DO WANT

Ninninger photo
Ninninger

Rejoice no Jutsu: Ninninger reveals its premise, cast, and staff


More ninja-related goodies are heading your way
Dec 26
// Salvador GRodiles
The new year is around the corner, and TV Asahi's Ninninger page is ready for its next mission. This time around, the show's cast, production team, and premise leap out from the shadows to surprise its upcoming viewers. Howev...
Ninninger photo
Ninninger

Aw snap, Ninninger's toys reveal Shurikenjin's gimmicks


Robo Throne Activate!
Dec 10
// Salvador GRodiles
It's time to look at Ninninger's first set of toys, and things are starting to look even more promising for the upcoming ninja-themed Sentai series. Of course, the best thing out of this toyline is the Shurikenjin, since it's...
Cannon Busters photo
Cannon Busters

Huzzah: Cannon Busters' Kickstarter ends at $156k


LeSean Thomas' project is now a thing!
Dec 03
// Salvador GRodiles
Well, people; it's finally happened. Cannon Busters' Kickstarter has ended with a total amount of $156,535.00, which means that, LeSean Thomas' one step closer towards making his adventure series a reality. Since they've mana...
Garo photo
Garo

Huzzah: More Garo installments are heading your way


The Year of Garo lives on
Nov 24
// Salvador GRodiles
Ladies and gentlemen. I seems that we're in for an amazing Thanksgiving Week, as a bunch of Garo project get announced during the Garo: Golden Wolf Thanksgiving event. Since next year is going to be the franchise's 10th anni...
Boomslank photo
Boomslank

Boomslank comes at us with an epic new poster


Can't wait to have this on my wall
Nov 11
// Hiroko Yamamura
Our friends over at Boomslank finally have some new work to share, and this time it's an amazing new poster. The print entitled OLYMPUS stirs memories of everything I love about Gundam, Five Star Stories, and giant mechs in g...
Totoro photo
Totoro

Someone needs to buy me this snoring Totoro


Like right now
Nov 10
// Hiroko Yamamura
I know you have all been staying up at night, thinking about what to get me for Christmas. Luckily, all your problems have been solved! I present to you, the snoring Totoro! I mean, how adorable is this little guy? I need it now!
Cannon Busters photo
Cannon Busters

LeSean Thomas' Cannon Busters project looks amazing


More adventure shows is always a good thing
Nov 06
// Salvador GRodiles
While Western animation doesn't fall under Japanator's usual coverage, LeSean Thomas' (Boondocks, Black Dynamite: The Animated Series) recent Kickstarter project, Cannon Busters, has a few people who been in the anime indust...
Zyuranger photo
Zyuranger

Huzzah: Zyuranger is up on Amazon for pre-order


The Guardian Beasts have made their move
Nov 05
// Salvador GRodiles
At long last, the first dinosaur-themed Sentai series is up on Amazon for pre-order. Best of all, the show's price is only $38.49, which is 30% off the set's $54.99 price tag. In other words, this is a really good deal, since...
Tokusatsu Tutorials photo
Tokusatsu Tutorials

Caliber On: Garage Hero is starting a Tokusatsu Tutorial series


Toku School is now in session
Oct 31
// Salvador GRodiles
Prior to becoming a toku fan, one thing that I’ve always loved about live-action movies and TV shows were the costumes and props. Whether they’re monsters or combat suits, there’s something wonderful about s...
Persona Q photo
Persona Q

Atlus USA summons five new Persona Q English trailers


It's time to experience some more Marie-related material
Oct 30
// Salvador GRodiles
Ever since I hopped on the Etrian Odyssey bandwagon, Persona Q's been on my radar for quite some time. Anyway, Atlus has uploaded a couple trailers that cover the game's Fusion System, along with showing off Marie, Elizabeth...
Zyuranger photo
Zyuranger

Zyuranger's English DVD cover art features too much blue


In which Tricera Ranger steals the show
Oct 23
// Salvador GRodiles
It's been a good while since Shout! Factory announced their plan to release Zyuranger on DVD, and the company has revealed an image of the show's cover art. Based on the design, the cover doesn't look too bad-- even...
Garo photo
Garo

Garo: The Carved Seal of Flames' new trailer features more Makai Knight action


MAPPA has given us hope!
Sep 26
// Salvador GRodiles
Right when I was starting to have some doubts about MAPPA's Garo anime, the show's newest trailer destroyed my main concerns. While the Makai Knights were moving too fast during the last video, the action sequences present i...
Kamen Rider Drive photo
Kamen Rider Drive

Start your Engine! Kamen Rider Drive's full trailer shifts into overdrive


And Drive the Kamen Rider!
Sep 17
// Salvador GRodiles
With two more episodes left until Gaim ends, a new trailer for Kamen Rider Drive has entered the fast lane. Surprisingly, I've come to terms with the show's title, since it occurred to me that Knight Rider's main charac...
Garo photo
Garo

