Tokyo’s Isetan is welcoming back Sailor Moon and her magical gal pals. From now until March 31, the department store chain’s Shinjuku branch is offering a special lineup of fashion items based on the hit anime. Previously, we’ve looked at the new offerings from Samantha Vega, Honey Bunch, and Riccimie Premiere Salon, all popular Japanese brands.
Now, Anna Sui is getting in on the moon prism action, with a selection of coolly feminine bags and accessories inspired by the Sailor Senshi.
In contrast to the bright pastels of Samantha Vega’s Sailor Moon collection, Anna Sui’s aims for a more mature allure. The front of the 21,000 yen (US$176) compact head necklace takes the lines of Sailor Moon’s Crystal Star, but recolors them in the trademark Anna Sui purple, with the designer’s name appearing on the back. Similarly, the Key of Space-Time necklace (16,000 yen) has an ornate, almost gothic look to it.
Even though Sailor Moon is the star, she’s hardly the only popular character from the franchise. If you’ve got a soft spot for other members of the ensemble cast, you can show them some love with these 18,500-yen Luna and Artemis earrings (featuring black cat Luna on the front and white kitty Artemis on the back) or the 21,000-yen pearl catch earrings, featuring the image colors and celestial symbols for Sailors Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus.
Your wrists won’t have to feel left out either, with the 19,000-yen ribbon bracelet and its charms shaped like the Crisis Moon Compact and Inner Senshi celestial marks. Rounding off the wearables, the 12,000-yen Anna Sui Sailor Moon logo T-shirt provides perhaps the biggest sticker shock of the lineup, while the set of five clear files for 1,600 yen is the most budget-friendly option.
Of course, unless you have Sailor Moon-style magical powers that allow you to summon whatever special items you need out of thin air, you probably require something in your daily life with more carrying capacity than the files provide. Once again, Anna Sui has the answer, or actually two, with these leather bags adorned with celestial mark charms, the smaller of which (pictured on the right) is priced at 32,000 yen.
Not only will they hold your wallet, keys, and phone, there should also be some space left over in case you find something else you just have to have while shopping at Isetan.
Sailor Moon X Isetan Shop
Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-14-1
Isetan Shinjuku Main Building 3rd floor Center Park Stage #3
Open 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Anime adaptation of a manga adaptation of a web-comic features a hero who can defeat any foe with just one punch
Crunchyroll (by Paul Chapman):
Fans of ridiculous things can rejoice, because One-Punch Man is being adapted into a TV anime.
One-Punch Man chronicles the adventures of Saitama, an unassuming, bald fellow who is actually an impossibly strong super-hero capable of felling even the most horrifying foes with just one punch. Unfortunately, Saitama has become bored with his power and he rarely gets the credit he deserves.
One-Punch Man is a fairly unique manga. It began life in 2009 as a web comic published by an author with the pseudonym of ONE.
You can find the original version of One-Punch Man here.
In 2012, the web comic was adapted into a more traditional manga by artist Yusuke Murata. This version of One-Punch Man is published digitally via Shueisha’s Young Jump Web Comics website. Murata’s remake of One-Punch Man is published in the English language by Viz Media.
More details about the upcoming anime will be announced at the Anime Japan 2015 expo on March 21 and 22, 2015.
A proper anime character huggy pillow seems to have become a critical component of the full fetish and fantasy regalia of a well-rounded otaku, but there are certain things you just can’t do with such a 2-D crush. Sure, anime girl pillows will let you squeeze them and passionately insert your sweet nothings into their non-existent eardrums, but no matter how fervently romantic you become, you can’t expect any sort of pillow talk from your pillow.
Unless, that is, you’re curled up beneath the sheets with the Ita-Supo, the first talking huggy pillow that responds to your touch with verbal responses, including angry outbursts if you get too grabby.
Developer Koichi Uchimura used to be a researcher at Kyushu Institute of Technology. While we’re not sure what precise field of academia he was involved with at the Fukuoka Prefecture university, his current mission in life is developing new technologies with which to “support people’s otaku life.”
