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Franco-German Artist is Making a Torii Gate Made of Speakers

A Franco-German artist is tasked reinterpreting an iconic symbol of Japanese culture. The torii gate is usually seen outside of Shinto shrines as a marker designating an entrance into a sacred space. Benoît Maubrey is creating a more interactive version than the traditional red ones found throughout Japan. Meriken Park in Kobe will be the site of a torii made entirely out of 300 recycled speakers....
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Goku Goes 'Super Sandwich' in Fox's Animation Domination Spoof

Goku and crew are no strangers to senseless destruction. Most of the group sports an impressive kill count only exceeded by the number of explosions required to achieve it. Fox's Animation Domination High-Def released its latest anime-inspired spoof detailing what happens when Goku uses his powers to create sandwich. The Animation Domination video series has poked fun at anime series numerous time...
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Shokotan Grooves to the Pikachu Dance

The cutest Pokemon parade is heading back to Yokohama in a few short weeks. The latest invasion is dance themed and aptly titled "Odoru? Pikachū Tairyō Hassei-chū!" (Dance? Pikachu All Over the Place). The unabashedly geeky Shoko Nakagawa—known by her stage name, Shokotan—appeared with her cohosts of the Pokémon Get☆TV television program to show off her Pikachu dance moves. Shokotan has hosted the...
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Kumamon Meets Keanu Reeves at Suzuka Circuit

The net in Japan is abuzz with a picture of a lovable Japanese mascot hanging out with Neo from The Matrix. なんと!俳優のキアヌ・リーブスさんとお会いできたモーン!! pic.twitter.com/JAkcdL6G01— くまモン【公式】 (@55_kumamon) July 26, 2015 Tweet: "Wow! I just met Keanu Reeves!" The official Kumamon Twitter has recently been posting pictures of the Kumamoto Prefecture mascot hanging out with Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves at Suzuka Circ...
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Kyoto Animation's Shop Throws Makoto a Birthday Party With New Merchandise

Kyoto Animation's official shop is planning a birthday party for Free! Eternal Summer's Makoto. The reliable swim club president is celebrating on November 17 and KyoAni plans to ship off some exclusive merchandise for him. The items include a wall scroll (1,620 yen/US$13), cushion cover (3,240 yen/US$27), a hanging sign (2,160 yen/US$18), a rubber strap set (1,080 yen/US$9), and a pin (200 yen/1...
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X Japan Primed to Beat Slipknot for Loudwire's Best Live Band

Tickets on sale now for upcoming London concert ― The Rock news website Loudwire is holding its Best Live Band poll and Japanese rock group X Japan is slaying the competition. The group beat out both Linkin Park and Avenged Sevenfold to enter the quarterfinals against Slipknot. Yoshiki and crew are well on their way to semi-finals though. Votes are accepted until Tuesday at 10 a.m. EST, but Slipknot ...
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Japanese Mascots Ossun, Sanasenabona, Koakkuma, & Akkuma Invade San Francisco

The Japanese mascot Ossan, along with a strange idol group and the bear mascots Koakkuma and Akkuma are turning up in San Francisco for the J-Pop Summit on August 8 and 9. Ossan made his American debut at Anime Expo earlier this month and one of Japan's most popular prefectural mascots next to Funyassi and Kumamon. The old man, whose "real name" is Shinichi Sakai unique for being humanoid and havi...
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Pokemon Singer Sachiko Kobayashi Gets Vocaloid Make-Over

Enka singer Sachiko Kobayashi is lending her chops to Yamaha's newest Vocaloid, aptly named Sachiko. Sachiko was designed by artist foo*. The library includes over 400 types of vocal material. Kobayashi held an interview with Yamaha to talk about her feelings about becoming a Vocaloid. She said that while she's used to covering other singers' songs, she was happy to be covered by her own Vocaloid....
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Coffee Girl Group Stars in Whodunnit Web Game

Which Yukiko-tan stole the key? ― Cowgirl Yukiko-tan, the mascot of MegMilk Snow Brand Coffee, is now starring in an online detective game, Yukiko-tan no Coffee Labyrinth: Kaette Kita Meitantei ("Yukiko-tan's Coffee Labyrinth: The Detective Returns"), along with her five fellow Yukiko-tans. It seems that the local factory has stopped running, and Yukiko-tan must find the key to get it started again. ...
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Say Hello to Black Jack Confronts Effects of Adult ADHD

Although ADHD — Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder — is often thought of as a disorder affecting exuberant kids, it can also affect adults, with disastrous results on their personal and professional lives. It can especially be severe if the disorder isn't recognized for what it is, leading the patients to blame themselves and possibly leading to social ostracism or other baleful c...
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Hakone Volcano Erupts on Small Scale

Volcanic ash appears in smoke ― Ōwaku Valley, a part of Mount Hakone with high volcanic activity, has been showing more signs of an impending eruption recently. The smoke which regularly issues from its vents was mingled with ash, turning noticeably gray, for about ten seconds around noon on July 21. On June 30 and July 1, it had also erupted on a very small scale, ejecting material to a distance of ...
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KanColle Fans on What They Expect from a Second Season

KanColle fans eagerly anticipating a second season of the anime (the first season of which concluded in March) have taken to Twitter and shared their thoughts/requests/demands on what they'd like to see using the hashtag #艦これアニメ二期に期待すること ("Expectations of the Second KanColle Season"). As usual, they range from the very vague to the outlandishly absurd. @HitoriNanasaka hoped for the emergence of Ry...
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Moyashimon Gets Limited Edition Sake in August

