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Affordable Animator Dorm Expansion Crowdfunding Closes Short of Goal

82% of US$10,000 pledged ― The IndieGoGo campaign to expand the low-income Animator Dormitory from housing six animators to eight has closed. It aimed to raise US$10,000 (about 1.03 million yen) but has only raised US$8,211 (about 849,000 yen) from 175 backers. However, its goal is considered "flexible," meaning that the campaign will keep the money it raised. The dormitory is the work of a non-profi...
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Wake Up to Soothing Swordsmen with Tōken Ranbu Alarm Clocks

Also: prepaid shopping card, microfiber towels ― Next month, the Japanese convenience store chain Lawson is launching a collaboration with the popular stage musical adaptation of the online game Tōken Ranbu. Fans of the suave swords can buy alarm clocks featuring their favorite characters as portrayed by their actors — and including voice clips from the actors to wake them up in the morning. Fr...
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Pet Monogatari's Nadeko on Your Smartphone

Phone wallpaper is your reward ― Nademonogatari ("The Tale of Nadeko"), the latest installment in NisiOisin's Monogatari light novel series, shipped on Friday. To commemorate the new book, a website has opened allowing fans of the series to... pet Nadeko. You see, naderu means "to pet" in Japanese, and Nadeko is the heroine of the story this time around. The book revolves around her gaining the power...
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Least Impressive Pokémon Gets Its Own Official Love Song

Magikarp official fanclub page opens; Feebas remains unloved ― Magikarp is something of a joke in the world of Pokémon — it can only Splash around uselessly, it has no means of defense, its vacant expression makes it look dimwitted, and according to the anime you can't even eat it. But in a song posted to the official Japanese Pokémon YouTube channel, "I Love Koiking [Magikarp]," a young singer ...
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Japanese Transportation Authorities, Landmarks Issue Warnings to Pokémon Go Players

Since the first release of smartphone game Pokémon Go on July 6, aspiring trainers have been venturing out into the unknown in search of new and rare Pokémon. Some businesses have enjoyed an unexpected surge in customers, while some memorials and landmarks have found their inclusion inappropriate and have banned the game from their premises. Trainers have also begun to discover on their own that ...
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Clothes Based on Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto, Flying Witch & More Headed to Stores

Sentai Filmworks, Ripple Junction also collaborate on My Love Story, RIN-NE, Bakuon!!, Onigiri clothes ― The apparel maker Ripple Junction, which specializes in pop culture tie-ins, is partnering with Sentai Filmworks to develop merchandise based on Sentai anime, including Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto, Bakuon!!, Flying Witch, RIN-NE, Onigiri and My Love Story. Ripple Junction and Sentai joined fo...
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Sanrio Boys Smartphone Dating App Streams 1st Promo Video

Sanrio released the first teaser promotional video for its Sanrio Danshi ~ Watashi, Koi o, Shirimashita~ (Sanrio Boys ~ I knew love ~) smartphone dating app game. The teaser touches on the story, provides brief character introductions, and shows off game play and some special features. Sanrio announced the game and cast on July 6 and scheduled it for release this fall. Pre-registration for the ga...
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Japanese Gamers Discover Joys, Quirks & Frustrations of Pokémon Go

Anime industry also plays the game ― The smash hit smartphone game Pokémon Go debuted in Japan a week ago today, enabling Japanese gamers to discover what all the fuss is about. Like their counterparts overseas, they have enjoyed themselves while getting into bizarre, humorous or inappropriate situations with the game. @0315_kc found an Exeggcute in an odd position. (Incidentally, the Japanese name f...
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Oh My Goddess! Creator Fujishima, Cosplayer Otogi Announce Birth of Child

Couple recently announced marriage, pregnancy ― Manga artist Kousuke Fujishima (Oh My Goddess!, You're Under Arrest) tweeted a letter on July 26 apologizing for recent events and announcing the birth of his and cosplayer Nekomu Otogi's child. Apology and birth report I'm sorry to have worried all of you, the fans, with the sudden announcement the other day. I want to once again offer an apology to ha...
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Bishonen Idol Magazine Includes Fist of the North Star: Strawberry Flavor Characters

Gag idol group featured alongside B-Project, Tsukiuta, The Idolmaster SideM, more ― The gag idol group from the parody anime Fist of the North Star: Strawberry Flavor made an appearance in the newest issue of the Japanese boys idol magazine MY★STAR vol.6 from Dengeki Girl's Style on Tuesday. The "pure-hearted" idol group, Nanto DE 5 MEN, includes Fist of the North Star characters Shu, Juda, Shin, Re...
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Kochikame Manga Gets Novel Crossovers With Girls Und Panzer, Cheer Boys!, Mr. Osomatsu

Also Orphen, Haruchika, Nazutoki wa Dinner no Ato de ― Shueisha has announced a new 6-part crossover novel anthology as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of Osamu Akimoto's police comedy manga KochiKame. This Vs. KochiKame: Novelization Anthology will ship on September 17 for 1,600 yen, or about US$15.30. KochiKame, which is short for Kochira Katsushika-ku Kamearikouen-mae Hashutsujo ("This i...
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Yu-Gi-Oh! Creator Draws His Characters Playing Pokémon Go

