Category Archives: News

Posting some news and commenting on them.

Japan to Lead the Way in Singularity Dystopian Future

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Looks like the inevitable robot invasion may be coming sooner rather than later. A Japanese private security company by the name of Secom has begun to employ some very dystopian tech. Cute, friendly looking anime: AI Guards. The technological Singularity is coming to you soon, and it’s looking kawaii!

Japan is going full Psycho Pass with their very own robotic security force. These robotic guards will see use at businesses hoping to cope with the labor shortage currently facing Japan. Secom ultimately hopes their product can be used as receptionists and greeters as well as Security.

Helping Secom assume the role of Big Brother is a complex systems of Cameras and algorithms that can keep track of, whether an individual is hiding their identity or even acting unusually compared to prior patterns. The AI then calls the assistance of human guards to promptly handle the situation. 

Sadly, there is no word yet on whether robo-neko maids on the production schedule.

Otaku No Video Kickstarter Success (Why It Still Matters)

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Upon catching up with the news via Twitter, among all the other amazing things happening yesterday, news came that Animeigo’s ambitious Blu-ray Kickstarter had ended to incredible success. More than excited to hear that the final numbers absolutely crushed the proposed $40,000 goal with a whopping $102,869, the upcoming release plans will likely live up to and beyond initial promise. And now that the initial crowdfunding leg of this particular tour is at an end, Paypal will be open to those late to the party. Sure, goodies that were set up for those who participated won’t be available, but do not feel too left out. The hallowed Secret Master Of Otakudom edition is jam packed with celebratory sweetness for even the most pokey of supernerds.

The recent Japanese release contains not only a lovely transfer, but also an all-new commentary track featuring Shoji Murahama, Kikuko Inoue, Hiroyuki Yamaga, & Yuki Sato. The Animeigo release also promises an english commentary track by none other than Gilles Poitras!

All these bells, whistles, and glory for what exactly? Well in case you’ve been on these intarnutz over the last two decades (strangely an equivalent to being under a huge rock), Gainax’s Otaku No Video remains a poignant, and often self-effacing document on an era of anime fandom that deserves remembrance. And while we certainly have evolved into forms far beyond in that short span of time, the roots remain as relevant, and possibly as dangerous – as ever. For those with a need for that added nudge, please read.

Then scratch that itch. Fight the good fight!

Fight, Ota-royalty!

Otaku no Video Crowdfunding Project Promo Video from AnimEigo on Vimeo.

Ghost In The Shell At 20 (Now on Hulu Plus)

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As raved about over Twitter just a short while ago, subscribers to Hulu Plus can now enjoy the recently released HD edition of Mamoru Oshii’s classic adaptation. Now alongside the later (and equally thrilling) television series’, Koukaku Kidotai has itself a nice little home base with the mega streaming service. Debate no more about Hollywood film renditions, irrelevant casting controversies, and just drink in why Production IG and company have Masamune Shirow’s crowning achievement well in hand with its exploration of political intrigue, cybercrime, and groundbreaking hybridization between science fiction and faith.

Memories come rushing back during Ghost’s initial US art house theater run via the folks at Manga Video, and just how well LA audiences reacted to Oshii’s vision. A vision that until this point was largely either unknown or patently ignored by westerners. Coming hot on the heels of the ultra-personal Patlabor 2, Ghost was a pretty unexpected theatrical and home video success story stateside. And considering the cinema world pre-Matrix, this somber and flawed mood poem had so much stacked against it, save for those who knew what a terrific coup between director and material this was. And when I say flawed, I mean this as pure compliment. Before INNOCENCE veered into near ancient library obscurity, Ghost finds itself beautifully poised between crime thriller and existential voyage. And despite it’s occasionally jarring three segment structure, it’s pretty hard to impossible to envision it work any other way.

It is Oshii at his thoughtful, grounded best.

This is especially cool news since the only version Hulu has had available for years was the irksome 2.0. Rust color and unnecessary bad CG no more!

