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Infini-T Force photo
Infini-T Force

Licensing GET: UDON nabs Tatsunoko's crossover superhero manga


Gatchamaaaaaan!
Jun 22
// Salvador G Rodiles
My experience with Tatsunoko may be small, but I did enjoy their modern iterations of their classic properties, such as Gatchaman Crowds. With Infini-T Force, a title that features some of the company's heroes in the same set...

Review: One Punch Man Blu-ray Set

Jun 21 // Christian Chiok
[embed]35704:6206:0[/embed] One Punch Man (Blu-ray)Studio: Mad HouseLicensed By: Viz MediaReleased: April 25, 2017 (NA)MSRP: $29.99 (Standard) and $34.99 (Limited Edition) If you read my past reviews, you know that I really enjoy the shonen genre, especially battle series. However, I especially appreciate series that can action-packed but at the same time not take itself seriously—exactly like Dr. Slump, which shares the same premise of a main character that can outclass their opponents effortlessly, though Arale can stop Saitama easily, as someone who can play soccer with planets, or even making cracks with playful punches, but I digress. The premise of One Punch Man is much better as it involves superheroes saving the planet from strange monsters and supervillains have been mysteriously appearing and causing disasters. Saitama, who is one of these superheroes, can easily defeat these monsters and villains with a single punch, hence the name. Naturally with that much power, as become of it and only gets truly excited when fighting strong opponents that can challenge him. Throughout the series, he encounters various superheroes, supervillains, and monsters and gains a disciple named Genos, who is a Cyborg with various modifications. They eventually join the Hero Association in order to gain official recognition. Expected from Madhouse, the animation is quite amazing, especially the battle scenes. Seeing Genos activate his Arms Mode or especially using his Incineration Cannons was nothing short of amazing, and its really shows how much talent the studio has. The artstyle was great, especially the change in Saitama depending his mood, which was goofier looking when he wasn’t serious, and more muscular and detailed when he engaged in battle. Throughout the years, English dub has somewhat grown on me. Naturally, I still prefer the original Japanese track, as I always enjoy the original language in any form of media. Having already seen One Punch Man when it was released in Japanese, I decided to watch it in English to experience the series in a different form. Both Max Mittelman, who voices Saitama, and Zach Aguilar, who voices Genos, did well voicing both characters. I felt like perhaps Genos voice could have been softer though it didn’t feel too unfitting, and I thought that Max sounded a bit too serious for Saitama. Nevertheless, both of their works were enjoyable. There are certain characters that I prefer their Japanese voice by far over their English counterpart, but the dub was overall enjoyable. One of the gripes I have with these Viz Media releases, as the same happened with the Boruto film, is that the English subtitles featured on this set it’s the same as the original Japanese option, and not it’s own, so, for the most part, the dialogue in the English dub doesn’t match the subtitle track. They are minor differences and you still get the overall idea of what is being said but it still feels a bit lazy on their behalf and hopefully it isn’t a problem in future releases. Though I didn’t include it in my Top 5 Anime of 2015 last year, One Punch Man was still up there for me. If you loved the series, consider investing in the Blu-ray set—it comes in a standard edition which comes with Blu-ray discs of the series, or the limited edition with comes with two Blu-ray discs, two DVD discs, 96 page full-color Booklet including Chapter 1 of the smash-hit manga, and six art cards, which can be used as the cover of the set. Definitely worth the purchase. 
One Punch Man photo
Okay
It really doesn’t feel like too long ago when One Punch Man first aired back in 2015, as I still remember it like yesterday when I was watching it alongside other Fall seasonals, like My Love Story. Honestly, not only b...

Anime Expo '17 photo
Anime Expo '17

Meet the real Meijin Kawaguchi at Anime Expo '17


Will he wear the flashy shades?
Jun 21
// Salvador G Rodiles
Now here's a familiar name from an awesome Gundam anime. It turns out that Bluefin will have the Master of GunPla (Gundam and plastic fused together), Meijin Kawaguchi, appear at this year's Anime Expo. Of course, the pe...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

See you next year, Attack on Titan


Get ready to bite your hand
Jun 18
// Salvador G Rodiles
As Attack on Titan Season 2 comes to an end, a bit of news about the series has surfaced. Instead of people having to wait a long time for the show to continue, we can expect the anime to return in 2018. In light of this news...
Japanese Houses photo
Japanese Houses

Old, New, and Abandoned? See what's up with Japanese Houses


Ore no house in the middle of the street
Jun 17
// Red Veron
A few months ago, YouTube channel Life where I'm from, showed us what a modern Japanese home. While not anything extravagant, this new house looks to be similar to modern affordable housing in the United States, save for a fe...

Beyond Fan Service: On the messed-up people of Scum's Wish

May 31 // Karishma Roy
  It’s actually refreshing to see an anime showcase sex boldly as opposed to the frequent, unrealistic portrayal of teenagers who orgasm aka “nose-bleed” at the thought of holding hands. Like, no, that does not normally happen. On the other hand, like some of the viewers, I felt that instead of devoting so much time to very awkward (cringey even) sex scenes, there could have been more of a focus on the emotional and mental consequences of the characters’ actions. It definitely lacked balance in this aspect but nevertheless, the series is still worth watching. We are taken through the journey of how Hanabi and Mugi deal with their pain and loneliness (often through sex) and eventually grow and develop into less unlikeable versions of themselves. I’ve seen that some viewers have been quick to label the female characters as “sluts” and “whores” but let’s not forget that the males are just as invested in sleeping around. More importantly, however, the sex here serves a larger purpose than mere shock value or fan service- it does contribute critically to the characters’ development. It’s not a strange idea that people may fill their hollow hearts with physical affection. The concept of friends-with-benefits and one-night stands is common in western culture and Japanese as well. Hanabi suffers from low self-esteem and abandonment issues. It’s no wonder that she gets lost trying to find her way to true love. In fact, a lot of us can relate to some sort of intense, emotionally charged teenage past. This girl is a damaged human being and that manifests (albeit annoyingly) in her focus on primitive desires. In the beginning, dealings between Mugi and Hanabi lack warmth but slowly they start to open up a small part of their hearts to each other. There’s a sense that the two of them start catching feelings for one other (totally did not see that coming) but they choose to ignore it and focus on their unobtainable adult love interests. This web of desire and possibility makes the story riveting. Hanabi gets a chance to assess the kind of person she is and makes decisions on what and who she wants to become. All the characters mentioned play into well-known tropes but their relationships with each other are what drives this show. Everyone, except that creepy cousin, transforms as a result of their interactions. For the most part, it is fascinating to watch although I found Akane’s character transformation unrealistic and very questionable. What the hell was Narumi thinking? Let’s talk about this biatch for a minute – she is by far the most twisted and fascinating one. Akane seems to derive pleasure from being the target of other women's jealousy. She sleeps with men (and underage boys) who are either in relationships or are wanted by someone else. There is a sadistically childish streak about wanting to essentially “steal” what isn’t her’s and Mugi was observant enough to figure her out as quickly as he did. Do people like her actually exist in real life!? In the end, she grows out of this toxic way of thinking which is great but I kind of wished she had an STD or prison sentence to go along with the new mindset. Other than this, I was very happy with the ending (especially Hanabi’s) because it was pleasantly realistic. The art was neat with an appealing soft colour palette and animation was fluid – every emotion was conveyed with exquisite clarity. The feels do punch you right in the gut. The soundtrack, both the opening - "Uso no Hibana" by 96 Neko - and the ending - "Heikosen" by Sayuri - are major hits among the fans. I listen to it on repeat most days! I rate this anime highly despite being unable to relate to or like most of the characters. I think that the idea of needing to empathise with every main character is limiting and one of the main reasons I watch anime, TV-shows or read books is to expand my knowledge on different fronts including religion, sexuality, culture, way of life etc.… so yeah. Should you watch it? Well, it’s a heavy, dark and sexual series where the tags “lust” and “obsession” would be more accurate than romance. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then go for it. My only advice would be to watch it privately with your headphones connected. P.S. I saw that people were comparing this anime to School Days and yes, that was equally messed up but in a different way. Scum’s Wish is purely psychological and emotional – no-one gets hurt physically, and it’s a much better watch.
Scum's Wish photo
What are your sinful desires?
Scum’s Wish is twelve episodes of a mature, romantic and psychological drama set at a Japanese high school. I will emphasise the “psychological” tag because this series is one hell of a m...

