Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Get a Free Email Address!

Hey all! Want an email address? Like ""

All Ani-Pock Webmail accounts feature an amazing 2GB+ of mail storage! Webmail is powered by Google's Gmail, so it's super fast, easy to use and reliable! So want that address? Just following the steps below!

Leave a comment below with the following information:
1. Your Ani-Pock name
2. Your CURRENT email address (so I can email you the activation link!)

Anyone can leave a comment on this post, just choose the "anonymous" option!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Funny Japanese CM Time

Shizuoka Broadcasting wants you to be entertained at any cost.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Japanese TV: Pan-Kun's Tree House

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mario Music Art MIDI!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Exploding piggy-bank aims to scare Japanese into saving

TOKYO (AFP) - Greying Japan has a new weapon to scare people into saving for their retirement -- an exploding piggy bank.

The "Savings Bomb," which goes on sale in Japan next week, "explodes" and scatters coins if users fail to save for a long time, toy manufacturer TOMY Co Ltd said Thursday.

The battery-powered toy -- designed as a cartoon-style, ball-shaped black bomb with a skull and crossbones logo -- lights up, makes a noise, shakes violently and scatters coins if it is not topped up for a long time.

"Users must pick up and collect the scattered coins and reflect on their laziness," the Japanese company said.

Japan has the world's oldest population and one of the lowest birthrates, raising fears of a future demographic crisis with a smaller pool of workers financially supporting a growing number of elderly.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mario Kart Stop Frame Action!

Must have taken them a long time!

VocaloID2 II!

A little update on our VocaloID2 software news...
This is starting to be big news in Japan as the December shelf date draws near.
Apparently, there will be at least one other character that you can program to sing at first release.

May I introduce, Kagamine Rin. When you use each character enough you can unlock a secret level of the software and they will fight to the death!
Just kidding, but take a look at our new (OMGCUTE!!1) character and just how good this software can sound:

And just how bad...:

And how... you thought I was going to say ugly, right?
More like awesome! Here's Miku again, singing with a host of fifteen voices to our favorite anime themes and various musics:

Thanks again to DarkMirage for the last link.

Update: Lucy informs me that video number two is actually someone's attempt at cutting their own version of a song using Rin's voice actress from another kind of application. See the comments.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hello Kitty Strap Halts Trains

(Via The Japanese press is reporting that a train was brought to a halt on the Osaka loop line last night around 7:55PM , after the warning lights indicated that the train’s doors were not closing properly. The source of the problem was a 2cm Hello Kitty doll, which had become detached from a cell phone strap and jammed itself between the doors. After an 18 minute delay, the Hello Kitty was removed and service on the loop line resumed. An estimated 20,000 passengers were influenced by the delay.

Gigantic Sun Fish caught in Japan

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Abbey Road never sounded this good... at 28 Mph!

If you are traveling by car in Japan, don't be alarmed if music begins playing in your cab... even when the radio is off.

Japan's "musical roads" are a creation of Hokkaido Industrial, as such, it is no wonder that they built their three prototypes on Japan's northern island (named Hokkaido). The melodies are created by cars driving over grooves in the road (grooves, LOL), much like one would a speed bump, which cause a tone to travel through the cab of the car. In order for the melody to play correctly -sound like a normal tempo, recognizable pop song, that is- one must travel no faster or slower than 28 Mph (45 Km/h).

From The Guardian News: "You need to keep the car windows closed to hear well," wrote one Japanese blogger. "Driving too fast will sound like playing fast forward, while driving around 12mph has a slow-motion effect, making you almost car sick."

The roads are identified by a large musical note (actually denoting a break in the song) printed in the asphalt. The idea for the creation of the roads came about by accident when construction, worker and melody road patent, Shizuo Shinoda, accidentally struck grooves into the road with his bulldozer and later drove over them to find they produced interesting tones.

This from Deputy-dog: "Questions remain as to the long-term effect of the Melody Road on tire wear, whether the altered roadway will need more maintenance over the years, and if Japanese citizens will rebel against what seems to be an extravagant use of public funds for no real purpose. Then again, this is Japan - therefore, it's just business as usual!"

Watch this video for a demonstration of the roads in action:

Or listen to a sample here.

O Diamond Tree, How Many Karat are Thy Branches?

Japanese department store, Takashimaya, is selling a miniature Christmas tree covered in over four hundred diamonds, for the price of 200.7 million yen to celebrate this year's upcoming holiday season and the soon-to-be-expected holiday rush.

The smaller diamond pieces "sparkle charmingly like morning dew on petals, while two-carat and three-carat pieces mesmerise admirers with their noble glow," quotes a store spokesperson in the AFP Google article.

The tree is forty centimeters tall and has over 100 karats of diamonds in it as well as some preserved flowers. The tree also comes with a cute, red teddy bear sporting some X-Mas bling of its own.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lee Seeks Spot in DBZ Movie

Actor James Kyson Lee, who plays Ando on the popular NBC Entertainment series Heroes, says he would like to play a role in the upcoming live-action Dragon Ball Z movie, as bad-guy turned good, Yamcha (AKA: Yamucha).

The movie was in the planning stages for five years or more, and, according to Anime News Network, has recently begun production in Montreal, Canada.
The film will have a budget of USD$100 million.

