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Yuri!! on Ice's Futon Covers, Calendar, Soccer Collaboration Revealed

After teasing silhouettes earlier this month, M's Factory revealed its Yuri!!! on Ice Japanese futon covers on Wednesday. The polyester covers with special illustrations of Yūri, Victor, and Yuri are available for pre-order now. If unexpected visitors arrive, people can flip the covers over to the plain white back and conceal the risqué ice skaters. Each futon cover costs 9,000 yen (about US$80),...
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First Foreign Female Pro Shōgi Player Inspired by Naruto

Attains second kyū (rank) ― On February 20, Karolina Styczynska of Warsaw, Poland, attained the second kyū (rank) in women's shōgi, a chess-like board game primarily played in Japan. This officially makes her a professional player — the first time a foreign woman has done this. She managed a come-from-behind victory against Minami Sadamasu, a more advanced first-dan (level, considered higher tha...
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JoJo's Festival to Be Held at the Real 'S City'

Anime and manga can be obtuse about its settings, only stating that live in "Prefecture M" or "X City." An upcoming festival celebrating Hirohiko Araki's Jojo's Bizarre Adventure traveling to "S City Morioh Town," or in this case Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture. Morioh Town is the setting of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable. The festival will host an exhibition celebrating the ser...
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New Awards Show to Honor Anime-Business Collaborations

Kadokawa's Takeshi Natsuno, Madhouse's Masao Maruyama head selection committee ― Anime committees frequently arrange collaborations, or cross-promotions, between their works and other businesses, be they restaurants, theme parks, car companies, video games, or traditional craft enterprises. It's a mutually beneficial partnership that brings in a new crowd to whatever the business is selling while rai...
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Kirby Transforms Into Plushes, Pouches for 25th Anniversary

Character goods maker San-ei Bōeki revealed new merchandise on Wednesday to mark the 25th anniversary of a certain pink, puffy character. Hal Labratory and Nintendo released Hoshi no Kirby (Kirby's Dream Land) for Game Boy in 1992 and Hoshi no Kirby Super Deluxe (Kirby Super Star) for Super Famicom (SNES) in 1996. To celebrate the original game's anniversary, San-ei Bōeki is offering Kirby plushe...
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Hideaki Anno to Present Selection of His Favorite Tokusatsu at Shinjuku Theater

Over 50 works from about 50 years ― It's no secret that Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shin Godzilla, His and Her Circumstances) is a big fan of tokusatsu (special effects-heavy Japanese action stories). Astute viewers can pick up the influences in his work, he recreates scenes from them in Insufficient Direction (a manga by his wife, Moyoco, on their life together), and he's even curated a m...
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Next Sword Art Online Game Goes Analog

Board game designed by Love Letter's Seiji Kanai ― Sword Art Online may be about players trapped in a video game, but its latest game incarnation takes a step back to a more accessible format: the board game. Sword of Fellows puts players in the roles of Kirito and Asuna as they level up in the MMORPG Sword Art Online with the ultimate goal of escaping the game. Players progress through different sce...
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A3! Mobile Game Theme Tops Oricon Chart

Downloads now exceeds 2 million ― The "ikemen-raising" mobile game A3! burst onto the scene late last month, generating over 800,000 downloads in three days. 300,000 of those downloads took place on its launch day. The game's popularity continued to grow, as download numbers raised to 1.5 million in two weeks and finally topping two million downloads by February 21. It's not just the game itself that...
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ToraCon Offers Marriage Consulting for Anime Fans in Akihabara

For various, oft-debated reasons, young Japanese struggle to form romantic relationships or even successfully mingle with each other socially. For fans of subcultures like anime, manga and video games, finding a loving partner can be doubly difficult. That's why ToraCon, a marriage consulting office aimed at these fans, is opening this weekend, and in the most appropriate place — Akihabara, t...
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Celebrate Pokémon Day on February 27

Next Monday is the 21st anniversary of the day the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue Game Boy games went on sale in Japan. The Pokémon Company is offering a host of Pokémon Day celebrations to mark the occasion. A special version of Pikachu will appear in Niantic's Pokémon Go smartphone game beginning on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET. Every Pikachu that players encounter until March 6 at 5:00 p.m. ET...
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Japanese Environment Ministry Fights Climate Change with Moe

"Mirai Kimino" teaches "Ima Kimino" how to be more environmentally responsible ― As part of the international agreement on lowering carbon emissions reached in Paris in 2015, Japan has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2030. To educate ordinary Japanese about the energy-efficient lifestyle choices they can make to meet this goal, the Ministry of the Environment has launched a "...
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One Piece's Portrait of Pirates Swimsuit Figure Line Adds Kalifa

MegaHouse's Portrait of Pirates (P.O.P.) Limited Edition B.B. (Bathing Beauty) figure line unveiled a new Kalifa figure on Thursday. The former Iceberg secretary shows off her sexy side in a swimsuit inspired by her typical black dress from the One Piece anime. The new figure is about 120 millimeters (about 4.7 inches) tall. Kalifa is the 10th entry in the B.B. figure line that also includes gend...
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Gundam Creator Yoshiyuki Tomino Praises In This Corner of the World