Your Name Review photo
Your Name Review

Check out Flixist's review of Your Name


[insert your name here]
Apr 05
// Nick Valdez
Body swapping comedies are a huge subgenre in anime, but they haven't been explored in film in quite a while. The latest major effort is Makoto Shinkai's Your Name, and it's the highest grossing anime film of all time. But ho...

Review: Boruto: Naruto the Movie Blu-ray Set

Apr 03 // Christian Chiok
[embed]35667:6197:0[/embed] Boruto: Naruto the Movie (Blu-ray [reviewed], DVD)Studio: Studio PierrotLicensed By: Viz MediaReleased: March 28, 2017 (NA)MSRP: $29.99 The Boruto: Naruto the Movie Blu-Ray & DVD Combo Pack comes with both the Blu-Ray and DVD versions of the movie. It also includes special features such as storyboards, showing how the movie was made, a clean version of the ending sequence—meaning no credits shown so you can enjoy the animation sequence, the Japanese trailers, artwork and The Day Naruto Became Hokage OVA, which debut in the Japanese limited edition of the movie, and released in North America two weeks prior this Blu-ray release.  The movie comes with an English audio track, English audio track with English subtitles, and the original Japanese audio track with English subtitles. My problem with the English with English subtitles option is that it does not match the dialogue from the English audio and most likely it's the same subtitles from the Japanese version, which is very lazy. Including the Japanese version with no subtitles would have been nice as well as there isn't a logical reason not to include it. If you're familiar with the English dub, the quality in this one is no different from the past. I personally like it.  If you missed out watching the movie in theaters (though by now you probably watched it by other means), or are a fan of the English dub and was waiting for the English release, then you should definitely get this set. The extra content is definitely a nice bonus and it will give you everything you need to know before the Boruto series debuts this anime season. 
Boruto photo
The New Generation hits Blu-Ray!
It's incredible how fast time flies. I remember like it was yesterday when I wrote my review for Boruto: Naruto the Movie, which was also my first piece on Japanator. You can read the full review here. Considering the movie c...

Annotated Anime: Tiger Mask W episodes 23-25

Apr 03 // Soul Tsukino
Episode 23 It's time for War Games! Well, not the war games long time wrestling fans think of when you use that name. This isn't two rings wrapped in a cage. This is something different. So different that everyone who is entering doesn't know what it actually is other than some sort of tournament where the winner challenges for the GWM World Title and gets a $1 million prize. The Third will be participating at his insistence and the challenge is open to anyone. Everyone else is hatching out their plans. Nagata gathers together a bunch of the New Japan guys saying they needed to work together. Wakamatsu wants to join, but Yuji says that only previous champions who have been in a GWM ring qualify. Not only do we see Gedo for the first time this series, but Naito does another one of his mysterious appearances and says he will be there, but he has no interest in working with the others. Meanwhile, Tiger is left scrambling a bit. Since he is freelance, he really doesn't have anyone else to team up with in this thing, that is until he remembers one other person. Fukuwara Mask. Fukuwara is still back in the village he helped last time and agrees to enter if he gets a cut of the money.   We then see what these guys are up against. Oh boy... we are entering Kinnikuman territory again. The rules are this. All the fighters start on the floor and fight each other. If someone scores a pinfall (being counted by Drones of all things. How Vanguard of them) they get to move up to the first ring. If you beat someone there, you move up a level. The fight goes on until there are two people in the top ring who will then fight for the money and the title. The third announces he is putting the belt on the line against anyone who beats him. Bonus! Besides the NJPW guys, Tiger, and Fukuwara, and The Third, we have Tiger The Dark and Kevin Andersen, Yellow Devil, The Metal Brothers, and a bazillion other guys.   The bell rings and we are off as everyone starts plotting and squaring off. The Third scores the first victory and walks right up to the next level. He's the guy to beat! The set up is bizarre and once again stretches the suspension of disbelief, but it does make for a good set up. With so many characters all gunning for the same thing, it makes me want to watch more. It gives us a clear path now that we are winding up season 2 and it gives us something to look forward too! Episode 24 We are still at war as everyone is still fighting it out for a shot at the GWM title and a million bucks at the Max Dome and GWM's War Game. There is a lot going on! Tiger the Dark's main goal is Yellow Devil. After a brief skirmish where Kevin saves Dark's ass, Dark finds him and start beating on him, even though Yellow Devil is not fighting back. We find out in a conversation with Miss X and her assistant Lady, that The Third was the one who ordered Yellow Devil be used in this match. That Tiger the Dark gets worked up when he sees Yellow Devil. I'm not the only one who suspects who The Third really is and that is a major plot reveal in that direction isn't it? Dark finally pins Yellow Devil and pulls off his mask.   Poor Mikasa once again. Poor guy just gets in way over his head. Speaking of, Dragon Young sneaks into the battle and scores a victory to ascend up to the next level of the fight and The Third. Feisty as Wakamatsu is, it doesn't go well.   The Third stays one step ahead as he goes on as the others fight to get to the second level. We don't see every individual advance but with The Third at the third level, Tiger, Tiger the Dark, Fukuwara, Kevin, Tanahashi, Okada, Naito are amongst those that get to the next level. Tiger and Fukuwara then get pins but as they are going to the next level, Tiger goes to save Tanahashi and Fukuwara fights The Third alone.  \ And they recognize each other?!? This is another of those plot points I really hope they expand on. Did they train together? Fight each other? Why does it seem like there is way more to Fukuwara mask than just comedy relief? The fight boils down to the Third and Naito and Tiger Mask and Tiger the Dark. Naito does a decent job and gets some offense in, but one brainbuster later and The Third goes on. Tiger gets part of his finisher in on Tiger The Dark, but Dark counters. With some help from Kevin, Dark gets the Dark Driver on Tiger Mask and ends his run to the surprise of EVERYONE. We get a break as Tiger the Dark recovers in the locker room as a lifeless Tiger Mask is carted away. Well, this certainly had action! A lot going on here but if you kept up with who was in what ring and level you did alright.  Sure, the concept is a far fetched one, but within its realm, this episode carried things out very well. I did not expect that ending and makes me want to see where this goes in the next episode. Like I've said before when this show is on track it is really good with the action and story, but it can go off the rails so easily. If they stay on point this could make for a fun season 2 finale. Episode 25 Wow. That's the best I can say about this episode. In the locker room as Tiger Mask regains consciousness. Fukuwara Mask and Haruna are there with him. During the conversation, Fukuwara Mask tells Tiger that The Third is Yellow Devil and Tiger reveals to him why he is after Yellow Devil. Tiger is pissed and goes to fight Yellow Devil but Fukuwara sternly tells him to sit down and Tiger the Dark won the right for this fight. In the other locker room Takuma is getting looked over and after a brief press conference, the Reporter tells him that the Yellow Devil of 3 years ago disappeared but that is when The Third arrived and that they are the same person. The match begins as Tiger asks The Third straight out if he was Yellow Devil. He challenges the Third for his Mask and the Third goes for it. Loser loses his Mask. Miss X doesn't want it to happen but The Third demands it. The match itself is about as you'd expect. Dark beats him for a while but it turns cut to be part of Third's plan. He uses Yellow Devil's moves on Dark and when he goes for the Devil driver (that injured Daisuke 3 years ago), Dark counters. However, it doesn't last long as the Third starts using different moves until he puts Dark's legs in a figure four and then picks him up and drives him down, breaking his legs and knocking him out. The Third rips Dark's mask off and he is revealed as Takuma to both Daisuke at home, and Tiger Mask in the stands. As he walks away The Third tells Miss X that he is actually the grandson of the original Tiger The Great from the original series and that when two tigers meet, the power is made clear of the winner. Meanwhile, as Takuma is being stretchered out, Tiger Mask runs up to him and tells him he is Naoto. Kevin then goes ballistic telling tiger Mask it was his fault that Tiger the Dark was hurt and he could have won if it wasn't for him. Takuma is whisked away in an ambulance as a crestfallen Tiger Mask stands alone.   This was an amazing show. It got to the point and didn't screw around. No more mystery and running around not knowing what is going on anymore. This is a great set up for a third season hopefully built around making Tiger Mask stronger in revenge against the Third for all he's done. Hopefully, it means the episodes fro here on in won't waste our time anymore.  
Tiger Mask W photo
The War Game!
We are nearing the end of the second season and it looks like The Third has emerged as the new power player for the GWM. Tiger the Dark is back on the active GWM roster and despite the ongoing goofiness of the relationship with Ruriko, Tiger Mask is still chugging along. As we get to another crucial point in the series, let's see where things go.