As well as the Dragon Ball Z movie, there are at least four other movies in my mind that were promised a live-action adaptation (that I might be more inclined to watch) which have produced little to no results, as well as some false rumors altogether:

Maybe it's better to just stick with the anime versions of each, have the movie industry quit dangling promises of adaptations, smile, and be happy about it!

At any rate, I hope that at least this DBZ film makes it through production, so the next time a film is announced, we don't suspect someone of crying wolf. Thanks, in that respect to Transformers the movie!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Japanese scientists create "fearless" mouse!

Free Image Hosting at
A  team of University of Tokyo researchers led by professors Hitoshi Sakano and Ko Kobayakawa have announced they have genetically engineered a mouse that does not fear cats, simply by controlling its sense of smell. By tweaking genes to disable certain functions of the olfactory bulb — the area of the brain that receives information about smells directly from olfactory receptors in the nose — the researchers were able to create a “fearless” mouse that does not try to flee when it smells cats, foxes and other predators.

Stunning Moon Pictures Return to Earth from JAXA Probe

In a continuing Ani-Pock blog story:
JAXA's moon orbiter, The SEELE... er... The SELENE has returned pictures of the moon's surface for view by the Internet community!

Take a look at some of these pics! (Click for larger resolution.)

More information here, and a video from the HD camera.

Also still in the news:

Comet 17P Holmes (link from the A-P blog) is STILL glowing brightly (link to new news).

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fuigo Matsuri, Feast of Bellows

Today is November 8th, the day of Japan's Festival of the Bellows.

From the Daruma Pilgrim Museum Blog:
"Sacred ropes (shimenawa) are hung around the furnace and bellows [used for weapon making], sacred ricewine (o-miki) and some mandarines are placed on the furnace and prayers are said. The mandarins (small oranges) are later thrown to the children. (It was said they prevent catching a cold in winter time.) Various deities involved in sword making are celebrated in this festival." Which includes Kajishin no Kami (鍛冶神) the God of the Blacksmith and Sword Making.

Fugio means fire tools, from which the festival's proper name, Fuigo Matsuri (吹革祭), comes.The main location for the festivities is the Bellows Shrine, Fuigo Jinja (鞴神社), in Osaka.
This festival is also sometimes confused/celebrated with the feast day of Inari, the Kitchen-range Goddess, which has similar festive practices.

Pictured above: a bellows (yes, that's the singular form) from which weapons would be made.
Below: The Ikutama Jinja grounds in which the Fuigo Jinja is housed.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Super Mario Galaxy lands in Japan this week!

The commercial for the rest of us:

Robot man! You... sound... so... REAL!

Listen to a sample of this new vocalizing software.
This is a version of the Loituma song sung by the computer program:

How does it work? DarkMirage explains:
"The singer is 'Hatsune Miku' (初音ミク) from Crypton’s VOCALOID2 software. It’s basically a music creation tool similar to MIDI composers except that instead of synthesizing instruments, it synthesizes vocals. That said, it doesn’t actually generate the voice using any magical algorithm; the vocals are actually pre-recorded (the voice belongs to Saki Fujita, an obscure seiyuu with few titles under her name)."

I couldn't have described it any better. He also notes that the Japanese language has only about fifty or so different enunciations, so it's like programing the different notes a piano can make and designing the software to be able to play it back as music, but in this case it's vocals and singing.

Here's another example and a visual of how the program works.
Watch the VOCALID2 software compose a version of Hare Hare Yuaki.

Remind anyone of Macross Plus's Sharon Apple?

Hello, Kitty! What product of wonderment do you have today?

It's the Hello Kitty banana case:

"No longer must people duck and dart in fear whilst carrying around their bananas. Made of seemingly indestructible polyester cloth, the Banana Case provides impenetrable protection against any sort of danger imaginable: household pests, natural disasters, IEDs, wild animals including blood-thirsty hybrid species cultivated by rogue geneticists, wheelchair-bound limbless homeless men with laser beams shooting out of their gaping, toothless maws, and even the occasional occurrence of being left in the backseat of a car on a hot afternoon."

Via Conbini Bento.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Phoenix Wright Would Not Be Pleased...

Two partners in crime, who also happen to be siblings, have been sentenced in a trial that alleged they scammed several otaku. The pair worked as a team as the sister bumped into people on the streets of Akihabara, and her brother moved in and demanded apologies and payments from the victims. Together, they extorted about 110,000 yen or 1,000 USD.
As Anime News Network reports, "The twin brother, Chuo University junior Satoshi Isono, was sentenced to one year and six months of imprisonment with three years of probation. The sister, Yuka Isono, was sentenced to one year and two months of imprisonment and three years of probation."
The brother was working for a law degree at Chuo University.

...And likely, Satoshi won't have much of a career now. Unless there is a law firm in Japan that goes for the ambulance chaser-types of lawyers with a history of situating the law in their favor, he will likely settle into a good job of pickle inspector at MosBurger.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Japanese TV: The Plastic Bottle Challenge

(Via "Haneru no Tobira’s bug dudes are back, this time with a wacky swimming challenge. They battled against the flotation power of empty plastic bottles to retrieve a plastic lobster at the bottom of a pool:"

Boys Be Stylish! - Addictive J-Pop Band BOYSTYLE is All Girl

Hello Kitty on Adult Swim xD

Lots more cool stuff here!! Continue browsing...

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