No stranger to the allures of anime huggy pillows, or dakimakura, as they’re called in Japanese, Uchimura nonetheless was feeling unfulfilled. “When we’d sleep in the same bed, I’d start to think, ‘I wish she could talk,’ so I wanted to make that a reality.”
The result was Rina Makuraba, whose family name is a pun on makura, the Japanese word for pillow.
The Ita-Supo isn’t as rudimentary as a button-activated speaker inside a pillowcase, though. As Uchimura explains in the product’s introductory video, “If you don’t rub her, she won’t make any sounds. You have to rub her.”
▼ The inventor is happy to demonstrate his technique.
You can probably already see where this is going: straight to the breasts, which in this instance are accompanied by Rina meowing like a pleased kitty cat…
…followed by an excursion in Crotchland, which elicits a breathy, “No, not there,” but capped with a telltale heart mark to show she’s being coquettishly consensual.
“For otaku, this is the dakimakura of their dreams,” asserts Uchimura. But while that claim might make you imagine that Rina will let you do whatever you want with her, that’s actually not how the system works.
As shown in the video, the sensor responds differently to different kinds of stroking. Mash your palm over Rina’s chest, and she’ll get upset, saying, “Hey, that hurts!” and “Hey, hands off!” Uchimura even alludes to a cumulative effect, where a continual lack of gentleness will put Rina in such a bad mood she’ll stop talking to you altogether.
On the other hand, a smoother, more measured groping will instead produce a string of increasingly positive reactions.
▼ “What’s gonna happen if I start to love you even more than I already do?”
Otaku who’re worried about a limited phrase set ruining the mood by making it feel like they’re making out with a 1994 Sega Genesis sports game announcer will be pleased to know that the Ita-Supo comes preloaded with over 500 speech patterns. Uchimura says that expansions are also planned, which can be downloaded to your smartphone, then transferred into the pillow.
Despite proudly referring to Rina as his wife in the video, Uchimura seems to have no qualms about sharing, or even selling, his anime spouse, and his campaign on Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake has already raised 302,000 yen (US $2,560) of the 500,000 yen it’s seeking. 20,000 yen will get you your very own touch-responsive dakimakura, featuring either Rina or alternate Ita-Supo stars Shion Kamitsuki and Shiho Natsuki.
▼ Shion and Shiho’s family names aren’t as pun-tastic as Rina’s, but they do both contain the kanji character for “moon,” keeping with the nocturnal image of pillows (and bedtop hanky-panky).
If you’re feeling like your bed is both too lonely and too quiet, you can throw some cash at Uchimura right here. Who knows, if the response is positive enough, maybe for his next project he’ll equip that giant six-meter (19.7-foot) anime dakimakura we saw last month with a megaphone.
Sure, we know we’re not supposed to play with your food, but the temptation can be great when there are gadgets around like the Direct Food Printer that lets you draw and write as you choose directly onto food. But now, for a limited time starting this week, McDonald’s Japan will be offering a new menu item that allows you to draw directly on your food using … chocolate sauce!
It’s the “Oekaki Happy Hotcake” (Draw and Happy Hotcakes) set, and if you think drawing on hotcakes with chocolate sounds like fun, we completely agree! What’s even better, the set can be ordered as part of a Happy Meal that comes with a Pokémon toy — now, what kid can resist that?
The Oekaki Happy Hotcake set comes with a brown and pink “chocolate pen”. The set on its own, which includes two pancakes, the two chocolate pens and syrup, will cost 314 yen (US$3), but it can also be ordered as a Happy Meal as shown in the picture below, with either a cup of corn or french fries and a drink, which will be priced at 530 yen ($5.25).
And in a joint promotion that’s sure to delight kids, there will also be a special Pokémon Happy Meal option available, which will come with one of eight Pokémon toys that feature some of the usual Pokémon characters as well as those from the new feature-length Pokémon film, Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction, which will be premiering in Japan on July 19.