April Fools' Day photo
April Fools' Day

Here's some of April Fools' Day '17's anime and tokusatsu industry announcements


Why do they make us suffer?
Apr 03
// Salvador G Rodiles
If there's one thing about April Fools' Day that brings despair to the heart of people everywhere, it's the fake announcements that companies make on this faithful day of pranks. While we know they're not true, most of these segments can hit us hard since they'll likely never come true. In light of this yearly ritual, I posted some of the anime and toku announcements that made my day.
Garage Hero photo
Garage Hero

Garage Hero's April Fools' joke was a brilliant social experiment


There's no such thing as bad publicity
Apr 02
// Salvador G Rodiles
With April Fools' Day being over, Bueno of independent tokusatsu studio Garage Hero posted a video where he talks about his motive behind his recent prank and social experiment about the state of Strega, the sequel to his R-r...

Review: Your Name. (Kimi No Na Wa)

Apr 02 // Christian Chiok
Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa) Studio: CoMix Wave Films Licensed by: FUNimation Release Date: August 26, 2016 (Japan), April 7, 2017 (North America) The movie introduces us to Mitsuha, a high school girl living in the fictional town of Itomori, who is tired of her life in the countryside and wishes to be a handsome Tokyo boy in her next life. Next thing we see Taki, a high school boy living in Tokyo, who wakes up and realizes that he is Mitsuha, who somehow switched bodies with Taki. When both Mitsuha and Taki realized that they have switched bodies, they start communicating with each other by leaving notes on paper or leaving memos in each other's phones. As time goes on, they become used to the body swap and start intervening in each other's lives, like Mitsuha becoming more popular in school and Taki scoring a date with his female coworker, Miki Okudera While the movie starts off comedic, it takes a more dramatic turn during the second half of the movie. After his unsuccessful date with Okudera, Taki decided to contact Mitsuha but failed. He later finds that they have stopped switching bodies and eventually decides to visit Mitsuha in her hometown in the Hida region, with no information of where she lives and relying solely on the sketches of the village's scenery he has drawn from memory. With no luck finding the place, he decides to go back to Tokyo, until a restaurant server recognizes the town in Taki's sketch as Itomori. He is then told what happened to Itomori three years ago, in which is when the movie takes its dramatic turn. [embed]35666:6196:0[/embed] Your Name is kind of complex movie that will take more than one watch to fully understand. It took me watching the movie twice — both in Japanese and English, to fully understand it. There’s so much going on in the movie that just leaves you confused. Already understanding the movie because of my first watch, when watching it a second time, a lot of things started to make more sense to me, especially everything involving Mitsuha, such as her sake, rebirth and when they kept forgetting each other. The animation was fantastic, as expected from CoMix Wave Films, who were responsible for animating 5 Centimeters Per Second back in 2007. It felt so vivid, and it was beautiful to look at, especially certain scenes with the meteor. It’s going to be a great experience watching it in theaters. Both voice work and soundtrack were nothing short of amazing, especially the vocal songs by RADWIMPS. It added so much dramatic effect that made certain scenes feel more powerful. I also had the opportunity to watch the movie in English, which features an all-new English-language soundtrack created by RADWIMPS, who also were responsible for the original Japanese film soundtrack and score. I personally enjoyed the dub but the voices were a bit too soft for some of the characters, and just didn’t fit. As for the English soundtrack, while the original versions remain the best, RADWIMPS outdid themselves. Another thing is that with any translation, whether it’s anime or live action, the jokes, references, or language rules are lost in translation. Though it didn’t affect the movie too much. Your Name was a great movie, but it wasn’t as good or sad as people publicized it to be. Coming from someone who shed tears when reading One Piece or even actual tearjerkers like Clannad, the movie didn’t affect me emotionally at all, though there were sad parts.  Still, the concept presented in Your Name was unique and captivated me all the way through.  [This review is based on a commercial screening attended by the reviewer]
Your Name photo
Can I ask you your name?
By now, many of the anime fanbase has seen the critically acclaimed Your Name, or Kimi no na wa as known in Japan, which will hit theaters in North America this April. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Makot...

Strong Style: Wrapping up G1 26!