Also: Pokémon Go character designer Yusuke Kozaki posts commemorative art ― Pokémon Go launched in Japan on Friday, allowing Yu-Gi-Oh! manga creator Kazuki Takahashi to join the craze. Takahashi created a three-part piece of art to show his enthusiasm for the game, saying that he's already walked 10 kilometers and has managed to catch a Pikachu. みなさんフォローありがとうございます! コメントもありがとう!楽しく読ませてもらってます! 昨日は10キロ歩い...
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Animatrix's Koji Morimoto Directs Commercial for Navigation App

Director, animator imagines a "car that narrows the distance between people" ― Anime director Koji Morimoto created a 30-second commercial for the Japanese smartphone navigation app NAVIelite. The video streamed on Monday. Moritomo referenced the project in an interview with New People. "I would like to have a car that narrows the distance between people," he said. "The cars these days are too fast. ...
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Eiichiro Oda Knows What the Final One Piece Panel Will Be

"It's very cool" ― Fuji TV announcer Daijirō Enami appeared at a Tokyo premiere event for One Piece Film Gold on Saturday and shared a tidbit from his recent interview with One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda: when Enami asked if Oda has the manga's final panel already planned out, he received an emphatic "yes." Oda also assured him that "it's very cool." Enami met with Oda in the One Piece creator's firs...
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Live-Action Ghost in the Shell Film's Cyborg Designs Unveiled

Lord of the Rings' Weta Workshop shows models at Comic-Con ― Design studio Weta Workshop (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I, Robot, King Kong) showed off some of its physical effects at its Comic-Con International booth this past weekend. Among its displays was a first look at some of the cyborgs for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell live-action film. IGN shared a video of the display: Weta Workshop pro...
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'Best and Worst Manga of 2016' Results - Comic-Con International

Panelists also list most anticipated new releases ― This past Saturday at Comic-Con International, Christopher Butcher (comics writer and retailer), David Brothers (branding manager and comics journalist), Eva Volin (graphic novel reporter/critic and librarian), Brigid Alverson (comics journalist and editor) and Deb Aoki (manga editor and critic) held the annual "Best and Worst Manga" panel. Here ar...
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Kojima Productions' Mascot Ludens Gets Nendoroid, Figure, Video

Face behind the character's mask identified ― As game developer Hideo Kojima's new company gears up for its first game, its mascot character Ludens has been waving the "Kojima Productions" flag far and wide. Now, he's traveling to Good Smile Company's figma and Nendoroid figure lines. Kojima tweeted these photographs of the figure prototypes last week. The Figma is a 1/12-scale figure. The Kojima Pr...
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Rock Out One Piece-Style With Brook's Shark Guitar

Made by Shimamura Music with Gotoh hardware ― With his curly hair, snazzy suit and fashionable glasses, Brook is easily one of the coolest members of the Straw Hat Pirates in One Piece. His awesome shark guitar tops it all off, though. Now fans who yearn to bust out "Welcome to the Jungle" on a piscine guitar might get a chance to do so, as Shimamura Music has made a replica of Brook's guitar for th...
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Idolish 7 Music Video, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Opening Animators Launch Seminar Series

Premieres in Sapporo on July 30 ― Kamikaze Douga, an animation studio with 25 members, is launching a seminar series on the animation process. Focusing on the music video for Idolish 7's "Restart Pointer," the seminars will explain character expressions and animation details, include behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and give the animators a chance to reminisce. The seminars are free and will be held at s...
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Viz Media Joins Comic Book Legal Defense Fund as Corporate Member

Also publishes guide to creating manga book clubs ― The manga and anime publisher Viz Media has joined the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) as a corporate member. The CBLDF is a non-profit organization dedicated to countering efforts to censor comic books or restrict public access to them. It writes letters of support in book challenges, combats restrictive legislation, and sponsors lectures and...
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Cocktail Prince Mobile Game Gets Animated Music Video

Also: additional cast and characters released ― Cocktail Prince, the upcoming smartphone game that revolves around a cast of attractive young male bartenders who all represent cocktails, has now released its theme song and animated music video. The song, "Making Love!!," features Cocktail Prince's main characters: Tom Collins (Takashi Kondo), Salty Dog (Junya Enoki), Tequila Sunrise (Nobunaga Shimaza...
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T.M.Revolution Stars as Thinly Veiled Version of Himself on B-Project: Kodō Ambitious

Episode aired July 24 ― Takanori Nishikawa (T.M.Revolution), the executive producer of the male pop idol series B-Project: Kodō Ambitious, starred in Episode 4 of the anime this Sunday as the character Takanori Nishiyama. Nishikawa has starred in anime before — including historical figures Ōkubo Toshimichi in Ryo and Sakai Tadatsugu in Sengoku Basara: Judge End — but he is primarily known f...
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Digimon Tamers' Digivice Returns After 15 Years

Corresponding card game also revived ― About 15 years after the culmination of the third Digimon series, Digimon Tamers, that series' Digivice, the D-Power (or D-Ark in Japan), will make a comeback. The D-Power will be available in two varieties: Takato's and Rika's (Ruki's). They will include new Digimon: Megidramon, Sakuyamon's miko mode, and Kuzuhamon's miko mode. When "certain conditions are met...
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Nintendo Unveils Miniature NES With 30 Classic Games, Streams Preview Video

Hits stores in November ― The 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) dominated the video game industry in the late 1980s, an era that is fondly remembered by Nintendo fans as the company's high-water mark. It was also the time when many of Nintendo's most cherished franchises began. While nostalgic gamers face steep hurdles when trying to play NES games today, such as cartridge issues and the diff...
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Robot Studios Creates Animated Short for Nagoya Railroad