The bacteria of Masayuki Ishikawa's Moyashimon manga and anime series found their perfect collaboration with Shunnōten brewery in Yamanashi. The ancient sake brewery was founded in 1790 under the name Yorozuya, but later changed it to Shunnōten in the 1930s. Shunnōten will release 1,200 sake bottles featuring Aspergillus oryzae (the bacteria used to make sake) drawn by Ishikawa on the label. The ...
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Japanese Sex Toy Company Explores Possibilities of Virtual Reality

Can head-mounted displays deliver a satisfying sexual experience? ― Tenga, a Japanese manufacturer of masturbation aids, is breaking into a new frontier: virtual reality. Using a head-mounted display and headphones, it's conducting experiments with the SR (Substitutional Reality) System, which substitutes live footage and reality with pre-recorded footage. A recent example involved adult video actres...
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Hideaki Anno, Ikuto Yamashita Collaborate on Official Eva Train

The Eva Unit-01 is getting a sleek remodel as the "500 TYPE EVA, " a bullet train that will run on Japan Railways' Sanyo Shinkansen Line. The line opened 40 years ago while Neon Genesis Evangelion premiered on Japanese television 20 years ago. The two are coming together for the Shinkansen Evangelion Project. Anime director Hideaki Anno and original mecha designer Ikuto Yamashita are working dire...
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First Yuri Dating Game for Women Announced

Plot likely to be sad ― R-INFINITY has announced an upcoming dating sim for smartphones that purports to be the first yuri game aimed at women. Details are limited — even a title hasn't been announced — but artwork and a tagline are available. The tagline translates to "I wonder what sort of goodbye we'll have." R-INFINITY is seeking four scenario writers and has a job posting linked to the...
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One Piece Lottery Offers Tea Time Straw Hat-Style in New Artwork

The Straw Hat Pirates are taking a load-off and enjoying some afternoon tea in an upcoming lottery prize. Ichiban Kuji's mid-August lottery is offering a brand-new art piece drawn by One Piece artist Eichiro Oda. Known as the "One Piece Picture Clip Collection ~Sanji's Afternoon Tea~", this framed art portrays the Straw Hats (and other guests) relaxing in formal attire as the crew's cook serves up...
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Doraemon & Hello Kitty Collaboration Promises 320 Different Products

Two of Japan's most famous cats are finally getting together for an equally huge merchandise campaign. Sanrio's Hello Kitty and Fujiko F. Fujio's Doraemon will work with 50 different companies to create 320 different products featuring the characters. The items will be geared towards older teens and adult fans and will start rolling out next month. A pre-sale will be held from August 12-25 at the...
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Anonymous Tries to Take Down ISIS with Moe Character

Twitter accounts bombarded with "ISIS-chan" ― Ever since the Sunni rebel group, the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Da'esh) took control of much of northern Iraq in the summer of 2014, Western governments and neighboring countries have puzzled over how to fight it. Should they go for a direct military intervention, or restrict their involvement to air strikes? Can other local rebel groups...
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Pokemon, Link Follow Suit in Unreal Engine Videos

Both Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog were subjected to Unreal 4 Engine makeovers courtesy of aryoksini and CryZENx. The latter released two new videos, again utilizing "A Boy and His Kite" demo assets to introduce Squirtle, Charmander, and Bulbasaur to some realistic tall grass. While the Pokemon are cute and cuddly, Link seems right at home. CryZENx even threw in some series staples, like the Great ...
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Unused Script Cards Reveal More About Ico Game

Team Ico and Fumito Ueda originally released the mostly dialogue free Ico in Japan and North America in 2001. The game garnered a passionate fan-following that only grew with its spiritual successor, Shadow of the Colossus. Recently, Ico fan einstein95 discovered 77 unused subtitle cards that were subsequently translated by GlitterBerri to reveal extensive background information and character deve...
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Sailor Moon Crystal Gets 2nd Round of Feminine Hygiene Products

In one of the oddest collaborations to come out of Sailor Moon's 20th anniversary, Elis is creating a second round of Sailor Moon Crystal menstrual pads. Elis will feature the packaging designs on its "Until Morning" and "Very Absorbent" pads in three levels of absorbency starting on August 1. The former are intended for night-time use and the latter for day-time. Customers who order by mail will ...
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Sumire Uesaka Contributes Essay in Book on Pacifism

Describes her change in attitude toward Russia ― Sumire Uesaka, a voice actress known for her interest in the military and for voicing roles in military-oriented anime (Fubuki in KanColle, Nonna and Piyotan in Girls und Panzer), has nonetheless contributed an essay to a book on pacifism, Sekai o Heiwa ni Suru Tame no Sasayaka na Teian ("Modest Proposals for Bringing About World Peace"). She argues t...
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College Student Covers Bulletin Board with Nico Yazawa Birthday Flyers

Also: birthday fan art from animators ― Nico Yazawa, a character from Love Live! School idol project, celebrated her birthday on July 22. Ardent Love Live! fans ("Livers") shared their congratulations on Twitter with the hashtag #矢澤にこ生誕祭2015 (Nico Yazawa's Birthday 2015). #矢澤にこ (Nico Yazawa) also trended, accumulating over 900,000 tweets and #誕生日 (Birthday) was not far behind. The Twitter activity ea...
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Nintendo Developers Aya Kyogoku, Risa Tabata Discuss Industry and Projects