Apr 02 // Soul Tsukino
Before we jump into the action for this final Block B show. Here is how things stand. Naito has 12 points, Elgin/Omega/Shibata have 10 points, Yano/Nakajima have 8 points, Evil/Nagata/Hashi have 6 points, and Honma has 4 points. So here is how this works out for the 4 guys still in the running. For Tetsuya Naito to win: A win OR A tie For Michael Elgin to win: Win and Kenny Omega beats Naito For Katsuyori Shibata to win: Win and Omega beats Naito and Elgin loss. For Kenny Omega to win: Win and both Shibata and Elgin loss Got all that? Let's start with our first hour as we are greeted by Naito Block B: EVIL (6 points) vs. Katsuyori Shibata (10 points) As explained earlier Shibata needs a lot to happen to win this, and the already eliminated Evil can be the spoiler here. Again as the matches have shown before, these guys are on their own so no help for Evil here. We start with both already in the ring and the bell rings. Shibata immediately goes for a sleeper and then a backdrop suplex. He tries for the PK but Evil bails outside. Shibata comes out and throws him back in but gets clotheslined. Shibata gets whipped into the barrier and Evil ties his arm up in the barrier and kicks it. Evil then nails it with a chair! Bandaged arm is now a problem. Back in the ring Evil attacks Shibata in the corner but Shibata kicks Evil off of him. Evil goes for the STO but Shibata reverses it into his own version. Shibata goes for the pin and gets two. Kick by Shibata right to the chest. He goes for another but Evil catches it. Evil tries for a hit but Shibata hits him a few times before locking in the sleeper again. Evil goes for the bad arm and gets out with some elbows to the gut. Evil then grabs the arm and gets Shibata in the backdrop suplex. Evil tries a running clothesline and it does nothing. Another one and Shibata brings the boot up. Shibata lands a headbutt but Evil counters with headbutts to the bad arm. He then gets a chicken wing on the bad arm into a suplex. The ref checks on Shibata and Evil tosses him aside. Evil lands the powerslam and then lands another to get the surprise three count! Shibata is out in less than 10 minutes! Studio words from Naito now.  Everyone is looking to be the last guy standing in the tournament. He looked forward to this match at the start of the tournament, regardless of points. He didn't see any weaknesses when Kenny was a junior so he always wanted this match, but says when Kenny joined the Bullet Club, he became boring and not interesting anymore. In Block B action not shown: Honma beat Nagata, Yano beat Hashi, Nakajima beat Elgin, so Elgin is out of the running now too. Block B: Tetsuya Naito (12 points) vs. Kenny Omega (10 points) This match decides it! With Shibata and Elgin now out, it's one of these two guys. Kenny has to win here with Naito scooting by in a tie. All down to this. The Cleaner is the first one to make his entrance. He is alone. No coat or sunglasses or broom. Good sign for a great match. Naito is out next and the whole Hall is lit right up for this entrance. Nice! White suit and near kabuki skull style mask for tonight. We get full introductions here for both guys. Naito takes his time getting his gear off. Back from the break and we are finally ready to start. Bell rings and both just look at each other. No rush here with these guys. Naito avoids the lock up. He does it again and Kenny just attacks him. Whip reversed and they avoid kicks and contact before posing. Kenny has a big bandage on his back. Kenny spits on Naito! Naito gets up and returns the favor. Kenny spits on him again but Naito just attacks with some forearms and kicks. They bounce off the ropes back and forth before Naito lands a dropkick on the knee. Kenny down on the corner and Naito lands another dropkick on it. Naito lifts the knee and slams it on the canvas. He does it again! He takes Kenny down and slams the knee into the mat a third time. Kenny counters with feeble punches but Naito drives the elbow into the knee. Shot to the head as Kenny is into the ropes. He pokes Naito in the eyes and tosses him outside. He goes for the Terminator dive over the rope but Naito moves and Kenny goes splat on the floor. Another dropkick to the knee before Kenny is tossed into the barrier. Naito sets him up but Kenny drives him into the barrier a couple of times. Kenny picks him up and slams him right on the ring apron! Naito now has a weakness. The count starts but Naito gets back in. Kenny picks him up for a suplex but brings Naito down right on his bad knee! Cover gets two. Kenny with a head crank now as you don't see that move enough anymore. Kenny brings elbows down on the shoulder and goes for another cover but only two. Forearm to the back now. Chop to Naito's chest as Kenny chokes him in the corner with a foot. Kenny does the Rude Awakening! Complete with the hip swivel. How fitting considering as I type this "Ravishing" Rick Rude is being inducted into the WWE hall of fame. Cover gets a two count. Naito gets in an elbow to the neck but Kenny chops him to put him down and chops him again and goes for the pin. Finlay roll but when he goes for the second rope moonsault his knee buckles. He gets it anyway but can't make the cover. Back from the break as they stumble up standing. Naito whips him in and lands an elbow but Kenny lands a neckbreaker. Kenny in the corner and Naito lands his trip/dropkick combo and tries for the pin but gets two. Both guys up and exchange chops. Kenny goes for the inverted atomic drop but Naito lands the low dropkick to the knee. Naito locks in a weird version of the figure four where he puts the hold on but uses his wrong leg so it just looks awkward. It still works though as Kenny keeps fighting it but finally gets to the rope to break. The bandage comes off and we see the cut on Kenny's shoulder blade. Wonder where he got that from. Kenny gets the leapfrog leg drop and sends Naito to the apron. Kenny dropkicks him off and launches Naito right into the barrier. Kenny then picks Naito up into the powerbomb and drops him through the announcer's table!  Kenny rolls in as the count starts He launches onto the top and springboards outside and hits Naito on the floor outside the barrier! Kenny in the ring at 10 as Naito makes it in at 18. Kenny grabs him on the apron and hits the dragon suplex on the apron! That has to hurt. They roll in and Kenny lands another dragon suplex into the bridge! His knee buckles so he only gets two. Kenny goes for the doctor bomb but Naito counters into a DDT! Both guys struggle up and Kenny strikes first but they go back and forth with forearm strikes. Hard hits for both guys. Naito hits the ropes but Kenny gets the jumping knee Naito spins around and catches Kenny and gets a spinning DDT off the ropes. Kenny in the corner and Naito catches him. He sets Kenny on the top turnbuckle and goes up himself. He goes for the rana and Kenny counters into a sunset flip but Naito rolls out and gets the low dropkick. He gets up and hits Gloria! Only gets two. We are back from break as Naito gets to his feet. He goes for the arm but Kenny counters with chops. 10 minutes left for the time. Naito goes for the suplex and rolls onto his feet so injures the knee more. Kenny runs Naito over with a clothesline and hits a knee strike. He goes for the angel but Naito counters out into the knee lock.  Kenny is screaming and trying to get to the rope. He slowly pulls himself over and tries for the ropes. He finally gets it to break. Naito stands up and slams the bad knee down for the kneebreaker. Naito goes for it again but Kenny lands a knee to the jaw and gets a suplex and the doctor bomb! Kenny gets two. 6 minutes left in the match. Kenny gets the running knee and goes for the one-winged angel but Naito counters with a weird destino! Naito up first and sets Omega up on the buckle and goes up top and lands the reverse rana! Kenny lands right on his head! Naito goes for the cover but Kenny kicks out! He tries for Destino but Kenny counters into the tombstone as we have 4 minutes left! Kenny uses the ref to stand back up. Kenny lands some short knee and goes for the angel again but he can't pick him up! 3 minutes left! Naito lands a chop. Kenny palm strikes the face. Enziguri by Naito. Kenny gets a knee to the head. Kenny goes for the angel but switches to a German suplex. Kenny goes for the pin again but Naito kicks out! 2 minutes left. Kenny finally gets in the angel and scores the pin! Kenny is going to the finals! Backstage Naito is loopy as hell as he is carried to his locker room. Back from a break as Kenny addresses the crowd. As the match went on. He noticed that the crowd was cheering and how he felt about them. They were cheering for Naito and only chanted for him when he won. He felt like Japan was his him but what kind of home cheers for Naito? He's the MYP of the tournament! Tomorrow when he beats Goto, they can cheer for him, he doesn't care. If he was a betting man, he'd bet on Kenny Omega. Studio words from Naito. He thought Kenny had become boring but Kenny was interesting in this match and it was fun to wrestle him. If he had escaped more to the floor, he would have won in the draw. The members of Los Ingobernables didn't win the tournament but each one of them gained skills and experience. They were able to show their world so it was a good tournament. He was surprised he didn't win, though. Onto hour two! We are at the Sumo hall on August 14, 2016, and we are going to decide a winner! We are greeted by Kenny Omega Studio words from Kenny for the big one tonight. He says he needed a gamelan because he knee was a mess and had to go back to wrestle in 12 hours. He wanted to win so he will win is the mindset he had. Goto is a strange man where if he's not motivated, he's not a threat. He could be a main eventer if he wanted to be. Kenny scouted the match Goto had with Marufuji and Goto was at his best there, but he hasn't had a good match all year and Goto sucks. G1 Climax 26 Finals: Hirooki Goto v/s Kenny Omega Goro is still looking for the big win in his career while Kenny has been saying for months that his plan was to with the G1 and get the title shot at Wrestlekingdom 11 at the Tokyo dome. CHAOS vs. Bullet Club here. With the amazing match Kenny had the day before, Goto got the extra rest day and now has a big advantage. Kenny out first with again, no coat or any of that garbage. No bandage on the shoulder blade tonight. They talk about Masa Chono a bit as he was actually born in Seattle. I did not know that. Goto the warrior is next and looks great as always. He's been here before. Full intros of course as we are going the full hour. We look at the trophy and it is awesome as well. We come back from break as the bell rings. Kenny poses. No time limit for this match. Lock up and waistlock by Kenny. Goto gets the arm but Kenny pushes him back into the ropes. Kenny backs off. Lock up again and Kenny gets the arm. Goto takes the leg and Kenny reverses into a pin. They get back up into a knuckle lock up but Goto gets the hammerlock into a headlock. Kenny pulls hair. Whip off and Goto gets the shoulderblock. They counter each other and avoid contact but Kenny gets the rana and sends Goto to the outside. Kenny goes for the dive but Goto gets in the ring and hits the low kick and the crowd boos him! Even Goto is surprised by that reaction. Goto gets him down and locks in the leg lock. Goto locks in the figure four and Kenny tries to fight. Kenny gets into the ropes and gets into the corner and Goto lands some forearms as the crowd boos again! They exchange strikes but Goto kicks the leg. Kenny goes for the clothesline but Goto follows him and clotheslines him over the top rope. Goto goes out and attacks and tosses him into the barrier but Kenny counters the charge with a boot. Kenny leaps onto the barrier and gets a moonsault! He then picks up Goto and slams him on the ring apron. Kenny goes back in but goes right back out and lands the powerbomb onto the apron! Goto's back has got to be toast. Kenny stretches out the leg before he rolls back in. Goto rolls in at 16. Kenny with the cravat and hits the Rude Awakening! Perfect tribute. Pin gets two. Back from the commercial as Kenny locks in a one arm camel clutch.  He is cranking back on it big time. Goto in the ropes to break. Kenny gets up and lays in the stomps. Kenny lands a chop and goes for the cover but gets two. He then locks in a neck vice before Goto is in the ropes. Goto into the buckle and hits with a chop and another. Whip into opposite buckle but misses the charge. Goto gets the whip and charge but gets the boots for it. Kenny lands the bulldog and goes for the cover but gets two. As they get up Goto gets in a chop they chop back and forth before Kenny hits some elbows to the head. Kenny whips it in but they dodge back and forth before Goto hits a strong clothesline. Kenny in the corner and Goto lands the running side kick and a side suplex. Kenny back in the corner and Goto lands another clothesline. Goto goes up top and lands the elbow drop but Kenny kicks out of the pin attempt. Fireman's carry but Kenny slides off and spits. Kenny lands the Regal roll and the second rope moonsault but doesn't get the pin. Forearm to Goto's head. Kenny with strikes and kicks but Goto is getting mad. He tells Kenny to hit him. Goto goes to the ropes but Kenny counters and gets the dragon suplex. Goto rolls outside and Kenny gets the flying cannonball over the top rope! Back from another commercial as Kenny is on the apron stretching his knee again. He goes outside and tosses Goto back in. Kenny on the apron and goes up top! He hits the dropkick and lands right into Goto's back. He goes for a dragon suplex but Goto counters. Goto scoops him up and lands the ushigoroshi! Both guys are hurt now. Kenny to the apron and Goto runs him over with a clothesline. He picks Kenny up and suplexes him to the top turnbuckle and goes up after him. Goto puts him on the shoulders and lands the ushigoroshi off the top! He goes for the pin but Kenny kicks out. Goto locks in the sleeper now. Kenny's in trouble! Goto goes for the GTR and escapes it but Goto goes for another attack but Kenny tries to turn it into a sleeper and Goto locks in the sleeper. Kenny slips out and lands the knee strikes. Kenny hits a neckbreaker but he is in pain. Kenny lands a running knee and sets Goto for the angel but Goto slips into another sleeper hold. Kenny punches him but Goto keeps the hold. Kenny climbs up the turnbuckle and fall backwards in a splat! Both guys hit the mat hard on the head. Kenny first to get up but barely. Elbow by Kenny but Goto fires right back. More elbow strikes Kenny gets the kick to the face and blocks Goto's strike and gets Goto up into the powerbomb and down with a crash! Back from the break as Kenny is getting up. The crowd is chanting for him! He goes up to the top and goes for the corkscrew dive but pool's empty on this one and thump. Goto gets up and lands a middle kick to the chest. Pin attempt gets two count. Headbutts by Goto. Goto picks him up into a spinning facesplat. Cover gets two. Goto goes for GTR and Kenny counters out into a bunch of strikes and a dragon suplex. Kenny gets a cover but a two count.  Kenny goes for the knee but Goto blocks it. Kenny hits with the other knee, but Goto runs over him with a clothesline. He hits the DDT and goes for the cover but Kenny kicks out. He goes for the GTR again but Kenny reverses again into the bloody Sunday DDT. Channeling Prince Devitt now. Kenny lands the Styles Clash and goes for the pin but Goto kicks out! Talk about pulling ghosts from the past. He picks him up for the One-winged angel and hits it! He gets the three count and Kenny Omega wins the tournament! Young boys and the docs scramble in the ring as both guys are spent. The rest of Bullet Club come out for the celebration as Goto is rolled out of the ring. As Goto is carried out Omega is put on Fale's shoulders and paraded around the ring. Back from the break as the celebration continues. Kenny is presented the big trophy by a former member of Japan's national soccer team. He is given the big flag as is tradition, but throws it down and waves the Bullet Club flag instead. He takes the mic and talks about how people said the Club should disband. The Elite is not ending and it makes wrestling interesting. Days like this happen only once in a lifetime. Don't be afraid to dream. But as soon as you get there, someone like him swoops in and takes it from you. He says that all the other wrestlers just got a G1s worth of study material so get going. He issues the challenge for Okada since they have never met. He speaks in Japanese to wow the crowd. He didn't want to speak Japanese because he is the bad guy. He's really good in speaking Japanese BTW. If you don't cheer for him, he hates you too. The crowd goes wild for him. NJPW is his home and he isn't going to the other side. Backstage as Kenny says that training and fighting for all these years have finally paid off and the dream has come true. Everyone in Club has made the sacrifice to come to Japan (though I imagine Takahashi didn't sacrifice as much). He says that he was lucky in that Goto wrestled Marufuji which is a lot like him. It sucks he had to wrestle for 9ver an hour in the last two days but he did it. This is for the Club members who weren't there and the "lost brothers" before lots of Coors Beer. In the studio, Kenny said he had to call upon his Bullet club brothers and his demons. He is happy that he brought something special to the table. He wants to be the only Canadian to win the title. It is a career highlight and he wanted to be happy for it.  Holy Crap! While the first match was criminally short (my guess is that Shibata really injured his shoulder and had to keep it short), the two Omega matches were incredible! Without the Jacksons and all his bullshit, Kenny Omega can really go and these two matches showed it. This was an amazing night of action! As I mentioned, as I am writing this, they are holding the WWE Hall of Fame in Orlando. As part of the ceremony is the "Legacy" Hall of fame for those who were pioneers of wrestling. One of those names being inducted this year is Rikidozan. This man is the reason we have Japanese pro wrestling (Puroresu) today. He started the JWA, Japan's first wrestling company and it is because of him we get the great action from all over Japan today. He is truly a pioneer and I am proud that he finally gets the recognition as a star and promoter. Hail to you Rikidozan for bringing us something incredible for many generations to come. Before we go, an update on Tomoaki Honma's condition after the scary injury earlier this month, Honma's condition stabilized enough that he was able to be transferred from Okinawa to a hospital in Osaka. From there he underwent surgery on his spine. He released another statement: “Surgery was a success and now I’m starting the rehabilitation process (right now I’m raising and lowering my knees, etc). From here on out, I’m going for it! Thanks everyone!” Fight on you brave warrior! Let's make kokeshi happy! Enjoy the big weekend folks and see you next time!
New Japan Pro Wrestling photo
Who is going to win?
Hello fans and Welcome to Strong Style, Japanator's look at New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV. For wrestling fans it is a VERY big weekend with Wrestlemania and all the other wrestling events happening in Orlando this weekend...