The Nagoya Railroad Co. released a short animated promotional video meant to embody the railroad's slogan, “Connecting Hearts, Carrying You to Tomorrow” this week. Titled, “To the Place Where Important People Wait, Carrying Important Feelings,” the video features the song, "Kono Machi" (This Town), which Japanese folk singer Kazumasa Oda (Hikawa Maru Monogatari, The Snow Queen) wrote for the Nago...
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Japanese Anime Fans Vote on 'Best Character to Attend Festival With Wearing Yukata'

Anime! Anime! poll covers both male and female characters ― In Japan, summertime is the season for festivals and fireworks displays, and yukata, casual summer kimono, are frequently worn as part of the festivities. With that in mind, Japanese website Anime! Anime! decided it was the perfect time to poll their readers on which character they would most like to attend a festival with while wearing yuka...
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Berserk Creator Miura Wrote Plot For Anime-Original 3rd Episode

Episode featured anime-original apostle design based on apostle from manga's 14th volume ― This year's 15th issue of Hakusensha's Young Animal magazine revealed on Friday that Berserk manga creator Kentarou Miura wrote the original plan for the third episode of the new Berserk television anime series. The third episode featured an anime-original plot. The episode premiered in Japan on July 15. Miura ...
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Mob Psycho 100 Anime Offers Fans Chances to Broadcast Their Artwork on Air

Will appear behind episodes' midpoint sponsor lists ― Before anime episodes start and sometimes also at their midpoint break, they will typically show a list of sponsors over a still from that week's episode. One of this season's anime, Mob Psycho 100, is offering fans a unique opportunity to contribute to the show by soliciting fan artwork or creations to use as the backdrop for the sponsor lists th...
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Berlin Museum's 'Anime Architecture' Exhibit Features Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell Art

Art by Hiromasa Ogura, Mamoru Oshii, Atsushi Takeuchi, Takashi Watabe to be displayed ― The Tchoban Foundation Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin, Germany, will be holding a contemporary "Anime Architecture" exhibition featuring background art from the films Patlabor (1989), Ghost in the Shell (1995) and Ghost in the Shell 2 Innocence (2004). Atsushi Takeuchi's pencil layout for a Ghost in th...
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One Piece's Luffy, Chopper Make Cameo in Usagi Rope Anime

On Thursday, One Piece's Luffy and Chopper appeared on the Kami-Usagi Rope: Warau Asa ni wa Fuku Kitarutte Majissu ka!? anime, which airs within the Mezamashi TV program on Fuji TV. The collaboration episode, titled "Pirate Ship," is part of the build-up to this Saturday's premiere of One Piece Film Gold. Mayumi Tanaka, voice of Luffy, and Ikue Otani, Chopper, joined as special guests for the epi...
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Phantasy Star Online 2 Game Announces Godzilla: Resurgence Event

Sega's online role-playing game Phantasy Star Online 2 will be getting a Godzilla crossover event to celebrate the upcoming film Godzilla: Resurgence, which will debut in Japan as Shin Godzilla on July 29. The event was announced during a NicoNico broadcast on July 17 and will begin in August. 【『PSO2放送局』第44回放送中!】いきなりの新コラボ情報!7/29に最新作映画「シン・ゴジラ」の公開を控えた、日本が世界に誇る大スター「ゴジラ」とのコラボが8月に決定!ゴジラロビーやゴジラスーツも登場!詳細...
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Aya Uchida Voices Idol Version of Umi Monogatari Character in Animated Music Video

The character Marin from Sanyo Bussan's Umi Monogatari pachinko franchise has lately been breaking into the music industry as the idol "iMarine." This Monday she launched an animated music video for her new song "Dive to Blue." Aya Uchida of Love Live! fame voiced iMarine for the song. Yuta Kubota (Ping Pong, BBK/BBNK episode director), also known as kubotabee, directed the animation and Tamaya 20...
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Former Ghibli Production Staffer Criticizes All Films Since Kiki's Delivery Service

"They dump all responsibility on the director's shoulders" ― Hirokatsu Kihara was a member of the production staff at Studio Ghibli, working on Castle in the Sky, My Neighbour Totoro, and Kiki's Delivery Service in the 1980's. More than two decades later, the producer gave an interview to British style magazine Dazed at London's Hyper Japan festival last weekend, and confessed he thinks all the films...
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Osaka Landmark Displays Golden Chopper Statue for One Piece Film Gold

Confectionery Glico displays Billiken statue ― A golden Billiken statue of popular One Piece character Chopper is on display at the Tsūtenkaku Tower in Osaka to celebrate the upcoming anime movie One Piece Film Gold, which opens in Japan on July 23. A Billiken is a type of statue that originated in the United States and became popular in Japan during in the Meiji Period, and it is said to bring good...
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While Korea Waits for Pokémon Go, Here's 'Pororo Go'

Alternative: play Pokémon Go near the demilitarized zone ― As the popular Pokémon Go app rolls out to countries around the world, developer Niantic has said it expects the game's launch in South Korea to be particularly difficult. But even though the game has yet to launch in Korea, the excitement is real—real enough for another app game titled Pororo Go to step up to the plate. Korean augmented real...
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Lion Voltron/Beast King GoLion Figure Listed From Soul of Chogokin

