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Gems of Japan: Why is Christmas popular here?

Dec 23 // Lindo Korchi
As I parked my bike to explore the city by foot, I began to notice how department stores, bakery shops, and even train stations catered to the holiday season by displaying decorations, the Christmas cake (usually a sponge cake topped with strawberries and whipped cream), and special baked goods. Many Japanese nationals walked in awe of the illuminations & were filled with smiles; their reactions were as if they were experiencing Christmas for the very first time. Slightly puzzled by witnessing the Western influence, I asked my Japanese friends why Christmas was popular in Japan:"Japan has looked to the West for influence and has adopted some of their holidays. Like Halloween, we take it as a day to have a nice time out, dress up and have fun. The same with Christmas; it really doesn't mean anything to us, it's just for fun, nothing serious." one stated."Christmas is like Valentine's Day in Japan. It's a time where people go out with their boyfriend or girlfriend and have a nice time. It's also why some Japanese people feel lonely during Christmas if they don't have a partner; some get the courage to ask out the person they like before Christmas to avoid being alone for the holiday. But it's just a nice time to go out. Also, many parts of the city become lit, which makes it a pretty and happy time." another friend mentioned.While Christmas isn't a national holiday in Japan, I learned that Christmas doesn't have a significant purpose as it does in the West and is used more for enjoyment than religious purposes. Christmas in Japan also tends to focus more on spending time with those you hold precious rather than exchanging presents. Additionally, Christmas Eve tends to be the highlight; a special day set for couples to enjoy each others company, stroll around the city as they view the illuminations, have dinner at a restaurant, and exchange gifts. As for Christmas day, fried chicken tends to be the tradition, in which people actually place orders in advance, specifically from KFC. Interestingly enough, some accommodation spots also use the holiday as a way to bridge the gap between Japanese nationals and Western travelers as a common interest between the two cultures. This approach has been easy for both parties to form new connections. And while Christmas isn't celebrated in the same way it is in the West, it's interesting to see how Japan has adopted the holiday to be harmonious to their way of life.Do you enjoy the fact that Christmas has been introduced to Japan or do you have different views on the matter? Don't be shy to voice an opinion -- let me know. [Photo Credit: Urasimaru and Isado]
Gems of Japan photo
Two Locals Tell Us Why
As I cycled through the streets of Tokyo, Shibuya to be specific, I couldn't help but notice the Christmas lights and decorations throughout the city. "This can't be what I think it is; the decorations surely aren't set up fo...

Today in Anime photo
Today in Anime

Today in Anime: Christmas

The most wonderful time of the year~
Dec 25
// Anthony Redgrave
I don't think I'll need to preface this Today in Anime section with an explanation about Christmas. It's grown past it's pagan roots and grown into an international holiday celebrated by cultures all over the world and that i...
Santa Company photo
Santa Company

Santa Company finally gets a trailer

Is this what dreams are made of?
Dec 28
// Amber Hunt
We all know that I'm really anxious to watch the upcoming Christmas based anime called Santa Company when it comes out. A few days ago, staff member Karen wrote about the Kickstarter for the project being funded. Yes, she wa...
Anime photo

Santa Company adds new character named Pedro

Welcome Takahiro Sakurai to the cast!
Dec 14
// Amber Hunt
A few weeks ago, I talked about a new anime that's all about Christmas, Santa Company. This Kickstarter campaign launched this past week and with 19 days to go, they've raised nearly $29,500. I believe in that tim...

anime photo

It's the perfect time for Christmas anime

Will holiday anime become a thing now?
Dec 04
// Amber Hunt
Well 'tis the season for Christmas anime, right? That is correct folks, a Christmas based anime! It sounds pretty kick ass to me. Kenji Itoso is the mastermind behind the concept and is calling the series Santa Company. ...
Hello Kitty photo
Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty is excited for Christmas

What a pur-fect stocking!
Nov 18
// Amber Hunt
Hello Kitty is ready for Christmas, and so am I! I mean, it's November. That's time to start decorating, right? Well, this lovely stocking is up for grabs on Neatoshop. What you see in the picture below, is Hello Kitty's head...
Sweet Rein vol. 1 photo
Sweet Rein vol. 1

Romance and Christmas spirit abound in Sweet Rein vol. 1

Santa Claus and reindeers just belong together
Nov 02
// Kristina Pino
VIZ Media is ready to kick off the holiday season early with the release of a new shoujo series titled Sweet Rein. The first volume will be out on November 5th both in print (US$9.99) and digitally (US$6.99) via the VIZ Manga...