Nintendo also promotes Mario Maker with Cake Wars episode, amiibos ― Mario franchise creator Shigeru Miyamoto and the franchise's long-time designer Takashi Tezuka went into detail about the level creation process as part of Nintendo's promotion for the Super Mario Maker game for the Wii U. The company is now catching up with more developers, this time with a video on Tuesday with Animal Crossing: Ha...
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Twitter Post Stating Prince Mackaroo to End Rings False, Staff Replies

A long-running anime series was rumored on Twitter to be ending soon and staff was not happy.. Prince Mackaroo, aka Ojarumaru in Japan, is currently in its 18th season. While its format is usually to air a season in two halves throughout the year, this year the first half began broadcasting instead of the second. This was simply done to alter its broadcasting schedule from five times a week on Mo...
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Sony Pictures Animation Drops Nearly A Million for Emoji-Based Film Rights

It looks like President Obama's shout out to emojis wasn't in vain. Sony Pictures Animation has dropped just short of a million dollars to create a film based on the texting images. The studio was competing against two others for the rights and has signed on Eric Siegel and Anthony Leondis (Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters) to write the flick with Leonidis also directing. Leondis conceived t...
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Say I Love You. Author Draws Attack on Titan Poster

Magazine also includes Say, 'I Love You'. character poll results Say I Love You. manga creator Kanae Hazuki joined the league of Attack on Titan fans. Hazuki drew a poster of Levi and Mikasa in the September issue of Kodansha's Dessert magazine. The issue goes on sale on July 24. The issue also includes the magazine's Say I Love You. character popularity poll. The results are separated between male...
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Bandai Premium Opens Pre-Order for Digimon Adventure tri Complete Digivice Model

No trip to the Digital World would be complete without a brand-spanking new Digivice to guide you around (a pair of goggles wouldn't hurt either). Premium Bandai is set to release the Digimon Adventure tri. Complete Selection Animation Digivice on its site in further celebration of the November premiere of the first Digimon Adventure tri film. Differing from the previously released 15th Anniversar...
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Pac-Man Creator Attends Pixels Film Premiere

Pac-Man original creator Tōru Iwatani came out for the world premiere of Sony Pictures Pixels film in New York City on Saturday. "I'm very happy to have played some part in a game-themed movie," Iwatani stated at the premiere. "I think it's a well-done film that families and game fans can enjoy." He was impressed by the film's realization of 2D video game characters and was greatly amused at his c...
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Live-Action Attack on Titan Writer Warns Fans of More Changes

Machiyama reveals why Levi is absent from the films ― If you ever plan to catch the sequel to the live-action film adaptation of Attack on Titan, don't expect to know everything going into the film. Screenwriter Tomohiro Machiyama recently stated the films in the series are expected to feature drastic changes to plot points and characters readily established and even beloved by fans, with popular ch...
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Monster Musume's 23-Foot Long Miia Will Slither Into a Bed Near You

The official website for the Monster Musume anime series announced that the show's star Lamia could go home with you in the form of a seven meter (23-foot) long hugging pillow. For reference, the average king size bed about 6.5 feet long. You're going to need a bigger bed. Manga artist Okayado drew the pillow's design. The image will keep you scrolling for awhile and, like the show, ISN'T SAFE FOR...
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Men & Women Agree: Idol Kanna Hashimoto is the Cutest

A recent web poll conducted by My Navi Student has determined which idol is the fairest of them all. At least according to the readers on its website. Choices among both men and women were nearly identical with Kanna Hashimoto of the group Rev. from DVL the top choice. Hashimoto has been described as the "exceedingly angelic" center of Rev. from DVL, an idol group based out of Fukuoka Prefecture. ...
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Japanese Fashion Label Designs New Sailor Moon Attire

A new line of clothes is undergoing a Moon Prism Power Makeup transformation. Secret Honey, a Japanese fashion brand, is collaborating with Sailor Moon Crystal to release several new pieces inspired by the anime. The first is a special sweater/culottes coordination piece called Sailor Collar Sweater and the Motif skirts respectively. Note: the website refers to some of the skirts as "culottes," th...
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Bugs Invade Pokémon Film Popcorn, It's Super-Effective

Yeah, Misty wouldn't approve of this either. At the July 18 Japanese premiere of Pokémon the Movie XY: Ring no Chōmajin Hoopa, known as Pokemon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages in the U.S., Toho announced that they would no longer sell the promotional Pokemon Popcorn Box due to a bug infestation in the products. The announcement came during the Pikachu short before the movie began. According...
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Marina Inoue, Comedian Yusuke Inoue Open 2nd Attack on Titan Real Escape Game

Comedian Yusuke Inoue of the duo NON STYLE and Armin voice actress Marina Inoue were present for Tokyo Dome City's Attack on Titan Real Escape game opening on Saturday. The event included the unveiling of one of the park's giant titans. The comedian stated in the video below that "[he] has been to Osaka, Fukuoka and Okinawa to promote the escape game." As the Titan model was fully revealed to the ...
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Fans and Shops Celebrate Nico Yazawa's Birthday