Beast King GoLion—better known in the west as Lion Voltron—will get a diecast metal figure from Soul of Chogokin. According to the product's Amazon Japan listing, the GX-71 Beast King GoLion features the five separate lions that can be assembled into a 27-centimeter (about 10.6-inch) figure. It will also come with weapons and a weapon stand. Earlier this month, Tamashii Nations and Bandai release...
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Hideaki Anno Apologizes for Delay on Final Evangelion Film

"Now I feel like I can continue working on Evangelion" ― On July 19, during an interview about the completion of upcoming film Godzilla: Resurgence (Shin Godzilla) film, director Hideaki Anno commented on the long-awaited final film in Gainax's four-part remake of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series. The staff of the Godzilla press event made an official statement asking the audience to please ...
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Rie Kugimiya Records Audiobook for Familiar of Zero Light Novel

To celebrate the upcoming release of the 22nd and final volume Zero No Tsukaima (Familiar of Zero), KADOKAWA Ranobe Channel released an audiobook of the first volume over Amazon's Audible service on Sunday. Rie Kugimiya, the voice of heroine Louise in the anime series, is performing the reading. Kugimiya commented, "It has really been a long time since I've been in touch with the Zero No Tsukaima...
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Voice Actress Yuko Miyamura Announces Divorce

Miyamura voices Evangelion's Asuka ― Yuko Miyamura, the voice of Evangelion's Asuka Langley, announced her plans for a divorce on Twitter on Monday. She writes in a series of tweets, "Soon I'm going to Japan ~ I'm so happy! From there, I want to see Japanese fireworks! After that, I want to walk to go eat ramen. After that, I want to put in the divorce papers. Cheers to me for 12 years." In response ...
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Godzilla Hitches Ride on Golden Ship in One Piece Film Gold Poster Crossover

The cover of the September issue of Entermix magazine will feature two unlikely partners: Godzilla and Luffy. The two characters both have movies hitting theaters soon — Godzilla in Godzilla Resurgence on July 29 and Luffy in One Piece Film Gold on July 23. Godzilla is shown towering over the Grantesoro, the golden ship where One Piece Film Gold is set. Only part of the collaboration image is...
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Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto Glasses Let You Be the Coolest, Too

The glasses worn by the effortlessly cool protagonist of the anime Haven't You Heard I'm Sakamoto are now available for pre-order on the Premium Bandai website. Japanese company Yamamori Glasses are producing the glasses, and they are slated to ship in October. Two different frame styles are available: one with the top trim, and one without. The interior of the frames have Sakamoto's name written...
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Gamers Discover More Places Where It's Unwise to Play Pokémon Go

Ex-girlfriend's house, police and fire stations ― The viral smartphone video game Pokémon Go has sent aspiring Pokémon Trainers trekking far and wide in search of elusive Vaporeons and Dratinis. While this has proved to be a boon to political campaigns and stores seeking traffic, it's also led players to some ill-advised locales, from memorials and cemeteries to places that are actually dangerous. In...
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Tokyo Joypolis Launches T.M. Revolution Shows & Rides

Both celebrate their 20th anniversaries ― The Tokyo branch of Joypolis, located in the harbor district of Odaiba, welcomed its 20th anniversary on July 12. The popular singer T.M. Revolution (Takanori Nishikawa) also celebrates the 20th anniversary of his debut this year, so it's only natural that the two would join forces for an energetic musical promotion, T. M. R. Park Revolution in Joypolis 2020....
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Japanese Village Grows Giant Godzilla: Resurgence Rice Paddy Art

The village of Inakadate, Japan, far up north in the Aomori Prefecture, has created impressive field art to celebrate the upcoming film Godzilla: Resurgence. Nine different species of multicolored rice plants were used to create a seven-color image of Godzilla roaring menacingly. The field spans approximately 10,000 square meters (2.47 acres or 32,808 square feet), which is about the average size ...
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Hillary Clinton Campaign Targets Potential Voters at Pokémon Go Locations

Donald Trump uses game to mock her ― The smartphone game Pokémon Go has become a social phenomenon in America and Australia since its launch on July 6, bringing out tens of millions of aspiring Pokémon trainers to catch Pokemon and battle each other in the streets and public places. Since locations like PokéStops and Pokémon gyms attract crowds, the campaign of American presidential candidate Hillary...
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Sake Varieties Take on Human Form in Latest Anthropomorphization Project

Leiji Matsumoto, Haruhiko Mikimoto among artists involved ― Social game developer Alt Plus, in collaboration with at least 30 sake brewers, turning to renowned anime, manga and video game character designers to help promote sake products by reworking them into attractive human characters. While this sort of anthropomorphization is now common and associated with moe, this project is unusual in that it...
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Dress Like Kanade With First Love Monster Gym Shirt/Lunch Bag Set

From Movic comes a First Love Monster gym shirt and lunch tote bag set so that anyone can dress like Kanade. The "Hatsukoi Monster 'So: I'm an elementary school student. What will you do about it?' Set" includes a gym shirt (size medium) and a lunch tote in the image of a hanging gym clothes bag. The price is 2,800 yen (US$26.82) and pre-ordering is already available, with shipping scheduled for ...
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Digimon Gathering Sells Exclusive Compilation Album for Late Singer Kouji Wada

Album compiles Digmon singer's theme songs for the franchise ― Digimon Song Best of Koji Wada, an album compiling the songs of Kouji Wada, will be available exclusively at Digimon Adventure Fes. 2016, a Digimon gathering planned for the Olympus Hall in Hachiōji, Tokyo on July 31. While Wada also performed the opening theme to the anime version of Transformers: Robots in Disguise, he is closely assoc...
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Famous Samurai Saitō Hajime's True Face Revealed At Last