Tiger Mask W photo
Tiger Mask W

Tiger Mask W put down for rabies


Kitty cat also suffered from mange
Apr 01
// Soul Tsukino
It was announced with sadness today that famed hero Tiger Mask W had to be put down after showing symptoms of a rabid infection. Ringside doctors made the call after a disoriented and foaming Tiger Mask attacked wrestler Dragon Young during a match who instantly fell unconscious and started twitching.
Otakon '17 photo
Otakon '17

Otakon '17: Anisong World Matsuri summons Yousei Teikoku


Washington D.C. is about to get purified
Mar 30
// Salvador G Rodiles
We still have a long way to go before Otakon '17 is upon us, and a new group has been added to their Anisong World Matsuri event. For their fourth announcement, Yousei Teikoku are making their debut at the con. In other words...

Review: Ghost in the Shell

Mar 30 // Josh Tolentino
Ghost in the ShellStudio: Paramount PicturesDirector: Rupert SandersRelease: March 29, 2017 I’d say it certainly is, but this film probably isn’t the one to do it, and not least because of its biggest political and narrative missteps. I’m not just talking about the whitewashing, but let’s tackle that part first, since it’s the most salient point and a clue-in as to how the adaptation fares more generally. Personally, I never thought much of the case being made that the Major should’ve been played by an Asian or Japanese actress. As Shirow and Oshii put it, there’s no compelling reason in the source material to assert the character of that “Major Motoko Kusanagi” must be of any specific ethnicity. Arguments insisting on that point as a matter of "remaining true to the original" smacked of unpleasant cultural essentialism, not to mention missing the point of the Ghost in the Shell story.  I would’ve left it at that in regards to this film, if not for an eleventh-hour plot twist that retroactively validates the complaints critics had before release, and also reveals just how little of Ghost in the Shell's actual spirit survived the transition to Hollywood. In light of that bafflingly tone-deaf development, it’s impossible to see the casting decision as anything other than pure cynicism in action: Johansson was picked because she’s a big name and was willing, and the failure to cast a more appropriate lead actress is a tragic and frustrating misstep that threatens to retroactively torpedo the whole film up to that point.  This is a shame because, before that part, the film is eminently watchable and frequently gorgeous. Ghost in the Shell features some jaw-dropping design work that manages to capture the look of the Oshii movie, while adding a more novel, Blade Runner-esque visual twist. Things like car designs and the Hong Kong-inspired urban crush make the film's cyberpunk metropolis feel pleasantly retro. The world of the movie is host to a more embodied, all-encompassing take on the cybernetic future than the reality we're drifting into on our own. Johansson also turns in good work playing the Major. Or is it just “Major”? The film is oddly inconsistent about using the moniker as a proper name or a rank.  Takeshi Kitano, playing Section 9 Chief Aramaki, uses the rank, so out of respect for the master, I’ll go with that.  As the Major, a prototype full-body cyborg constructed by the Hanka corporation - “the first of her kind” – she sells the struggle and alienation of her condition well, often achieving it through a simple gaze rather than more conventional, more “human” expression. Her take on the iconic anime character is less the hard-partying badass of the manga or the reserved, introspective thinker of the 1995 movie. Hers is a Major at the beginning of her career, the head of the first wave in human evolution, along with the fear and vulnerability that comes with being part of it. To take gaming analogy, she's more like Deus Ex: Human Revolution's Adam Jensen than the consummate professional cyborg cop portrayed in other Ghost in the Shell adaptations. [embed]35661:6195:0[/embed] Her action credentials are also well-earned, through a series of bang-up set pieces inspired by iconic scenes from the anime and manga. If anything, Johansson's physicality, and her apparent superhuman capabilities actually feel a bit undersold, compared to her antics as Black Widow. The movie's successes on the style front are so compelling that in some ways it's easy to see Ghost in the Shell as the most expensive and fully-realized cosplay shoot ever made. I mean that as a compliment. This approach is instructive, as cosplay shoots aren’t usually known for their narrative chops. The film tries admirably to forge some new territory, taking names and references from across Ghost in the Shell’s varied canon to tell a story that’s not the Puppetmaster, or the Laughing Man, or even the Ghost-Dubbing, Individual Eleven, or any other extant case. Then again, maybe things would've turned out better if they had chosen a more straightforward adaptation, as the end result feels more like The Bourne Identity with cyborgs, not to mention incorporating that ghastly clanger of a final twist. Further, it appears to have been chopped up a bit in the editing room. Despite inspired and diverse casting for the other members of Section 9, most characters besides Aramaki and Batou (played by Borgen’s Pilou Ansbaek) barely graduate past the role of extra. Togusa (played by Han Chin), in particular, feels like he had more to do at some point between the first trailers and release. The plot, in the end, comes across as a pastiche of Ghost in the Shell fan service, limping around like Michael Pitt's Kuze, assembled from a hodgepodge of components and unable to quite bring it all together and look like a real boy. Given that this seems intended to start a franchise, the tidings are grim for this iteration of Ghost in the Shell. But there is, if nothing else, some (neon) light at the end of the tunnel. Nailing the style angle certainly helps with keeping hope alive. Ghost in the Shell fans, yours truly included, are used to having wildly different adaptations across the years. And thankfully, the nature of the setting leaves some room to course-correct, even in casting. As the Major says, the net is vast and infinite, and there may be room left to redeem Ghost in the Shell next time around.
Ghost in the Shell Review photo
Cyber-Bodied
Ghost in the Shell has been around for a long time. Since the release of Masamune Shirow’s seminal manga in 1989 and Mamoru Oshii’s arguably more influential 1995 film adaptation, the saga of the cyborgs of Sectio...

