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Updated: 4 hours 30 min ago

The Dose: Mika Nakashima & Miliyah Kato

10 hours 27 min ago

When Hollywood films make their way to Japan, they usually spare no expense in treating fans to a memorable theme song. The upcoming Marvel Comics romp, The Amazing Spider-man 2 is no exception. In fact, they've called upon two of my all time favorite female artists.

Singer and actor Mika Nakashima teams up with R&B superstar for the surprising new tune, Fighter. When I heard about the collaboration I was thinking about some slinky, smooth R&B track, but was surprised that they decided to deliver a rock ballad. I can't say I love the decision. While the vocal work is fantastic, the music is just kind of there. Maybe I bult up the anticipation a bit too much on this one, but the choice of music is totally disappointing.

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Anime: Selector Infected WIXOSS 3

11 hours 27 min ago

The show wastes no time delivering on the double face-off we were promised, only it's not as exciting as I would have hoped. Yuzuki loses hard to Akira because she's an idiot, while Ruko wins because she's been practicing WIXOSS every night with her awesome grandma -- I mean, they don't say that's why she won, but it totally is, right?

 Selector Infected WIXOSS 3 screenshot

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Categories: General Japan News

Avril Lavigne's latest music video is hard on cute, Japanese stereotypes

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 17:00

When Avril Lavigne's latest music video for "Hello Kitty" surfaced earlier today, it hit the higher-brow internet with a wave of pain. I'm not sure what it really is about it, so you better see for yourself.

The use of foreign-language lyrics in the chorus is something anime music listeners are used to; it's very common in J-pop and K-pop. But what happens when it's the reverse? There's something subversive about that in an English-language song.

Categories: General Japan News

Here's another Ultra Street Fighter 4 trailer to wet your whistle

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 15:00

This is your weekly reminder from Capcom that Ultra Street Fighter 4 is almost here. Another trailer dropped, this time highlighting all the new stuff that'll be appearing in this version. You've got the five added characters, six new stages, the red focus attack, the Ultra Combo Double, better team battle options, expanded training options and direct uploading to Youtube. Overall, a lot of content for the $15 expansion, coming this June.

Despite whatever criticisms I have for the choices Capcom has made, I am really looking forward to USF4. It's been a hot minute since I've spun any version of Street Fighter 4 in my Playstation 3, and this game has my favorite character in it. I'm expecting to spend a ton of time learning how to rock faces with Elena and maybe sneak in some time with Dudley as well.

Anybody out there changing their mains with the release of USF4?

Categories: General Japan News

Releases of the Week: Hidamari Sketch x 365

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 13:00

Happy release day, readers. There are some good box sets available for you. Hidamari Sketch x 365 is my top pick, although the "cute art school girls" thing may not be up your alley. If not that, then there's Star Blazers 2199 part two. Also worth noting, if you're a Eureka Seven fan, then FUNimation has box sets for the entire series coming out again today. If you missed it the first time around, now wouldn't be a bad time to buy.

On the manga side, there are new volumes of Flowers of Evil and Bunny Drop, which are must buys. And while you're at the bookstore, why not get the latest Spice and Wolf novel? It'll go perfectly with the other 10 volumes you own. Finally, if you're a masochist, there's the new volume of No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular.

Take a look at the full list after the jump, and let us know what you're picking up!

Categories: General Japan News

Star of Destiny: Suikoden II finally coming to PSN

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 12:00

Well, this news just made my day. It seems that the ESRB ratings, always a good source for accidentally outing new games, has opted to rate a very old game: Suikoden II. Konami's classic JRPG (and one of my favorite games of all time) might well be headed to the PlayStation Network.

A few years ago Konami made the first Suikoden game available on the PSN, ready for PSPs, Vitas, and PS3s all over. But they never seemed to follow through with the much-loved sequel, at least not in the west. Now that great injustice may soon be corrected. We can only hope.

 Suikoden II finally coming to PSN screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Blue Exorcist now available on Netflix streaming

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:30

Earlier today, Aniplex announced that Blue Exorcist, the complete series is now available for Netflix instant streaming. Although the series has been available via Hulu and Crunchyroll for some time, many users prefer Netflix for its ease-of-use and distinct lack of advertising. While I'm sure there are plenty of you who pay for your Crunchyroll memberships specifically so you can avoid such ads, not everyone can afford to subscribe to both services. Suffice to say, it's nice to have options.