Video discussion with director Sunao Katabuchi for new entertainment website ― AG-ON Premium, a Japanese web portal for pop culture news including anime, video games, and voice actor-related information, will open on March 17. To drum up anticipation for the website's launch, it has released a preview: the first part of a video discussion between Yoshiyuki Tomino, creator of the Mobile Suit Gundam se...
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Magikarp's Official Love Song Gets Dance Video

Love it or hate it, the Asian carp Pokémon known as Magikarp got its own official song last year. The "I Love Koiking" song showcases all of the fish's faults and weaknesses, but it is ultimately an ode to everything that makes Magikarp special. The official Pokémon website added a page on Friday that features a dance version of the song. The song's original animated music video is four minutes lo...
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Real-Life Mario Karting Company Sued by Nintendo

Company claims it had prior understanding with Nintendo ― The Shinagawa-based company MariCar lets visitors combine a tour of Japan's flagship city with geeky pleasure and the thrill of racing with its Mario Kart-themed go-cart tours. Customers don costumes from Nintendo's popular Mario Kart series (or of other well-known characters), then go careening through the streets of Tokyo through famous dist...
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Golden Bomber Band Makes Appearance in Chibi Maruko-chan Special

Visual kei rock band Golden Bomber will appear as guests in the Chibi Maruko-chan 1-Hour 30th Anniversary Special on March 19. The four members will voice a father, grandfather, mother, and grandmother that visits the Sakura household at the beginning of the program. Kenji Darvish is voicing the grandmother who appears wearing his trademark face makeup. Golden Bomber currently perform the series' ...
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Monster Hunter XX Game's Campaign Offers Real Beekeeper Suit, In-Game Items

Capcom is holding a sweet Twitter campaign in the lead-up to the release of its upcoming Monster Hunter XX (pronounced as "Double Cross") Nintendo 3DS game on March 18. The "318 Honey, Please Campaign" will offer increasing numbers of in-game rewards to players depending on how many times they tweet with the project's hashtag from February 23 to March 10. In addition to in-game rewards, Twitter us...
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20th Century Boys, Beck Live-Action Director Producing Panda Bikini Group

Idol groups are continually expanding into more niched territory to stand out. Options run the gambit from religious to heavy metal, sci-fi fairies to yuri-bait, cougars to the unemployed, raving chainsaw killers to sister wives, and more than a few have opened up the option to date. With all this variety, wearing a bathing suit seems rather blase. Live-action film director Yukihiko Tsutsumi added...
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Morning Two Manga Magazine Celebrates Cat Day with Special "Morning Nyan" Collection

Cat festivals held across Tokyo ― February 22 is Cat Day in Japan, so deemed because of its three 2s ("two" sounds like nyā, "meow," in Japanese). To celebrate the occasion, the seinen manga magazine Monthly Morning two included a special section to its April issue called "Morning Nyan." It involves no less than 15 cat-related manga, including Yomawari Neko ("The Cat Night Watchman"), Neko no Kohana ...
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Pokémon Rival Listed as Potential Suspect in Tom Brady Super Bowl Jersey Theft

New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady pulled off the unthinkable by bringing his team back from the brink to win their fifth NFL championship. Not long after his historic moment, a still unknown person made off Brady's jersey that he wore during the game. The search for the culprit is still ongoing, but Brady shared some of his top suspects on Instagram. Among the top persons of interest inc...
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Mr. Osomatsu Contact Lens TV Ads Only Make Us Want More Anime

The Mr. Osomatsu comedy anime exploded in popularity during its run, selling out magazines, crowding out dōjinshi events, and claiming top spots on yearly trend lists. Despite its multitude of crossover merchandise campaigns and fan demand, the series hasn't gotten a proper sequel announcement. The recent special was a comedic tie-in with the Japan Racing Association. Animated ads, including one f...
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Detective Conan's 'Shadow Person' Tries Out Gravure

Plenty of male-oriented manga magazines include gravure centerfolds and covers, usually featuring a voluptuous model in a skimpy bikini. Hakusensha's Young Animal and Young Animal Arashi, Shogakukan's Big Comic Spirits, Akita Shoten's Young Champion, and Futabasha's Manga Action all regularly feature gravure models. Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday skews to a younger audience than the listed sein...
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Rose of Versailles Art Book Marks Anniversaries of Riyoko Ikeda's Debut, Her Manga

In honor of the 50th anniversary of manga artist Riyoko Ikeda's debut, Fukkan.com is releasing the Versailles no Bara -Animation Album- art book in mid-March. This year also marks the 45th anniversary since Ikeda launched her Rose of Versailles manga in Shueisha's Margaret magazine. The book will include materials that depict main characters and famous scenes from the anime adaptation of Ikeda's o...
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Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen Manga About French Escorts Inspires Beauty Items

Moyoco Anno's Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen manga recounts the life of Colette, a prostitute in an early 20th century French brothel. There, she makes men's dreams a reality with her coworkers Ivy and Mignon but can't help but imagine a life with her lover Leon. Leon, on the other hand, sees Colette as little more than a money source. This is the tale Anno weaves about women in love whose job it is...
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Your Forgotten Goldfish is Back for Vengeance in Shibuya Kingyo Manga

