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Updated: 10 hours 47 min ago

Strong Style: G1 is here!

Sat, 05/28/2016 - 12:00

Hello and welcome back to Strong Style, Japanator's look at New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV.

Welp, after a month-long break we are back with the big G1 Climax tournament. If you read my primer last week then you know what is going on. If you didn't, go take a look before reading on and all of this will make a lot more sense.

Tonight we start off the tournament coverage with Block A matches from July 20, 2015, from the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center in Hokkaido Kitaeru.

 G1 is here! screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Week Ender - Super Sentai Edition

Sat, 05/28/2016 - 08:00

There is nothing more 70's than Super Sentai and to this day, it still feels like a product of its time. You still have brightly colored heroes performing acrobatics and a lot theatrics fighting rubber suit monsters but they look much cooler now in the year 2016. This week I take a look at the Super Sentai series, the franchise that was the basis for Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers which was quite popular in the 90's.

This selection features old and new endings, showing that nothing much has changed in almost four decades. Enjoy!

Is there a Super Sentai or Power Ranger show that you love? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!

Week Ender - Super Sentai Edition screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

5 Days A Hitchhiker: An Abridged Tour of Japan

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 08:00

The thought of hitchhiking as a form of travel sounds crazy; the implementation of actually doing it in Japan sounds impossible. Well, here's to the crazy ones who want to hitchhike in Japan.

In short, I hitchhiked from the east to the west of Japan; back to the east and then west, again. The journey lasted 5 days, with about 13 pickups, and expanded to 605 miles, or 975 kilometers, in distance. It was unforgettable. While I intend to create a detailed article on the journey, this will be the (attempted) short version.

Hitchhiking isn't a travel attraction, where people gain similar experiences. Rather, it's a circulation of day-to-day people and experiencing the kindness of strangers. It's also 100% unpredictable. This is one of the reasons why I decided to venture out on such a journey. I also give thanks to a friend I made in Taiwan who really ignited my desire to take the first step, even though I was scared.

Categories: General Japan News

Ghost in the Shell live-action gets Rila Fukushima

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 04:00

The seemingly unending saga of Hollywood's adaptation of Ghost in Shell continues, as hubbub about the long-in-making film has morphed from justified concerns over the quality of the adaptation (which haven't gone away, considering that they got the director of the utterly forgettable Snow White and the Huntsman to run things) to having it and its decision to cast Scarlett Johanssen in the role of The Major come to symbolize the ongoing debate over race's role in casting.

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Anime: Haifuri episode 6

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 08:00

Believe it or not, in 6 episodes a lot has happened in High School Fleet. Our high school frosh class of seafarers swept mines, dodged torpedos, avoided cannon fire, foiled mind-control mice, and developed a vaccine for the possible viral condition that these strange rodents carry. It's surprisingly more like Star Trek than ever.

 Haifuri episode 6 screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Japanator is going to MegaCon '16

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 15:00

As a quick heads-up, Japanator is heading to MegaCon 2016, which is located in Orlando, Fla. One thing that makes the event special is that it's one of Florida's largest conventions.

Even though MegaCon is mostly themed around Western films, tv shows and comics, the convention has a few anime and manga related stuff. This year, Ryo Horikawa (Dragon Ball Z's Vegeta, Akibaranger Season 2's General Pain) is appearing at the con and he's holding a panel about his time with Dragon Ball Super. There's also a few people from FUNimation (such as Chris Sabat, Sean Schemmel, and Colleen Clinkenbeard) that are making an appearance as they're holding a couple Q&A segments, along with some events about the show's they're in, such as a Fairy Tail and High School DxD panel. 

Categories: General Japan News

OP Up! - Super Sentai Edition

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 13:00

This week is a special edition of OP Up! and Week Ender, where I am featuring openings and endings from the long running live action super hero series for kids from Japan called "Super Sentai". This franchise belongs in the "Tokusatsu" genre, which translates to "special effects show" and many other shows that feature stunts and special effects.

For those in the west and most of the world, Super Sentai is the basis for the popular Power Ranger series by Saban Entertainment. Power Rangers takes footage from Super Sentai and adds in American actors as well as dubbing the audio over the Japanese footage.

Enjoy the openings and come back this weekend for the endings!

