Titans attack Lawson convenience stores, bring tons of anime goodies with them

LK 1

RocketNews 24:

 

Pokémon fans recently got some good news when word came that Pikachu will soon be taking over the city of Yokohama. It’s not just cute and cuddly anime icons running rampant in Japan this summer, though.

Next month, Lawson convenience stores across Japan are going to be invaded by the remorseless and/or skinless cast of Attack on Titan, and they’re bringing a staggering amount of merchandise with them.. 

Even with no news about the inevitable continuation of the Attack on Titan TV anime, fans of creator Hajime Isayama’s gritty epic have plenty to look forward to. On August 8, the14th collected volume of the Attack on Titan manga goes on sale, as do tickets for aNovember art exhibition focusing on the series at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo’s Ueno.

In celebration, Lawson is rolling out a huge number of Attack on Titan goodies, even by the prolific standards the franchise has already set for merchandising and marketing.

Let’s start with the edibles. Pastries, Danishes, and all other sorts of baked goods are a mainstay of Japanese convenience stores, and while we’ve got no idea what’s in the Titan Footstep Bread, we’re anxious to try it (unless it’s filled with the Titan’s favorite food, people).

 

LK 10

If you’re looking for something to cool off with during the summer heat, there’s a yogurt gelatin dessert that comes in a special collector’s glass. It’s an absolute certainty that the Levi version will sell out long before the Eren one.

 

LK 11

 

Ditto for these buckets of chocolate.

 

LK 12

 

If you’re worried that eating that much candy will make you a plump and slow-moving, and therefore an attractive target for the man-eating Titans, Lawson is ready with smaller-quantity indulgences like chewy yogurt candies and chocolate wafers, the latter of which come with a trading card.

 

LK 16

Similarly, these instant noodles come with one of eight stickers.

 

▼ We’re hoping the clerks at our local Lawson follow Levi’s example and start greeting customers with the Scout Corps salute.

LK 18

 

And of course, the Attack on Titan potato chips are endorsed by spud-loving Sasha.

LK 17

 

The downside to anime-themed food though is, obviously, that it’s gone one you eat it. If you want something more lasting, during the campaign Lawson will be selling Attack on Titan pins and magnets.

 

LK 13

LK 14

Attack on Titan tissues come in two types, silly and dramatic.

LK 19

 

Towels only come in two varieties of wacky, though.

LK 20

 

We’ve got no idea what the contents of the mysteriously named Clean Up Box are, but we’re sure fastidious neat freak Levi would approve.

LK 15

 

Personal grooming is just as important as keeping your surroundings clean, so Levi’s face also graces the packaging for deodorant sheets, facial papers, and lip balm.

LK 26

LK 27

LK 23

 

Some parents worry about their kids spending all day reading manga and neglecting their schoolwork. The considerate Titans are willing to do their part in encouraging education though, with notebooks and erasers, and sticker-style index tabs.

LK 29

 

Or, if you’re more the digital type, Lawson is also selling a mouse/memo pad bundle.

LK 24

 

▼ Perfect for listening to your Attack on Titan opening and ending theme playlist.

LK 25

 

All of these items are offered for sale inside Lawson, and also provide points that can be put towards entering drawings for the even cooler Attack on Titan items below, like rubberized straps featuring the anime’s cast teaming up with Lawson mascot/best-selling fried chicken snack Karaage-kun.

LK 2

 

▼ It’s Titan time!

LK 4

 

The same illustrations also show up on the postcard sets.

LK 8

Of course, it’s not an authentic Japanese sweepstakes without clear files.

 

LK 5

 

We suppose you could use this towel for its intended purpose of drying your hands and face, or tie it around your neck like a scarf for the world’s laziest Mikasa cosplay costume.

LK 6

 

A few prizes still seem to be in the planning stage, like the stacking figure set and the poster signed by Isayama himself.

LK 3

LK 9

 

Likewise, the figurines of Levi and Eren in their summer kimonos are just silhouettes at this point in time.

 

▼ They’re either standing on a stone path or a slice of pie.

LK 31

 

Still, we expect all of these to be ready to go by the time Lawson’s promotion starts on August 5, or by August 25, when it wraps up, at the latest.

GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

 

GANRYU COMME des GARCONS recently took to the runway to showcase its upcoming collection for Spring/Summer 2015. With this latest collection, designer Fumito Ganryu offered up a breezy, laidback collection with palette largely dominated by neutral colors, in particular white, cream and black. With this minimal palette, the designer played around with cut and proportion, presenting a collection that touched upon various inspirations including sporting, hunting, and military attire, with some colorful and, at times, androgynous look thrown into the mix.

Check out the collection and expect it to reach the brand’s stockists next year.

