An axis for artistic and creative-types of the Asian persuasian… Redefining Otaku Culture.

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!


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.

“One-Punch Man” manga greenlit to be a television anime

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.


The top 10 manga Japanese people want to see turned into anime


RocketNews 24:

Every season there’s a wave of new anime shows, many of them based on some other form of media such as a manga or light novel series. Most reasonably popular manga titles seem to make it onto the screen in animated form at some point or other, so it can be galling when your favorite series is passed over by the animation studios time and again in favor of yet more giant robots and impossibly large and buoyant chests.

Read on to see which manga series Japanese readers most want to see animated, and let us know what your own picks would be.

Japanese website Anime Anime! conducted a survey to discover the manga series their readers most want to see turned into anime. They first asked for suggestions on Twitter then put together two lists of 20 titles, one of manga series which had come to an end and one which was made up of continuing comics. Each respondent could choose up to three manga series from each list. In total they received 1,800 responses.

Here is the ranking for the as-yet incomplete manga series readers really hope to see on their TV screens soon. Some of these have been licensed and published in English while others have not. The majority of them are seinen titles, but there’s also a few shonen and shoujo in there, too, and the themes vary from slice-of-life to superheroes and fantasy battles.

1. Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto by Nami Sano


This slice of life seinen manga first made its appearance in 2011 and has been consistently popular. It got over 25% of the votes to secure first place in this survey!

2. One Punch-Man by One and Yusuke Murata


One Punch-Man is a webcomic that has been running since 2009. It follows the story of the super-powerful hero Saitama on his journey to defeat evil monsters and gain recognition.

3. Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma


Yotsuba and has been going since 2003 and it’s surprising it hasn’t been animated yet after the success of Azuma’s previous series, Azumanga Daioh, both in Japan and overseas.

4. March Comes in Like a Lion by Chica Umino


Begun in 2007, this slice-of-life manga from the creator of the award-winning Honey and Clover, follows a lonely 17-year-old professional shogi player.

5. Drifters by Kouta Hirano


This fantasy manga from 2009 brings historical figures together to fight to save a mysterious world.

6. Nijiiro Days by Minami Mizuno


The first shoujo title to make the list is one of the more recent entries, having begun in 2012, and is a lighthearted story that gives us a peek into the lives of four high school boys.

7. Oresama Teacher by Izumi Tsubaki


This shoujo romantic comedy began in 2007 and follows a delinquent girl’s efforts to clean up her act and her new school.

8. Yandere Kanojo by Shinobi


Yandere characters are always popular so it’s surprising that this manga, which came out in 2009, has yet to be animated.

9. Amaama to Inazuma by Gido Amagakure


This seinen-oriented slice-of-life manga is a relatively new title, begun in 2013.

10. Soul Catcher(s) by Shinkai Hideo


A boy with special abilities and a troubled heart joins a high school band – how does this shonen series not have an anime yet?

Some of these series above are sure to make it onto the screen at some point, probably after they’re finished, but others will remain static forever. And maybe that’s for the best, since unfortunately the animated versions don’t always do justice to their source material

Keeping Totoro’s Forest safe: Anime legend Hayao Miyazaki volunteers in conservation event

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RocketNews 24:

When Studio Ghibli’s classic anime My Neighbor Totoro first screened in the U.S., more than a few people assumed the titular forest spirit must be a traditional figure from Japanese myth or folklore. Considering how well-realized the character is, and the reverence the film treats him with, it’s not surprising that some people would arrive at that conclusion, but the fact of the matter is Totoro sprang directly from the active and ample imagination of Hayao Miyazaki.

The acclaimed director did have a little real-world help creating the film’s settingthough, which is said to have been inspired by a patch of Japanese forestland called Fuchi no Mori. The forest helped light a creative spark in Miyazaki, and now he’s returned the favor by volunteering in an annual conservation event that helps keep the Fuchi no Mori green and healthy.