Family photographs published over a century later ― Although Saitō Hajime was a member of the famous Shinsengumi, an assassination squad working for the Tokugawa shogunate during the upheaval that eventually finished off the shogunate for good, his biography has remained somewhat murky. Historical researcher Yū Asakura identifies a photograph of the wedding ceremony for his second son, Tsuyoshi, as t...
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Watch Splatoon's Squid Sisters Serenade the Crowd at Japan Expo 2016

Callie and Marie, the idol and news host duo of Splatoon known as the "Squid Sisters," perform live as holographic idols in a manner familiar to Hatsune Miku fans. Their high-pitched gibberish, friendly banter and dynamic backing band got the crowd going at the Japan Expo in Paris on July 8. If you're curious what a Squid Sisters rehearsal sounds like, Nintendo posted that too, while introducing u...
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SuperGroupies' Evangelion Lingerie Collection Gets Shinji, Kaworu-Themed Sets

Otaku clothing site SuperGroupies has added two new sets of Evangelion lingerie, inspired by the plug suits worn by Shinji Ikari and Kaworu Nagisa. Both bra and panty sets are priced at 8,800 yen (about US$83.50). Pre-orders are available until July 31, and the items will be shipped at the end of October. The Shinji bra and panty set is sky-blue with white lace detail and ruffles. It has a red st...
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Evangelion's Unit-01 Receives Burning Godzilla Makeover

You saw an Eva-colored Godzilla, now see a Godzilla-colored Eva ― Figure manufacturer Kotobukiya will release an Evangelion Unit-01 plastic model painted in Burning Godzilla's color scheme from the Godzilla vs. Destoroyah film this November. It will presumably go nicely with Bandai's Eva-colored Godzilla figures, another part of the ongoing Godzilla vs. Evangelion collaboration that began with an Ap...
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Sengoku Basara's Sanada Yukimura to Promote Tourism in Wakayama Prefecture

Stamp rally, rail pass to draw visitors to Sanada's home region ― On July 13, Capcom announced that it will allow Wakayama Prefecture to use the likeness of the Warring States (Sengoku) Era warlord Sanada Yukimura from its video game and anime series Sengoku Basara to promote tourism there. The rail pass In real life, Sanada hailed from the region south of Osaka where Wakayama Prefecture is today. Th...
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Crowdfunding Begins for 10th Anniversary Tekkonkinkreet Storyboard Book

In order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the anime film Tekkonkinkreet, STUDIO4℃ has launched a crowdfunding campaign to create a new Tekkonkinkreet Film Storyboard Book, tentatively slated for release on September 6 ("Kuro's day"—a pun on the Japanese pronunciation of the date). The book will include all 12 volumes of the storyboards for the film and will feature cover art drawn by character...
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Digimon Adventure Tri. Voice Actress Hitomi Yoshida Gets Married

Voice Actress Hitomi Yoshida announced on her blog on July 13 that she is now married. She wrote: "To everyone who cheers for me and supports me, thank you as always. Today, July 13, I turned 32. It's thanks to everyone that during this crucial year too I was able to be well and spend it enjoyably. In order to get through one year brimming with health and full of smiles, I think I want to continu...
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Businesses Welcome Pokémon Go; Memorials Request Removal From Game

Play Pokémon Go at stores, not the Holocaust Museum ― To find Pokémon in Niantic Labs and Nintendo's new "Pokémon Go" augmented reality smartphone game, players are flocking to all kinds of locations, from stores and parks that are elated by the increase in foot traffic... to other places that are not so thrilled. Businesses such as this indie clothing store have found PokéStops or gyms at their loc...
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Major 2nd Baseball Manga Gets Extended Anime Ad

Mutsumi Tamura, Yūma Uchida star ― To advertise the fifth compiled volume of Takuya Mitsuda's Major 2nd baseball manga, Shogakukan has posted an extended version of its Major 2nd animated commercial, which first debuted back in December. The commercial stars Mutsumi Tamura as Daigo Shigeno and Yūma Uchida as Hikaru Satō. Showtaro Morikubo narrates the ad. Mitsuda launched the sequel manga in Weekly S...
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Sailor Moon Crystal: Season III's BD/DVD Art Revealed

The Sailor Moon franchise's official website revealed the box art for the second Blu-ray Disc and DVD sets of Sailor Moon Crystal Season III on Tuesday. While the first set's art focused on the five inner Guardians, the second set has moved on to feature Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. The set will include four episodes (Acts 30-33) along with a 28-page booklet and audio commentary by Hisako Kan...
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Shokotan Throws First Pitch in Dragon Quest Cosplay, Advertises Upcoming Stage Show

Media personality, voice actress, and singer Shoko Nakagawa, better known by her stage name Shokotan, threw the first pitch at the Softbank Hawks vs. Rakuten Eagles baseball game on Sunday while dressed as Princess Alena of the Dragon Quest series. Her goal was to advertise the upcoming Dragon Quest Live Spectacle Tour, which will run from July 22 to August 31 in five different cities in Japan: S...
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Comiket's Genre Categories Reorganized, Expanded

Popular franchises like Attack on Titan, Love Live!, Mr. Osomatsu get their own categories ― The official website for Comiket, Japan's largest dōjinshi convention, revealed some changes to its genre categories on Tuesday. Visitors wont see the changes at this August's Comiket 90, but starting with Comiket 91 many popular series will be getting their own separate categories, while several other catego...
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Shovel Knight Appears in Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 3DS Crossover

