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Updated: 9 hours 45 min ago

Zyuranger's English DVD cover art features too much blue

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 18:00

It's been a good while since Shout! Factory announced their plan to release Zyuranger on DVD, and the company has revealed an image of the show's cover art. Based on the design, the cover doesn't look too bad-- even if the color blue dominates the image. Considering that the show's title screen and eye-catchers were mostly blue, the designers were able to pick a color that matched the series' design. Also, I found it neat that they added the caption "Before Power Rangers there was..." to the top of the piece, since it shows that the Sentai franchise has been around for a long time.

Categories: General Japan News

First Impressions: Log Horizon 2

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 12:00

We neglected to cover Log Horizon back when it debuted, beyond first look by Karen, who came away distinctly unimpressed. That was a missed opportunity, because, like many a good show, Log Horizon was very much a slow, thoughtful burn in ways that its other peers in the burgeoning "Trapped In A Videogame" anime subgenres were not.

In fact, for many a longtime online RPG player, myself included, Log Horizon was the show they were hoping to see when Sword Art Online and its ilk opened the floodgates: An anime that knew and cared about how MMORPGs work, and more importantly, used that knowledge to enhance the story it told.

Now that we're into the second season, I'm happy to report that that's still the case.

Categories: General Japan News

Trademark no Jutsu: 2015's Sentai series gets a title

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 14:00

We have a few weeks until October returns to the shadows, and it's time to learn about the 39th Sentai show's title. Going by the name of Shuriken Sentai Ninninger, the next installment in the franchise'll likely feature a ninja motif.

Come to think of it, this motif might result in a team-up film where the Hurricanger and the Kakuranger make an appearance, since it's a good opportunity to have three ninja-themed Sentai teams on screen. Seeing that the Kyoryuger got to join forces with the Abaranger and the Zyuranger in Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters, there's a small chance the Ninninger could receive a similar treatment down the road.

Categories: General Japan News

First Impressions: Shirobako

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 09:00

Shirobako is many things--a story about a struggling animation studio, an anime production starting to go haywire, the promise of five young women in the pursuit of their dreams, and that is just to list a few. Shirobako, to me, is the love letter of the anime creation process as shared and dramatized by the same creators to the people that watch it. Still, it's an anime about an anime. How much that speaks to each of us has a lot more to do with who we are rather than what Shirobako is, so this special anime starts out on an usual note.

 Shirobako screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Death Note's Takeshi Obata drops some love at NYCC

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 08:00

Mangaka extraordinaire, Takashi Obata was on hand at New York Comic Con last week to the delight of Death Note, Hikaru no Go,  and Bakuman fans who were in attendance. The folks over at Viz gave us a peak at his amazing handy work, and showed all us who didn't attend, exactly what we missed out on. That's some serious skills. What I wouldn't do to have that hanging on my wall!

You can actually enter win a specially signed manga by Sensei Obata over at VizManga. If you do happen to win, don't forget that Christmas is right around the corner, and how much you love me!

Death Note's Takeshi Obata drops some love at NYCC screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

A Daily Dose of Music: Chatmonchy

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 06:00

If you haven't had your morning coffee yet, you might want to hold off on watching this video. All the swirling colors and intense tone took me by surprise, so I needed to get my body ready for such aural intensity. As usual the power duo of Eriko Hashimoto and Akiko Fukuoka known as Chatmonchy come correct with their newest single, Kokoro to Atama.

There were some worries when drummer Kumiko Takahashi back in 2011, luckily not much has changed in their sound, although I'm sure live shows are slightly different. Kokoro to Atama is a refreshing indie rock tune, with thrashing guitars and fantastic synthesizer hook. Just the kind of tune to enjoy a double espresso to, and kickstart your day.


 Chatmonchy screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Quick Reminder: Mighty Boy short film is streaming on FIBABC

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 18:00

I may not have read any of Naoki Urasawa's (Monster, 20th Century Boy, Pluto) works, but there's something neat about seeing a group people creating a short film based on one his stories. In this case, a Spanish team have decided to adapt Urasawa's Mighty Boy manga into movie. While the film is considered to be a fan piece, Javier Yañez managed to get permission from Shogakukan and Urasawa to work on the project, which makes the story an official piece on its own accord.

Categories: General Japan News

The Simpsons are pretty big Shonen JUMP readers

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 17:00

This one's more of a blip compared to the cameo-fest in last week's issue of Spider-Man, but I'm intrigued by a peculiar level of anime savvy shown in a new visual gag from Sunday's episode of The Simpsons.

Categories: General Japan News

Uncensored Terra Formars to air on Crunchyroll

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 10:00

I'm sure I'm not the only one who was totally shocked by the hardcore, over the top censorship of this season's Terra Formars. I mean come on! I've seen 10 second commercials on TV this week that showed way more than what was edited out. Half the time I had no idea what was going on due to the multiple black splotches on the screen. It was worse than watching scrambled porno that you didn't subscribe to.

Luckily, Crunchyroll announced at NYCC last week that an uncensored version of the anime is en route to them, although they still don't know when.

Uncensored Terra Formars to air on Crunchyroll screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Let's Rock! Guilty Gear Xrd Sign coming in December

Sun, 10/19/2014 - 09:00

Are you ready to rock?! Guilty Gear Xrd Sign is shaping up to be one of the best-looking fighting games in recent memory, thanks to its amazing anime-style graphics rendering tech. I honestly can't say much about the fighting system itself as the last Guilty Gear title I played was XX back in the day, but those graphics are pure candy for the eye.