Fuchi no Mori straddles the Yanasegawa River, which serves as the borderline between Tokyo’s Higashimurayama and neighboring Saitama Prefecture’s Tokorozawa City. Literally meaning “The Abyssal Forest,” it’s also commonly referred to as Totoro’s Forest, because of its resemblance to sisters Mei and Satsuki’s country surroundings in the film.

Tokorozawa has been the 74-year-old Miyazaki’s home for the last 45 years, and in 1996 he made a donation of 300 million yen (US$2.8 million, at the time) in order to protect the forest from housing developments. The timing coincides with the production of Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke, the 1997 release with heavy environmental themes which was written and directed by Miyazaki, who had initially intended for the theatrical feature to be his last.

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Miyazaki has provided more than just monetary aid, though. As per the suggestion of the anime icon’s wife, Akemi, volunteers annually gather in winter to clear away underbrush and dead branches from Fuchi no Mori. Doing so allows both the indigenous sawtooth and konara oaks, as well as the maples and satinwood trees, which were introduced as part of reforestation efforts, to flourish in the coming spring.

This year, some 260 environmentally minded individuals answered the online call for participants, coming from as far away as Japan’s southern island of Kyushu. On January 18, they were joined by Miyazaki himself, who pitched in and worked side-by-side with the volunteers during the four-and-a-half-hour event.

Miyazaki’s hands-on approach has drawn praise, given that he’s both wealthy and old enough that society wouldn’t knock him for taking a pass on manual labor. But while some might have expected the famously stern animator, who is said to go for daily walks in the woods, to speak about the deep responsibility represented by the event, he downplayed the weight of what the group had set out to do. Instead, he passed it off as merely a natural and obvious course of events, saying:

Conservational activities are a function of the community’s attitude towards nature. For me, this forest is now a part of my lifestyle. I don’t think so deeply about whether or not I have an obligation to do this. Rather than hold meetings about these kinds of things, what’s important is for us to take action, with our own hands, as part of the flow of time.”

If he could talk, we’re sure Totoro would say the same.

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Spooky “radiation fog” turns Saitama cityscape into Silent Hill overnight

RocketNews 24:


Halloween may be over for this year, but the weather gods in Saitama clearly hadn’t got the message on Wednesday morning this week, as the city was shrouded in a mysterious thick fog – with an even more mysterious name!

Radiation fog is a kind of winter fog that occurs on clear, calm nights as thermal radiation causes the air near the surface to cool, and condensation forms. The freak weather, which enveloped the city’s skyscrapers, typically doesn’t last long, but it stuck around long enough to be broadcast live…

View image on Twitter


Japanese netizens really had only one thing to say though:

“RADIATION FOG?? Even Saitama isn’t safe!”

“It’s radioactive!? No more nukes! No more nukes!”

Oh, and one more thing:

It’s not Saitama, it’s Shizuoka!” [the kanji for Shizuoka (静岡) means ‘silent hill‘…geddit?]

There’s also this timelapse video, which is definitely the coolest video of fog I’ve ever seen:


Saitama kids see soccer ball floating in river, turns out to be human skull

RocketNews 24:


On 2 July at approximately 5:30pm, a group of junior high school students were playing around the banks of the Ara River in Toda City, Saitama Prefecture when they spotted something floating near the river’s edge.

Thinking it was a soccer ball, the trio of 15 year olds began to pull it in with a tree branch. However, upon closer inspection the “soccer ball” turned out to be a human skull.

This horrific discovery has alerted everyone to a grim reality about Saitama Prefecture: it’s sorely lacking in physical education, especially competitive sports.

Granted there are a lot of variations to soccer balls in terms of design but I think if you were to ask anyone to draw a soccer ball on a sheet of paper, you’d get the typical white sphere with little black pentagons around it.

If I had to imagine a ball that a skull would resemble, a volleyball springs to mind first. Still though, in the name of sciencey type stuff, let’s compare various popular sports balls with a human skull.