Shovel Knight Amiibo figure unlocks boss battle ― Inti Creates revealed a collaboration between Nintendo 3DS games Azure Striker Gunvolt and Shovel Knight during the "Nintendo Presents: Worldwide INDIE Meeting" panel at Japan's BitSummit indie game festival held in Kyoto July 9 and 10. The collaboration uses the Amiibo capabilities available on Inti Creates' Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 Nintendo 3DS game ...
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One Piece's Eiichiro Oda Makes 1st TV Appearance, Doesn't Show his Face

Long interview with Oda also slated to air on same day as One Piece Film Gold's debut One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda appeared on television for the first time on Sunday on Fuji TV's Densetsu no Shunkan: Hakkutsu File ~Anime-hen~ (Legendary Moments: Discovery File Anime Edition) program. Most of him anyway—as part of the deal, the cameras couldn't show his face. The story began when soccer player a...
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Glim Spanky Music Video Features One Piece Film Gold Footage

Theme song previewed in music video ― Universal Music Japan began streaming a teaser music video on Monday for GLIM SPANKY's One Piece Film Gold theme song, "Ikari o Kure yo," offering a good look at clips from the upcoming film. The film's official trailer previewed the theme song in May. The soundtrack album for the film will ship on July 27, and will also include Mayumi Kojima's insert song "Gold ...
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All PreCure Opening Themes Collection Album Announced

Marvelous Entertainment Inc. is releasing an album compiling all of the PreCure (Pretty Cure) metaseries' opening theme songs on August 3. The CD “Precure Opening Theme Collection 2004-2016” will include cover all the installments, from 2004's Futari wa Pretty Cure to the currently airing 13th series Maho Girls PreCure! (Mahō Tsukai Precure!). The limited edition of the CD also comes with a DVD t...
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The Boy and the Beast's Hosoda Explains Why Doesn't Cast Many Pro Voice Actors

Director Mamoru Hosoda's films, from The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars to Wolf Children and The Boy and the Beast, notably do not feature professional voice actors in many of the main roles. Instead, these films might star live-action film actors, such as Aoi Miyazaki (Wolf Children's Hana, The Boy and the Beast's young Kyuta) or Shōta Sometani (Wolf Children's Tanabe-sensei, The Boy...
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Tokyo's Toshima Ward to Reconstruct Legendary Manga Artists' Apartment

Hopes to promote manga-related tourism ahead of Olympics ― Toshima Ward in Tokyo announced on July 7 that it will reconstruct Tokiwa-sō, an apartment building in that ward's South Nagasaki neighborhood famous for housing some of Japan's most renowned early manga artists, including Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy), Fujio Akatsuka (Tensai Bakabon), Fujiko Fujio (Doraemon) and Shotaro Ishinomori (Kamen Rider). ...
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Special Adults-Only Aikatsu! Screenings Planned for Shibuya Theater

Director Ryuichi Kimura to attend ― Shibuya Toei, a movie theater in Shibuya, Tokyo, will hold three special screenings of the TV anime series Aikatsu! for adults only (ages 18 and above). The bright and shiny idol series is aimed at a young girl demographic, but has attracted a sizeable minority of older fans as well. Since they might feel embarrassed going to a screening with girls less than half t...
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Wrestling Voice Actress Ai Shimizu Wins Triangle Ribbon Championship

Also: idol/wrestler demonstrates Ultimate Muscle moves ― Voice actress Ai Shimizu (Minawa in Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful, Serafall in High School DxD New, Road in D.Gray-man) made a surprise career move in 2013 when she participated in a pro wrestling event. She has since trained in lucha libre, made wrestling masks, and introduced anime fans to the world of wrestling. On July 3, she won he...
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Rurouni Kenshin Characters to Appear in Puzzle & Dragons

Crossover dungeon, items will also appear ― Rurouni Kenshin characters will appear in the popular smartphone game Puzzle & Dragons beginning on July 11. They include Kenshin himself as well as many of his allies and enemies. Below are the original and evolved forms of the appearing characters (Kenshin, Sanosuke, Saitou, Aoshi, Sojiro, Megumi, Kaoru, Yahiko, Misao and Kamatari). The Kenshin crossover ...
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Attack on Titan/Mr. Osomatsu Characters Inspire Everyday Bags

Following the recent announcement of second season of Attack on Titan and in celebration of the hugely popular phenomenon of Mr. Osomatsu, SuperGroupies is selling a lines of bags inspired by their characters. The Attack on Titan release includes matching tote bags and bracelets designed after Eren and Levi. Eren-themed tote and bracelet Levi-themed tote and bracelet The bags are made up of 100% ...
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Dead or Alive 5 LR Adds Attack on Titan, King of Fighters, Aquaplus Crossovers

Attack on Titan costumes & stage, playable Mai Shiranui, more ― The Dead or Alive Festival 2016 announced new collaboration content for the Dead or Alive 5 Last Round fighting game on Saturday. Koei Tecmo Games will start selling 30 different Attack on Titan costumes, individually or in a set, on July 19. The game will also sell a new Attack on Titan stage on the same day. People who have Season Pass...
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Prince of Tennis Creator Holds Charity Concert With His Own Characters