She might be homeless, but Love Live idol Nico Yazawa is living in the hearts of all her fans. Nico's birthday is tomorrow, but it's already July 22 in Japan. Fans are sharing their love on Twitter with the hashtag #矢澤にこ生誕祭2015 (Nico Yazawa Birthday 2015). Supporters include the latte artists at Belcorno, Sega's Akihabara shop, and the Animate store. Fans also got creative by baking, decorating th...
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Love Live! Film Strip of Nico Sells for Over US$5,500

Love Live! The School Idol Movie has brought in tons of cash since it debuted in Japan on June 13. Box office totals are at 1.65 billion yen (about US$13.4 million) and over one million tickets sold. Three of its CD singles ranked in the top 10 of on Oricon's singles chart in the same week. Moviegoers in Japan also received film strips rewards, a fairly common gift for anime films patrons. Equally...
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Japanese Crowdfund Gets Overwhelming Response for Star Wars Ukiyo-e Prints

The internationally beloved sci-fi series Star Wars has inspired adaptations in numerous styles, from CG-animated cartoons to manga by Toshiki Kudo and Kia Asamiya. Recent merchandise has gone back to Darth Vadar's samurai roots with dolls and coins. A Japanese crowdfunding campaign is expanding on the idea with officially licensed ukiyo-e prints of Darth Vader, the Battle of Hoth, and Queen Amida...
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Cerevo Inc's Psycho-Pass Dominator Replica Expands, Talks

Image from Cerevo Inc. Official Twitter Psycho-Pass cosplayers may have a better option than making their own Dominator. Niconico 日髙さんボイスでしゃべる電動フル可動ドミネーター作ってみた。 by Cerevo Innovative technology company Cerevo Inc. is currently promoting its latest product, a moving Dominator from the popular sci-fi anime Psycho-Pass. Dubbted the Dominator Maxi, it obviously won't let you shoot live charges, but it...
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Fans Discover Real Location of School-Live! Campus

It seems that a dedicated fan has just discovered the real-life location used as a setting for the School-Live! zombie anime. がっこうぐらし!原作の手紙の緯度経度がN35.419,E139.645、原作の地図も一致するし、横浜の根岸周辺で確定だと思う pic.twitter.com/eLrxXxtnwt— ながこみ (@NAGAKOMI) July 19, 2015 According to Twitter user Nagakomi, the school where School-Live! takes place is located between Negishi and Yokohama in Kanagawa prefecture. Specifical...
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Smoking Jigen, Lupin Art Appears Outside Italian Tobacco Shops

Intrepid thief Lupin and his close friend Daisuke Jigen are appearing outside tobacco shops in Italy. The duo and the rest of the rag-tag crew are appearing in a new adventure set in Italy on August 29. Artists painted the duo on the roll down shutters. イタリアのタバコ屋はシャッターに次元を描くのが流行ってるのだろうか。よく見かける。 pic.twitter.com/gbLnZG206k— Iwasaki Keiichi (@bikeandmagic) June 25, 2015 Thanks cusa Bonù for the news ...
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Baku-On!! Anime Gets New, Official Ita-Bikes

eBook Initiative Japan, a company that provides electronic books worldwide, including over 40,000 manga, is selling two Ita-Bikes featuring characters from Mimana Orimoto's Bakuon!! motorcycle manga. The bikes debuted at the Motorcycle Show Tokyo 2015 in March and the company is selling both for 950,000 yen (about US$7,645) each. The Honda CBR250R Red features Sakura Hane and the Suzuki GSR250F Bl...
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Hideaki Anno Clarifies Comments on Anime Industry Collapse

Just a couple of months ago, anime director Hideaki Anno went on record making a rather ominous comment stating that the anime industry would soon collapse within the next five years or so. Recently, Anno again spoke publicly with a decisive "whoops". The Neon Genesis Evangelion director appeared at the Japan Animator Expo screening at the Shinjuku Wald 9 theater on Saturday. While taking questio...
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Toyota Expands Its Gundam Line With New Char, Zaku Models

Toyota's venture with the fictional Gundam company Zeonic has lasted three years and produced Char versions of the MS-186H-CA Auris hatchback, first as a concept car and then as a consumer model in 2013. Toyota's Japan marketing division is expanding on the idea with Char Exclusive Auris II concept car based on new Auris model Toyota released in April and a Zaku model. Both cars were revealed over...
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New Exhibit Pairs Famous Swords with Their Anthropomorphizations

Also: new KanColle ship girls ― A new exhibit at the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum in Setouchi, Okayama Prefecture, tries to bridge the gap between Japanese sword aficionados and the burgeoning fanbase for games that turn swords into cute girls. Shinken Shōjo no Nihontō-ten ("The Shinken Girls Exhibit Japanese Swords") displays several of Japan's most famous blades, like Kōsetsu Samonji, Heshi...
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No Attack on Titan Pieces in Anime Symphonia Concert

Section withdrawn after rights SNAFU ― Earlier, we reported on Anime Symphonia, a concert scheduled for July 20 by the Japan Screen Music Symphony Orchestra incorporating music from popular anime — Neon Genesis Evangelion, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and above all, Attack on Titan, which was represented by 14 pieces in total. Unfortunately, there's been a sudden program change. The orchestra ann...
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2nd Pepper Hackathon Transforms Robot into a Barista