Unfortunately, Netflix doesn't seem to be offering a English dub, so there's no additional benefit to be had. You'll be stuck with subtitles like everyone else. No word yet on whether or not Anipex plans to stream Blue Exorcist: The Movie, but I wouldn't be surprised if it shows up eventually, along with the option for an English audio track for the series. and for the love of multi-tasking, I hope that comes sooner rather than later.

 

Categories: General Japan News

First Impressions: M3 The Dark Metal

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:00

A unique art style and mysteriously dark premise was beckoning me, telling me that this show had the potential to bring something really interesting to the season. With Junichi Saito at the helm, director of acclaimed Sailor Moon and Princess Tutu, and a script by Mari Okada of Anohana and Toradora!, there was no way I wasn't checking this out. And while this episode wasn't a home run, it established some interesting concepts and carries itself with a unique aura.

 M3 The Dark Metal screenshot

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Categories: General Japan News

Fight as Rise Kujikawa in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax?!

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:00

There were rumors scuttling around for a while about Persona 4's Rise Kujikawa being a playable character in the upcoming fighting game Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, and they proved to be true with the recent issue of Famitsu and Dengeki PlayStation.

The rumor spread about when Rise Kujikawa and Persona 3's Ken Amada's name both popped up on Best Buy's product description, which led to fans wondering if it was sloppy editing on the retailer's part or if it was a real, accidental leak. With Rise out of the bag, it seems leaning toward the latter -- so don't be surprised if you see a Ken announcement!

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Anime: Captain Earth episode 2 & 3

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 09:00

I can't remember the last time I watched a mech anime with so much nonsensical techno babble.

Bones' latest stab at the genre, Captain Earth, seems to have no qualms with throwing out made-up words and leaving them undefined for the viewers at home. For some people, this is understandably maddening.

For me, this is just Tuesday.

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Anime Roundup: Winter 2014 Week 3

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 08:00

Welcome to the Annotated Anime Roundup for Spring Week 3: as the weather continues to warm and the world is rife with change, there's something comforting about the fact that every single week, without fail, Yowapeda continues to stall for time.

Catch up with us on all the latest happenings in cycling bromance, Tonari no Seki-kun, Is the Order a Rabbit?, The World is Still Beautiful, Baby Steps, One Week Friends, and Riddle Story of the Devil. Damidaler The Sound Robot is MIA this week, but you know what? No one even noticed until right now, so I guess we can do without it.

 Winter 2014 Week 3 screenshot

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Categories: General Japan News

The Dose: ClariS

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 07:00

The (supposedly) young ladies of ClariS are back, with plenty of good stuff for their fans. Alice & Clara have returned with STEP, which is the new opening to the anime series, Nisekoi. If you're the kind of person that doesn't like to change up your routine too much, this one might be for you.

The track isn't bad, but I wish I could report some kind of innovation from the once promising duo. While obviously their vocals have matured, their songs have become so incredibly formulaic. I feel like I could  write an algorithm for their songs, with breakdown, build ups, and choruses all in the same place. While I understand having some consistency with a sound, it's just getting a bit extreme.

Categories: General Japan News

Review: Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 06:00

As far as bundles go, this is a bit of a strange one. Part-movie collection, part-video game, Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day is something that could only be pulled off on a home console. I suppose it's not surprising to see that Bandai Namco is the company publishing it, as it wasn't too long ago that they were offering a similar package with Tekken Hybrid, which included Tekken Tag Tournament HD and the Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie. 

Categories: General Japan News

Fatal Frame Wii U in the works: Plus a film, novel and comic too

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 05:00

Fatal Frame and the Wii U were destined for each other. The Wii U tablet was practically made to become my Camera Obscura, fighting for my life and sanity with my dwindling Type-Zero film. With no title or date released yet, I was frankly shocked that it took this long for Tecmo Koei and Nintendo to announce that one was in the works

But it seems that a new Fatal Frame game wasn't the only thing in the oven. A live action film based on the franchise was announced for a Fall 2014 release, directed by Mari Asato (Bilocation, Ju-on: Black Ghost) and starring Seventeen magazine models Ayami Nakajo and Aoi Morikawa.

