When I first arrived in Japan, my room mate had an alarm clock that played the Doraemon theme song — very, very loudly. So when he had to get up for his morning shift, it was like a full blue-and-white cat orchestra was playing right beside my ear, every single day.
This colored my perception of the time-travelling cat somewhat, though who can resist his charms for long? And who doesn’t want a door that takes you anywhere?
Fujiko Fujio’s Doraemon, despite being one of the longest-running manga and anime series in Japan, continues to attract new fans, and this then inspires new merchandise.
Like this Doraemon Giant Speaker.
The large Doraemon figure features a speaker on the base that plays music from your MP3 player, phone or other audio device.
But perhaps the coolest thing is how Doraemon’s cat bell lights up and flashes in time to whatever music playing.
There has been a revival of interest in the classic Doraemon franchise of late. The feature film Doraemon: Nobita no Himitsu Dogu Museum was the fifth highest-grossing movie of 2013 in Japan and made Doraemon more lucrative than Godzilla for studio Toho.
Publisher Kadokawa opened the beta version of Comic Walker Global on April 27th to be a platform for promoting the work of overseas manga artists.
Comic Walker already launched in 2014 as Japan’s premier official (i.e. not pirated!) online manga service, offering a vast library of titles and translation (into English or Chinese) options. It also started programming manga original to the digital service. The aim was to achieve 100 million page views by the end of the first year of operation.
While we’re not sure if they achieved that or not, Kadokawa’s confidence is obvious from how they have made good on their international aspirations, especially in the Asian region.
The Comic Walker Global site includes the work of popular manga-ka like Chiya, Foo Swee Chin, and more.
And the best thing about Comic Walker Global? It’s free to view on your smartphone (Android and iOS), tablet or computer via the dedicated app.
It now offers Chinese-language options and English is planned for the future.
Currently there are only 9 manga titles available, though with the gradual growth of overseas manga, US graphic novels and bandes dessinées in Japan, we can expect the portfolio to expand quickly from the summer.
The makers of the Kabuki Face Pack just keep on finding new source material for skin care tools that blow all the competition out of the water.
Now comes two face packs inspired by the popular manga and anime series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.
The JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Face Pack is a genuine beauty tool, like regular face packs designed to reinvigorate your skin and help fight the signs of aging.
This time the masks are based on the Stone Mask and the Star Platinum. As JoJo fans will know, the Stone Mask was featured in the first story in the JoJo series, while the Star Platinum is the Stand of Jotaro Kujo, from Stardust Crusaders.
The pack includes both masks… so which do you want to be?!
More photos have been released for the upcoming stage musical version of beloved anime and manga “Naruto”.
“Naruto” recently ended its long, successful manga serialization, leaving the door open for a second life on film or stage.
As the publicity photos suggest, though, the new theatrical version has a grittier look than the manga. It is being dubbed a “live spectacle” rather than a play or musical, so expect lots of visuals rather than a sensical story.
Starring Kodai Matsuoka as Naruto, the jury’s still out on whether the adaptation will beguile or betray fans when the curtain goes up.
Starting in March, the production will tour four venues in Japan in Tokyo, Osaka, Miyagi and Fukuoka, before going on to Macao, Malaysia and Singapore.
Big-budget stage adaptations of manga and anime are a growing trend in Japan.
“One Piece” is being turned into a Kabuki play this autumn, while the spring sees “Death Note, the Musical”, with music by veteran American composer Frank Wildhorn.
The first posters for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) have been released, showing the cast in costume as their respective characters.
Regardless of your taste in manga or anime, the posters are pretty awesome just in terms of graphic design.
It also gives fans of the Hajime Isayama series a chance to see how the cast of the upcoming big screen version measure up to the characters as depicted in their previous animated or comic-book incarnations. Oh, and the weaponry and hardware also get a very strong emphasis.
The all-star cast includes Hiroki Hasegawa, Haruma Miura, model Kiko Mizuhara, idols Nanami Sakuraba and Ayame Misaki, Jun Kunimura, and Satomi Ishihara.
Kotaku did a nice comparison of the anime, manga and film versions of each main character.
Attack on Titan has become a commerical phenomenon in recent years and this majoro film adaptation is the icing on the cake. Filming on location at Gunkanjima, it will be released in Japan in summer 2015.
If you can’t wait, you can always stage your own mini Attack on Titan battle scenes on your desk with the Tsumikore EVO! Attack on Titan Mania.
It’s sold 40 million comic books and counting. The live-action film adaptation is coming to a big screen near you soon. And now you can design your own Attack on Titan character and have it eat people. The “Titan Montage” app lets you mutate a face to create an original titan, and then places it into scenes from the anime so you can see your monster run amok trying to devour victims.