SoftBank hosted another "hackathon" for its promising AI robot Pepper at the at Nescafe Harajuku. Three teams had a total of four hours to design a program centering around serving coffee. The programmers each focused on different aspects of being a good barista. Team A tried to teach Pepper how to create latte art, Team B modded Pepper's personality into a confident, lady-killer waiter, and Team ...
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Kinky Dolls Stolen from Japanese Sex Museum

Warning: NSFW ― Seven dolls have been reported stolen from Kinugawa Hihōden, a museum in Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture. The theft was reported to the local police on July 16, when a man connected to the museum stopped by in the morning and noticed damage. The museum closed on New Year's Eve and all the doors have been locked, so the culprit is suspected of owning a key. Kinugawa Hihōden is not your avera...
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Akagi Now Rests in Peace in Yokosuka Restaurant

Nobuyuki Fukumoto unveils tombstone ― Shigeru Akagi, the extraordinarily lucky protagonist of the mahjong manga Akagi, now rests in peace in Hungrys, a restaurant in Yokosuka, a major suburb south of Tokyo. His tombstone was unveiled by Nobuyuki Fukumoto, Akagi's creator, in a ceremony on July 17. The tombstone was originally a fixture at SurpasS, a bar in the Tokyo neighborhood of Kichijōji. It was ...
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Solid Gold, Silver Gundams on Display at Gundam Art Exhibit

Puts new meaning to "Shining Gundam" ― If the standard color palette of the iconic Mobile Suit Gundam is beginning to bore you, a visit to a new exhibit in Tokyo, Mobile Suit Gundam Exhibit: The Art of Gundam, should reinvigorate your interest. Ginza Tanaka, a jeweler that's been crafting shiny things since 1892, will display a solid gold (24-karat) Gundam. The RX-78-2 Gundam featuring Robot Soul sta...
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Life-Size iDOLM@STER Standees Now Available for 38 Characters

Promotes upcoming 10th-anniversary concert ― To commemorate The iDOLM@STER M@sters of Idol World!! 2015, a 10th-anniversary concert featuring idols from the original game, Cinderella Girls, and Million Live, Bandai Namco is selling life-size character standees from all three games — a total of 38 girls in all. Each is signed by the character and printed using hybrid UV ink, which is three times ...
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Eagle Talon's Yoshida Tries Out Legal Profession in Smartphone Game

Crossover with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney ― Yoshida, a character from the anime series Secret Society Eagle Talon, assumes the role of a defense attorney in the new smartphone game Yoshida: Ace Attorney. He's taken up a part-time job at a legal office, but when his boss, Phoenix Wright, takes a trip, Yoshida is left to do his work for him and defend the accused in court. If this sounds familiar, it...
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Assassination Classroom's Koro-sensei Conducts Tokyo Train

A lucky 200 fans got some idea of what being in the Assassination Classroom must be like on June 28. On that day, a special "Koro-Train" ran on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line in northwest Tokyo, with none other than Koro-sensei (played by Jun Fukuyama) as the conductor. The fans were chosen beforehand by lottery. The Koro-Train was decked out in Assassination Classroom wrapping and included several deco...
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Elentari Cosplay Recreates Perfect Howl's Moving Castle

Sonja Cool otherwise known as Elentari Cosplay of Hopkins, Minnesota recreated Howl's steampunk castle in stunning detail for over a year. She began the process in January 2014 and although it debuted at CONvergence earlier this month, she's already added more details. The cosplay started with a base of chicken wire, 12-gauge wire, mattress pad foam, and EVA craft foam. The house details were crea...
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Hello Kitty and Monogatari Series Team to Reunite at Japanese 7-Elevens

The world-renowned Sanrio mascot is teaming up with some familiar faces this fall. According to a recent Tweet from NisiOisin Anime, Hello Kitty and character's from his Monogatari series are collaborating again to sell some exciting merchandise at Japanese 7-Elevens. The designs can be seen in the Tweet below, though the nature of the goods have yet to be revealed. ハローキティと〈物語〉シリーズのコラボ第2弾が決定! 今回のイ...
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Robot-Powered Hotel in Nagasaki Staffs Androids, Dinosaurs

The Henn-na Hotel (Strange Hote) at Huis Ten Bosch theme park near Nagasaki opened to reporters on Wednesday. The hotel's reception desk is manned by two robots, an Acteroid robot that speaks Japanese and an intimidating dinosaur that speaks English. Check-in is still done somewhat manually by the guest and Aiko and the dinosaur can't call a cab or some of the more complicated requests. The hotel ...
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Japanese Poll Reveals Anime Character's Names Fans Would Use for Children

There are plenty of weird names in anime. One needs to watch a single season of Gundam to find characters like Full Frontal and Ribbons Almark. Most series though, take place in Japan and star Japanese protagonists with run-of-the-mill names like Takeshi or Sakura. Charapedia held a poll that asked 10,000 anime fans which character's name they would use for their own children. Most of the choices ...
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Thousands Pay Their Respect to Nintendo's Iwata During 2-Day Funeral Service

Thousands of mourning friends and family attended the funeral of late Nintendo company president Satoru Iwata at a temple in Kyoto, Japan this week. The first day drew 2,600 visitors and the second day brought 1,500. Mourners carried umbrellas to combat the downpour from an incoming typhoon and their Nintendo 3DS mobile gaming consoles. Nintendo representative directors Genyo Takeda and Shigeru M...
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Kadokawa Opens 1st Seiyū Training School for Young Children