food photo
food

These special takoyaki will make you want to eat the planet


Earth has never tasted this good
Mar 28
// Salvador G Rodiles
If you ever wanted to know what it was like to eat the Earth, Twitter User @kyooochang decided to make her batch of takoyaki resemble the blue planet. Sure, the taste is the same, but the craft behind its structure makes the ...
Gundam Twilight Axis photo
Gundam Twilight Axis

Look forward to more Universal Century anime goodness this June with Gundam Twilight Axis


Will 2017 be the Year of the Gundam?
Mar 26
// Salvador G Rodiles
With Gundam Thunderbolt's second season launching on GundamInfo, Sunrise revealed that they have another Gundam project in store for us. Just like the current Universal Century show, their new title, an adaptation of the...

Weekend Japanatainment - Japanese Food Edition

Mar 26 // Red Veron
[embed]35658:6186:0[/embed] "These 5 Japanese Food Stories Will Satisfy Every Appetite" A collection of stories about Japanese food that serve up some interesting and appetizing morsels of information.   [embed]35658:6187:0[/embed] "Inside Japan’s Only All-Female Sushi House" Apparently, it is unusual to have female sushi chefs. Find out why in the video above!   [embed]35658:6189:0[/embed] "Japanese Vending Machine Restaurant and Food Unboxing" Only in Japan features a self service restaurant that features vending machines where you can sit down and eat food from said machines.   [embed]35658:6190:0[/embed] "How to Make GOTCHA! PORK ROAST from Food Wars, Shougeki No Sama! Feast of Fiction" Feast of Fiction, a YouTube channel all about recreating food featured in fictional works, tries to make a dish from the anime Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma. This video has them recreating "Gotcha! Pork Roast", which is an imitation pork roast as implied by the name of the dish. Notice that there are no clips of the anime are featured because of the excessive fan service nature of the show.   [embed]35658:6188:0[/embed] "KFC Christmas Japan: A Delicious Alternate Reality" Abroad in Japan tells us about the favorite story about Japan that comes up right around Christmas: The Japanese love affair between Christmas and Kentucky Fried Chicken.   Is there a Japanese food or a video of Japanese food you like? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
Weekend Japanatainment photo
Binge on these J-Food videos
Food and culture are very intertwined, and Japan is one of those countries that likes to take it very seriously (Yes, more than you) which is probably why a lot of their food is known across the world (instant ramen counts). ...

Light Novels photo
Light Novels

J-Novel club announces new title from legendary author


Japanese Light Novel site adds more!
Mar 26
// Soul Tsukino
J-Novel Club has announced they are adding the light novel, Bluesteel Blasphemer, to their lineup starting March 25 with a free preview. The latest addition to the Japanese light novel website come from author Ichirou Sa...
Japanator LIVE photo
Japanator LIVE

Japanator LIVE: It's time to deliver Angel Express' second batch of letters


Now that's a ton of mail
Mar 25
// Salvador G Rodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here, here, here, and here.] I may've managed to go through every delivery route in Easy Game Station's Angel Express, but the game decided to pull a Ghouls 'n' Ghost and forc...