So get on it, already!

ALTIMA Press Conference Transcript: Otakon 2014

ALTIMA are a digital J-pop group widely known for making the Shakugan no Shana ED. They are:

Altima

  • Maon Kurosaki – vocals – a self-described anime otaku
  • Mototaka “Motsu” Segawa – rapper – loves US dance/house music
  • Satoshi “Sat” Yaginuma – sound production; instrumentals

Motsu, you put the band together. Could you tell us why you felt compelled to work with these artists?

Motsu – At first . . . ? I love J-pop – and my old band, m.o.v.e., starting doing less digital J-pop. I found on YouTube that I could do digital J-pop with Sat, and we just needed a vocalist who was into it. We found her, and we were set!

Any funny or inspiring stories from the road?

Maon – In Thailand and in HK, the crowd had memorized the songs and sang with us! I felt that music connects us, even across distance, borders, and cultures.

Motsu – I love how loud the fans get in the US! It’s the best feeling, being cheered on like that.

Sat – We visited many places for the music videos and had a lot of experiences. It’s a real honor to be in the US.

You are each from different musical traditions. What is the concept of ALTIMA?

Sat – What we aim at is digital J-pop. I don’t know if you’d say digital pop exists elsewhere in the world, but digital J-pop is exactly what we want to do.

What artists inspired you?

Sat – Motsu~! (Grins across.)

Motsu – (Laughs.) (Pauses.) For me, as a rapper . . . Beastie Boys, 2Unlimited, house music . . .

Sat – Run DMC, Walk this Way!

Maon – For me, actually, a lot of anime artists! Minami Kuribayashi, Mizuki Nana, JAM Project – I found this style of music most interesting and I want to tell the world how wonderful it is!

Sat – I also manage FripSide . . . we were successful and I had the chance to work with Omura Tetsuya. I said, “I did it!” It really felt like a milestone in my life.

Maon – I also really respect Hamasaki Ayumi.

Sat – Hey Motsu – you’re in the same company as her, aren’t you? (laughter)

How do you deal with creative differences?

Motsu – Janken! (laughter)

Maon – Jan! Ken! Pon! (makes hand motions)

[Editor’s note: This is Rock, Paper, Scissors, which is ubiquitous in Japan.]

Sat – Seriously, though, we’re all in different age groups – 20s, 30s, 40s. We don’t really argue and we have no problem talking things over.

What are the greatest challenges you’ve faced in your music careers?

Motsu – Starting up this group, actually. Three years ago, not everyone was sold on this idea. We faced a lot of opposition. It was worth it though – we’re here now!

Sat – I likewise feel the greatest challenge was putting this group together. But I was a huge fan of Motsu already, so I knew I wanted to work with him!

Motsu – (Embarrassed) Oh, thank you. Thank you.

Maon – My own greatest challenge? Actually, it was stepping up and singing! I am really the introverted type; I love being inside playing dating simulation games, but when I discovered the world of anime music, I became passionate about sharing it with everyone. So stepping into the light was my biggest challenge.

You mentioned that Run DMC influenced you. Is there any chance we’ll see a Run DMC cover some time?

Motsu – Yes. Come to our concert tonight!

What’s your favorite swear word?

Maon – English or Japanese?

Motsu – Jikusho!

Bonus question: Where’d you get your shades? They’re very distinctive.

Motsu – It’s my own brand! Ghetto Blaster. So we could say I made them myself.

You move so fluidly! Did you have dance training, Motsu?

Motsu – I started out as a dancer.

Do you have a message for your US fans?

Motsu – You guys give us huge greetings when we come to the US. It’s great to have you cheering us on!

Sat – As the producer, let me say – we try for an unconventional style. I really want to see how fans react to it!

Maon – Even in Japan, it’s a rare opportunity to do everything raw. Here in the US, it’s an especially rare opportunity to bring you our raw sound, our raw voices . . . I’m looking forward to it!

