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Updated: 8 hours 56 min ago

Explore Evangelion's ruined world in Animator Expo's seventh short

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 14:00

It's been two weeks since Animator Expo featured a piece that was based on an existing anime property, and the project is now ready to release another special short. This time around, Tadashi Hiramatsu's (worked on Key Animations for Roujin Z and the Rebuild of Eva films) until You come to me. (slightly NSFW) short features some illustrations from Evangelion; however, the images shown in the animation aren't from the previous Eva installments, which means that they might be related to the upcoming film in the Rebuild series.

Categories: General Japan News

Hayate: Asakusa's Ninja Hero's latest updates strike from above

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 19:00

Man. I don't know about you, but there seems to be a lot of ninjas entering the new year all of a sudden. Thankfully, a majority of them happen to be good, so there's a good chance that the shadow assassins won't burn people out when 2015 enters the scene.

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 9-10

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 04:00

Our "imprisoned" director finds his creative spark, while Misa finds courage to get out of a prison of a different kind. A week later Aoi might be the key to help these the two to freedom, if she can overcome the most difficult task of them all. Shirobako, finally, gears up to the final episode...of Exodus.

 Shirobako episodes 9-10 screenshot

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Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Anime: Log Horizon 2 episode 11

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 16:15

This is the episode in which things go according to plan. Well, mostly anyway. And where things don't follow the plan, we and our heroes still come out ahead, ready for the next stage. 

So, all in all, a raid well-executed.

 Log Horizon 2 episode 11 screenshot

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Categories: General Japan News

Rejoice: NIS America reveals Fate Ultimatum's release date and more

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 04:00

As we're getting closer to the holidays, the folks at NIS America have announced that The Awakened Fate Ultimatum hits North America on March 17, 2015, with Europe getting their release on March 20, 2015. Since the game involves your character switching between an angelic and demonic form, people have the option to pre-order the title's Angelic or Devilish Limited Edition.

Categories: General Japan News

Tuturu: Steins;Gate's PS3 and PS Vita version go West

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 13:00

Now this is what I call an unexpected turn of events, people. If you've been yearning to play more visual novel titles on your consoles, then you'll be happy to hear that Steins;Gate's PS3 and Vita release are heading to North America and Europe in 2015. However, Siliconera's post on the Steins;Gate's console release confirmed that this version is being handled by PQube, and they're unsure if their version will have the same translation as JAST USA's release, since MAGES were the ones that gave them the build of the game.

Personally, I still think that this news is still a great turn of events for visual novel fans, since it's not everyday that we get titles like these on the consoles. In a way, it's almost like the Future Gadget Lab sent a text message to the past to make this dream a possibility. Who knows, if the game does well on the PS3 and/or Vita, then we might see an age where more console visual novel titles get released in the West.

Categories: General Japan News

Sure, why not make game about Mushroom Girls?

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 09:00

Really, why not? The last few years have seen a Cambrian Explosion for weird games, and people are now taking notice of good ol' Japan, which has been doing weird for longer than just about anybody.

Of course, I could just be undermining everything I just said by highlighting Kinoko Collection (literally Mushroom Collection), a shroom-themed ripoff of Kantai Collection. Then again, I said "weird", not "novel", so perhaps I'm in the clear. Plus, the game's still in development for web and smartphone platforms, so the "gameplay" section of the official site is thoroughly lacking in concrete details.

Categories: General Japan News

Tales of Zestiria unleashes some details about its world

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 04:00

For a good while, we've known that Tales of Zestiria was returning the franchise's roots. Since the game's story involves dragons, it was no surprise that the development team had a medieval fantasy world in mind for the title's setting. Also, Zestiria's taking place in the continent of Glenwood, with Hyland Kingdom and the Rolance Empire playing a major role in Sorey's story.

While the fantasy and medieval themes have always been present in the Tales of series, Glenwood seems to have more architecture and areas that scream "the middle ages" than the two Tales of Xillia games. From the looks of it, we might be in for a ton of green valleys, mountains, and ruins as well. Either way, I'm still interested in being immersed in Zestiria's world next year, as I get lost the game's areas (such as the town of Pendroga in Rolance's territory).

Categories: General Japan News

This is what Final Fantasy XV sounds like in English

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 08:05

And here it is, the dub of the long-overdue Final Fantasy XV, aka Riding In Cars With Boys 2. It's a good sign that Square Enix seems to be putting out information about this perennially delayed game on the regular now, after years of silence, and with an official English voice localization, it seems closer than ever.

This is the same footage as the Tokyo Game Show trailer from earlier this year, except, of course, with a quartet of English-speaking voice actors in the roles of Noctis, Ignis, Gladiolis and Prompto. The actual cast hasn't been revealed yet, but I thought I could recognize some Troy Baker among the four. 

For extra comparison goodness, check out the original Japanese-language trailer below, as well as the subtle changes to dialog lines made to fit lip-syncing and other tonal concerns. Just another reminder that proper translation localization's involves more than just matching words-to-words.

Categories: General Japan News

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 takes it to the next-gen

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 06:00

Japan isn't very well-known for the phenomenon of annualized franchises, at least not at the level of top-tier triple-A productions like Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed. There are exceptions to that rule, of course, and one of them is Bandai Namco games and their impressive slate of licensed anime games. One of the most "triple-A" of those is Cyberconnect2's Ultimate Ninja Storm series, the Naruto-themed fighters that have released with regularity since midway through the PS3 era.

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episodes 9-10

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 18:00

Perhaps I was being premature when I declared that Unlimited Blade Works had finally gotten over its tendency to swing between "boring" episodes and action-packed showcases, because the last two weeks have seen a return to that old see-saw.

