Sci-fi ninja cyberpunk novel series”Ninja Slayer” set to start streaming as anime on April 16

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RocketNews 24:

If there’s still a ninja-shaped hole in your heart where the recently climaxing Naruto used to be, perhaps we can interest you in some sci-fi cyberpunk ninjas?

With a new anime set to start streaming on April 16, the people behind Ninja Slayer want everyone to release their inner warrior, and they’ve got some shiny new merchandise to help you get in the mood. And if you happen to have lost your entire family to a ninja turf war recently, you too can become a ninja slayer! Find out how after the jump.

What began as a “translated” Twitter novel has blossomed into eight published novels, three manga adaptations and a new animated series set to stream on video site Niconico next month. People all around the world are catching the Ninja Slayer fever. A bunch of new merchandise is being sold to celebrate the anime’s release, and the standout winner is definitely the snazzy Ninja Slayer T-shirt.

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Using the same color as the main character Kenji Fujikido, this T-shirt will proudly show off your love for Ninja Slayer. It even has “ninsatsu” (忍殺) conveniently placed on the back. But that’s not all, using these simple step-by-step instructions, you can turn into the infamous Ninja Slayer yourself!

▼ From tee to ninja hood in seconds!

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We know what you’re thinking: “T-shirt ninja? What are you doing back?” But it’s not “just” a T-shirt ninja, it’s a T-shirt ninja slayer! When you use this shirt, the “ninja slayer” kanji characters are proudly displayed on the front. Now all your enemies will know what sort of nefarious business you are there to conduct.

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For those unfamiliar with the title, Ninja Slayer is a cyberpunk sci-fi story set in Neo Saitama. In a time where rival clans are fighting a huge war, one salaryman’s family is killed. Seeking revenge, the main character is possessed by a mysterious ninja whose hatred of the ninja syncs up well with Kenji’s thirst for revenge. Together they vow to kill all the ninjas as the ninja slayer.

Ninja Slayer is supposedly written by two Americans, Bradley Bond and Philip Ninj@ Morzez, but apparently that is a story made up by the “translators” to help sell their novels. No original English version of Ninja Slayer exists, yet, so it is probably safe to say the authors are Honda Yu and Sugi Leika. All this confusion only adds to the intrigue surrounding the title. You’ll be able to tune into the first episode streaming on Niconico on April 16.

Forget shuriken: 10 stealthy and dangerous ninja tools you didn’t know existed

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RocketNews 24:

Growing up in the 90s, I was raised with the notion that ninja were teenage turtles, silent assassins or similar to the characters in Naruto. As much as we’d like to believe these were the reality, according to an interesting article from Listverse, the ninja that actually roamed the streets and castles as spies and assassins were humans who didn’t always dress in black (apparently they wore dark blue), and they didn’t regularly use the famous weapons we know so well.

So, if they weren’t using shuriken and long swords all of the time, what did they use? Researchers have been investigating the ancient style for decades and have uncovered some pretty amazing and ingenious items that you would never even dream of. There are probably thousands of ninja tools and techniques out there, but we’ll just focus on the few that Listverse brought into the open.

1. Nekome (Cat eyes)

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Have you ever seen cats’ eyes glowing in the dark night or their pupils shrinking to slivers in the daytime? The ninja definitely did. In fact, they examined cat eyes so closely that they were trained to be able to tell the time of day, within one hour, based on the size of a cat’s pupil, since they change in reaction to the daylight. Now, this leads me to wonder how well this would work in a rainstorm, but I guess the ninja probably had some correction for that. While this isn’t really a tool they would carry around with them (we hope), assuming the stray cat situation in old-time Japan was anything like it is today, the ninja were never in need of a pair of feline lenses.

2. Nekote (Cat hands)

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Staying with the cat theme, we move on to nekote. Used exclusively by female ninja, known as kunoichi, this was a metal or bamboo claw-like weapon, which could be attached to the fingers via thimble-like pieces or with a band around the hand. This could very well be the origin of the term “cat fight.”

3. Kanzashi (Hairpin)

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Kunoichi were known for their preference of lightweight and extra-hidden weapons, like the nekote and hairpins. We’re not talking about the hairpins you can use to pick locks (although, I’m sure these could do that too), but instead, kanzashi — long, ornamental hairpins, which could be sharpened and easily disguised and carried in your hair. The pins could be used to attack vital points or dipped in poison to deliver a fatal prick.

4. Saoto hikigane (Ear trumpet)

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This one looks pretty uncool, I have to say, but again, I grew up in the age of wiretapping and hidden recorders. While ninja did do some fighting, a lot of their responsibility was to stealthily get top-secret information from their enemies. But without modern day technology, how did they do it? With an ear trumpet, of course! The shape of the device amplifies sound, so it can be used on its own or up against a wall to hear the conversation on the other side. Although, a lot of Japanese doors were made of paper, so I can’t imagine it would really have been that hard to eavesdrop.

5. Yatate (Brush and ink case)

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Once vital information was obtained with the saoto hikigane, the ninja had to record it somehow in order to inform their bosses. It sounds kind of lame, but ninja apparently often carried a pencil-box like container for their calligraphy brush and ink— but of course, they may have carried small knives and bottles of poison in there too, for good measure.