Sat – I really hope we can spread exposure across the country to those who are looking for our sound. So I hope you guys can write good articles and convey our spirit to the world!

“Astro Boy” Anime Reboot May Contain an Entirely Revamped Story

Fans of the classic Astro Boy series may be excited to hear that Monaco’s Shibuya Productions, Japan’s Tezuka Productions, and France’s Caribara Animation is in the midst of creating a new anime series revolving around Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy.
Continue reading “Astro Boy” Anime Reboot May Contain an Entirely Revamped Story

“Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge” Film Scheduled to Air In Several Asian Countries

Fans of Hunter x Hunter, or specifically the Yorknew City arc in which Kurapika is essentially the main character for nearly 20 episodes straight, will be excited to hear that Animax Asia has released an English-subtitled trailer of the 2013 film Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge. Continue reading “Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge” Film Scheduled to Air In Several Asian Countries

“Dragon Ball Z” & “Sailor Moon” Make Their Way Back to A New Generation

Two of the most praised anime series of the shōnen and shōjo genre are undoubtedly Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon. The two classic shows grabbed the hearts of millions in the 90’s, along with being “the anime” that influenced a vast amount of individuals to become dedicated fans of Japanese animation.

Continue reading “Dragon Ball Z” & “Sailor Moon” Make Their Way Back to A New Generation

Spring 2014 Lineup Guide: Crunchyroll, FUNimation & Daisuki Announce 43 Anime Simulcast Titles

It’s quite possible that Crunchyroll has hit the record for the most anime simulcasts in a given season.  The legal streaming service for anime & Asian drama was able to gather a total of 34 new anime simulcast titles, not including the 10 ongoing series that will be carried throughout this season.

Continue reading Spring 2014 Lineup Guide: Crunchyroll, FUNimation & Daisuki Announce 43 Anime Simulcast Titles

Was “Pokémon Omega Ruby” & “Alpha Sapphire” Announced Too Soon?

On Monday morning, Nintendo shocked the web by announcing the all new Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire game, scheduled to release worldwide for the 2DS & 3DS in November.

The result? Social media explosion. News outlets were on it, Twitter couldn’t get enough of it, the Pokémon Facebook fanpage acquired over 19,000 “shares,” and the teaser received over 1 millions views.

Continue reading Was “Pokémon Omega Ruby” & “Alpha Sapphire” Announced Too Soon?

Over 20 Playable “Fairy Tail” Characters Featured in RPG Game “Divine Gate”

Back in November 2013, developers from Acquire and GungHo Online Entertainment announced their new iOS/Android RPG game, Divine Gate. The game featured a collaboration with Steins;Gate inwhich players could form teams with the actual characters, including Kurisu Makise and Rintarou Okabe.

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Continue reading Over 20 Playable “Fairy Tail” Characters Featured in RPG Game “Divine Gate”

Bang Zoom! Entertainment Encourages Fans to Audition for “Magi: The Kingdom of Magic” at Anime Expo 2014

Magi fanatics, along with aspiring  voice actors, will be excited to hear that the English dubbing company Bang Zoom! Entertainment, along with Aniplex of America, will host open auditions for Magi: The Kingdom of Magic during Anime Expo 2014. Best of all, anyone can audition, including fans.

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Continue reading Bang Zoom! Entertainment Encourages Fans to Audition for “Magi: The Kingdom of Magic” at Anime Expo 2014

Asian Fast Food Chain Lotteria Continues to Incorporate “Attack on Titan” to Their Menu

In the month of March, Asia’s fast food giant Lotteria ran a promotion which involved a collaboration menu between them and Attack on Titan. This included the 10-Meter Class Titan burger released on March 6th, along with burger meals containing a Survey Corps pin, Military Police pin, or Garrison pin,  released on March 25th.

Continue reading Asian Fast Food Chain Lotteria Continues to Incorporate “Attack on Titan” to Their Menu