Monday, September 29, 2008

Where can you find singing children? Only in Japan!

Oh this is just terrific!

Japanese students sing Kenya!

Yes, that's the Kenya:

I do remember singing a lot of folk and children's songs in my language classes, but this...

Tamagotchi back, now in color!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Japanese TV: Mario Kart DS Ad

Have you seen these?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Aso's Year? I hope!

It's time again for Taro "Rozen" Aso to hit Akihabara again. He's campaigning.
For three years running Aso has been campaigning for Prime Minister of Japan and hitting up heavily otaku-filled areas as his main support system of voters.

Aso, himself, is of course an avid reader of manga, but he has also targeted the otaku of Japan to rally for him because of this well known "quirk" that most other Japanese governmental workers may not share, or at least publicly.

That aside, Aso has been known for his shrewed stances in politics and is infamous for his controvercial remarks about foreigners. Currently, he holds the position for Minister of Foreign Affairs even, and has even worked to initiate talks with China about the growth of their military force, despite publicly stating his fears about China being, "a neighbour with one billion people equipped with nuclear bombs [that] has expanded its military outlays by double digits for 17 years in a row, and it is unclear as to what this is being used for."
A tough statement, even for a man with enough great soundbites to start a weekly Daily Show feature.

Aso has campaigned three times in three years so far. First in a general election, again after former PM Abe resigned, and again after PM Fukuda announced he would be leaving office early this month. Maybe this will be his year.

I like that Aso can be controvercial though. This indicates to me that he is not just a robot among governmental workers. In a country where one is expected to avoid confrontations, especially when representing one's people, Abe repeatedly takes things head-on.
Couple this with his relation with the otaku culture and even his non-traditional faith of Roman Catholicism, you can see, he certainly is someone who is outside the norm.

Heh. This comment from one of those forementioned Akiba otaku in a recent Mainichi article is especially precious:
"I hope he can improve the image of otaku and have more people understand the subculture," said [Rei] Nekomi, a surgeon and psychiatrist who says he enjoys coming here to dress in female costumes when he is off-duty.

Go Aso! Go!

I'd actually like to see what an otaku PM can do. I wouldn't be surprised if he created a nationwide Manga Day, maybe developed (yet another in a line... Doraemon, Totoro, etc) ambassador for Japan in the form of a timeless anime character, or even forced exports of Anime to other countries as an international relations move. In fact, I not only wouldn't be surprised, I'd like it! He's done similar in the past afterall.
Thanks to Kami for help with this post.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

AUUUGGHHH! NOT MORE!: A commentary by Kip

If you've been paying attention to... any entertainment industry, the trend is the same. Go with what is safe.

Strangely, I'm not sure what provokes this mentality. The movie industry has hit a ridge of producing only time tested favorites and making sequels or remakes of them. Consider this summer's comic book blockbusters, Indiana Jones IV or whatever, Get Smart, and Speed Racer even!
Though Speed Racer, it is said, will mark just the beginning of many live-action anime remakes to hit theatres with a live-action Ghost in the Shell coming soon and, of course, a live-action DBZ coming next year. The reasoning for this, it is said, is because all of the good comic books have been made into movies, so what's left is manga and anime! I'm still less than enthused.

Television has followed much the same trend as past hits like Bionic Woman and... that show about trendy California kids... in that one zip code... what's the name... these shows were remade and aired this year, based on their popularity a decade or more ago.

Sounds familiar.

But what of anime itself? This summer the first new season of the infamous "Slayers" series in around ten years, went to air. Despite dismal ratings of the sequel series this season, a continuation of this season has already been announced. That's right, Slayers is greenlit for yet another season.
I wonder why. With old fans like myself saying that the series feels nothing like the originals, and newcomer viewers saying the characters and art looks dated (same designs as from a decade
ago!), how can they possibly keep this going this way?!
Someone must know something, because the trend is continuing elsewhere.

Fullmetal Alchemist has been confirmed for another season, and there are rumors Inuyasha will be back again in ([sarcasm] oh joy! [/sarcasm]) new adventures. Again to point to Speed Racer, which was a pretty alright, somewhat groundbreaking series to begin with, this program has been milked into two spin-offs over the decades since its airing, not to mention one that airs on Nickelodeon now, that's not even an anime!! 

In every proceeding generation the series needed to get edgier, Speed's tracks got to be looking more like Hot Wheel loops, and now, I wouldn't even recognize the new series were it not for the name (to be fair, I didn't watch much of the new Speed Racer show since it pained me to even try to watch it, in the first fifteen seconds they introduce Racer X, and... ah, it just turned me off, so I did the same).