"17 years ago I never imagined I'd see Ryoma Echizen in front of me like this" ― On June 26, Takeshi Konomi, the creator of the manga The Prince of Tennis and a budding singer, held a concert at the DMM VR Theater in Yokohama to benefit the victims of the April earthquakes in Kumamoto. He appeared onstage along with several characters from The Prince of Tennis thanks to 3-D computer graphics and proj...
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New Tokyo Skytree Pokemon Center Opens, Features Exclusive Rayquaza Merchandise

A brand new Pokemon Center opened at the Tokyo Skytree on July 6. Located on the 5th floor of the Soramachi shopping area at the base of the towering Tokyo landmark, it has appropriately chosen the legendary "Sky High" Pokemon Rayquaza as its mascot, and Pikachu has been cosplaying as Rayquaza in support. It sells a variety of exclusive merchandise, some of which can be seen below, along with some...
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New One Piece Burning Blood DLC Characters Announced

On June 23, Bandai Namco Entertainment opened a worldwide fan vote to determine which three of 17 possible characters would be added to One Piece Burning Blood. The choices were Kaku, Rob Lucci, Magellan, Caesar Clown, Arlong, Kuro, Don Krieg, Vergo, Cavendish, Senor Pink, Diamante, Trebol, Tashigi, Rebecca, Nefeltari Vivi, Monkey D. Garp, or Coby. The voting closed on July 6, and the winners have...
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Light Novel Contest Overwhelmed with Alternate World Entries

Last week, we reported on a Japanese writing contest run by Bungaku Free Market and Shōsetsuka ni Narō that banned all submissions with plots about "traveling to alternate worlds" or "being reincarnated into other worlds." Now, taking a look at the results of another recent contest that didn't enforce a similar ban, the 4th "Net Novel Prize," makes this more understandable. Of the 46 winning stori...
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Watch Guts Morph Through a Hundred Panels of Berserk in Commercial

Also: March comes in like a lion, Nobunaga no Shinobi ― Since its premiere in 1989, Berserk has spanned about 6,000 pages of manga, tracing many plot arcs and the evolution of Guts into a hardened, furious warrior. It might take a while to catch up with the latest volume, its 38th, which was published on June 24. Instead, you could watch this 15-second video. The video combines images of Guts from th...
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Live-Action Death Note Filming Spotted in Vancouver

L speaks at Seattle Police press conference ― YVRShoots, a website tracking movie and TV filming in Vancouver, British Columbia, spotted filming for Netflix's live-action Death Note in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Wednesday. The photos appear to depict L holding a Seattle Police press conference. Adam Wingard (The Guest, You're Next) is directing the live-action film starring Nat Wolff as Li...
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Manga Creators Draw Covers for 'Learning Japanese History Through Manga' Series

Masashi Kishimoto, Hirohiko Araki, Tite Kubo, Karuho Shiina, Sui Ishida, Nobuhiro Watsuki, Akiko Higashimura, more ― To celebrate its 90th anniversary, Shueisha is revising and re-releasing the best-selling 20-volume Learning Japanese History Through Manga series, which it first published in 1998. Each of the new covers was drawn by a famous manga artist especially for the occasion. The cover for vol...
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Oh My Goddess! Creator Kousuke Fujishima Confirms Marriage to Nekomu Otogi

Otogi changes name on Facebook ― Cosplayer Nekomu Otogi announced last week that she has married manga artist Kousuke Fujishima (Oh My Goddess!, You're Under Arrest), and that she is pregnant. Fujishima, on the other hand, stayed silent on the matter. He acknowledged the marriage for the first time on July 7, when he posted about it on Twitter. "I'd like to keep doing my best on the manga and raise t...
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Shinobu Oshino Gets Commemorative Image for Winning #1 SHAFT Heroine Vote

'Madogatari' exhibit gets encore in Tokyo, adds Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu-hen, March comes in like a lion ― SHAFT, the studio behind Puella Magi Madoka Magica and the Monogatari series among other anime, held an election at its Nagoya Madogatari exhibit, which took place from May 4-8, allowing fans to vote for their favorite SHAFT heroine. Over 8,000 ballots were cast. 1,800 people, over 20% of the...
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Kumamiko Manga Creator Apologizes for Anime's Ending

"If there are people who feel uncomfortable... it's my responsibility" ― WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the ending of Kumamiko - Girl meets Bear. The ending of the anime series Kumamiko - Girl meets Bear was largely received negatively by viewers, and the manga's creator, Masume Yoshimoto, appeared to concur when he posted a comment about it on his Tumblr blog. Yoshimoto has since delete...
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Player Creates Working Game Boy Advance With Pokémon FireRed in Minecraft

A Minecraft player who goes by the username Reqaug posted a video of a new kind of creation within the game: a working Game Boy Advance that can play Pokémon FireRed. The project is still a work in progress—Reqaug still plans add the game's dialogue and battle functions—but players who download the map have the added option of customizing their Pokémon levels within the virtual Game Boy Advance. I...
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Winners of the Prince of Tennis Valentine's Day Chocolate Count Announced

Fans sent 112,863 chocolates to Prince of Tennis characters for Valentine's Day ― This past March, Prince of Tennis manga creator Takeshi Konomi announced that the results were in for Jump Square magazine's Prince of Tennis Valentine's Day character popularity contest, where fans are invited to send Valentine chocolates to there favorite character. Now, as promised, the winners have finally been ann...
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Publisher Denies Rumors of One Piece Going to Monthly Serialization