Is there a Super Sentai or Power Rangers opening that you love? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!

Categories: General Japan News

Streaming GET: Dairanger is now on Shout! Factory TV

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 06:00

If Shout! Factory's Dairanger stream from Saturday made you want to watch more of the series, the company has uploaded the entire series on Shout! Factory TV on May 23, which means that you can now restore your chi energy.

Considering that this scenario happened with Shout! Factory's Zyuranger event that happened in January, I'm going to assume that this streaming news might be a recurring thing if they decide to do another Super Sentai Spectacular event in the future. The good part about this is that it gives the folks who prefer to watch things through streaming platforms to get into  the franchise.

Categories: General Japan News

Aw, yeah: Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus hits PC next month

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 04:00

To this day, the Senran Kagura series remains on my list of games to play, since the franchise's over-the-top beat 'em up combat system (both 2.5 and 3D) and fun cast have caught my interest. Speaking of which, XSEED has finally revealed the release date for the PC version of Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus, which launches on Steam on June 1. In other words, it looks like we're in for a hot summer vacation.

One of the sweet things about Shinovi Versus' PC release is that it'll come with all of the DLC that was featured in the game's original Vita version. With the title's featuring a price tag of $29.99/€27.99/£22.99, it looks like folks are in for a good deal while they face off against the other ninja schools with their favorite shinobi squad.

Categories: General Japan News

Valkyria Chronicles soundtrack gets released outside Japan for the first time

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 17:00

[Disclosure: Jayson Napolitano of Scarlet Moon Promotions, is a former contributor to Japanator.]

[Update: An earlier version of this post erroneously asserted that Scarlet Moon Productions was responsible for the release of the Valkyria Chroniclesoundtrack, when it only provided promotional support for Basiscape's release. Japanator regrets the error.]

Valkyria Chronicles may be best known for its portrayal of what essentially amounts to "anime World War II", but it also had a really good soundtrack, on top of all that cell-shaded military madness. That orchestral score came courtesy of Basiscape and composer Hitoshi Sakimoto, who also provided music for such games as Final Fantasy XII, Odin Sphere, and Breath of Fire V.

Categories: General Japan News

Get your idols-and-murder fix with AKB48's Hulu horror show

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 08:00

If your life has been lacking in sugar sweet pop idols, as well as chilling doses of horror and/or murder, a recent announcement by Hulu might be the one magic bullet to take down both your problems.

Indeed, the streaming service has pulled the veil off a new, six-part miniseries called Crow's Blood, which will star AKB48 luminary Mayu Watanabe and her comrade in Fukuoka-based HKT48, Sakura Miyawaki. The story of Crow's Blood is reportedly penned by none other than Yasushi Akimoto, the mastermind behind AKB48 itself, as well as a number of other idol outfits. The show will have Darren Lynn Bousman, the director of the Saw series, as executive producer.

Categories: General Japan News

Weekend Japanatainment - Japanator Youtube

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 10:00

Hey readers! I thought it would be the perfect time to tell you all about our Japanator YouTube page where we have some nice video content and will have some more Japan-centric video entertainment in the future. We're planning on more types of videos such as food, unboxings, how tos, etc, so stay tuned. We're also trying to wrangle together past videos that were made for Japanator so check those out as well on our page.

There were attempts before to make one which lead to multiple but this is the main one where we will be posting more video content. Check out our official and main Japanator YouTube page here.

Weekend Japanatainment - Japanator Youtube screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Feast your eyes (but not your ears) on this awesome R-Type tribute

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 08:00

Animation savant Paul "Otaking" Johnson has struck again, following up his great, '90's-style anime tribute to TIE Fighter with a similar tribute to the classic shooter game R-Type.

Once again, Johnson's mastery of the old-school, frame-heavy animation of the OVA era shines through, and the visuals on display can make a fan pine for the good ol' days once more. Less stellar, sadly, is the voice work, which feels out of place and far too swear-heavy for a tribute to a game that barely contains voices at all (or for that matter, a story). I recommend watching the video on mute while jamming out to some sweet classic music instead



Categories: General Japan News

Come to New York and check out Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE next week

Sat, 05/21/2016 - 17:00

I've been trying to avoid all mention of Nintendo and Atlus' joint project Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, partly because I don't want to be tempted into picking up a Wii U. That said, the thing really does make an impression, with all the stylishness of Shin Megami Tensei wrapped around a friendly Fire Emblem-derived core design.