Goldfish aren't an uncommon starter pet for kids. So long as its owner doesn't overfeed it and cleans its tank, "Bubbles" is pretty low maintenance. However, more than their fair share of well-meaning fish have ended up getting a "burial at sea" and flushed down the commode. This might explain why goldfish of every size and shape are turning on humans in Hiroaki Aoi's Shibuya Kingyo manga. The sto...
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Attack on Titan Characters Take the Runway in Fashion Collaboration

The long anticipated second season of Attack on Titan will be here in a few short months, but before they wage war against giant humanoids, the Survey Corps top members will take their fight to the runway. Attack on Titan is collaborating with the Tokyo Girls Collection 2017 SPRING/SUMMER fashion line on March 25 at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo. Illustrations showing the characters in so...
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Build Your Own Walking, Talking, Singing Astro Boy Robot (for US$1,600)

Robot can communicate, use onboard camera to remember faces ― Tezuka Productions, NTT Docomo, Fujisoft, Vaio, and Kodansha announced its new "Atom Project," named after the protagonist of Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atom) manga. The highlight of the project is "Japan's first real character-based communication robot" that can speak and move. Kodansha is streaming a series of videos that demonst...
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D3Publisher Countdown Site 'Trolled' Into Delaying Game Reveal by Years

Game company D3Publisher has had mixed results with its game teaser countdown sites. In 2016, a week-long reveal was cut short when fans found "edf5" in the source code, all but confirming that the big reveal was for Earth Defense Force 5. The company sped up its reveal to a single day as a result. The company also had its Omega Labyrinth countdown site in 2015, which sped up if visitors rapidly c...
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Lupin III's Fujiko Bares All to Recreate Anime Opening

Lupin the 3rd's femme fatale is never shy to show a little skin, especially if she can use it to her advantage to make off with a pricey item. Crane King is will stock a topless Fujiko bust in its arcade machines for anyone who wants to pull off the impossible and take her home. Fujiko keeps the bust barely safe for work by placing her hands strategically across her chest. The pose is recreating ...
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Intermediary Results are In for NHK's Best 100 Anime Ranking

NHK updated the results of its ongoing online poll of the 100 best anime of all time. The TV station is holding the poll to honor the medium's 100th anniversary. The TV program announcing the results is a long way away — May 3 — but the poll closes on March 31. NHK has released the intermediary results to check in again with fans on the status of their favorite shows. There has been some...
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Anisong Top 100 Program Crowns 'Snow Halation,' Tiger & Bunny Themes

NHK's TV special Countdown Live: Anison Best 100! hosted by Nogizaka46 member Sayuri Matsumura aired on Saturday and announced the winners of the station's popular vote. While Neon Genesis Evangelion's "Cruel Angel's Thesis" opening topped a similar poll last year, followed by tried and true favorites from Sailor Moon, Touch, and Dragon Ball Z, NHK's results leaned more recent. The top choice is "...
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Yuri!!! on Ice's Main Characters Don Kigurumi for Store Event

The Shinjuku Marui Annex department store in Tokyo announced on Tuesday its plans for a Yuri!!! on Ice collaborative event. The store unveiled Yuri, Yūri, and Victor in animal kigurumi on a promotional image for the collaboration. The "Ice Castle Hasetsu Branch Office in Shinjuku Marui Annex" event will run in the event space on the store's sixth floor from March 1 to March 26. In addition to new ...
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Good Smile Racing Reveals 2017 Car With Tony's Hatsune Miku

The Good Smile Racing team revealed this year's machine design at Wonder Festival on Sunday. The company also announced the four young women who will serve as "Racing Miku Supporters" for the 2017 season. The Good Smile Company subsidiary unveiled this year's rewards for individual sponsors who donate money. Rewards include Max Factory's Nendoroid and figma Racing Miku figures. The project began a...
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Figure Build Close-up: 2016 S.H. Figuarts Naruto & Sasuke

Figures are provided courtesy of Bluefin Distributors Naruto and Sasuke may not be real, but to call their latest figures anything less than “lifelike” wouldn't be doing them justice. With soft poseable plastic and a variety of expressions, hands, and accessories, this pair can reenact any Naruto Shippuden scene in your living room. These 2016 S.H. Figuarts models are among Bandai's latest. The b...
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Android Idol U Debuts at Tokyo Department Store

Media company Dwango, Osaka University's Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, and department store chain Parco announced their android idol-raising project on Wednesday. "Androidol" U made her debut public appearance at the Ikebukuro Parco store in Tokyo with a Niconico live streaming broadcast. U used artificial intelligence to answer questions and speak live during the broadcast. She asked the audie...
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Kemono Friends' Serval Stars in Fan VR Video

Niconico member JAK began streaming a Kemono Friends virtual reality video (VR) on Saturday. The video features a VR version of the character Serval that can interact with a user. Niconico 【VR】サーバルちゃんとフレンズになりたかった Schwarz created the VR model, and Unity Technologies Japan provided part of the script. The television anime adaptation of Nexon's Kemono Friends smartphone game stars Yuka Ozaki as Serva...
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Take a Look at the Evangelion Bullet Train's Cockpit