6. Donohi (Anywhere heater)

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Stakeouts in cold weather are no fun, especially without kairo, the disposable heat packs we use today. Instead, of kairo, ninja used a donohi. This device was pretty simple, but very effective. They would put a flammable material (gunpowder, alcohol, etc) in a piece of bamboo, copper or iron cylinder and light it. The design allowed it to heat up, but the fire could last for hours or even days. I know kairo now last for 24 hours, but they sure don’t last for days!

7. Mizu-gumo (Water spider)

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Could ninja walk on water? Researchers can’t really prove it, but they think this tool, mizu-gumo (literally, water spider), which consisted of four curved wooden or inflated animal hide pieces strung together with a fifth piece in the middle, may have been used for water-walking. Perhaps they couldn’t use them to walk over deep moats surrounding castles, but they were probably useful in swampy areas.

8. Crickets

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Ninja may have used cat eyes and cat hands, but even they weren’t able to harness the stealthiness of felines. As smooth as ninja were, cracking twigs, crunchy snow or even the mere silence of the insects when a human comes near, could give the ninja away. To prepare for this, they sometimes carried a cage of crickets and secret poisons that either made the insects chirp, in order to cover-up the sound of movement, or be silent when need be. Pretty creative! (I know some modern-day people who would like that secret potion to shut crickets up on summer nights.)

9. Eggshells

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What would you do if you were a ninja about to be captured by the enemy? How about throwing eggshell bombs at them? (Aka, Edo era pepper spray.) The trick is to poke a hole in an egg, drain the contents, and then refill it with iron filings, salt, pepper or anything else that would cause irritation to the eyes or nose. Since eggshells are easy to break, throwing them at your opponent would quickly release the blinding substance. I’m interested to know how they transported their egg bombs without breaking them along the way…

10. Goshiki-mai (Five-colored rice)

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Japanese people love them some rice, ninja included. To the ninja though, rice was more than just breakfast, lunch and dinner; it was used for a code system. Rice could be painted different colors and arranged in certain combinations or amounts to convey secret messages. When left on the side of the road, a fellow clansman would see the sign and understand the message, but the average Joe would just see some rice. Pretty creative unless someone ate the rice!

Harnessing the power of nature, getting creative with everyday items and using what would probably have been some state-of-the art technology for the time, ninja were actually way cooler than I was raised to believe, and that’s saying a lot. Technology may have made most of these tools obsolete, but some could easily still be used today.

 

Mysterious Naruto inflatable toad sculpture appears in China

Mysterious Naruto Balloon Appears in China

Kotaku:

Earlier today, a strange sight appeared in the Pearl River Delta area of Guangzhou. A giant blow up toad smoking a pipe is seen tied down near Guangzhou’s Canton tower.

According to Sina games, the giant toad is a tribute to the 15 year-old Naruto comic series that just came to an end last week. Sina games talked to a worker at the site who said that the balloon was put up by fans who wanted to commemorate the series conclusion.

The same construction worker claims that the toad weighs in somewhere around 2 tons.

Mysterious Naruto Balloon Appears in China

The toad is a character from the series called Gamabunta. He’s a giant toad that’s summoned by the series’ titular character and his father, the fourth Hokage. The character also plays a fairly important role in the series as one of the symbols of the “three ninja of the leaf.”

According to Sina, since the debut of the toad in Guangzhou, fans have been lining up to take selfies with it. Course, this version of Gamabunta is much less surly than his manga counterpart, even if he’s just about as large. One intrepid fan has even uploaded the toad onto Tencent maps! You can check out the frog and its surroundings here.

Mysterious Naruto Balloon Appears in China

Chinese netizens have multiple theories as to who put the balloon up. Some believe that the balloon was actually put up by fans. Some have even made a joke that this was the work of artist Florentijn Hofman, the creator of the floating yellow duck.

Others speculate that the balloon was the work of a marketing company hoping to draw up hype for the online game, Naruto Online. It’s not uncommon for Chinese video game companies to co-opt feel-good moments for publicity. C

 

Adorable Asian kids in Halloween costumes

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Audrey Magazine: 


The baby from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

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The happiest baby monkey you’ll ever find.

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The “Oh, I’m a panda!” baby.

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The baby who’s clearly a strong, hammer-wielding god.

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The lost baby penguin.

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The cutest baby ewok ever. EVER.

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The baby who can beat you up.

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The very-serious-about-his-cosplay Naruto baby.

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The tiny Totoro.

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The GIANT Totoro.

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Baby Kiki and her Delivery Service.

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Baby Chun Li…

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…and her twin sister.


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What could be cuter than this little Mario?

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Little Mario and Luigi!

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A baby Cheeseburger that doesn’t seem to know what’s going on.

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A baby lobster that knows exactly what’s going on.

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Lots and lots…

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.. of adorable..

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.. BABY SUHSI!

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Last, but certainly not least is the baby who doesn’t care what holiday you think it is.