If you don't want to avoid all mention of the game, and happen to be living close to New York, you can come to a cool preview event next week. Hosted by Nintendo on the afternoon of May 26th at Rockefeller Plaza, the preview will allow attendees some hands-on time with the game, as well as the chance to score some sweet swag for their trouble. 

Sign up for the event at this page, and let us know in the comments if you plan to attend. We just might see you there as well!

Categories: General Japan News

Ole: Shout! Factory grabs Ohranger

Sat, 05/21/2016 - 15:00

Don't you love it when your prediction comes true? In this case, I had a hunch that Shout! Factory was going to give us a special surprise during their Dairanger stream. Lo and behold, it turns out that their next Sentai DVD set release is Choriki Sentai Ohranger, the show where Power Rangers Zeo got its action footage from.

Compare to its Power Rangers counterpart, the 1995 Sentai series' team are part of an air force unit that technology uses an energy source that was made by an ancient civilization to combat the Machine Empire Baranoia.

Categories: General Japan News

Japanator Live: Tune in for more thrills, chills and kills with Danganronpa 2

Sat, 05/21/2016 - 14:00

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

It was unfortunate that I had to cut the stream when I reached the third chapter's trial, but I didn't want things to drag on too much since Danganronpa 2's cases are longer than its predecessor. On the positive side, this means that we'll get to expose the culprit behind this recent killing.

Since one of my favorite characters was killed last week, I'm looking forward to making this person suffer for what they did. While the scenario is similar to one of the cases from the first Danganronpa title, there's a good chance that the game will give us a new spin on this situation. 

Categories: General Japan News

Strong Style: Things to come

Sat, 05/21/2016 - 12:00

With AXS TV covering concert festivals the last month, Strong Style has taken a bit of a break. Next week, however, we kick things into high gear with 10 shows in 6 weeks covering the 25th G1 Climax tournament.  With so much action crammed into a month and a half,  Japanator gives you a little preview of what to expect from Strong Style and New Japan Pro Wrestling.

 Things to come screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Week Ender - JC Staff Edition

Sat, 05/21/2016 - 08:00

JC Staff is a studio that's been around since 1986 and has worked on at least 300 shows, with such a large body of work they might have made something you probably love or enjoyed in the last three decades.

So I've chosen a very tiny sample of their work from the last decade for you young people (in body and/or mind) to enjoy. The endings from JC Staff anime are stuff I haven't featured before so any obvious ones aren't gonna show up because I probably featured them multiple times in the past. Enjoy the selection!

Is there an anime/opening/ending from JC Staff you enjoyed? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!

Week Ender - JC Staff Edition screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Yikes: Lynn and the Spirits of Inao gets canceled in the midst of payment-related allegations

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 16:30

It felt like it was only yesterday that I was looking forward to the 2D platformer game known as Lynn and the Spirits of Inao. As of now, my hopes for seeing this game get made are shattered as the title's Kickstarter campaign is officially canceled.

The game's current state was the result of various interns who worked on the title made allegations about how Bloomylight Studio never paid them for their work. Since it's illegal for companies in France to have unpaid internships that last more than two months, this situation lead to Lynn's Kickstarter campaign facing cancellation.

Categories: General Japan News

Veteran voice actress Yuko Mizutani passes away

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 12:00

Deaths may be a fact of life, but it's always sad when someone is taken too soon. That's the case for Japanese voice actress Yuko Mizutani, a veteran of Japan's voice acting scene who was best known for playing Sakiko Sakura, from the long-running series Chibi Maruko-chan. Mizutani passed away this week after a battle with breast cancer, according to an announcement by her agency, Aoni Production. She was 51 years old.

Mizutani played the role of Sakiko since Chibi Maruko-chan's first broadcast in 1990, an astounding run of nearly 26 years. Overseas fans may recognize her as Mihoshi Kuramitsu from Tenchi Muyo!, Excellen Browning from the Super Robot Taisen franchise, or Sora from Digimon Adventure

Categories: General Japan News