Merry Christmas from Japanator!

Dec 25
// Josh Tolentino
Merry Christmas to everyone from all the staff at Japanator! Or Winter Solstice! Or whichever appropriate occasion you celebrate about this time! And as you can see, the girls of Sakura Taisen are also in the mood for c...

Christmas Waifu: Harem Edition

The more the merrier. If you know what I mean.
Dec 25
// Josh Totman
It's not Christmas unless you spend it with someone special. Whether it is with your girlfriend, boyfriend, family, friends, pets, or waifu/husbando. We all like to have that person, animal, love pillow next to us during this...

It's a very Miku Christmas

Thank you, Miku
Dec 25
// Josh Totman
Sega knows what I want for Christmas and that is more Hatsune Miku! The development team at Sega has remade the 5th anniversary song "39" with more of a Christmas theme. It's a cute little video perfect for the holidays, but...

A very merry 2D Christmas celebration

Dec 27
// Hiroko Yamamura
We all celebrate out Holidays in different ways! Isn't that what makes all of us unique? ANN posted a gallery of some of those special 2D moments that were had this season. Some of the images are cute, while some are borderli...

JapanaTen: 10 gifts we'd give and who we'd give them to

Dec 26 // Josh Tolentino
1.) For Guilty Crown's Shuu Ouma:   A "Pep Talk" from Gundam's Captain Bright! Said Jeff: I think this is self-explanatory. If it does not make sense to you, let me just say that Federation Captain Noa is a veteran in the various wars in Gundam, and has since successfully managed several teenage young men, each with extraordinary talent for war, destruction, and emo angst. Captain Noa's trusted tool in such cases involves his right hand, right arm, and a smooth swinging motion towards said teenage young men's cheeks.   2.) For Bunny Drop's Daikichi Kawachi...   A Penguin Helper from Mawaru Penguindrum! Said Jeff: "Consistently the penguin helpers in Mawaru Penguindrum are one of the big reasons why I look forward to the show every week. I think they are not only great playmates for kids and adorable pets for the whole family, they can help out keeping the home. Cleaning, cooking, hiding your porn, exterminating roaches and playing house are just a few of the things these penguin pets can do. And since nobody else can see them, you don't even have to deal with the whole "what the hell is this" problem with mystical critters cooking your dinner when you bring home a date. Raising a child as a single father is already pretty darn difficult, so I think someone like Daikichi can use all the help he can get. It would make a great present, right?" 3.) For Macross Frontier's Sheryl Nome:   The 10th Doctor's Jacket! Says Hiroko: Sheryl is an amazing artist and whatnot, but come on girl! Some of your outfits are starting to push the boundaries of what can qualify as a garment! C'mon, there are children in the audience! Dr. Tennant's long jacket always looked so warm, and appropriate! What a better thing than a Timelord's jacket to keep you warm at night?   4.) For Tomomi Itano of AKB48:   Baby Beelzebub's Pacifier! Says Hiroko: This year I would love to give my favorite AKB4 girl, Tomomi Itano, Baby Beel's delicious pacifier. I know how hard it is to perfect the perfect "duck face", but fear not. The pacifier of hellfire has got you covered, after only 2-3 hours of pacifier use, your "duck face" is primed, and read to go. I'd make sure the Prince of Darkness cut a little snaggle tooth notch into it, custom style.   5.) For Kaiji Ito   A Selecao Phone from Eden of the East! Says Chris: What makes Kaiji awesome? Copious amounts of money and extremely costly and life threatening bets! If we made him one of the selecao, not only would he have a truckload of money, but he'd even be able to clear out anyone that makes his life hell... which I think amounts to near enough everyone! Lose a bet? No problem! Dare to beat Kaiji and you'll end up on a boat with a bunch naked NEET's.   6.) For Grave of the Fireflies' Seita and Setsuko:   All seven Dragon Balls! Said Chris: I've used this Christmas to watch all of the Ghibli films I hadn't seen, and while I knew that Grave of the Fireflies wasn't exactly going to be a 'feel good' film, I'd have a real job finding something more depressing to watch. Seita and Setsuko are characters that you can't help but feel sorry for, so I'd happily pass them the dragon balls so they can wish themselves to happiness. Now excuse me while I cry into a pillow.   7. For Shadow of the Colossus' Wander:   Excalibur! Said Josh: Wander has quite a task ahead of him. Raising one's lady friend from the dead is hard enough as it is, but to do it he'll need to clamber all over a bunch of hairy, gargantuan Colossi and stick 'em in the glowy bits with a weapon that's barely one step above a rusty butter knife. It's a tough job, no matter which way you slice it. Which, of course, is why Excalibur would be the perfect slicer for any young 'un with a hero's quest on the docket. If the Fate series is anything to go by, the "Sword of Promised Victory" certainly delivers, and not just as a fancy golden pig-sticker. It's also a huge laser gun! Just by saying the magic word (Hint: It's "Excalibur"), Wander could bulls-eye the giant goofs, no climbing necessary.    8.) For A Certain Magical Index's Touma Kamijo:   A Rocket Punch! Said Josh: Sometimes, you just need to contact someone far away. That's what phones are for! But when there's an illusion that needs breaking, only a human touch will work, a problem that poor Touma's always had to deal with fighting mad magicians and crazy espers alike. They can fly, shoot and teleport, and all he has is his right hand. With some surprise corrective surgery, conducted in secret by Nichijou's master of making undetected robo-modifications, The Professor, no foe will ever be out of Touma's reach.   9.) For Santa Claus:   The Trans-Am 20,000! Said Josh: Hey, if anyone deserves some appreciation, it'd be the big man himself! Santa might only work one night a year, but what a night it is, and he'll need to go as fast as inhumanly possible to get everyone their jackets, cellphones, Noble Phantasms, Pacifiers, pep talks, and secret mecha-surgery. What better ride for him, then, than the car that won Redline?  Go on, Santa, pop some gold nitro into that car's stove, and you'll get Christmas eve done right quick!   10.) For the President of the United States, Barack Obama:     Howl's Moving Castle! Said Brad: I'd give Howl's moving castle to the Commander-in-Chief. It's practically time to start campaigning again, and why not give the President a more eco-friendly way to travel around compared to Air Force One? It'd be a home away from home, with plenty of comfort for him and the whole family -- plus, then have a mobile death panel to administer swift justice to senior citizens!