 

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

Image of GANRYU COMME des GARCONS 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

 

Hello Kitty IT gadgets now capturing hearts of Japanese netizens

Kitty top

RocketNews 24:

 

Now, we know that not all technology may be good, and there are plenty of stories out there, be they movies or novels, of technology run amok. But you have to admit there are times when you just have to love technology, like when it comes in a cute, pop form that allows you to carry around large amounts of data in style. Yes, readers,we present to you these adorable Mimobot and Sanrio collaborative flash drives from Mimoco — they’re currently generating a bit of a buzz on online here in Japan, and we dare anyone out there to say that the results of the collaboration aren’t über cute!

Mimoco, an American design house based in Boston that has been producing attractive gadgets that combine pop art with technology for nearly 10 years now, created this particular line of Mimobot flash drives as a joint project to commemorate Sanrio’s 50th anniversary back in 2010.

 

▼This is the Hello Kitty Classic  Mimobot flash drive. 

Kitty 1 classic

 

Well, it turns out there’s a reason why this Hello Kitty Classic version of the flash drive in particular,  has recently been attracting the interest of Japanese net users. It has come to the attention of Japanese netizens that this version of Hello Kitty, because of her elongated face, looks like the main character from a popular Japanese mangaCooking Papa.

 

▼Here’s a cover illustration of Cooking Papa. 

Cooking Papa

 

Yes, that’s apparently the reason why there have been a lot of tweets lately in Japan featuring this Mimobot Kitty flash drive. Despite the fact that the product has been around for some time now,  it seems that the Japanese public has only recently become widely aware of the uniquely designed Hello Kitty gadget and its resemblance to a familiar manga figure.

 

▼Of course, Hello Kitty’s sweet friends were also turned into cute little flash drives for Sanrio’s 50th anniversary, and they too have been admired online along with  the Hello Kitty Classic version! Here’s My Melody, the hooded girl rabbit.

Kitty 2 My Melody

 

▼We also have Hangyodon, a half-fish and half-human creature.

Kitty 4 Hangyodon

 

▼Here’s Tuxedo Sam, the bow tie-sporting penguin.

Kitty 3 Tuxedo Sam

 

▼This is Chococat as a flash drive, but we already knew cats are cute whatever they form they come in, didn’t we?

Kitty 6 Chococat

 

▼And last but not least, there’s also Badtz-Maru, the penguin with an attitude.

Kitty 5 Badtz-Maru

 

Now, these Hello Kitty Mimobots below are technically not a part of the anniversary collaboration between Sanrio and Mimoco, but they looked so cool, we’re sharing them with you anyway!

 

▼This is the Hello Kitty Nerd Kitty Mimobot. So this is what the most popular cat in the world looks like dressed up as a nerd!

Kitty 7 nerd Kitty

 

▼And there’s also a series of Mimobots of Hello Kitty “cosplaying” as nine different animals. Now, if that isn’t cute, we don’t know what is. Wouldn’t you just hate to have to choose just one of them?

kitty-8-animals

 

The Mimobots are priced between US$19.99 and $69.99, depending on the flash drive’s memory capacity. Unfortunately, because these have been on sale for a few years now, some of them are now sold out on the Mimoco website, including the Hello Kitty Classic, My Melody and Hangyodon Mimobots, as well as two of the animal Hello Kitty Mimobots, but there are still plenty of adorable Sanrio flash drives you can get your hands on, so be sure to check out their site if like us, you find these tiny gadgets utterly irresistible!

Japanese scientist predicts another major earthquake in Japan by 2017

Fallen_power_poles_in_Ishinomaki

RocketNews 24:

 

According to Japanese scientists, Japan might be in for another big one.

Dr. Masaaki Kimura, a seismologist who reportedly predicted the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, recently appeared on Japanese TV to share his theory about the next major earthquake to strike Japan. Based on his estimates, the quake will occur by 2017 and will be of similar magnitude to 2011’s. Similarly, astronomer Yoshio Kushida continues to insist that a big quake is not too far away. Keep reading to find out more about their respective theories and which specific areas of Japan they’ve got on the radar.

For over 25 years now, legendary Japanese actor Beat Takeshi has hosted a variety show called Beat Takeshi’s TV TackleThe show takes the form of a panel discussion in which guests are invited to share their opinions and debate about different topics, which are typically of a political nature.  

On the July 21 broadcast of the show, several prominent scientists appeared to discuss their ideas regarding future seismic activity in Japan, including the possibility of another major earthquake. The end result of their discussion? The question is not so much if, butwhen, another major quake will occur.

Dr. Masaaki Kimura, an Emeritus Professor of submarine geology and a seismologist at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa Prefecture, was eager to share his thoughts regarding the matter. His predictions are based on observations of regions in Japan where there have not yet been any major earthquakes, but where smaller ones occur frequently; he calls such regions “earthquake eyes” (地震の目). He predicted the location of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake using the same theory four years before it occurred, and although he presented his findings before the Pacific Science Congress in Japan, no one endorsed his ideas at the time.