Despite recent rumors among Japanese fans that One Piece may move to monthly serialization, Shueisha has officially denied it. Eiichirō Oda's One Piece manga has been serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shounen Jump magazine since 1997. It is still widely popular — last year, it set a Guinness World Record for "most published comic series by a single author." However in recent years the number of one...
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Date a Boy Who Loves Sanrio With the Sanrio Boys Smartphone Game

Romance app to launch this fall ― Sanrio announced on Tuesday that it will release a romance game based on its "Sanrio Boys" (Sanrio Danshi) project. The iOS and Android game, titled Sanrio Danshi ~Watashi, Koi o, Shirimashita.~, invites players to date their favorite Sanrio-loving boy. The player character has five eligible boyfriends and can reach two types of endings. She can also bond with her be...
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Monster Hunter Generations Video Teases The Legend of Zelda Toon Link Costume

DLC will be free in the west ― Many a famous anime and video game has made its way into Monster Hunter collaborations, from Mega Man and Metroid to Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yowamushi Pedal. Link from The Legend of Zelda appeared in Monster Hunter 4, and Toon Link made guest appearance in a Japanese DLC for Monster Hunter X. On Tuesday, Capcom announced that it is bringing the Toon Link collaboration west with M...
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Official Studio Ghibli-Themed Menu Includes Soot Sprite Burger, Nausicaa Parfait

The upcoming Studio Ghibli retrospective exhibit, "The Great Ghibli Exhibition~From Nausicaa to Red Turtle~,” which opens July 7 in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, announced its exclusive themed menu on Tuesday. The themed food will be served at the “Museum Café THE SUN," which is adjacent to the exhibit area. One entrée is the “Black Burger,” which is served on a focaccia bun that has been darkened with b...
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Japanese Poll Ranks Re:Zero Best Anime of Spring 2016

Anime from the Spring 2016 season have been wrapping up one by one. In order to find out which shows captured viewers' hearts the most, the Japanese website Anime! Anime! conducted a “Excellent Anime of Spring 2016” poll that ran from June 27 to July 3. Of the 820 people that participated, about 40% were in their teens. The gender ratio was close to equal, although there were slightly more men tha...
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Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Receives Limited Original Soundtrack Vinyl Record

Even in this digital age, the demand for vinyl records is still high among professionals and audio fans alike, and that fact is no different for anime fans' demand for a favorite series' soundtrack. That's why the complete, limited-edition vinyl record of the jazzy original soundtrack for Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt went on sale at the Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt DECEMBER SKY screening even...
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Luffy's Sexy Gender-Swapped Figure Unveiled in Full Color

Back in March, MegaHouse's Portrait of Pirates (P.O.P.) Limited Edition B.B. figure line revealed its gender-swapped Tralfagar Law figure, and promised it would be the first in a series of One Piece figures. Now, after teasing a prototype, the line has unveiled its female version of Monkey D. Luffy in full color. Preorders opened on July 1 and the figure will ship in late October. The 21-centimet...
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Godzilla to Make TV Anime Debut on Crayon Shin-chan

A collaboration episode between anime Crayon Shin-chan, originally by Yoshito Usui, and Godzilla will air July 22. The episode, “It's Shinnosuke vs. New Godzilla,” tackles the puzzling appearance of Godzilla in Tokyo Bay and features a battle between the monster and Shinnosuke and the Kasukabe Denfense Corps. This is the first time that Godzilla will appear in a Japanese television anime. As a Go...
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Japanese Fans Choose Which Machines in Anime They'd Most Like to Ride

Mecha predominate, but don't take first place ― The Japanese anime and manga character database Charapedia, which frequently conducts polls gauging the popularity of anime characters, tried something a little different last week and asked its visitors which machines in anime they'd most like to ride or pilot. It left the definition of "machine" open to interpretation, so forgive any choices which mig...
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Universal Studios Japan's Haikyu!! Statues are Highly Realistic

... Maybe a little TOO realistic.... ― This month, Universal Studios Japan inaugurates Universal Jump Summer, a celebration of Japan's most popular manga magazine, Weekly Shonen Jump. Among the attractions is the Universal Jump Exhibition, which showcases exhibits from various Shonen Jump series: a quiz to prove your knowledge of Kochira Katsushika-ku Kamearikouen-mae Hashutsujo, trick art of My Hero...
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Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, Dragon Quest Monsters Super Light Smartphone Games Begin Crossover Event

After posting a countdown timer on the official website for smartphone game Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, Square Enix revealed a collaboration between Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and another smartphone game, Dragon Quest Monsters Super Light. A short promotional clip for the crossover event is available in Japanese below. The collaborative event began on June 30, and will run until July 20 at 11:59 P...
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Live-Action Gintama Film Seeks Extras

Also: home page can't decide which style of logo to use ― The recently announced live-action Gintama film from director Yūichi Fukuda will be shooting in the Tokyo area from early July to early September. It has also put out a casting call for extras. There is no age or gender restriction (although minors are asked for parental permission to participate). Extras are also asked not to photograph or fi...
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Assassination Classroom Food Truck To Sell Koro-Sensei Pancakes

The second season of the Assassination Classroom anime wrapped up this week, and, to celebrate, an Assassination Classroom-themed food truck will be serving up pancake renditions of everyone's favorite yellow tentacled teacher in Odaiba. This special "Koro-Kitchen" food truck appeared for the first time last year with an eye-catching yellow design complete with Koro-sensei's wide smile, shown belo...

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