▼These four toys featuring Pikachu, Froakie (Keromatsu in Japanese), Deddene and Yveltal will be available as part of the Pokémon Happy Meal from July 11.
▼And these four featuring Fennekin (Fokko in Japanese), Chespin (Harimaron in Japanese), Diancie and Xerneas will be available starting July 18.
▼The Pokémon Happy Meal will come in a special edition box which has pop up features that can be used like a frame or picture stand. The cute Pokémon illustrations are sure to catch children’s hearts!
Actually, all of this looks fun even if you’re not a kid, especially decorating the hotcakes with chocolate ink! It looks like there’ll be another reason for children to ask their parents to take them to McDonald’s this summer. Both the Oekaki Happy Hotcake Set and Pokémon Happy Meal will be launched on July 11, and the Pokémon Happy Meal will be available for about one month, while the Hotcake Set is scheduled to be served until mid-August.
And yes, we admit we’re wishing we can get a Hotcake Set now and do some serious chocolate doodling … but we guess we’ll have to make do with crayons and paper until July 11!
How is your mental state? How likely do you think you are to commit a crime? If it were the year 2112 in the dystopian Japan of the popular anime Psycho-Pass, it would be no secret; your mental state and “Crime Coefficient” would be read, monitored and recorded by the Sibyl System. What’s more, if you were to go a little crazy, then you would be “taken care of” by the Public Safety Bureau.
With the new Psycho-Pass movie coming out on January 9, Fuji TV and their anime program Noitamina have come out with an ingenious advertising event. Why wait until 2112 to get your Psycho-Pass index when you can just go to Shinjuku Station next week! But watch out, if your mental state reading is muddy or your crime-coefficient is too high, you might get eliminated.
The week-long campaign, lasting from January 5-11 (6AM-11PM), is set up in the Metro Promenade of the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line at Shinjuku Station. The display consists of sixteen 60-inch screens with motion sensors and high-definition cameras. When you walk up to the screen, the system, operating on Microsoft Kinetic V2, will display your Psycho-Pass profile with your current face as the ID picture.
▼ That could be you in the photo!
The system will also “determine” your mental-state color and crime-coefficient. If the reading is muddied or too high (over 100), one of the Inspector or Enforcer characters from the anime will come out (on the screen) with their Dominator. The Dominator is a specialized gun that works with the Sibyl System to determine if the suspect is a latent criminal or not, and if so, will allow the user to shoot them with one of three settings―the strength of the electro-magnetic blast is determined by how dangerous the suspect is thought to be.
▼ If you find yourself with a high-level, you better run before your get a Non-Lethal Paralyzer, Lethal Eliminator or Destroy Decomposer blast coming your way!
Unfortunately, the event only lasts a few days, but if you get the chance, head down to Shinjuku and get your Psycho-Pass checked out. Better yet, go down there twice, once when you’re really calm and once when you’re really angry and see if there is a difference in your reading! If you do make it there, leave us a comment and tell us how cool it is in real life.
▼ The much anticipated movie is set to come out on January 9.
▼ Here’s a map to the event area, now you Tokyoites have no excuse not to go!
Studio Ghibli’s acclaimed film Spirited Away is beloved around the world for its touching story and beautiful animation, and the whimsical setting has a real-life counterpart. Jiufen, a mountainous area of New Taipei City in Taiwan is said to be where creator Hayao Miyazaki drew a lot of his inspiration for the film, and many tourists visit the area to feel like they’re stepping into the magical world of Spirited Away. But it turns out there’s also somewhere similar in China! Check out these photos and videos of the incredible place.
In Sichuan province, the area famed for its pandas and delicious mapo tofu, is a place called Hongyadon situated in the heart of the city of Chongqing at the point where the Yangtze River and Jialing River meet. There you’ll find a tall, towering structure accessed by a bridge that looks just like a Japanese castle. It looks like something copied straight out of a fantasy movie, but it’s actually a traditional style of building from an area steeped in 2,300 years of history.