Also sign up for the ultimate train otaku tour ― The Neon Genesis Evangelion bullet train has shuttled passengers on the JR-West line from the Shin-Osaka Station to Hakata Station for over a year, giving fans a chance to drink Misato's wine, hear announcements by Kaworu, and with the right ticket, take a sit in an Evangelion cockpit. The cockpit is part of a diorama boarding experience limited to pas...
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135,000-Yen Evangelion Unit-01 Statue Debuts at Wonder Festival

Prime 1 Studio unveiled new Evangelion statues at its booth at the winter edition of Wonder Festival 2017 on Sunday. The Evangelion Test Type-01 NONscale Statue inspired by Eva Unit-01 from the new Evangelion anime films will stand 76.8 centimeters (about 2.52 feet) tall. The polystone statue will cost 135,000 yen (about US$1,193). According to a pamphlet distributed at the event, the statue will...
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Voice Actor Kensho Ono Confirms Relationship With Kana Hanazawa

The 11th episode of the Bunshunhō Live (Bunshun Bazooka Live) streaming program of Bungeishunju's Weekly Bunshun magazine reported on Saturday that voice actors Kensho Ono and Kana Hanazawa are in a relationship. The episode revealed reported images of the pair after a double date at a Western restaurant in Tokyo's Yoyogi neighborhood on February 12. After eating and getting coffee, the group spli...
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Final Fantasy Game Series Earns 3 Guinness Nods

The Final Fantasy game series earned itself three Guinness World Records; two for Final Fantasy XIV and one for the series as a whole. The awards were handed out at Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival during the EU Fanfest 2017 event in Frankfurt on Sunday. Final Fantasy XIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida was on hand to accept the achievements. Final Fantasy XIV was acknowledged for having the lon...
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Moyoco Anno Joins Evangelion Theme Singer, Composer on New Single

The more the merrier seems to the approach for "Cruel Angel's Thesis" singer Yoko Takahashi and Evangelion composer Shiro Sagisu's new collaborative single. Accomplished manga artist Moyoco Anno, the wife of Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno, has joined in to provide the jacket art for the now titled "Welcome to the stage!" single. The CD includes the track "TENSIONS - welcome to the stage," a rearr...
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Toyota's C-HR Takes on Street Fighter II's M. Bison

The marketing team over at Toyota are always thinking up new, fun ways to make their vehicles more appealing to potential buyers. The 2017 C-HR (Coupe High-Rider) is a crossover vehicle, a blend of features from SUVs and passenger cars. The company decided to take the word "crossover" literally by putting the vehicle in different environments. In this case, the world of Street Fighter II. The C-HR...
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Production I.G is Animating Next Idolish 7 Music Video

The official Twitter account for the Idolish 7 multimedia franchise announced on Thursday that the next anime music video will be produced by Production I.G. The company will animate the single "Mission" by the group Re:Vale. Re:vale×Production I.GによるMUSIC VIDEO ANIMATION先行カットが到着しました!千くん主演ドラマ『Mission』の世界観を踏襲した圧巻のパフォーマンスが繰り広げられます。是非ご期待くださいませ。#アイナナ #Revale pic.twitter.com/VMJo4ZeLYG— [email protected]..
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Real Escape Game Holds Space Brothers 'Astronaut Selection Exam'

Have you ever dreamed of becoming an astronaut? While it can't provide official certification, Scrap is collaborating with Space Brothers to offer the next best thing. The company's Real Escape Games are partnering with the franchise to hold an "Astronaut Selection Exam" beginning on March 17. Fans will be able to relive some of the challenges that Mutta encountered when he took astronaut exams in...
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Planetarian Net Anime Inspires Real Planetarium Project

The Planetarian net anime is inspiring a special planetarium feature at Koriyama City Fureai Science Center in Fukushima Prefecture from March 4 to April 5. A special presentation at the science center's planetarium will talk about the world of the anime during the collaboration. The anime character Yumemi Hoshino will provide an original presentation against the backdrop of the planetarium's star...
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Osamu Tezuka's Daughter to Hold Discussion with Black Jack Parody Artist

Artist has been hired by Tezuka Production ― Drawing parodies of famous works is a risky business, since the original creators or their estate might not appreciate the joke. On the other hand, it might propel you to fame and acclaim, as was the case with Tsunogai, artist of the Black Jack parody manga #Konna Black Jack wa Iya Da ("This Black Jack is Bad"). She will be the subject of a discussion even...
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Sumire Uesaka to Go Strawberry-Picking with Her Fan Club

Barbecue, discussion, photography also on schedule ― Voice actress Sumire Uesaka (Sanae in Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!, Nonna and Piyotan in Girls und Panzer, Serika in Chaos;Child) is giving the members of her fan club, Kolkhoz no Tamanegibatake ("Kolkhoz Onion Field"), a chance to do some field work with the actress herself. It's not picking onions, though, but something a little sweeter: str...
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Make a Statement in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Loungewear

Hirohiko Araki's JoJo's Bizarre Adventure characters are known for their distinctive style. Now fans of the franchise can dress like these fashionable characters without even leaving their homes. The Premium Bandai website revealed a new line of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure loungewear on Thursday. The JoJo's Bizarre Roomwear line features outfits inspired by Jōsuke Higashikata, Okuyasu Nijimura, and ...
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Sword Art Online's Traditional Craft Goods Line Offers Kirito, Asuna Kokeshi Dolls