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Link

Manga News: Attack on Titan is #5 in U.S. Bookstores in March

 

RocketNews 24:

 

 

The first volume of Hajime Isayama‘s Attack on Titan ranked #5 on Nielsen BookScan’s list of top 20 graphic novel sales in March, followed by volume 2 at #7, volume 3 at #15, and volume 11 at #19.

Additionally, volume 64 of Masashi Kishimoto‘s Naruto ranked at #8, volume 11 of Kazue Katō‘s Blue Exorcist ranked at #17, volume 18 of Kanoko Sakurakouji’s Black Bird ranked at #18, and volume 70 of Eiichiro Oda‘s One Piece ranked at #20.

In January, Attack on Titan volume 1 ranked at #3 and Attack on Titan volume 2 ranked at #8.

The BookScan rankings represent sales at Barnes & Noble and other book chains, independent bookshops, and online purchases — but not sales at comic book stores, Amazon, Walmart.com, and some other venues.

Source: ICv2

 

Check out this link:

Manga News: Attack on Titan is #5 in U.S. Bookstores in March

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Anime voice actor Tomoyuki Dan (“Naruto” and “Ghost In The Shell”) passes away

Tomoyuki Dan - Kisame

Actor Tomoyuki Dan passed away this week at age 50 of recurrent aortic divergence. When he was playing as Shinkuro Isaka/Weather Dopant in Kamen Rider W, his character was a maniacal physician that went through extreme means to increase his own power. Anime fans might know him for his work as Kisame Hoshigaki in Naruto. More recently, he appears as Iskikawa in Ghost in the Shell.

 Dan also provided the Japanese voice of Batman in the Nolan movies.

Check out this link:

Anime voice actor Tomoyuki Dan (“Naruto” and “Ghost In The Shell”) passes away

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Link

NY Times Best-Selling manga of the week

Sailor Moon

Here’s the New York Times Best-Selling manga of the week:

  1. SAILOR MOON SHORT STORIES, VOL. 1, by Naoko Takeuchi. (Kodansha Comics.)
  2. ATTACK ON TITAN, VOL. 1, by Hajime Isayama. (Kodansha Comics.)
  3. ATTACK ON TITAN, VOL. 6, by Hajime Isayama. (Kodansha Comics.)
  4. BLACK BUTLER, VOL. 1, by Yana Toboso. (Yen Press.)
  5. ONE PIECE, VOL. 68, by Eiichiro Oda. (VIZ Media.)
  6. DEMON LOVE SPELL, VOL. 4, by Mayu Shinjo. (VIZ Media.)
  7. ATTACK ON TITAN, VOL. 2, by Hajime Isayama. (Kodansha Comics.)
  8. NARUTO, VOL. 62, by Masashi Kishimoto. (VIZ Media.)
  9. ATTACK ON TITAN, VOL. 3, by Hajime Isayama. (Kodansha Comics.)
  10. NARUTO, VOL. 61, by Masashi Kishimoto. (VIZ Media.)

Check out this link:

NY Times Best-Selling manga of the week

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Link

NY Times Best-Selling manga of the week

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  1. ONE PIECE, VOL. 68, by Eiichiro Oda. (VIZ Media.)
  2. ATTACK ON TITAN, VOL. 6, by Hajime Isayama. (Kodansha Comics.)
  3. ATTACK ON TITAN, VOL. 1, by Hajime Isayama. (Kodansha Comics.)
  4. DEMON LOVE SPELL, VOL. 4, by Mayu Shinjo. (VIZ Media.)
  5. NARUTO, VOL. 62, by Masashi Kishimoto. (VIZ Media.)
  6. ATTACK ON TITAN, VOL. 2, by Hajime Isayama. (Kodansha Comics.)
  7. ATTACK ON TITAN, VOL. 3, by Hajime Isayama. (Kodansha Comics.)
  8. JUDGE, VOL. 1, by Yoshiki Tonogai. (Orbit.)
  9. ATTACK ON TITAN, VOL. 4, by Hajime Isayama. (Kodansha Comics.)
  10. KINGDOM HEARTS II, VOL. 2, by Shiro Amano. (Yen Press.)

Check out this link:

NY Times Best-Selling manga of the week

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Link

NY Times: Best-selling Manga of the week

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Best-selling Manga of the week (sales for the week ending August 10, 2013):

  1. Naruto, Vol. 62 (VIZ Media)
  2. Bakuman, Vol. 20 (VIZ Media)
  3. Fairy Tale, Vol. 28 (Kodansha Comics)
  4. Alice In The Country of Hearts: The Clockmaker’s Story (TOKYOPOP)
  5. Pokemon Adventures, Heartgold & Soulsilver, Vol. 1 (VIZ Media)
  6. Black Butler, Vol. 14 (Yen Press)
  7. Attack On Titan, Vol. 1 (Kodansha Comics)
  8. Kingdom Hearts II, Vol. 1 (Yen Press)
  9. Attack On Titan, Vol. 2 (Kodansha Comics)
  10. Attack On Titan, Vol. 3 (Kodansha Comics)

Check out this link:

NY Times: Best-selling Manga of the week