The upshot is that with the plot picking up more steam and the more lumbering exposition out of the way, these humbler episodes serve as important breaks in the fighting, allowing character-driven moments and bursts of humor to enrich the story rather than bog it down.

 Unlimited Blade Works episodes 9-10 screenshot

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Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Manga: Bleach chapters 607-609

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 10:00

Longtime readers of Bleach will note that this "final" arc of the series - scare quotes here because you can never trust a Jump manga to end on time - has featured a number of breaks from author Tite Kubo's established pattern.

Every series that runs as long as Bleach and its compatriots develops its own library of favored tropes, storytelling devices, pet themes, and visual language. That's natural and expected, but since the beginning of the Vandenreich's assault on Soul Society, the series has made a habit of, if not upending, at least angling the narrative tea table to let the crockery slide around a bit.

That in mind, it's almost surprising how well the last three chapters have sketched out the "typical" anatomy of a Bleach boss-fight.

 Bleach chapters 607-609 screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

3rd Super Robot Wars Z Part 2's trailer will heat up your blood

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 04:00

At long last, Bandai Namco has uploaded the first trailer for 3rd Super Robot Wars Z: Tengoku Hen, and things are looking interesting for Super Robot Wars Z's finale. First and foremost, Diebuster is making its debut in the series, which means that we'll likely get a team attack where Noriko, Kazumi, Nono, and Lal'C perform the Super Inazuma Kick together. With Eva 3.0 joining in, there's a good chance that we could get a Gainax version of the Final Dynamic Special as well.

In an unexpected move, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet'll be participating in Z's final installment, which is an odd choice, as the show mostly focuses on Ledo adjusting to the lifestyle of Gargantia's inhabitants. Then again, the franchise is no stranger to weird choices, so it'll be neat to see how the series will influence Tengoku Hen's story.

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 10

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 09:30

Survival guides teach us that a good way to deal with a bear is to make ourselves look larger, make a bunch of noise, and generally give the impression that you're no easy prey. 

But what about Beargguys? More importantly, what about Mama Beargguys?!

 Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 10 screenshot

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Categories: General Japan News

Race through an apartment room in Animator Expo's sixth short

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 04:00

Well. I believe that Animator Expo's most recent short (NSFW) has broken a new record. Going by the name of 20min Walk From Nishi-Ogikubo Station, 2 Bedrooms, Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, 2mos Deposit, No Pets Allowed, Mahiro Maeda's (Blue Submarine No. 6 and Eva 3.0's Director) piece puts all of those light novel stories with long titles to shame. In fact, this work might end up being the title with the longest name in the group.

Categories: General Japan News

Rejoice: Lantis Festival gets a JAM Project solo performance concert

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 18:00

For a good while, it's been known that the legendary anison band, JAM Project, were going to be at the Lantis Festival in Las Vegas. However, Lantis Festival has announced that the group'll be doing solo performances throughout the entire event. Of course, the band'll still be performing as one, which means that we're getting an extra dose of the gang during the event.

Categories: General Japan News

Aw snap, Ninninger's toys reveal Shurikenjin's gimmicks

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 14:00

It's time to look at Ninninger's first set of toys, and things are starting to look even more promising for the upcoming ninja-themed Sentai series. Of course, the best thing out of this toyline is the Shurikenjin, since it's practically a robot that sits on a freaking giant robot throne. Not only that, the colossal ninja is able to change into different forms, which depends on the robot who sits on the royal chair.

Categories: General Japan News

Tekken 7's producer is NOT happy about what you think of his idol

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 10:00

Another day, another teacup-sized tempest. Today's videogame drama is brought to you by Tekken 7, which began its spate of character reveals by leading with a new girl named Lucky Chloe, a blonde, twin-tailed breakdance-fighting idol-type dressed in cat ears and a cat's-paw hoodie. She's one of the several new fighters being added to the latest game in the franchise.

The internet, being what it is, immediately started complaining, mostly about Lucky Chloe's idol styling. They called her unfit for Tekken's rich legacy of restrained and nuanced characters like two giant bears, several androids, a wooden dummy, a kangaroo in boxing gloves, a Digimon, a man who can't stand up, and The Devil. 

Categories: General Japan News

Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker has twice the content

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 07:00

It's been a few years, but we've finally gotten word on the status of Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker, the updated 3DS re-release of Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2.

Last we heard, mysterious "quality issues" had pushed the game back from a planned 2012 release into this year, but now Atlus USA is promising the game early in 2015, and has revealed a number of screenshots, as well as hints that the update will be quite substantial.

With English voice acting, new demons, gameplay updates, as well as new scenarios that extend past the final day of the original story, Atlus claims that Record Breaker will be twice the size of the already-substantial Devil Survivor 2. That's a lot of content, no matter which way you slice it.

Categories: General Japan News

Streaming GET: Crunchyroll nabs Ultraman 80

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 04:00

It looks like Hell is still frozen, as Crunchyroll has added Ultraman 80 to their collection of Ultra shows. Thanks to the site's recent actions, there's a good chance that we're in for a glorious Toku Christmas this year. And I for one am glad to see this happen.

Anyway, Ultraman 80 focuses on Takeshi Yamato, who happens to be both a science teacher and a member of a government group called UGM. During his adventures in saving the world from evil, Yamato's research leads him into discovering that the kaiju are created from Minus Energy, a.k.a. negative human emotions. Just like Ultraman Leo, Ultraman 80 has Yamato teaming up with another Ultra Warrior, as Yulliam helps him later on. On top of that, the guy starts a band with his students; therefore making him an awesome science teacher.

Categories: General Japan News