The app has been launched as a promo for an Attack on Titan exhibition about to kick off in Ueno in Tokyo. You can go to the special website and design a portrait in the distinctive Attack on Titan style, customizing all the parts of the face from the teeth to the hair, eyebrows, nose, mouth and facial structure.
Your titan character is then inserted into the world of the manga. Your creation is first placed into an Attack on Titan pose against a randomly selected background image from the comic and anime series. Needless to say the titan is not looking to make friends with the smaller humans. There is also an option to have the site generate an anime scene with your titan racing around the landscape looking for people to gobble up.
This is then dispatched into the digital nether of Facebook and Twitter, populating Japanese social media with caricature crowd-sourced titans!
“Princess Jellyfish” exhibition at Shibuya Parco Museum: Male visitors must “cross-dress” in female clothesWritten by: William on October 27, 2014 at 8:47 am | In CULTURE | No Comments
A new exhibition event in Shibuya will turn all male visitors into crossdressers.
All right, let’s qualify that.
The exhibition, held in December and January at Shibuya Parco Museum, is a promo for the upcoming live-action film adaptation of the manga “Princess Jellyfish”.
The original, called “Kuragehime” in Japanese, is all about the goings-on at an apartment building populated only by female otaku, such as a girl obsessed with kimono and another with Chinese history. The tenants of the apartment in the threatened “Amamizukan” building are all girls. No boys are allowed, though the main character Tsukimi Kurashita (her mania is for jellyfish, hence the title) eventually allows a cross-dressing politician’s son into her life and of course, we can probably all guess how things turn out between them.
The exhibition will feature props, costumes and more from the world of the film and manga.
As men are “banned” from the apartment building in the story, likewise the exhibition is ostensibly only open to female visitors. Should men turn up, they will be forced to wear “female items” if they want to enter the exhibition. At the time of writing we aren’t sure exactly what these are, though we doubt a mainstream space like Parco Museum would actually force young guys in Shibuya to wear skirts. If you want to see that kind of thing, head over to Shinjuku or Akihabara for the otoko no ko cross-dressing cosplay subculture trend.
Following an anime series in 2010, the live-action film version of Akiko Higashimura’s comic is set for release on December 27th and stars Rena Nounen (of “Amachan” fame) in the gauche lead role.
Parco Museum (Shibuya Parco Part 1, 3F)
December 19th to January 12th
An exhibition based on the massively popular manga “One Piece” scheduled to take place at the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul from July 12th has been canceled, it was announced on July 10th.
Organizers said they have made the decision after people realized that numerous motifs in the original manga were reminiscent of the Rising Sun flag, a symbol of Japanese militarism and which has a particularly painful resonance in Korea, a country which suffered from decades as a colony of Japan.
The TV anime version of “One Piece” has already been broadcast in Korea and so the content of the exhibition had previously been judged as harmless, according to the museum. As such, they agreed to rent out a section of the venue for the event. However, after being told that Rising Sun Flag images appeared in the original manga they changed their minds, although no such images were featured in the actual planned exhibits. As the museum is run as a public organization funded by the state they had no choice but to cancel the exhibition.
Like in Japan, Eiichiro Oda’s “One Piece” is popular in Korea and the exhibition, along with sketches and other materials, was going to feature life-size models of the characters, bringing the world of the manga and anime to 3D life for visitors. It would have been very successful too if early numbers are anything to go by. The events company behind the show said it had received reservations alone from 5,000 people! Not surprisingly they are now looking for an alternative venue for their exhibition since there is clearly demand for it, regardless of the politics.
While it might seem inappropriate or even bizarre to hold a mainstream exhibition (i.e. a piece of entertainment) like this at a war memorial in the first place, the Seoul venue is actually very large and has multiple spaces for all kinds of functions and events.
A similar exhibition opened recently in Taiwan, also a former Japanese colony, apparently without similar issues.
The first set photos have been released for the upcoming live-action film adaptation of the popular TV anime “Lupin”. Starring Shun Oguri, Meisa Kuroki and Tadanori Asano, “Lupin III” will be released in Japan on August 30th.
We love the look of this latest big screen version (following the 1974 film) of the iconic manga and anime by Monkey Punch (who has been a consultant on the new movie). It is supposed to show how the main characters all meet for the first time but updates the story to a contemporary setting.
The big-budget movie has been filmed in Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and elsewhere, and features an international starry cast. It is directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, who is known mostly for work in the science fiction and horror genres.
Still no full trailer but anticipation is now super high for this film!