And the title's coming soon to English-speaking shores, as Aksys games have announced a release date for the PS3 and PS4 versions: December 16th, 2014. A limited edition of the game will include a soundtrack, art book, special box, and a keychain replicating Sol Badguy's belt buckle.

Categories: General Japan News

Learn how to create daicon radish animals with this upcoming book

Sun, 10/19/2014 - 04:00

Are you interested in learning how to make daikon radish art?  If you answered "yes," then you'll be happy to know that Daikon Radish Artist Kimimarokku's releasing a book that teaches people the basics of creating daicon radish sculptures for only ¥ 900 (around US $8.42), which is a good deal. Aside from being a guide book. people can look forward to seeing ten Kimimarokku pieces, along with 32 works from other artists (such as the Marukome miso company's sculpt of Marukome-kun). As a huge veggie lover, it's cool to see someone who specializes in making art out of vegetables show people the ropes, since it'll encourage more people to hop on the activity.

Categories: General Japan News

First Impressions: Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works

Sat, 10/18/2014 - 08:00

These day it's hard to imagine an active otaku who isn't at least passingly familiar with Fate/stay night, Type-MOON's juggernaut of a visual novel series. 

I'm sure those sorts of folks exist, though, and the duty falls to Ufotable to make both them and the fans - or "Type-Lunatics" as some like to call themselves - happy. And this'll be a the second try, because to hear many veterans tell it, Studio DEEN didn't quite manage the job with their Fate/stay night TV series and Unlimited Blade Works movie.

 Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Get into the spirit of Halloween with Junji Ito's Pokémon illustrations

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 15:00

I may not be knowledgeable in the realm of horror stuff, but there's something interesting about seeing Junji Ito (Uzumaki, Gyo) create a series of scary Pokémon illustrations throughout the month of October. While I haven't read Ito's works yet, the current piece that he did for the collaboration project managed turn Banette into a creepier spirit than before.

Seeing that Banette goes after the people who disowned it when it was a doll, Ito's first piece captured the Pokémon's vengeful desire to bring turmoil to its victim. That being said, I can't wait to see his other ghost-type-related works, since there are many great themes that could strike fear into our hearts (such as a Yamask or Duskull piece).

Categories: General Japan News

Edge of Spider-verse packs in the anime references

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 22:00

While western superhero comics (known as "Ame-comi" in Glorious Nippon) don't usually fall under Japanator's purview, there's no denying that the influence of anime and manga can reach far and wide. That's exactly what's happening in the latest issue of Marvel Comics' Spider-Man franchise.

Categories: General Japan News

Zawame City's map gets redesigned in Gaim's home release

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 18:00

Do you remember the time when Kamen Rider Gaim featured a map of Zawame City that resembled Gotham City? Well, that moment is now gone, since the Blu-ray/DVD version of the show's 33rd episode contained a different map from the one shown in the original broadcast. In other words, the folks at Toei used their digital wizard skills to change the map's design.

While Toei didn't reveal the reasoning behind the edit, there's a good chance that they did it to avoid a getting into a copyright lawsuit from Warner Bros. and DC. Unfortunately, this means that my random theory about Toei making a Batman tokusatsu show is out of the question. Either way, this change is minor, as it doesn't affect Gaim's overall quality.

Categories: General Japan News

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2's English screenshots dive into the character bios

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 04:00

I may not own a Vita, but I still look forward to the day when I get to experience the main Neptunia games on-the-go. As Idea Factory prepares for Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation English release, a few screenshots from Gamindustri have surfaced. While the images are mostly character portraits, the party members' profiles manage to give off a quick laugh-- especially Uni's current title.

Even though I found the sisters to be the weakest link in the Neptunia anime, I had a feeling that they were better characterized in Neptunia mk2. Since Re;Birth 2 is an updated version of the second game, I'm definitely excited to see Nepgear, Uni, Ram and Rom's true personalities in action.

Categories: General Japan News

First Impressions: Gundam Build Fighters Try

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 09:00

Gundam Build Fighters was a show aimed at children and designed to promote the toys Bandai wants them to build. It also happened to be the most refreshing Gundam show in years, and an love letter to Gundam's enduring legacy, as well as its oldest fans.

Now, here's Gundam Build Fighters Try, which is, for better or worse (though there's not much "worse" to this proposition, a second helping of all of the above.

 Gundam Build Fighters Try screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Feast your eyes on a man walking nine cats through Tokyo

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 17:00

I may be more of a dog fan than a cat one, but it's hard to ignore an adorable moment where a guy takes his Chinchilla and Himalayan Cats for a walk in the streets of Tokyo. Instead of walking them like a dog, the man places all nine of his cats on a stroller, as they lounge around without a care in the world. Surprisingly, the cats are all comfortable in the stroller, which shows that they are purrfectly content with their ride.

Categories: General Japan News

First Impressions: Terra Formars

Sun, 10/12/2014 - 10:00

Let's get the obvious thing out of the way first: Terra Formars is not very good "Mars" fiction. The concept of Martian colonization and its myriad possibilities is just about the furthest thing from this show's mind, even three episodes in. But that's hardly a problem, because tough badasses have insect powers and use them to beat up cockroach versions of the Hulk.

Which is good enough for me.

 Terra Formars screenshot

Categories: General Japan News