Voice acting is an admirable yet difficult skill. But now, even a child can learn it. Production Ace is starting up the Kids Junior Seiyū Training Project, aiming to teach young Japanese students in elementary and middle schools the fundamentals of voice acting. The program is currently recruiting. Students will learn from the likes of Japanese blues singer and actress Kozue Saito as well as Yuu ...
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Good Smile Employees Show Off Skills, Creativity in Figure Contest

Top Gear, Mad Max, an Egyptian god, and plenty of idols ― Good Smile Company, the craftsmen behind the popular figma and Nendoroid lines, is holding its fourth annual "Good Smile Cup," or employee figure contest. It's a chance for the GSC artisans to let loose and show off their skills, creativity, and quirkiness. Although none of the competing figures will be available for sale, it's a fun look at w...
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Super Guzzilla Heavy Armed Robot Currently in Development

A major sci-fi fantasy is about to come to life. Japanese heavy machinery company Taguchi Industrial Co. Ltd. is developing a manned tanker robot dubbed the Super Guzzilla. The hulking motorized machine stands 3-5 meters and weighs over 15 tons. Its arms are outfitted with an industrial crusher on one and industrial cutter on the other. The aluminum body and large wheels come from Hitachi Industri...
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Mugi-chan's Keyboard Being Sold Online for K-ON! 5th Anniversary

Fans of K-ON can now rock out like Mugi-chan with her own trademark instrument. Celebrating both the five-year anniversary of K-ON and Tsumugi Kotobuki's belated birthday on July 1, Japanese online store Animaru is currently selling 300 Korg RK-100S, the spiritual successor to Mugi-chan's instrument—the Korg RK 100. Being marketed as the RK-100S K-ON Special, the keytar sports the same shade of wh...
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'Tentacle Master' Toshio Maeda Discusses Figures & Akihabara in French TV Program

The French television program toco toco began streaming its interview with "Tentacle Master" and Urotsukidoji creator Toshio Maeda on Wednesday. Maeda began his career in in the 1980s. He reveals in the video that he was debating between creating manga for children or adults, but in the end chose adults because the career shelf life was much longer. The popularity he gained from Urotsukidoji event...
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Singing Grannies Idol Group KBG84 Take Japan by Storm

Of the many idol groups touring across Japan, the newest group among them is currently all the rage. Their shtick? None of them are any younger than 80. KBG84 coverage on Fuji News Network KBG84 is an up-and-coming thirty-three member idol group consisting solely of elderly Japanese women from the small Japanese island of Kohama. The group only has, and will only accept, members of at least 80 yea...
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British Rapper Jme Will Trade His Album for Holographic Charizard Cards

British Rapper Jme put out a, all-points bulletin on Twitter. He was willing to trade a vinyl edition of his album Integrity> for anyone who had a holographic Charizard Pokemon card in pristine edition laying around their house. SWAPS! LETS DO SWAPS! Anyone who wants to swap me, holla. I'll give you a Integrity> Vinyl LP! I want a shiny Charizard In good condition.— Jme (@JmeBBK) July 10, 2015 Fan...
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Fan Art Catalogs Dragon Ball Z Character's Kill Counts

In a long-running action series like Dragon Ball Z, where most of the plot centers around a big bad villain and his minions wrecking havoc, the heroes are going to accumulate a large kill count. Artist Alberto Cubatas has created visual representations of how many deaths belong to each of the series' main characters, from Vegeta's impressive kill count to Yamcha at the complete opposite side of th...
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Metal Gear Rising Director Interested in Making Berserk, Kill la Kill Games

Metal Gear Rising video game director Kenji Saito announced on Twitter that after the release of Platinum Games' Transformers: Devastation, he'd like to work on a video game adaptation of Kill la Kill or Berserk. @TheBudgiecat I want to make the KillLaKill or Berserk.— 齋藤健治 (@PG_saito) July 10, 2015 Kentarou Miura's violent fantasy series previously inspired the Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seim...
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Pokémon Bro Magikarp Can Do More Than Splash

A specific trio of buff Pokémon cosplayers have popped up at anime conventions around North America, including Fanime, Anime North, and Anime Expo. Originally the group were based solely off a viral fanart image of Dugtrio but were soon joined by Chikorita and Sudowoodo. DC-based cosplayer Sevcosplay got in on the trend, proving that franchise's long-lauded useless Pokémon has more to him than jus...
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Hi Score Girl Lives on With New Nendoriod

Rensuke Oshikiri's Hi Score Girl and its publisher Square Enix got in legal trouble last year after game developers SNK Playmore allegedly discovered over 100 instances of characters from The King of Fighters, Samurai Spirits (Samurai Shodown), and other fighting games in Oshikiri's manga. According to SNK, it was not aware of the instances until the company was contacted about a planned anime ada...
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Evangelion Smartphone Project Asks Fans to Pitch In

Now you can hit up your friends and tell them to get in the damn robot Eva-style. In commemoration of Neon Genesis Evangelion's 20th anniversary, a special project has been announced for an NGE-theme sim card-free smartphone to be developed and released later this year. Headed by the aptly-named Evangelion Smartphone Development Committee, this project is looking to recruit 30,000 supporters. By ...
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Mario Takes to the Wild in New Unreal Engine Video

