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Updated: 11 hours 52 min ago

Japanator Live: Drink away your problems in VA-11 Hall-A

Sat, 06/25/2016 - 14:00

[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.]

Now that I've fallen into the deepest pits of despair, it's time for me to drown my sorrows with the finest booze from VA-11 Hall-A's signature bar. For the record, this feeling that I have is the aftermath of playing through Danganronpa 1 and 2, so there's no need to be worried about my well-being.

Considering that VA-11 Hall-A's Prologue title and its demo contained some really great moments with the characters you got to serve drinks to, I'm looking forward to meeting the rest of the cast that Sukeban Games created.

If things go according to plan, then I'll be able to help Jill become a great bartender to those she serves.

Categories: General Japan News

Strong Style: Block B there (or B square)!

Sat, 06/25/2016 - 08:00

Welcome everyone to Strong Style, Japanator's coverage of New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV. This week we have two shows as we decide who goes into the finals of the G1 25 tournament to face Hiroshi Tanahashi next week. Both shows tonight took place on August 15, 2015, at the Sumo Hall in Tokyo.

Like last week we have skipped WAY ahead in Block B action. So here is how the points stand going into tonight's shows.

Okada: 14 points

Goto, Nakamura, Anderson: 12 points

Elgin, Ishii: 8 points

Takahashi, Nagata, Kojima: 4 points

Honma: 2 points

Wait...who the hell did Honma beat to get 2 points? *Scrambles to look up results* ISHII?!?

Well damn. With that let's get on the action!

 Block B there (or B square)! screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Here are the otaku games to eye this Steam Summer Sale

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 12:00

It's that time again, eager gamers and deal-conscious customers: Valve's yearly Steam Summer Sale has just kicked off, and the prices are a-dropping. That's especially relevant to you, the fan of games from Glorious Nippon, as in the last couple of years Japan's game industry has wised up to the digital PC future, putting out port after port of notable, previously console-exclusive Japanese releases. Just as well, the floodgates have opened for dozens, if not hundreds of freshly localized visual novels, both Japanese and "inspired by".

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Anime: Space Patrol Luluco episode 12

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 08:00

For a second, I thought that Luluco’s fourth season was going to be the end the series. Not that I’m against there being a new season, as there are still many things that the show has yet to resolved. If anything, this continues to act as an example of TRIGGER surprising us when we least expected.

In all seriousness, there’s no escaping from the studio’s surprises since that’s what they’ve been doing with us this whole time.

 Space Patrol Luluco episode 12 screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Would a Sailor Moon prequel work?

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 08:00

Sailor Moon is one of those shows that just about every anime fan has heard of. Even if you've never seen it, you've heard about it from someone you know. Hell, it was the series that really got me into anime when it was being aired on Cartoon Network back in the late 90s. I've followed the series ever since, through the comic reissues, the live action series, and even the current reboot series (though I really need to catch up on Season 3).

It's a series that also got me really into fiction writing as for over a decade I wrote a Sailor Moon fanfiction series for my own website. 160 individual stories.  The fact my pen name now is Tsukino is not a coincidence either. It has had that much of an effect on me.

So a lot of different ideas about the series have gone through my head over the years. One that has popped up lately is, "Would a prequel series work?"

Categories: General Japan News

Review: Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 08:00

When Nintendo first announced a crossover project between their Fire Emblem series and Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei series, no one expected the final project to a videogame where pop idols transform into heroes in order to fight monsters coming from another dimension. A project rife with both confusion and anticipation, the rainbow laced Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is probably Nintendo's weirdest game to date. 

Hoping to merge the two franchises like chocolate and peanut butter, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is like a making your way through a five pound bag of Reeses' Pieces. It has a pleasing taste, but you can only eat so much before you're numb to it and eating out of habit. 

 Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Feast your eyes on Code: HARDCORE's sweet robot sprite animations

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 04:00

Making the best 2D Mecha Platformer #CodeHARDCORE. Currently in early stage development. For Steam & Consoleshttps://t.co/noTMFNu332

— RocketPunch Games (@rocketpunchgame) June 15, 2016

Categories: General Japan News

Review: Grand Kingdom

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 08:00

Being a fan of the JRPGs, I always look forward to new additions to the genre, especially ones that offer a unique gameplay style that separates itself from other series. While not entirely unique, when first announced, Grand Kingdom caught my interested since it was different from other Strategy RPGs. After playing the Beta back in April, I knew I had to get my hands on the full game.