Let's draw a parallel now. The Adventures of Scooby Doo has spawned many, many different spin-off series and movies in its lifetime. Throughout its history the feel of the show and some characters (ie: Scrappy Doo), and even some basic elements of the show were changed to suit different tastes and audiences. Time and time again old fans will watch this because they know what it's about, they grew up with it, fell in love with the characters, etc, while children... will watch just about any cartoon that is on, in the present moment.
Toei Animation in Japan recently brought back a time-tested favorite series
 about paranormal sleuths going on wacky adventures called "Gegege no Kitaro". The series has been compared to an anime version of 
Scooby Doo even, and has seen much the same amount of spin-offs and sequels, if not more than the Hannah-Barberra counterpart (just look at this list!).

Certainly if these series can see time after time followings, there must be some formula to reviving them in these ways. For me at least, and for most of the examples I cited, it's not so much that I'm welcoming back an old favorite with open arms, but turning them away in disgust of a grey-haired Harrison Ford, and a tired and recycled concept.

Of course, I welcome your thoughts on this prospective. Maybe you're excited at the prospect of the X-Files movie or a new journey for Ed and Al.

Whatever the case (and maybe these anime should take a clue)... I'm history.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

DJ Kitty Spins it in Mono

BAM! We all need one of these:

Another item in the long line of unnecessary Hello Kitty gadgets, and possibly the coolest one since the Hello Kitty brand Mouse Zapper, comes an iPod accessory featuring Hello Kitty herself bopping it out to your jams atop her one (mono) speaker.

In a clever move by the H.K.Corp., you'll have to buy both to get stereo quality!

Extra bits here. Thanks, Pocky for the info!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Nabeshin Day!!

Today is the birthday of critically acclaimed 'fro god, Nabeshin (the real one)!

His hits and accomplishments in the anime industry number more than can be listed here, so I'll have this list suffice.

Happy Birthday, Watanabe Shinichi!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Vocaloid manga?? No way!

Yes way, every one's favorate vocaloids are now in a manga.

I haven't read it yet, but so far there are 5 chapters uploaded, and its based on Hatsune Miku, and the other vocaloids.

It sounds really interesting, More updates after I've read a bit!

Note from Kip: No, Ogi didn't post that picture, but this is how I imagine the Vocaloid software comes packaged. Otherwise it should! XD

See more pics from the anniversary post at Sankaku celebrating the first birthday of Miku!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Japanese TV?: FOX Launches Human Tetris

Next week on the FOX broadcast network, Hole in the Wall, otherwise known as "Human Tetris", will begin airing.

Pretend that it will be like this, but with American accents:

The show will premier next Thursday at 8:00 PM.

The show, as you may know is based off of a popular Japanese game show. The new spin off will be produced by Freemantle Media, the same group that produces the "________ Idol" series of music contest programs.

If you know of an adaptation of a Japanese show, a new anime block, Japanese cinema, or whatever that will soon be airing in your area, let me know by email or through the "Suggest a link!" button in the C-Blog!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Summer in Breif: What's Japan Been Up To?!

Just like Japan to announce the biggest news at the end of summer.
Things have been pretty quiet up until this point, and with the wave of fall coming on, exciting things are happening all over Japan and in the world of anime.

Let's take a look at the most recent and biggest news item to come out of Japan.

Yesterday, for the second time in two years, a Prime Minister of Japan has chosen to step down from their position before the end of their term.

Immediately, it appears that the trusted choice for PM and well-known otaku supporter, Taro "Rozen" Aso will step up as candidate for the Ministry. Aso is known by his love of manga and his often controversial remarks on foreigners.

As you may well know, former Shinzo Abe stepped down just last year, followed by his successor Yasuo Fukuda, two days ago. Read more here.

In other news, PC Advisor reports that several prominent manga licenses will begin selling digital copies of manga which will be readable to a Wii gaming system.
Wii users must have an internet connection to receive titles, which are only available in Japan as of yet.

The hope is that these titles will soon be available in handheld systems, at it looks as if the DS is the next target for this system.

Wii and Fujifilm recently added a photo-viewing/developing channel in further efforts to make the Wii system highly useful. Check that out here.
Thanks, to Kami for that last bit of news.

What? Who's this? Why it's live-action Son Goku! Or so this Spanish entertainment site says.

Not quite sure of the angle their going with on this one...

As for anime reviews of the season?
I didn't have time to watch hardly any of them!

Macross F, Allison to Lilia, and Tower of Druaga were the series I intended to watch. I'm lucky if I made it to episode five on any of them. Still mostly good so far, if even TToD leaves a sour feeling after viewing.

Happy fall, Pockers!
Expect to be seeing Kip around a lot more with summer coming to a close.

Also if you have any news to blog, please email me, or click the submit a link button at the top of the page.

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

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