Epic Games released assets for its "A Boy and His Kite" demo for free about three months ago. The assets include a realistic landscape set on high-plains and rife with deer, tall grass, and breathtaking imagery. The open world demo uses the Unreal 4 Engine. Like the previous video by aryoksini, YouTuber CryZENx couldn't help but stick an updated Mario into the environment. They also decided to thr...
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2nd Attack on Titan Real Escape Game's Details Announced

There's nothing quite like the fear of getting eaten to make an amusement park visit more exciting. Tokyo Dome City Attractions and Hirakata Park in Osaka are holding special Attack on Titan-themed escape games at their respective locations. Tokyo Dome City opens on July 18 and runs until September 23, and Osaka's Hirakata Park starts on July 24 and goes to September 6. The commercial urges amusem...
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Gangsta's Worick & Nicholas Inspire Women's Lingerie

Guns-for-hire Worick and Nicholas might inhabit the seedy world of Ergastulum but the duo apparently has a softer side. The collaboration brand Tajuary is hard at work developing a line of women's lingerie inspired by the duo and the Paulklee Guild. 先方から発表OKが出たので.... アニメコラボ商品第1弾! 7月5日~放送開始のアニメ、GANGSTA.とのコラボランジェリー鋭意製作中!本日はウォリックverのラフ画を公開! 続報はまた明日に! #ギャングスタ pic.twitter.com/0Flj0lh4WM— [公式]タジュアリー(仮) ...
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Win Over Your Game Bishōnen Boyfriend with Sea Cucumbers

Dating simulators will turn anything and everything into a potential romantic interest, from monsters to sushi. i-Enter Corporation has taken one very specific sea creature and developed a whole game around it. Introducing NamaColle, a game about a silver-haired bishōnen named Kō Nanma voiced by Shunsuke Takeuchi (The IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls' Producer). Kō apparently loves sea cucumbers. He lo...
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Offbeat Idol Group LADY BABY Rocks Out in 'Nippon Manju' MV

LADY BABY is a recently formed idol group starring the cross-dressing and heavy metal screaming Lady Beard and Miss iD finalists Rie Kaneko and Rei Kuromiya. The trio (and sometimes quartet) recently released their first music video for "Nippon Manju," a song all about the great things Japan has to offer — especially manju. The video also debuts Maru-sama, the winner from the recent member call fo...
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September 6 'Officially' Recognized as Shigeru Matsuzaki Day

The Japan Anniversary Association has "officially" recognized September 6 as Shigeru Matsuzaki Day. This year marks the 45th anniversary of Matsuzaki's musical debut, while September 6 is a pun (ku-ro) on "kuro" or "black" and is also the date of his upcoming KuroFes event. His latest album Black on Black also came out last year. Matsuzaki is performing at the anniversary celebration at Chiba Maku...
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Hayao Miyazaki Criticizes Prime Minister Abe at Press Conference

Former Ghibli director comments on Constitution changes, U.S. base, China relations ― Hayao Miyazaki is making his voice heard on political matters in his home country. The former-and-renowned Studio Ghibli director recently held a press conference in Tokyo on Monday concerning his opposition to the reinterpretation of Japan's Constitution and the relocation of U.S. Marine Corp Air Station Futenma to...
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The Cast of Hunter x Hunter Join Puzzle & Dragons Game

The hugely popular mobile phone game Puzzle & Dragons will start a limited collaboration with Yoshihiro Togashi's Hunter x Hunter series. The campaign is in part to promote the one-year anniversary of the Hunter x Hunter Battle AllStars mobile game. Starting on July 20, Gon Freecss, Killua Zoldyck, and Leorio will appear as new characters. The game will also feature Gon, Killua, Leorio, Kurapika, ...
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Fans Express Condolences After Nintendo President Iwata's Passing

Mourning and fond remembrance is reverberating throughout the gaming and online communities in the wake of the all-too-sudden and tragic passing of 55-year-old Nintendo CEO and dedicated gamer Satoru Iwata. A Miiverse comment on Splatoon: "Thanks for all the fun, Iwata!" The Splatoon Miiverse, for example, is rife with commemorative comments expressing both grief and solemn gratitude for all of hi...
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Pokémon Bro Cosplay Shows Dugtrio in a New Light

Viral fan-art turned cosplay has grown in popularity in recent years. "Bōsōzoku Sailor Scouts" by Babs Tarr as well as every different iteration of Disney's princesses has come to life through cosplay. One comedic viral image answered the question of what a Dugtrio looks like from underground. An inspired cosplay group has taken the suggestion and run full-speed ahead with it. The buff Pokemon bro...
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Live-Action Pokemon Set Off on Adventure in Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon Ad

Nintendo has unveiled a commercial intended for movie theaters for its upcoming game, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon. The ad features a platoon of kids turned into Pokemon on a quest through mysterious forests and dungeons — and falling for a trap. As the narrator says, "Carelessness is forbidden." Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon will be the sixth installment in the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon serie...
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Hideaki Sorachi Tops Japanese Poll on Favorite Manga Artists

Shōnen Jump artists do well ― Charapedia, a Japanese anime and manga character database, conducted a poll of its users' favorite manga artists. The poll was conducted from July 2 to 8 and collected opinions from 10,000 users and followers of Charapedia's Facebook pages. The results were split 52% male, 48% female, with 72.5% of the respondents under age 30. Note that the results are ranked by Charape...
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Snow Miku & Hokkaido Baseball Team's Special Goods Revealed

