémon Go Players Bust 1.3 Billion Ghost Pokémon During Halloween Event

Niantic Labs' Pokėmon Go app held its first in-game event from October 26 to November 1. Despite reports that the game's popularity, which was at an all-time high during the summer, has waned, players still turned out for the Ghost-focused Halloween event. Game developer Niantic Labs told GamesRadar that players caught 1.3 billion spooky Pokémon over the five day period. Gastly was caught the most...
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FigureX Announces Life-Size Version of Re:Zero's Rem

Emilia's main competition for Re:Zero's honorary "best girl" just moved forward a step. Subaru's dutiful and doting companion Rem will get a 1:1-scale figure by FigureX. The company wrote on its official blog on Monday that it is working on a life-size figure. More news may be announced next week, but until then the blog also included an illustration which will serve as the basis for the figure's...
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Ai Yazawa Draws NANA Playing Cards, Cross-Over Mini-Manga

The January issue of Shueisha's Cookie magazine will be an oversized issue and bundle some new work by Nana creator Ai Yazawa. The magazine will have a double cover with artwork by both Yazawa and Taiyō ga Miteiru (Kamo Shirenaikara) creator Ryo Ikuemi. The issue will also bundle a deck of NANA playing cards and a mini-manga by Yazawa featuring characters from her series Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai and Go...
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Nintendo Taps Into the Past for New Mini Famicom Commercial

Nintendo's Mini Famicom console is bringing 30 classic games in one easy built-in package. The company's latest commercial shows off several of the game titles but also seems very familiar. The commercial's layout is very similar to the original Famicom commercials that ran in 1983, even down to the hand model. The Nintendo Classic Mini Family Computer will come with (games listed in chronological...
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Sony Releases The Seven Deadly Sins Meliodas Headphones & Walkman

Sony, in collaboration with The Seven Deadly Sins manga and television series, released a new Walkman and headphone pair styled after protagonist Meliodas. The back of the red Walkman bares Meliodas' Dragon's Sin of Wrath mark. The matching headphones show off the same mark on the right side and the series' logo on the left. The headphones are based off the h.ear on (MDR-100A) stereo headphone mo...

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