Okay, that got a little ridiculous near the end. There’s no way a bowling ball would be floating in a river. And even though the eye sockets and other crevices does lean towards a soccer ball, I still say their PE teacher would be disappointed.

Sports equipment identification problems aside, the youngsters did do the right thing and immediately reported the remains to the police. Authorities are currently trying to identify the owner of the skull, but we fear it may be too late.


Want your cooking to taste like world-famous chef Nobu’s? Here’s the seasoning you need


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RocketNews 24:


One of the few Japanese restaurateurs to gain international fame and popularity is Nobuyuki Matsuhisa. Better known by his professional moniker Nobu, the Saitama-born chef began his culinary career in Tokyo, before leaving Japan to open restaurants in Peru, Argentina, and the U.S.

Being so far away from the birthplace of Japanese cuisine, though, meant Nobu had to come up with new recipes and flavors that would suit the palates of his non-Japanese clientele. This often meant finding roles for locally available ingredients, but in one case, Nobu took things a step further by developing one of his own: miso powder.

There are several ways to make miso, and the exact ingredients and process used can cause differences in flavor, consistency, and even color.


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One constant you can generally count on, though, is that miso is a paste. Even the most internationally well-known dish that uses the soybean seasoning, miso soup, is made by thinning the mixture with water.

Nobu chanced upon a different way to use Miso though, thanks to a simple bit of forgetfulness in managing his own household condiments. After using some miso to prepare a dish at his home in Los Angeles, Nobu stuck the partially-used tub back in his refrigerator, but neglected to replace the lid.


▼ An ordinary miso container

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By the time he realized what he’d done, the top layer of the miso had dried out and hardened. Curious, he scraped off some of the powder, tasted it, and discovered it was surprisingly delicious.

Figuring if he enjoyed it, his customers might too, Nobu began adding the dried miso powder to dishes at the Nobu restaurants he co-owns along with actor Robert De Niro.

Of course, with over a dozen branches, the famed chef’s personal fridge isn’t big enough to make enough dry miso to meet demand. Instead, the professional-grade powder is produced in Nagano Prefecture by Hikari Miso. The company says the seasoning, which is made of flakes of organic red and white miso, is perfect for fish, chicken, meat, and even salads.


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Get your hand on a bottle, and you’ll be all ready to season like a pro. As for cooking like one, though, you’re on your own.


Check out this link:

Want your cooking to taste like world-famous chef Nobu’s? Here’s the seasoning you need



Artist Profile: Kaneko Tomiyuki



Japanese artist Kaneko Tomiyuki was born in Saitama prefecture, 1978. Since childhood, he has been particularly interested in Japanese folklore and the spiritual world. His interest has led him to study in the Tohoku prefecture, which was the birthplace of “Legends of Tono”.

As an undergraduate student he studied Japanese style painting in Tohoku University of Art & Design and graduated the postgraduate of the same university in 2009. Even after he finished studying, he continues to “substantiate” mythological creatures such as: yokai, spirits and the gods by painting. In this first exhibition at Mizuma Action, as well as his representative work, his most recent works will be exhibited. Varying from drawings to the many detailed paintings that visualize his personal visions of the Yokai world will cover and fill the walls.

Kaneko believes that the stratum of unconsciousness called the “Manas-vijnana” in Sanskrit (the seventh stratum of the eight within the world of Yogacara) is the origin of “evil” in everyday life, beginning with Yokais and many other evil creatures. Compared to the animalistic nature of the eighth stratum, “Alaya-vijinana”, “Manas-vijinana” is the unique feature of human and the unconscious emotion of attachment. It is always around us and constantly puts us into trickery.

However, this unconscious emotion of attatchment is what makes humans human. The human’s strength to struggle is where all art is created, and by intercrossing with localized imagination it has formed as the yokai. Please come to our gallery to speculate the observing eye of KANEKO Tomiyuki, and the wonderful world of the yokai.

Check out this link:

Artist Profile: Kaneko Tomiyuki

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