Strong Style: A Block beatdown

Mar 25 // Soul Tsukino
[embed]35623:6147:0[/embed] But first, let's see where we are in the points total. Tanahashi/Fale/Marafuji/Goto/Okada: 10 points, Makabe: 8 points, Tonga/Sanada/Ishii: 6 points, Tenzan: 4 points. So this is how it works out with the matches tonight For Tanahashi to win the Block: A win For Okada to win the Block: A win, Fale loss (or tie), Goto win (or tie) For Fale to win the Block: A win, Marufuji win (or Tie), Okada win (or tie) For Goto to win the Block: A win, Tanahashi/Goto tie For Marufuji to win the Block: A win, Fale loss, Okada win (or tie) Hour 1: We are greeted by Hirooki Goto! A Block: Sanada (6 points) vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan (4 points) Both men have been eliminated already so this is just for pride, mostly on Tenzan's part. Both got big victories early but dropped off in the tournament and so here we are. Sanada wanders out by himself in his cold skull mask and baseball bat, looking like something from those old cyberpunk biker gangs from anime of long ago. Tenzan comes out next with Satoshi Kojima in his corner. We are pressed for time so we cut right to the bell ringing and the lock up. It goes nowhere. Seconds lock up and Tenzan gets him to the ropes. He feigns for a clean break but instead goes for his Mongolian chops! Sanada ducks out of those and lands a kick and some shots to the back. He locks in a headlock but Tenzan shoots him off. Shoulderblock does nothing. Tenzan tells the youngin' to try it again and Sanada obliges. Stalemate again. Sanada stomps his foot and tries to shoot him off the ropes but Tenzan reverses it and runs over Sanada with a shoulderblock. He then lays in those Mongolian Chops that drive Sanada outside. Tenzan goes outside but Sanada slips inside. Tenzan tries to come back in but Sanada smacks the ropes giving Tenzan a low blow. Tenzan rolls outside where Sanada runs him into the barrier and then drives the ball bat into him! Back from the break as we skip ahead a little with both guys back in the ring. Sanada goes to whip Tenzan into the buckle but Tenzan reverses it. Sanada leaps over the ropes in the corner and then springboards back in with a dropkick. Sanada lands the standing moonsault for a cover of two. Sanada picks him up and lands a side suplex for another two count. Sanada immediately locks in the dragon sleeper to try and finish it, but Tenzan hits a jawbreaker to get out of the hold. Both get up and Sanada hits an enziguri but Tenzan just shakes it off. Sanada scoops him up in a fireman's carry and into a cutter! Pin attempt gets two as Kojima is going ballistic at ringside for his buddy. Sanada scoops up Tenzan and slams him down before going up the buckle and trying for the moonsault. Tenzan moves and Sanada lands awkwardly on his feet before falling over. Tenzan whiffs a clothesline and Sanada gets a waistlock and a suplex into a bridge, but only gets two. Sanada locks in the dragon sleeper again but Tenzan rotates out of it and turns it into a scoop slam. He drives Sanada down in a tombstone!  Tenzan tries for a cover but only gets one.  Tenzan slams Sanada down and goes up as he tries the moonsault! Tenzan misses though and splats on the mat. They get up and Sanada lands a dropkick but Tenzan just yells at him! He gives Sanada and headbutt and a Mongolian chop. Sanada tries to fire back but he just grabs his own shoulder as Tenzan keeps working in him. He hits four headbutts before clotheslining Sanada to the back of the head. He points to Kojima and lands a running clothesline to the front before going in for the pin. Two count only. Tenzan locks in the anaconda vice lock. He picks Sanada up and lands the buster but the pin only gets two. Tenzan goes for the slam but Sanada stands out of it. Tenzan gets him up anyway but Sanada floats through it and locks in the dragon sleeper!  Tenzan struggles and gets his foot on the rope to break. Sanada slams him down and goes for the moonsault. He lands with both knees to the torso! Pin attempt gets two. Sanada goes right back to the dragon sleeper again as Tenzan is in the middle of the ring now. He finally taps out. We cut to a little later as the crowd is chanting for Tenzan and he takes a bow and shakes Kojima's hand. Backstage he sad it just wasn't his G1, but it was both he and Kojima than made him fight on. Kojima thanks him for showing his spirit today and Tenzan tells him that he gets dependant when Kojima says that. Kojima was the only one who listened to him. he says he is the worst, but Kojima is the best partner he could have and thanks him as both are fighting tears now. A Block: Tomohiro Ishii (6 points) vs. Togi Makabe (8 points) Again, both guys are eliminated. These two have hated each other for years after the breakup of G.B.H. and have met plenty of times in some real beat downs. Ishii is out first and he is looking to do damage as always. Togi is out next and he is in the same mood as always. We quick cut as they get their gear off. Bell rings and they go right into the bull of a lock up. Ishii lands a chop and soon they are exchanging hard chops back and forth, back and forth. Ishii goes down but he comes back with a chop right to the throat. Wonder how none of these guys have killed anyone doing that. Seriously, I damaged my voice box as a kid going throat first into a metal bar (watch those drawstrings on your coats kids!) and that took a week to recover from. Ishii throws a shot right to Togi's head and here we go back and forth with the chops and strikes now. They beat each other senseless for a while before Makabe is down first. Ishii picks him up and sends him down in the corner as he is chopping him right in the throat! Togi is down on the mat face first as now Ishii just paws at him with a few kicks and tell him to get up. Togi pulls himself up and begs Ishii to keep hitting him. The Stone Pitbull does just that and keeps hitting him. Togi finally counters with a strike of his own and pops up and runs over Ishii with a shoulderblock. Makabe runs him over with a big clothesline and then hits him with a forearm but Ishii just tells Togi to hit him harder! Togi hits him harder but Ishii just hits him right back and now they are both down. We come back from the break as both guys scrape themselves from the mat. Ishii scoops Togi up onto the top rope and nails the avalanche brainbuster for a two count. He picks Togi up and goes for a big clothesline but Togi ducks it. Ishii grabs a waistlock and lands a big suplex and holds on to get a second one! Togi is stumbling around and Ishii nails him with a standing enziguri! Ishii rams into him with a big clothesline but that just makes Togi mad as he comes back with a big strike and now they are going back and forth again with hard chops and axhandle strikes. Makabe hits him in the gut and gets in a big powerbomb but can't make the cover. Both guys are hurting but Ishii drags him up and gets a rear waistlock but Togi headbutts him to get out and hits a bunch of clotheslines right in a row. Ishii remarkably stands back up after all this. Togi hits another clothesline and a German suplex with a bridge but can't get the pinfall. Togi scoops him up backward on the top turnbuckle and delivers the spider suplex! He climbs up to deliver the king Kong knee drop but Ishii moves! As they get up Togi charges but gets met with some kicks for that. They meet with running clotheslines that go nowhere before they just start headbutting each other Ishii gets in a running clothesline for a two count. He hits the sliding low clothesline and still only gets a two count. He finally nails the brainbuster and scores the victory! We are back from commercial with some studio words from Goto. He knew he had to win here, even if it would take some work to move on. He says the smaller the opponent is, the better for him and his power moves so thinks works out well for him. A Block: Hirooki Goto (10 points) vs. Naomichi Marufuji (10 points) Both guys have a good chance of taking this thing but they have to get by each other first. As we've seen, both men will tear you up and not stop until the match is over so I am looking forward to this one! Marufuji comes out first wearing the GHC title that is once again, pretty much ignored. For him to win the block he has to win here, Bad Luck Fale has to lose, and Okada has to win in the second hour to win by competition tie breaker. Goto the warrior is out next as he marches to the ring. For him to go to the finals he has to win and the main event would have to go to a tie since both guys beat him in earlier matches. Tie breakers are a bitch sometimes. The bell rings and the crowd is chanting for something but I'm not sure what. They lock up and Goto immediately pushes Marufuji back in the ropes. he gives a clean break up Marufuji lands a high kick right to Goto's mouth. Goto retaliates with a headlock and gets shot into the ropes, but runs over Marufuji with his shoulder. Marufuji gets up as Goto hits the ropes and gets a leapfrog but doesn't get the armdrag. Goto rebounds off and hits Marufuji with a clothesline to send him outside the ring. Goto goes out after him and delivers an elbow to the back of Marufuji's neck and a kick. He tries to whip Marufuji into the barrier but Marufuji reverses is. Goto stops short but Marufuji comes flying over and drives Goto's head into the barrier! Marufuji tosses him into the ring and goes for a cover but only gets an one count. Marufuji locks in a chinlock now. Goto gets his foot on the rope and breaks it. Marufuji stands him up and lays in a shot right to the chest. They exchange big chops back and forth before Goto goes down. Marufuji lands some weak kicks to Goto's head before locking in a chinlock. Goto once again gets to the ropes for the break and Mary goes right back to the chops. He pulls Goto out of the corner and locks in a standing chinlock with an arm trap on Goto. Goto gets to the ropes for a break. Marufuji lands a chop but Goto fires back with more chops and is getting angry. Marufuji lands more chops but Goto just wants him to hit harder!  Marufuji lands more chops before a running hip attack. He tries for a suplex but Goto blocks it. Goto gets him up but Marufuji slides out and lands a chop to the chest. He hits the ropes but Goto delivers a strong side kick to knock him down.  Goto lays in some forearm shots before whipping Marufuji into the buckle and lands a spin side kick in the corner and right into a side suplex. Goto lands a running clothesline in the corner and then goes up! He lands a big elbow and gets a two count on the pin attempt. He scoops Marufuji up for a fireman's carry but Marufuji escapes that. Goto elbows him and sends him into the ropes but Mary counters with a dropkick leading Goto to roll outside the ring. Mary gets a running start and launched over the top rope to splash onto Goto! We come back from break as both guys are on the floor. Marufuji picks him up and lays in some chops. Goto grabs hold and whips him into the barrier but Marufuji blocks himself and sneaks up on the ring apron as Goto rolls back into the ring. Marufuji springboards in with a big dropkick to get a two count. They are back on their feet as they exchange strikes now. Marufuji with his chops and Goto with his forearms. Goto gets the better of it but he goes to the ropes and Marufuji counters it. He goes to the ropes again and Mar counters it again. He tries a waistlock but it is broken by Marufuji who lands a kick right to the mouth! Marufuji goes for a big spin kick but Goto catches him by the back of the head and drives Marufuji down onto the knee backward. They both struggle to get up and Goto goes for the running strike but Marufuji moves and lands a bicycle knee to the jaw. Mary goes for sliced bread but Goto pushes him into the corner. Marufuji comes back with kicks right to Goto's head. Marufuji goes for sliced bread again but Goto grabs a waistlock and tries for a suplex but Marufuji elbows out. He lands some kicks but goes for a bicycle knee and Goto just headbutts him out of the air! Goto hits the ushigoroshi and goes for the cover but only gets two!  