The retail chain Animate unveiled the Sword Art Traditional line of collaboration merchandise on Thursday to promote Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale, which will open in Japan on Saturday. The anime and producers of Japanese traditional crafts are teaming up for the project. All of the products in the line are hand-made by artisans. The merchandise showcases regional traditional crafts f...
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Shōjo Manga Expert Uses Statistics to Reveal 'What Girls Truly Want'

Midori Makita can rightfully call himself a manga expert — he's read thousands and thousands of pages of manga over many years. But he works as a statistical analyst and approaches manga from an analytical point of view, collecting data from each series he reads to reveal what it says about the larger manga-reading audience. So far he's mostly focused on erotic manga aimed at a male readershi...
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Doraemon Figure Recreates His 1st Corocoro Comic Cover

Doraemon 1st appeared on the cover of the magazine 40 years ago ― Medicom's Vinyl Collectible Dolls line adding a special throwback Doraemon figure next month. The figure is modeled after the futuristic cat's first appearance on the cover of Corocoro Comic magazine 40 years ago. The figure measures 17cm (6.7in) high and depicts Doraemon singing, albeit poorly. It was the image selected for the cover...
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Tokyo Police Team Up with ēlDLIVE to Fight Illegal Employment

ēlDLIVE and Tokyo Metropolitan Organized Crime Measures' 1st Division collaborated on a poster encouraging proper employment of foreigners in Japan. The poster will be put up in areas around Tokyo starting in mid-February. The reminder to focus on legal avenues of employing foreigners comes not long after Prime Minister Shinzō Abe spoke on looser immigration policies as part of his economic reform...
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Tokyo Department Store to Host Hiro Mashima Art Exhibition

Mashima himself to sign autographs ― On March 22, the department store Matsuya Ginza in Tokyo will put on an exhibition of the manga of Hiro Mashima (Fairy Tail, Rave Master). The exhibition will include manga rough drafts, full-color illustrations, sketches, and planning documents and give visitors a sense of "the world of Hiro Mashima." Merchandise related to Mashima's works will also be on sale. M...
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Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale's AR Yuna, LiSA Perform at Film Event

A promotional event for the Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale anime film featured an augmented reality (AR) performance by the character Yuna on Wednesday. After the talk portion of the event, Yuna appeared via AR technology to perform a medley of three songs from the film: "Ubiquitous dB," "longing," "Break Beat Bark!" Yuna introduced LiSA as a secret guest after finishing her own performance. Yuna...
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Cardcaptor Sakura Fan in Peru Gets Guinness World Record For Largest Collection

The Guinness Book of World Records awarded Sofia Pichihua of Peru with a certificate recognizing her as the owner of the world's largest Cardcaptor Sakura memorabilia on December 11. Pichihua began her collection as a school girl over 17 years ago. Her collection consists of 1,086 items including games, trading cards, action figures, calendars, stickers, comic books, DVDs, and stuffed animals. In ...
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Magikarp App Splashes Into Smartphones This Spring

A teaser website for the Haneru! Koiking (Splash! Magikarp) smartphone game for iOS and Android devices launched on Thursday. The app inspired by Pokémon's least effective creature is slated to launch this spring. The website features the front cover of an extra February 16 edition of the fictional Pokémon App Newspaper. The headlines read, "Scoop! Mysterious Holes Appear" and "In a peaceful town,...
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Story, Theme Song Details Revealed for Saga Prefecture's 'Okaeri' Anime Short

Japan's Saga Prefecture has two promotional anime shorts in the works, "Tadaima" (I'm Home) and "Okaeri" (Welcome Back). Staff revealed more information about the second short, including a key visual and theme song information on Thursday. "Okaeri" follows high school senior Sora who is aiming to be a professional soccer player. Unfortunately, Sora is injured and finds that the path to being a pro...
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Everything is Bloody Terrifying with Saya no Uta VR Filter

Before penning Madoka Magica, Gen Urobuchi crafted an erotic horror visual novel for Nitroplus titled Saya no Uta. In the game, protagonist Fuminori Sakisaka barely survives a car accident that claims the life of his parents. When he awakens in the hospital he finds himself unable to correctly process the sensory information around him and instead sees everything as pulsing gore and monsters. This...
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Mr. Osomatsu Butt Mousepads are Finally a Thing That Exists

Japan is no stranger to breast and butt mousepads, although admittedly its usually the female characters that are chosen for this type of merchandise. HobbyJapan announced its changing things up and releasing butt mousepads of all six of the Matsuno brothers. If you've ever wanted to relax your wrist on a Matsuno tush, now is the time. Each one costs 4,800 yen (US$42). Customers are in for a bit ...
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Gender-Swapped Sōgo Okita Figure Will Whip You Into Shape

MegaHouse's GEM line of figures covers a variety of anime series, but it has specifically released characters from the Gintama anime for the last seven years. To celebrate, the figure line opened the "G.E.M. Gintama Commercialization Election - 7 Year Edition" website in September to select one of four figures for release. Choices included Kagura (Two years later version), Sōgo Okita (gender-swap...
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K-ON! Tops Poll of Anime With Same-Face Characters