 Grand Kingdom takes place within a medieval fantasy world where four nations are fighting for dominance. One hundred years after the fall of the Uldein Empire, mercenaries fight in battles throughout what remains of the region. The player will take the role of a rookie mercenary leader whose goal is to make a name for his group and is involved in an incident which affects the whole continent.

 Grand Kingdom screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Check out Garage Hero's latest choreography session

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 16:00

As the gang at Garage Hero are getting ready to launch another episode of Tokusatsu Film School on Friday, the crew give us a quick look at one of their latest choreography sessions. Instead of Bueno showing us his moves on film, we see Megumi Takarae take the stage as she faces off against a couple opponents.

Interestingly, the whole scene was shot at the B.O.S. Action Studio, the place where many of the stunt people from the Kamen Rider, Super Sentai and Power Rangers franchise train at, in Tokyo.

Categories: General Japan News

Drink like a samurai with Kotobukiya's katana coasters

Sun, 06/19/2016 - 14:00

If there's one thing that's similar about a katana and a drink on a table, it's that they both contain an important piece that serves as a means to protect something. The former's handguard makes sure that the person doesn't get cut by the blade and the latter's coaster ensures that the cup's content doesn't ruin the table's surface. Thanks to the folks at Kotobukiya, these two things have united to become a katana handguard coaster.

Known as the Samurai Dining Ware Tsuba Coaster, people can now show off their love for the historical events of the Warring Era with the handguards of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, Ieyasu and Yukimura. Sadly, they didn't make one of Date Masamune, which would've been perfect for those who wanted to recreate his rivalry with Yukimura in the Sengoku Basara series with a drinking contest.

Categories: General Japan News

Kick, punch, and crush ass through the '80s with Yakuza 0

Sun, 06/19/2016 - 08:00

The Yakuza games may be an institution when it comes to high-profile Japanese gaming these days, but strangely enough, they've never portrayed Japan's gangster culture at its true height, during the boom years of the late 1980s. These days Japan's Yakuza are often thought of as a quaint - though still potent - cultural anachronism, a group of aging gangsters slowly losing relevance as time marches on. 

Yakuza 0 is set to correct some of that by going back in time to 1988, and seeing series heavies Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima at a time when their clothing decisions would be considered unironically cool. The new trailer, visible below, promises a lot of stylish violence and a look into what drove the characters when they were just getting their start in the family. The game is due for an early 2017 English-language release, and I already can't wait.

Categories: General Japan News

Japanator Live: Danganronpa 2's despair is about to go bye bye

Sat, 06/18/2016 - 13:00

[Update: The stream is over but you can watch it here.]

At long last, I made it to what might be Danganronpa 2's final ordeal. Compare to the first game's last obstacle, it seems that this segment might play out differently since there isn't a murder case that needs to be solved.

Judging by the way how things are going, we're likely going to learn the truth behind the main cast's true past, which will likely play a role in how they'll live their lives after this incident is over. From the looks of it, most of my recurring theories might come true.

Categories: General Japan News

Strong Style: Kicking some (block) A!

Sat, 06/18/2016 - 08:00

Hello again and welcome of Strong Style, Japanator's look at New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV. We have another double shot of action tonight from the G1 Climax 25 tournament as we wrap up Block A action tonight.

We have skipped WAY ahead since last week as we are on day 17 of the Tournament from the famed Sumo Hall in Tokyo with the show from August 14, 2015. 

To get up to speed for the point totals here is how everything stands:

Hiroshi Tanahashi, A.J. Styles have 12 points

Bad Luck Fale, Tetsuya Naito have 10 points

Togi Makabe, Katsuyori Shibata have 8 Points

Kota Ibushi has 6 points

Tenzan, Gallows, and Yano have 4 points

Pretty much cut and dry. Only Styles and Tanahashi are still in the running as even if their match tonight is a draw they are still above everyone else. Winner of that match wins the bracket.

Let's get to the action!