It's the season of giving, everyone, and give we did. Oh, there was much giving to be done. But just because one giving eve is over with doesn't mean the giving just has to stop. There are many people out there that we'd love...

It's a Japanator Christmas Special!

Dec 25 // MARC
On a more serious note, Happy New Year and all that other stuff, guys! Pretending to be so awkward has never felt so... you know, awkward. It's been about over a year since I've started helping out, and one thought of mine has always stood out: Keep on being awesome, everyone... and I'll try to do the same!

What is it like to spend a day in my shoes? Well, for one, it's great... being able to play with a beard all day is surprisingly fun, and you get to sleep in until 1-2PM! Wowzah! Some other cool things come out of being aweso...


Happy Holidays from Japanator

Dec 25
// Hiroko Yamamura
So, it's 8 AM in Chicago right now, I wanted to make sure to be the first to wish you a happy holiday and a merry Christmas from your friends at Japanator. It's been a fatalistic year for me at the site, and we still have a f...

Your birthday is on December 24th, a great day for posting [email protected] galleries! May you be gifted with greater self-confidence, a proper story arc, and a gold-plated shovel.

Japanator Discusses: What we got for Christmas

Dec 25 // Josh Tolentino
Brad Rice:Well, on the Japanese side, I got me some Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, starring Takeshi Kitano and David Bowie. SO EXCITE. Otherwise, I got a bunch of facial care (badger-hair brush, shave soap, etc) and some board games -- Arkham Horror and A Touch of Evil. Overall, been a nice Christmas for me <3Mike LeChevallier:I think I'm just getting money, though--it's all I ever ask for nowadays. I tend to get more cash if I just ask for it à la carte then would be the amounted value of any gifts I would receive. Plus, I know my family is lazy. So it works out for everyone.Lauren Orsini:I don't ask for, recieve, or give nerdy stuff for Christmas. My family still things that my nerdy hobbies are a big joke! I got some makeup, clothes, a 2 terabyte external harddrive for my mac, and an update for my GPS.Bob Muir:I got one of those Mario 25th anniversary red DSi XL systems, Scott Pilgrim on Blu-ray, a custom photo book of my family's trip to France, and some fancier looking clothes. And some shirts with buttons on them (I know, so rare for me!), a blazer, a plaid jacket, dress pants, basically stuff from Urban Outfitters and the Gap. I'm happy! Tim Sheehy:I got a coffee maker, and sushi drops from J-List. We gave my brother an Xbox 360 -- he likes shootan games.Josh Tolentino:It seems my family doesn't quite know how to pick out nerdy presents, though I'm not complaining. I received five T-shirts and a luggage weighing scale (not sure how that got in there), plus some cash. On the giving side, though, I curried points as the "cool uncle" with my nephew, through the gift of the fabulous Valkyria Chronicles for the PS3. I also gave him Demon's Souls, so I'm worried he might regard that game one might regard a lump of coal in his stocking.-And that's it for us! Why don't you get in the comments and tell everyone about your ecks-mas spoils! Panty and Stocking demand it!

Had enough of Christmas posts? Too bad, because here's another one, but one that emphasizes the best parts of Christmas, short of that whole "celebrating the birth of Christ" part: presents, and the act of giving an...


Holy Beckii Cruel-Wannabe! It's a Christmas miracle!

Dec 25
Oh, sweet. I love Fruits Basket. Merry Christmas, everyone![Via King_gg on the '4ums]