Have you ever been watching anime and suddenly realize all the characters are identical? You are not alone. The Goo Ranking website asked readers about which anime they think depict "all the characters with similar faces." The site conducted the poll from January 1 to January 22 and posted the results on Saturday. The girls of K-ON! topped the list with their different hair and outfits but nearly ...
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Even Adults Will Want to Ride This Giant Pokémon Lapras Plush

If you've ever dreamed of smooth sailing on the back of a Lapras, the online Pokémon Center shop is about to make your dreams come true. The store is accepting pre-orders for a jumbo sized plush of Lapras measuring 93cm (3.5ft) tall and weighing 2,200 g (5lbs). It's approximately 1/3-scale in height but is unlikely to float. The images suggest a small child could fit on its back but why let that ...
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Leiji Matsumoto's Galaxy Express 999, Yamato, Harlock Get Ukiyo-e Prints

Acclaimed manga artist Leiji Matsumoto is inspiring a series of ukiyo-e prints based on his works. The "Leiji Matsumoto Ukiyo-e Collection" will include prints from Galaxy Express 999, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, and Space Battleship Yamato. Living Japanese national treasure Ichibei Iwano created the paper for the prints using traditional techniques, as he previously did for the Ghost in the She...
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'Bathing Boyfriends' Make a Scented Splash in Aromatherapy Manga

TMS Entertainment's line of bishōnen bathing products inspired a manga last fall. Anna Takamura launched the Nyūyoku Kareshi -Hadaka de Aroma Healing- (Bathing Boyfriends: Naked Aroma Healing) series Kadokawa's B's Log Comic magazine on October 31, and the first compiled book volume shipped on February 1. To celebrate the manga, the website Nijimen posted an introduction to Takamura's series on Su...
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Haikyu!! Orchestra Concert Reveals Character Art, Goods

The official website for the Haikyu!! anime revealed more character art for Haikyu!! Concert 2017 on Monday. Haikyu!! Karasuno Kōkō VS Shiratorizawa Gakuen Kōkō characters Tōru Oikawa, Kenma Kozume, Keiji Akaashi, and Kenjirō Shirabu appear as orchestra conductors in the images. The website also unveiled exclusive event merchandise: Tin trading badges (six varieties)278 yen (about US$2) Clear file...
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AT-X President: AI May Replace Humans in Anime Production

Keisuke Iwata, president of Japan's anime television network AT-X, spoke at Tokyo's Digital Hollywood University last Thursday about a possible transition to using artificial intelligence (AI) in anime. With decades of experience in the industry, Iwata said, "It is fully conceivable that anime production processes may be completely replaced by AI." Iwata has served as a producer for many hit anime...
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Yoshitsugu Matsuoka Shows Off Rap Skills in Sword Art Online: Memory Defrag App Video

Yoshitsugu Matsuoka is a prolific voice actor who has played characters such as Yowamushi Pedal's Hajime Aoyagi, Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma's Sōma Yukihira, and ēlDLIVE's Dr. Ravu. He has also contributed his singing voice to perform themes with fellow cast members for anime including Super Lovers, DAYS, and Kiss Him, Not Me. Matsuoka recently got another chance to showcase his musical talents a...
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Shueisha 'Buried' in Prince of Tennis Valentine Chocolate From Fans

The annual Prince of Tennis Valentine's Day character popularity contest is a huge undertaking leaving the Jump Square magazine offices in an avalanche of confectionery boxes and some poor sap having to count them all. The response is huge with fans sending chocolates to their favorite character in hopes of earning him the crown. The contest took a break in 2015 but has since been reinstated. Last...
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Crowd Goes Wild During [email protected] SideM Anime Announcement

The [email protected] SideM 2nd Stage [email protected] Stars~ concerts took over Makuhari Messe on February 11 and 12, featuring songs from the mobile game's in-universe idol groups. The voice actors that make up DRAMATIC STARS, High×Joker, Cafe Parade, Altessimo and more performed to a huge crowd. Ticket holders knew they were in for great musical performances, but they were even more surprised when staff anno...
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Yamato 2202 Plane Takes Flight This Month

The Uchū Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi (Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Warriors of Love or Star Blazers 2202: Warriors of Love) anime project's first film premieres on February 25 and Japan's Skymark Airlines new collaboration plane will set sail for the skies on the same day. The Yamato Jet features the film's main characters Susumu Kodai and Yuki Mori on one side of the aircraft and the ...
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'Cup Noodle Headgear' Becomes a Reality in Final Fantasy XV DLC

Nissin Foods has added another bonus to its already impressive "Cup Noodle FINAL FANTASY BOSS COLLECTION Boss Character Package" collaboration. The company already wowed fans with a lottery bonus prize, "Ichigeki Hisshoku! Ultima Weapon Fork," a 60cm (2ft) long fork supervised by the Final Fantasy 30th anniversary team. Customers who pre-order the the Cup Noodle set will also get a DLC code for "C...
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Prince of Tennis' Tezuka, Fuji Release 1st Duet CD Single in 9 Years

The official website for the Prince of Tennis franchise announced that the "Tatoeba Ima..." (Now, For Example...) duet single will debut on March 1. The CD will feature character songs performed by Kunimitsu Tezuka (Ryotaro Okiayu) and Shusuke Fuji (Yuki Kaida). This single marks the first time in nine years that the duo are performing a duet single. Tezuka and Fuji's last single, "Koko de Bokura ...
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AnimeJapan to Offer 8-Part Anime Business Course This Year