Categories: General Japan News

Prepare for the BETA invasion: Muv-Luv is up for pre-order on Steam

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 16:00

As the BETA prepare for their attack on Earth next month, the Muv-Luv team has prepared their own countermeasure in the form of giving people the ability to pre-order Muv-Luv on Steam.

If you happen to have HTC Vibe, you can enter a special training regimen to combat the BETA threat with the free demo of Muv-Luv VR. From the looks of it, this simulation is meant to show folks the horrors that come from fighting this threatening foe.

Categories: General Japan News

Here's your new look at the Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV CG movie

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 08:00

Call me negative, but this hype campaign for Final Fantasy XV feels like it's getting a bit out of hand. I mean, look, the game is out in late September, and I'm sure it'll be fine but now we've got a new CG movie set to tell a side story that happens concurrently with the main plot opening in...August? How is that going to work?

For what it's worth, Kingsglaive sounds kind of cool. It stars King Regis, the father of FFXV's lead Noctis, and details what he and his bodyguards, the Kingsglaive, go through while Noctis and his buds go on their sweet road trip. It'll all happen courtesy of Square Enix's spiffy CG department, and for my money it looks more appealing on a narrative level than, say, Advent Children, but...c'mon, much as I liked that show, it's not a high bar to clear.

Categories: General Japan News

Protect the world of monsters on your 3DS with Gurumin 3D

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 16:00

Well, look at that. Here's something that came out of nowhere: It turns out that the gang at Mastiff are releasing Falcom's adorable action platformer game, Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure, on the 3DS eShop this Summer.

The fun part about Gurumin is that it feels like you're playing through a Saturday morning cartoon, as you work hard to save the monsters from danger with your trusty drill. Like with many Falcom titles, Gurumin has a ton of NPCs that'll bring a smile to your face, which seems to be one of the company's many strengths with their stuff.

Categories: General Japan News

Here, let Gandalf lend some class to Unlimited Blade Works

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 08:30


— Berserker Alex Mercy (@Invisifool) June 16, 2016


It's even funnier when you see the 77-year-old, award-winning British actor pause ever so slightly when he encounters the bad grammar in the "Have withstood pain to create many weapons" part of the chant.

[Thanks to McKellen, Twitter user @invisifool and whatever brave soul convinced Magneto to put smiles on many a weeb's face]

Categories: General Japan News

Here's E3's good and bad news about Persona 5

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 07:30

A lot of folks weren't expecting much Persona 5-related news out of E3, as these kinds of reveals are typically reserved for Japan-based events, but lo and behold, the company held an E3 demo stream of the game, showing off gameplay as well as shedding some more light on one of the most highly anticipated JRPG releases since...well, Persona 4

You can catch the official E3 trailer below, and an archive of the whole gameplay stream courtesy of Youtube user IO DD, but before we head into more detail, here's the bad news: The English release of the game will not have dual-audio options, and will stick to English-language text and voiceovers. Atlus has promised a strong stable of voice actors and a "faithful and engaging" localization script. I personally have no doubt of their ability to provide in that respect, for my part.

Categories: General Japan News

Jam out to Tales of Berseria's fiery opening theme

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 15:00

With E3 '16 still happening as we speak, Bandai Namco decided to show off a new trailer for Tales of Berseria that shows off the new opening theme by FLOW that's simply known as "Burn." From the looks of it, the song's title suits Velvet's strong desire to take down Artorius who was viewed as a hero by many people.

If there's one thing that the company deserves props for is that "Burn" will appear in every version of Tales of Berseria, which is a great thing for everyone in the West. Other than that, I'm also enjoying the way how they handled the layout of the series' skit format, along with the ability to switch characters during an attack.

Categories: General Japan News

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild trailer looks absolutely beautiful

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 04:00

I'll freely admit that unlike many gamers that grew up as Nintendo loyalists in the late '80s and '90s, I don't have a very strong connection to The Legend of Zelda. I more or less skipped everything past A Link to the Past. I get into more detail about it in this feature, speaking with Destructoid's CJ Andriessen, but long story short, I hadn't even played the original NES Zelda until this year, and I found it surprisingly contemporary, compared to new popular titles like Dark Souls and even Skyrim

Categories: General Japan News