Japanator Original: Wild Predictions & Surprises for 2011

Dec 24 // MARC
Dragonball live-action TV series is leaked: January 14th-  Earlier this week, is was reportedly leaked by Toei Animation via Twitter that a live-action adaptation of the manga Dragonball was near completion. The tweet read: Happy to announce a new partnership in re-creating our classic anime! Trailer right here:! Shortly after, the message was taken down, and an official release statement was given out by Toei, stating that "...the series was not yet to be announced" and that the "one responsible for releasing the information has been removed from the project". Unfortunately, the person who tweeted it was the director and writer of the series, Daisuke Nishio. The series is now claimed to be on hiatus, searching for a new director to continue the series. Although no one has yet stepped up to take this role, fans of the series have already begun to hold online petitions, claiming that they want Yutaka Yamamoto, responsible for such series as The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Black Rock Shooter, to direct. Yamamoto responded to such outcries via his personal website shortly after. That's fine that people want me to direct this new series, but as much as I regret to inform my fans, I will not be taking on this project. There is still a strong chance that I can continue making generally positive works, and  I have no intentions to ruin that. The status of the series is still unknown. Soulja Boy anime announced, clothing line to follow:  February 3rd- Soulja Boy, responsible for the much-talked about songs "Anime" and "Goku," has recently announced a partnership with Gonzo in creating a spin-off series featuring his likeness. He told USA Today that "this was something [he's] been wanting to do for a long f***ing time.""Hell yeah, this is a great chance to get everybody into what I'm interested in," he said. When asked about what the story would center on, he suddenly became violent."Me, motherf***er," he screamed. "It's about me! I do all sorts of worthwhile s**t that needs to be put put into a different medium. You see, animation is art, and there's so much to be tapped from that art. If you can imagine a reality show that's a lot like Samurai Jack, then that's probably what my show's going to be about."When asked how involved anime was in his life, he gave a heartily laugh. "It's been there forever, man. It's just who I am. You know, for a long time of my life, I didn't want my passion to ruin my image as a rapper. But then, I saw Death Note, and I was all like: 'aw, man. This is me. Kira is like me!.' No joke!"He went on to talk about the clothing line going along with the anime show, saying that it was heavily influenced by common clothing worn in anime.  The line includes a Karate Gi with Soulja Boy's name and brand logo on the back, as well as various high school sailor uniforms for females. Also included are hoodies, head beanies, basketball jerseys and tank tops, all inspired by Soulja Boy's favorite anime: The Boondocks.Shigeru Miyamoto leaves Nintendo to work at Tecmo INC April 1st- Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of such classic video games Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, and Luigi's Mansion, shocked the video game world when he announced that has has left Nintendo for the game company Tecmo for the position of Vice President. The reason for his leave, according to Miyamoto's lawyer, was due to multiple reasons.Reports of dispute between Miyamoto and Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime have been circulating for a while now since the two played a demo session of Wii Sports (bowling) at Tokyo Game Show back in 2006, and even resulted in the two exchanging insults to each other on multiple social network sites.Miyamoto has gone on to state that " least people at Tecmo won't force me to remake games over and over." It is not known yet what Miyamoto will help work on, but an anonymous source tells us that his next project is Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Dead Sexy.Evangelion 3.00 and 4.00 canceled due to loss of interest from AnnoMay 29th- Hideaki Anno, director of the hit anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, pulled the plug on the planned tetralogy Rebuild of Evangelion. He gave an interview to the May edition of the Japanese magazine Newtype, going on to say, "I have never felt so relieved about anything since this decision. Honestly, I cannot recommend selling out enough."According to employees at Studio Khara, the production studio at which the animated films were planning to be released from, Anno's decision was blunt and unexpected. One worker reported the event.We were just working on finishing up the rough draft to [the third film], and then suddenly, Director Anno came into the room, loud as can be, saying he had an announcement. In the end, he simply said: 'Well, it's been a good run, but I'm done. Thank you so much for doing this s**t for this damn long, but now it's time for me to pack up and take it home, boys', and with that, he one knew what to do! We sat around for hours.Hideaki Anno went directly to his house, and has since not returned to doing any kind of work. When questioned at his luxurious homestead, Anno was very open about his decision."Yeah, I just don't really care anymore," he said. "I retrospect, I could have stopped this s**t years ago!" Anno continues to make an 11-digit annual profit in Japan. Sawako Kuronuma found murdered, killer still on the runSeptember 15th- Here at Japanator, we like to report the awesome, hilarious news every chance we get...but today is sadly not one of those days. 16 year-old Sawako Kuronuma was found dead last morning, along side some brush besides a walking path in a park near her home. It was presumed that foul play were involved, and happened while she was walking to school. Many were saddened to the tragic news upon hearing it. Numerous students admired Sawako, who had only just recently making friendly advances towards other students.An anonymous male had reported to the police that he claimed he knows who the potential killer to be. The identity of the suspect has also been withheld, but it is known that the suspect and victim were once close friends.Sadly, there is no sign of a cause of death at this time.  Yen Press to sue Japanator for likeness of Yotsuba character December 3rd- Shortly following the celebration of their two year anniversary of the "Yotsuba &..." parody, Yen Press, licensor of the offical English translation of the Yotsuba& manga, is pressing charges on copyright violation towards the website, after its numerous cease and desist claims were ignored."I didn't think it was that big of a deal," claims the creator of the column, Ben Huber. "I got a lot of letters but...psshh! What can they do about it?""Well, we're done here," says Editor-in-Chief of Japanator, Brad Rice. "In the wise words of the late John Lennon, 'F**k it, we're out of here!'"We tried to find Mr. Rice for some more questioning, but his whereabouts have been unknown for the past few weeks. Kiyohiko Azuma, creator of the manga Azumanga Daioh as well as, more importantly, Yotsuba&, posted on his Twitter regarding the issue:"Today I learn that my characters are being played off as fools. Such a sadness is in my heart..." Japanator is looking at an estimated 10 million USD loss over the dispute. Unfortunately, 1/3 of that staff are still trying to pay off college tuition. -- seems like anything could be possible in the year 2011. Happy holidays, everyone!

The holidays are closely approaching, and every year, December serves as an entire month to anxiously await  new gifts to receive. To me though, all it serves for my high expectations is unfulfilled wishes and lame ...


Save on S.A.V.E.! FUNimation releases anime up to 58% off

Dec 08
Well, we all love deals, and here at Japanator, we love to give you the latest bargains for your pitiful otaku wallets. Lately, when asked how to get the newest anime on the cheap, one of the best opt...

Hyadain makes the most angry, messed up Christmas song

Nov 30
// Dale North
Famed Japanese YouTube remixer Hyadain hasn't released much lately, but he's back this week with a new Christmas song. Before you head the other direction from Christmas music overload, know that this one is hilarious and fan...

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