Categories: General Japan News

New Ace Attorney game announced, will be set in the Meiji period

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 02:30

Oh Capcom, forget that I had any concerns about you abandoning the Ace Attorney franchise. This week's Famitsu contains a shock announcement of a brand new game, one that looks to be a spin-off rather than an Ace Attorney 6. Currently known as Daigyakuten Saiban, it'll be set during the Japanese Meiji period (1868-1912) and will be produced for the 3DS. Perhaps it'll focus on the downfall of the samurai class?

This also looks to be the secret project that Shu Takumi is involved in, due to there also being an interview with him in the magazine. We'll keep you posted as and when the news rolls in, as folks are currently scrambling around in a hunt for scans of the announcement and interview. 

Categories: General Japan News

Hunter x Hunter manga to resume

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 02:00

You know, I had a feeling we'd be getting this announcement soon, seeing as the Hunter x Hunter anime is creeping closer and closer to the final complete arc from the manga. If you're not clued up on what's been going on for the past few years, author Yoshihiro Togashi has frequently put the manga on hiatus, with vague reasons as to why. As far as we know, he was too ill to work on it.

Sasaki Hisashi of Shonen Jump announced via Twitter today that not only will the Hunter x Hunter manga be resuming soon, but that it will also be releasing simultaneously in the English release of Shonen Jump. While there have been no dates mentioned yet, it might be worth considering eyeing up the English language Shonen Jump to secure your HxH fix when the anime ends.

Categories: General Japan News

New Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment trailer shows off a boss battle

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 21:00

Dengeki Online has uploaded a new video for the upcoming Bandai Namco action RPG, Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment. With the release date right around the corner (4/24), it would make sense that Bandai Namco would start letting Japanese sites put up big chunks of gameplay footage.

This time around we get a boss fight against the giant eye, The Ghastlygaze. As expected, the battle looks busy as hell with all the NPCs running around and various meters and numbers all over the place. Hollow Fragment aims to emulate the experience of playing an MMO, and if this video is any indication, it succeeds.

I'll likely be picking this up on release day, so keep an eye out for impressions in the weeks to come.

 Hollow Fragment trailer shows off a boss battle screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Viz announces print edition of World Trigger

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:00

If you're already a reader of Viz's Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine, then you're familiar with Daisuke Ashihara's World Trigger. For everyone else, it's a shonen action series set in a world where Earth has been invaded by beings from another dimension, and it's an all-out war to save humanity.

Don't worry, kids still have to go to school in between leading assaults on these aliens. Our protagonist Osamu joins up with a humanoid named Yuma to kick some ass and take on the aliens -- and I can only bet they'll fall in love down the line.

Viz will release the first two volumes of the title simultaneously on October 7th, retailing for $9.99 a piece for physical editions, and digital editions for $6.99.

Any readers out there enjoyed the series thus far? Are we in store for a big hit?

Categories: General Japan News

New Monster Hunter 4G Trailer surfaces

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:00

Monster Hunter 4G (Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for us in the west), unleashed its new trailer featuring high-octane hunting action. We get a good look at the 'Desert' area that was newly added, as well as the numerous bosses that occupy it. This trailer reminds me of the breadth and variety that Monster Hunter is known for, as well as player character weapons and attack styles.

It's always been a source of amazement that something so sprawling could be packed into a portable 3DS. Monster Hunter 4G is scheduled for Fall 2014, and we are to expect it to release early 2015. With a lot of portable game announcements and releases recently, more and more of my gaming time is being spent on my handhelds. I didn't catch the original MH4 when it came out, but I'm keeping an eye on the International release of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.

Categories: General Japan News

Daisuki announces M3 simulcast

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:00

Well this is it. With only a couple of series left to premiere, this looks to be one of the final simulcast announcements of the season and it goes to Daisuki. In a press release sent out last night, the streaming site has revealed that they have acquired the streaming rights to the series M3 that dark metal. The series has already premiered on the site (it went live at 10:05am Pacific) with new episodes appearing weekly. 

Daisuki announces M3 simulcast screenshot

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Categories: General Japan News