This particular place was reopened as a commercial and tourist facility in 2006 and has become a centre for shopping and sightseeing, and has recently become more popular after the news that it looked just like Spirited Away started circulating.
And it does look just like the bath house from Miyazaki’s masterpiece, bridge and all. You’d almost expect No-Face to welcome you at the door! Inside the sprawling, 11-story complex it’s like a labyrinth filled with hotels, bars, and cafes. Judging from the photos it even seems like there’s a Starbucks and a Subway somewhere in there. The chaotic design that looks as though everything has been stacked willy-nilly on top of each other adds to its charm and the orange glow when its lit up at night is so beautiful and welcoming you feel positively drawn to it.
For many newcomers to anime and manga, it can be hard to tell characters drawn by the same artist apart. In general, Japanese designs use fewer lines, especially in the faces, than those of Western comic books, and even some artists themselves, such as Touch creator Mitsuru Adachi, have been known to get their own cast members mixed up.
That’s not a problem with Atom, though. Also known as Astro Boy, Osamu Tezuka’sbeloved mighty robot is instantly recognizable, whether in the pages of the manga where he debuted, onscreen in one of his many anime adaptations, or, in his most recent appearance, a pedestrian walk signal in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Sagami, a coastal area in southern Kanagawa, is home to a number of technology and manufacturing centers. In order to promote the district’s cutting-edge image, 10 Sagami cities have banded together under the umbrella organization Robot Town Sagami.
Atom serves as the group’s mascot, and in its promotional video, Robot Town Sagami says it’s inspired by seven of Atom’s features: his 100,000-horse power motor, satellite and camera, sense of hearing 1,000 times stronger than a normal human’s, speech capabilities, artificial intelligence, empathy, and jet engine-powered flight.
The citizens of Robot Town Sagami may not have ticked off every item on that checklist yet, but Fujisawa, one of the member cities, does now have Atom keeping pedestrians safe, as shown in this photo.
Even in silhouette, you can instantly tell who it is. Atom’s stalwart “don’t walk” posture shows you can be cool even when following the rules, and his gallant “walk” stride somehow makes the simple act of crossing the street seem like the start of a jaunty adventure.
▼ All right! Let’s do this thing!
Unfortunately, Atom doesn’t have jurisdiction over all of the city. Cool as it may look, the special signal doesn’t comply with the standards signage on public roads are held to, so the only place you’ll find this one-of-a-kind signal is inside Tsujido Kaihen Kouen Park.
The latest iteration to Medicom Toy‘s Bearbrick series sees the Peanuts estate collaborate with the Japanese toy manufacturer to produce a 400% rendition of iconic comic strip Peanuts’ Charlie Brown.
Sizing up to 280 mm high, the Bearbrick is dressed in the lead cartoon character’s signature zig-zag top and blue shorts, while also characterized by a small curl of hair at the front of its head.
Priced at at ¥7,344 JPY (approximately $70 USD), the limited edition Bearbrick will be released in February 2015. Head to Medicom Toy now to pre-order the piece.
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.
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).
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.
Ditto for these buckets of chocolate.
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.
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.
And of course, the Attack on Titan potato chips are endorsed by spud-loving Sasha.
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.
Attack on Titan tissues come in two types, silly and dramatic.
Towels only come in two varieties of wacky, though.
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.
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.
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.
Or, if you’re more the digital type, Lawson is also selling a mouse/memo pad bundle.
▼ Perfect for listening to your Attack on Titan opening and ending theme playlist.
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.
▼ It’s Titan time!
The same illustrations also show up on the postcard sets.
Of course, it’s not an authentic Japanese sweepstakes without clear files.
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.
A few prizes still seem to be in the planning stage, like the stacking figure set and the poster signed by Isayama himself.
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.
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.