Also: gallery of 2016's best anime collaborations ― This year's AnimeJapan, an anime industry convention held in late March at Tokyo Big Sight, will offer something valuable for anyone interested in the commercial side of anime: an anime business course featuring lecturers with lengthy experience in the industry. "Anime Business University" is split into eight parts over two days (March 23 and 24): H...
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Gold Lupin the Third Stamp Marks Manga's 50th Anniversary

Monkey Punch's launched the Lupin the Third manga in Weekly Manga Action magazine in 1967. Various promotions, including the release of a special mook (magazine book), are celebrating the series' 50th anniversary. The department store Isetan announced its latest contribution to the celebration on Wednesday. Isetan's limited-edition Frame Kitte stamp set includes a gold plate shaped like a postage...
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Valentine's Day Greetings — Anime Style 2017

Valentine's Day has come again, and women throughout Japan are giving chocolate to men in their lives. However, recent trends are allowing for more Japanese people to enjoy chocolate confections today. Sometimes friends give each other chocolate on this day of love in Japan, and favored teachers may even receive sweet gifts. As always, the world of Japanese pop culture is also sending Valentine's ...
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Doraemon 'Anywhere Door' VR Experience Video Previews Antarctic Adventure

Bandai Namco Entertainment began streaming a promotional video on Friday for the upcoming Doraemon "Dokodemo Door" (Anywhere Door) virtual reality experience. The experience is the latest installment in the company's Project i Can project, which debuted in Odaiba's DiverCity Tokyo Plaza in April. The Tokyo Solamachi shopping and entertainment complex is collaborating with Eiga Doraemon: Nobita no ...
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Augmented Reality Idol Unit Holds Debut Concerts This Week

Virtual idol Hatsune Miku has become a household name in the world of Japanese pop culture. However, Miku may need to make way for some new "2.5-dimensional" idols on the block. The Yuke's augmented-reality idol group AR performers are holding their first major live performances at Tokyo's Differ Ariake arena on February 14 and February 15. The Animate Times website recently attended a special adv...
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Makoto Shinkai Credits Korean Studios for Role in Producing Japanese Anime

Anime director Makoto Shinkai (your name., 5 Centimeters Per Second, The Garden of Words) visited South Korea on Wednesday. He appeared on a television news program on the SBS network on Thursday and held a press conference in Seoul on Saturday. During his visit, Shinkai explained the importance of South Korean studios to Japanese anime. On the program, the anime director responded to a question a...
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Live-Action Kariage-kun Goes on a Date Using Suica View Card

In 1980, manga creator Masashi Ueda began serializing Kariage-kun, a gag comedy about a salaryman whose attempts to mesh with the Japanese white collar culture is like putting a square peg into a round hole. Kariage is his office's own Dennis the Menace but he never seems to get fired. In fact, despite his poor workmanship, the character is being resurrected as the image character for Japan Railwa...
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Kirito & Asuna Eat at Wagnaria Restaurant in Sword Art Online Film

PlayStation Network users in Japan got a sneak peek at the Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale anime film last week when the first 12 minutes were put up to watch for free. In the clip, viewers quickly noticed that Kirito and the crew sit down for a bite to eat in a familiar restaurant. It looks like the family restaurant Wagnaria from the manga and anime series Working!!! is still successful in the n...
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Hidden 315Pro President Seeking 'Best Producer' for The [email protected] SideM Anime

Bandai Namco Entertainment announced on Sunday that the guys of its The [email protected] SideM video game series are getting their own anime series, questionable goatee and all. The series is a spin-off of the female idol franchise The [email protected] where players take on the role of a male producer to get the girls into shape for a perfect performance. The producer of The [email protected] SideM wasn't revealed i...
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Musical Duo ClariS Briefly Reveals Identities at Budōkan Concert

The musical duo ClariS has managed to maintain an air of mystery in an industry full of idols. The original pair, Clara and Alice debuted in 2010 and for four years never appeared in front of their audience, even when they performed at the "2014 New Year's Festival Hajimari no Yokan…" event. Alice has since left and new member Karen was brought in to continue performing with Clara. Since Karen joi...
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Black Butler Manga Creator Designs Anime's New Pumps

The shoe brand Tyake Tyoke revealed its new Black Butler: Book of Circus pumps for the Super Groupies online retailer on Friday. The shoes were developed based on Black Butler manga creator Yana Toboso's proposed design. The clothes of the anime's main characters Sebastian Michaelis and Ciel Phantomhive inspired the black-and-white and black-and-blue "short boots." Anime fans can maintain their o...
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Assassination Classroom Actress Rena Takeda Promotes Kishuku Gakkō no Juliet Manga

Live-action Assassination Classroom actress Rena Takeda has signed on to star as Percia from the manga Kishuku Gakkō no Juliet (Boarding School's Juliet) manga in a series of ads. The three ads feature Takeda accepting a confession, gifting homemade cookies, and discussing her rosary. Romeo asks Percia out and claiming he will "change the world." Percia becomes flustered and tells him his notion i...
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Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club Ita-Bike Prize Offered