Hew picks Marufuji up for the GTR but Marufuji counters out and lands a kick to the jaw.  Marufuji lands another kick and then a bicycle knee for the cover but only gets two. He goes for sliced bread but Goto counters it into a sleeper hold! Marufuji tries a shoulder roll but Goto hangs on! Goto picks him up and lands the GTR and scores the pin! Backstage Marufuji is disappointed for not winning but still made a good showing for the NOAH fans. Goto says we will have to wait and see what happens now. Studio words as he said he just had to wait and see. He felt a lot more at ease with things after joining CHAOS and for the G1 so he was in a good position. In action we did not see, Bad Luck Fale lost to Tama Tonga so Fale is eliminated from winning block A. We get a graphic for Jan Ross, Jim Ross's dear wife who passed away this past week from injuries from an auto accident. We are greeted by Tanahashi. Studio words as Tanahashi talks about tearing the muscle in his arm and making the comeback. He had a slow start to this tournament but bounced back. He like Nagata now as he is 40 and Okada is only 29. A Block: Kazuchika Okada (10 points) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (10 points) And it all comes down to this. The two biggest names in New japan right now fighting it out in the final match of block A. With Marufuji and Fale out, a winner here gets the block. A tie and Goto takes it. Okada comes out first with Gedo in his corner as we are going the full hour for this one. Okada is the champion here but the belt is not on the line.  Tanahashi comes out next and unlike last time, he actually looks awake this time around.  Gear comes off and we go to break. Back as the bell rings. Lock up. Okada gets the armlock but reversed into a headlock and takeover. Okada breaks and the crowd chants for both. Lock up again and Okada gets him into the ropes for the chest pat break, but Tanahashi reverses and goes for the same, but Tanahashi slaps him in the face! Okada gets a shoulder tackle and a leapfrog. Okada goes into a roll up and gets a neckbreaker and a missile dropkick! He lands the big elbow and calls for the rainmaker early! He goes for it but Tanahashi gets the small package! Two count. Dropkick right to the knee by Tanahashi. He bumps his head landing though and rolls outside. Okada goes out and just rolls him back in, though. He slams Tanahashi down and gets in a slingshot senton. Cover only gets one. Okada sits down and hooks Tanahashi's legs and picks him up in a pendulum pin attempt and Tanahashi keeps having to fight to keep his shoulders off the mat. Okada makes a traditional cover and gets a one count. As they get up Tanahashi lays in some shots but Okada shoots him into the ropes. He tries the big boot but Tanahashi catches the foot. Okada punches out. Tanahashi tries a big boot but Okada catches it. Tanahashi hits again and Okada tries the foot and Tanahashi dropkicks him right in the knee. Tanahashi goes to work on the leg with kicks and stomps on the thigh before locking in a shinlock before Okada gets to the ropes. We come back from break Tanahashi working the leg more and locks in an Indian deathlock. Okada lands some chops. JR asks why America doesn't do Tournaments this way, sadly he knows the answers to that. JR helped book Starrcade 1989 and he even couldn't keep track as he was broadcasting it at the time. Both guys get up and Tanahashi gets Okada in the corner. Tanahashi comes running out and gets a body dropped by Okada. Running forearm by Okada as he lands a back elbow. Okada gets a corner whip and lands a back elbow into a DDT. He gets the rolling forearm but only gets two. Okada locks in red ink! Okada is screaming for Tanahashi to submit but Tanahashi crawls over to the ropes and breaks the hold. Kick to the knees but Okada gets in the forearm. Okada goes for the elbow but Tanahashi moves. Both guys down. Back up as they fire forearms back and forth. Kick by Okada. Whip by Tanahashi but charge misses. Okada sets him up and lands the big dropkick to send Tanahashi to the floor! Tanahashi into the barrier and Okada goes for the running boot but Tanahashi catches it and ties him up on the barrier and gives him the dragon screw! Now both legs are hurting. Tanahashi rolls back into the ring and goes up top and lands the high fly flow to Okada on the floor! Back from break with both on the floor. Tanahashi rolls in first as Okada is in bad shape but Tanahashi goes out and breaks the count. Okada catches him and gets the tombstone! Tanahashi is out! Count goes on but Okada rolls in at 17. Tanahashi gets in at 19.  Okada on the apron and goes for the big dropkick but Tanahashi moves and gets in the screw leg whip on the right leg, then gets another on the left leg! Tanahashi tries for the cloverleaf but Okada gets to the ropes before the hold is on. Tanahashi gets some kicks and goes for the ropes but Okada catches him and goes for the tombstone but Tanahashi kicks out of it. Okada gets him up for heavy Rain but Tanahashi counters! Tanahashi locks in a suplex and a bridge but Okada kicks out. Tanahashi goes up but Okada hits him with a forearm. Okada goes up. Okada tries for something but Tanahashi keeps fighting. Tanahashi hammers the forearm and Okada falls off. Okada counters the high fly flow attempt and lands a couple of dropkicks to the face. He goes for the rainmaker but Tanahashi lands the slingblade! Back from the break as we are told we only have less than 8 minutes in this match left. Tanahashi goes for a charge but Okada scoops him onto the apron. They exchange forearms back and forth Okada goes for the boot but Tanahashi catches the boot and gets the dragon screw on him. Tanahashi hits it again! Tanahashi comes back in and locks in the cloverleaf. Tanahashi keeps pulling him away from the ropes but Okada powers out. Okada and Tanahashi exchange strikes Okada whips in but misses the dropkick. Tanahashi whiffs the slingblade. Tanahashi goes up and hits the flow onto the back! He goes up for a second one but Okada gets his knees up! Both guys get up and Tanahashi tries for a dragon suplex but Okada counters into a tombstone but Tanahashi counters and lands the tombstone! Tanahashi gets in a neckbreaker and goes for the flow again but Okada counters with the dropkick! Okada misses the rainmaker and Tanahashi lands a slap but Okada lands the suplex. Okada tries the rainmaker but Tanahashi counters with the slap. Rainmaker hits it but Tanahashi counters into a suplex as time is running out! Okada gets in the tombstone but can't get the pin! Tanahashi counters the rainmaker into a slingblade as he goes up and lands the body press and he goes up again as we are less than 10 seconds! He lands the hit and goes for the cover as the time runs out! 1 point each as Goto wins the block! Both guys and the ref are exhausted! Wow, what a final for the block. We come back from break with both guys still scraping each other off the mat. They both need help getting out of the ring and the crowd applauds both men. Backstage Okada is disappointed. He knows he still has to defend the belt and the next step is the Tokyo Dome. Tanahashi is on the floor. He thinks he didn't recover fast enough and that cost him the tournament. The truth is he just returned from the injury and was going to celebrate by taking the block. Goto asks if anyone thought he'd take the block He will show everyone the world of Goto. In the studio, Tanahashi talks about the match being a great deal of pressure. He wanted to set things clearer. He wanted to show every move hand meaning and could connect. He was disappointed in losing even if it wasn't injury free. He still got his confidence back. A big time 2-hour block here with 4 great matches. I don't blame them for not showing the Fale/Tonga match as not only would it have made things more confusing, but doesn't sound like it was very good anyway. They got the point across and did a decent job explaining it. Next week we find out who faces Goto in the final! Before we split there are a few more things I'd like to touch on. First a shout out to Mauro Ranallo who has been under doctors orders this week at home. Hope to hear back from you soon boss. Smackdown isn't as fun without you! And also in an update to our friend Tomoaki Honma who was injured very scarily in a match earlier this month. We finally got to hear from the big guy himself when he released this statement from the hospital:   Hi everyone, it’s Kokeshi.  First of all, I want to apologize for causing everyone so much worry after what happened at the match in Okinawa.    Jado’s DDT that match was definitely the hardest one I’ve ever felt. After it hit, I noticed I couldn’t feel anything below my neck. I could hear everyone rush to my side, but I couldn’t hear my own voice. I tried to speak, but nothing…Then little by little, things went black. “Ahhh, guess this is what it’s like, crossing the river Styx,” I thought. That’s when I heard a voice calling me. It was an enlightening experience to say the least.    I’ve been able move my feet and hands quite a bit since then, but currently I’m still paralyzed from the neck down. So the staff is kindly typing this journal entry for me. While my body may be what it is now, I’m getting better day by day. I’ll focus on my rehabilitation and be back in the NJPW ring for sure. Nothing can quell this burning desire I have to get back in there.  Pro wrestling is not broken or at fault here. This was simply an accident between two professionals.    To Jado,  I don’t know if you read these journals, and I don’t know if I should say this or not… but I’ll say it anyway: I’m coming back stronger than before, tanner than before, more oiled up than before! You’ll see me standing before you Jado, so just you wait!    I won’t lose, ever! I’ll be back in the ring to tell you all, “Kokeshi is happy! All together now, let’s be happy!”   Tomoaki Honma     May the gods bless the Kokeshi with a speedy and full recovery!
New Japan Pro Wrestling photo
Wrapping up one side of the bracket
Hello and welcome to another edition of Strong Style, Japanator's look at New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV. Tonight we once again have two big hours as we wrap up the A block in the G1 26 tournament. We are at the Sumo Hall in Tokyo on August 13, 2016 and Day 17 for tonight's night of action!

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