The official blog for all things Hatsune Miku revealed the five-point plan for Snow Miku's collaboration with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters baseball team. Starting on July 31, as part of the Asian Festa, The Fighters will face off against the Chiba Lotte Marines (who got their own collaboration with My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU) at the Sapporo Dome and have exclusive Snow Miku merchandise, inc...
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New App Fuses Pokemon with... Aging Men

A wild MIDDLE-AGED MAN appeared! ― In what's surely one of the strangest concepts for a game to emerge in a while, a new app, Ojimon, developed by Keita Hirose, combines iconic Pokemon with the faces of weary middle-aged men (ojisan). Players must catch them with PokeBalls as in the original games, but instead of training them to fight, the Ojimon are drafted into forced labor. Their labor — min...
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Densha Otoko Actor Takayuki Yamada Dons Batman's Mantle

Takayuki Yamada a real-life fan of Batman, video games ― Takayuki Yamada, star of the live-action versions of Densha Otoko, MW and the forthcoming Bakuman, goes batty in a commercial for Batman: Arkham Knight, the latest game in the Batman: Arkham series. Yamada mentions that he's been caught up in his PlayStation 4 lately, and his friend guesses it's Batman specifically. When Yamada is surprised he ...
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Mario Creators Go More in Depth with Design Videos

Last month, as part of a promotion for Wii U's Super Mario Maker game, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and the franchise's long-time designer Takashi Tezuka shared some of their original planning materials for making Nintendo's iconic plumber. The topic was actually discussed more in-depth at the E3 event and Nintendo is streaming the full discussion on YouTube. According the the video, the design ...
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Black Moon Family is Complete with New Petit Chara Figure Set

Megahouse is following up its set Ayakashi Sisters Petit Chara figures with more of the Black Moon family. The new set includes Black Lady, Rubeus, Esmeraude, Prince Demande, and Saphir. Black Lady was the top choice to be made into a Petit Chara figure according to a questionnaire conducted at the Mega Hobby Expo. The set is priced at 4,428 yen (about US$36). For more information, check out the P...
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Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Characters Get CDs

The world of Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma is full of delicious food and over-the-top fantasy reactions. Its cast is made up of teenage savant chefs competing with one another to stay on top in a cut-throat, competitive school. The show asks its audience to root for Sōma Yukihira, who has a humble background as a self-taught cook at his family diner. His friends and competitors are equally colorful...
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Prince Zen Stars in Live-Action Ads for Snow White with the Red Hair

Hakusensha, the publishers of the shōjo manga magazine LaLa DX, has two new commercials for the manga Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (Snow White with the Red Hair). Prince Zen makes an appearance in both, although he's just an illusion dreamt up by excitable girls. In this one, Prince Zen says the girl is "a master at making me worry"... about eating all of his snacks. The tagline is "To those without ...
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Capcom Adds Limited, Full-Size Mega Man Helmet

There have already been attempts to make 1:1 replica Mega Man gear, like the Buster Gun replica from ThinkGeek or the casual cosplay hoodie. While others were racing for Star Wars merchandise at Comic-Con, Capcom looked at the demand for Mega Man and announced up pre-orders for for a full-size helmet. The helmet is made of ABS plastic and has working LED lights and will be shipped in a display box...
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How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Artist Designs Tokushima Self Defense Force Mascots

Ibaraki prefecture debuted its moe mascots for the area's Japan Self-Defense Forces' Provincial Cooperation Office last year and the trend is catching on in other areas. Tokushima prefecture's office is looking to name its three mascots representing the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Maritime Self-Defense Force, and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. Name suggestion applications will be taken until J...
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Useful Advice from Twitter for First-Time Comiket Attendees

Con etiquette, packing tips, drink selection, and more ― Fan conventions can be a little intimidating for rookies, and none more so than Japan's massive dōjinshi gathering, Comiket. In anticipation of this summer's Comiket, scheduled for August 14-16, seasoned Japanese convention-goers on Twitter have created a hashtag, #誰も教えてくれないコミケの常識 (Common Comiket Knowledge No One Ever Tells You), to help out ne...
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J-World to Open Boruto-Themed Haunted House

Also: food collaborations, movie booklet, stamp rally ― J-World Tokyo, an amusement park devoted to Weekly Shōnen Jump's library of popular manga, will open a section based on the upcoming Boruto -Naruto the Movie-. Its centerpiece is a ninja haunted house that puts visitors in the position of aspiring ninja taking their chūnin exams — the haunted house tests their courage. A preexisting attract...
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Shun Oguri Stars in Impressive Pepsi Commercials Based on Momotarō

Shun Oguri, who has starred in a number of live-action films based on anime (Shin'ichi in Detective Conan, Lupin III in Lupin III, and Captain Harlock in Harlock: Space Pirate), is now playing a swashbuckling hero all Japanese are familiar with: Momotarō, a boy born from a peach who becomes a mighty hero in a famous fairy tale. Even though the tale unfolds via a series of Pepsi commercials, they h...
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Splatoon Fan Makes Water Gun Version of Inkzooka

Force surpasses other water guns ― An enterprising fan of the Nintendo squid shooter game Splatoon has made a replica of the Inkzooka, a powerful Special Weapon. He posted a video showcasing his creation on Nico Nico Douga under the name tono2. Niconico スーパーショットつくって撃ってみた Tono2 compares his homemade Inkzooka with commercially available water guns, including the much-feared Super Soaker. Its power knoc...

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