 

▼Seismic activity off the coast of northern Japan on March 11, 2011

Map_of_Sendai_Earthquake_2011

Perhaps that’s an indication that Dr. Kimura will carry more clout this time around, because by his predictions another major quake is set to hit Japan by 2017 (his actual calculation was the year 2012, plus or minus five years). Furthermore, he anticipates that its epicenter will be in the Izu Islands, a volcanic island chain stretching south from the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture (the islands themselves are governed by Tokyo Prefecture). As for its strength, Dr. Kimura claims it will be of similar magnitude to the 2011 quake, which puts it in the 9.0 class of the moment magnitude scale used for measuring the size of earthquakes. He adds, however, that any damage caused by the quake won’t be nearly as costly as any damage caused by a resulting tsunami.

 

▼The Izu Islands

Map_of_Izu_Islands

To spice things up a bit, the program also invited Yoshio Kushida, a self-taught astronomer, to the show to share his opinions. Mr. Kushida has gained a sort of infamy in Japan due to his frequent predictions of an impending major earthquake, which he posits by studying seismic waves. Based on past events, we’ve got reason not to take Kushida too seriously, but you never know…

Mr. Kushida has been predicting a major earthquake in Japan’s Kansai region (to the south–Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, etc.); more specifically, near Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture. He says that abnormal FM rays have been evident since 2008, and the quake could hit on November 11 of this year, plus or minus a few days, at the earliest. In addition, it should be around a 7.8 on the magnitude scale.

But wait, there’s more! Dr. Robert Geller, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Tokyo, was also in attendance on the show. He opposed both Dr. Kimura’s and Mr. Kushida’s ideas, asserting that they should publish scientific articles and present them before an academic committee so people can verify the legitimacy of their claims. It sure sounds like the show achieved its objective of getting in some good debate action!

Regardless of whose theory will prove to be most accurate, what it all comes down to is that there is no foolproof way to predict an earthquake, not even a major one akin to the 2011Tohoku disaster. If you live in Japan, you can take precautionary measures by packing yourself a simple earthquake kit and signing up for the Earthquake Early Warning system issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency to get preemptive alerts on your mobile phone when an earthquake is detected. It’s a bit disconcerting when everyone’s phones start beeping in the same room, but believe us, better that than to be caught completely unawares when the tremor hits only seconds later.

If you can read Japanese, you might also be interested in visiting Dr. Kimura’s homepage, where you can follow his latest work.

NuGgETS (Japan) 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Japanese contemporary brand NuGgETS makes a return to our pages with a cohesive Fall/Winter 2014 collection. The brand’s effort is built around muted natural colors, with the palette consisting of deep indigo, faded burgundy and sand beige alongside traditional heather gray and pristine whites. In terms of silhouettes, NuGgETS draws on the contrast between high and low tailoring, finding zippered baseball-style zip tops and cropped turtlenecks; full-body cardigans and crisply tailored button-ups and other combinations make distinct impressions.

Enjoy a look at the latest from NuGgETS, dropping at the brand’s online store soon.

 

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Image of NuGgETS 2014 Fall/Winter Collection

Whiskey shaved ice: A frozen treat for adults in Kyoto

WK 1

RocketNews 24:

 

One of the most popular ways to cool yourself off during a muggy Japanese summer is with a bowl of shaved ice, known as kakigoori. However, not everyone has the sweet tooth or enduring connection to their inner child that’s necessary to enjoy the brightly colored, syrupy sweet frozen treat that’s usually flavored like strawberry, melon, or lemon.

Thankfully, if you’re looking for a chilled dessert that’s a little more adult, a restaurant in Kyoto has just the thing: shaved ice with whiskey.

During the summer, many high-rises in Japan open beer gardens on their roofs. Soradoko in Kyoto, which is open from now until October, decided to shake up its menu a little bit, and instead of focusing on beer, makes whiskey highballs its specialty.

 

WK 2

 

This, of course, means Soradoko has to keep a lot of whiskey on hand, which has in turn led to it getting a little creative with whiskey shaved ice. Made with either Yamazaki or Shirasu, two of Suntory’s best-known brands, both the Mizore Yamazaki and Mizore Shirasu come with lemon, Soradoko’s own mildly sweet syrup, and soda water.

 

WK 1

 

Aside from its 1,200 yen (US$11.90) whiskey shaved ice, Soradoko also has a variety of cocktails in its Fruit Jar series. The flavors offered are made with tropical fruits from Miyazaki Prefecture, such as mango and hyuganatsu citrus.

 

WK 3

 

Soradoko isn’t strictly for drinkers, as there’s food on the menu too. The restaurant is managed by the same company as the Tsukada Nojo chain of izakaya pubs, and there’s even some crossover between the menu, such as flat-grilled Miyazaki Jitokko chicken.

 

WK 4

 

Restaurant information
Soradoko / 空床
Address: Kyoto-fu, Kyoto-to, Nakagyo-ku, Sanjodori Kawaramachi Higashi-iri, Nakajimacho 110, Sanjo Forum Building rooftop
京都府京都市中京区三条通河原町東入中島町110 三条フォーラムビル屋上
Open 5 p.m.-midnight