Fans of Noriyuki Matsumoto's Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club (Minami Kamakura Kōkō Joshi Jitensha-Bu) manga can let the world know by hopping on an official itasha bike, you just have to win it first. The anime's official website announced on Tuesday that its Twitter followers can win a bike, a commemorative jersey and pants set, and signed theme song CDs. The 2010 GIANT DEFY3 bike ...
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Rose of Versailles' Chocolate Campaign Manga Get Booklet Release

Riyoko Ikeda's two one-shot Rose of Versailles manga that she released for the Takashimaya department store's current Valentine's Day chocolate campaign are getting a booklet release. People who spend at least 5,000 yen (about US$44) at Takashimaya's Amour du Chocolat! event from February 11 until Valentine's Day will receive the "Original Mini Comic" while supplies last. Takashimaya department st...
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Legendary Pro Gamer Daigo Gets His Own Statuette

Professional gamer Daigo Umehara (also known as "The Beast") has earned a formidable international reputation for his skill at fighting games, especially Street Fighter. He's broken numerous world records: most consecutive tournament wins (15), highest overall rank in Ultra Street Fighter IV (2187714), and most views for a competitive fighting game match (5,632,211), among others. He's now even e...
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Museum of Kyoto to Honor Tōken Ranbu at Sengoku Era Exhibit

Also: art history event with idol singer Ayaka Wada ― The Museum of Kyoto, which focuses on Kyoto's rich history and artistic traditions, is planning an exhibit on the Sengoku, or Warring States, Era starting February 25. To expand interest, it's collaborating with one of the biggest works of historical fiction in contemporary Japan — Tōken Ranbu, a smartphone game-turned-anime about swords anth...
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Dress Like Utena While Lounging Around at Home

Super Groupies offers Utena, Anthy-themed hoodies ― The outfits seen in Revolutionary Girl Utena may be stylish, but would you really want to wear those billowing gowns and tight uniforms when you don't have anyplace special to go? Enter Super Groupies, an apparel retailer aimed at anime and video game fans; its new clothes inspired by the 1997 classic anime will make you feel nostalgic and stylish ...
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70-Year-Old Mother Gives Birth in Newly Published Manga

One of manga's favorite themes is fulfilling your dreams and being the best you can be, no matter what hardships and obstacles you face. It's mostly associated with shōnen or sports manga, but a new comic by Ryōsuke Time (pronounced as in English) puts a unique spin on it: it's about a 70-year-old giving birth. Seventy Uizan ("First Child at Seventy") has a fairly self-explanatory premise. Asakazu...
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Love Live! Sunshine!! Sega Image Girl Selected

Love Live's Rin Hoshizora had a good run as the face of Sega, even promoting the company's Puyo Puyo puzzle game series. But there's a new Love Live series, and with that comes a new Sega PR girl. The official Love Live! Sunshine!! site announced that Hanamaru Kunikida will take over Rin's duties. An official collaboration image will be revealed later. Maru was chosen by a popularity vote. Perhaps...
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Hyogo Theme Park Will Open This Summer with Tezuka, Shin-chan Themed Areas

Pasona Group Inc., a major staffing agency, announced on Monday that anime theme park will open on Hyogo prefecture's Awaji Island in July. Nijigennomori Park (literally 2D Forest Park) will have a section dedicated to Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix that comes to life at night and an athletic course based on Crayon Shin-chan. The project heads are expecting close to one million visitors per year after the...
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'Yume-100' Smartphone RPG's Black Butler Collaboration Adds Ronald

The official Twitter account for the Yume Ōkoku to Nemureru 100-Nin no Ōji-sama (The Kingdom of Dreams and the 100 Sleeping Princes or "Yume-100" for short) smartphone puzzle role-playing game announced on Wednesday that its Kuroshitsuji: Book of the Atlantic (Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic) collaboration is adding the character Ronald Knox. The Retrieval Division Grim Reaper, voiced by Kenn, ...
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Azumanga Daioh Voice Actress Tomoko Kaneda Announces Pregnancy

Voice actress Tomoko Kaneda (43) announced on the TBS television program Ningen Kansatsu Variety on Thursday that she is six months pregnant. The television segment's theme was "If an entertainer becomes a kindergarten teacher, the children will listen to what they say." Kaneda was on the program to prove or disprove the point and headed to a school with comedian Hirohisa Ota to find out. During t...
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Hiroshi Kamiya Song to Come with Bonus Takuya Eguchi Doodle

Eguchi drew masterwork in 30 seconds ― On February 15, singer and voice actor Hiroshi Kamiya (Mr. Itoshiki in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, Riku in Arakawa Under the Bridge, Koyomi in Bakemonogatari) will release his new single, "Ism Rhythm." It will be download-only, and customers who buy the full-length version from animelo mix will get some nice bonuses. One, only available to three people chosen by ...
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Original Godzilla, Director Higuchi Accept Shin Godzilla's Blue Ribbon Film Award

The Association of Tokyo Film Journalists held its 59th annual Blue Ribbon Awards ceremony at Tokyo's Iino Hall on Wednesday. The 2016 Blue Ribbon Award for Best Film went to Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi's Shin Godzilla film. A special guest appeared with Higuchi to accept the award. A not-so-giant version of the colossal monster Godzilla himself appeared to accept the honor. However, Internet ...

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