MAPPA's Garo anime summons a second trailer


The Golden Knight is ready to unleash his flames!
Sep 10
// Salvador GRodiles
As we're getting close to September's halfway point, the folks at MAPPA have used their Makai Swords to call upon a second trailer for Garo: The Carved Seal of Flames. This time around, we get to see the Golden Knight's anim...
Garo photo
Garo

Let's raise our swords for the Garo anime's characters and staff


Mappa's next project continues to show more potential
Aug 10
// Salvador GRodiles
For a good while, I was speculating that Garo: The Carved Seal of Flames was going to be a prequel to the late-night tokusatsu franchise. As Garo Project's website for the anime revealed the TV series' four main characte...
Super Hero Generation photo
Super Hero Generation

Super Hero Generation's first trailer is dynamically delicious


It's Space Jumping Time!
Aug 08
// Salvador GRodiles
It looks like Bandai Namco has uploaded Super Hero Generation's first trailer. Overall, it looks amazing! I mean, what more can I say? The video gives us a nice sample of what to expect from our favorite Gundams, Riders, and...
JoJo's Hoodies photo
JoJo's Hoodies

Stardust Crusaders hoodies are JoJo's Bizarre Apparel


Wear 'em like arcana
Aug 07
// Josh Tolentino
Have you ever wanted a Stand of your very own? Too bad, they aren't real, but clothing brand BEAMS may have just brought us the next best thing, in the form of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure-themed hoodies, designed to look like St...
Kamen Rider Gaim photo
Kamen Rider Gaim

S.H. Figuarts Gaim Pine Arms and Baron Mango Arms give off a nice tropical vibe


Pineapples and Mangoes are serious business, people
Aug 06
// Salvador GRodiles
I probably don't say this around here too much, but I'm a huge fan of pineapples and mangoes. Actually, my passion for the latter is bigger than the former, as I find ananas to be great on certain occasions. That said, I woul...
Zyuranger photo
Zyuranger

SDCC '14: Shout! Factory to release Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger on DVD


Earth's Legendary Warriors finally go west
Jul 26
// Salvador GRodiles
Ladies and gentlemen. I would like to announce that hell has frozen over. Why you say? Well, it turns out that Shout! Factory has plans to bring Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger to North America. As a person who's been ...
The Legend of Heroes photo
The Legend of Heroes

Cheers! Trails in the Sky's PC version gets a release date


It's time to launch more trailers into the sky!
Jul 23
// Salvador GRodiles
As XSEED Games and Carpe Fulgur continue to work on The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC, the awesome folks at XSEED have announced that the first Trails in the Sky game's hitting Steam and GOG on July 29th (next Tuesda...
Garo photo
Garo

Huzzah! MAPPA's Garo anime gets a short trailer


The Fall 2014 Anime Season's going to rock
Jun 20
// Salvador GRodiles
At long last, we get another glimpse at MAPPA's (Zankyou no Terror) upcoming Garo anime, Garo: The Carved Seal of Flame, that's airing during the Fall 2014 Anime Season. To those who aren't familiar with Garo, the ...
Licensing photo
Licensing

Licensing GET: Discotek grabs Shin Mazinger Z Impact


Discotek Media is on a roll
Jun 16
// Salvador GRodiles
Today is a joyous day for Go Nagai and super robot anime fans everywhere. Discotek Media has announced on their Facebook page that they've licensed Shin Mazinger Z Impact (a.k.a. Shin Mazinger: Shogeki Z-Hen!). As a pers...
Tokusatsu photo
Tokusatsu

Dinosaurs run wild in Kyoryuger vs Go-Busters' trailer


Three times the dinosaurs to be exact
Dec 21
// Salvador GRodiles
I may be stating the obvious here, but it's not everyday that we get to see three dinosaur-themed Sentai teams in one film. In fact, you could say that Kyoryuger vs Go-Busters completes the Tri-force of Dinosaurs, since we h...
Video games photo
Video games

Take a look at Project Phoenix's character animation test


Things are looking good so far!
Dec 09
// Salvador GRodiles
It's been a good while since Project Phoenix's Kickstarter came to a triumphant close, and their page has update with a link to an animation test that features a simple model running around with a sword. While the c...
Moon Laser! photo
Moon Laser!

Fund it! Japan proposes building laser beam on the moon


The next step to real-life Gundam-world!
Dec 05
// Josh Tolentino
What is it with Japan and its tendency to name cool stuff after things that terrify westerners? First they found a company called Cyberdyne to make a robot exoskeleton called "HAL", and now one Japanese scientist is proposin...

Japanator's 2013 Holiday Shopping Guide: Music and Misc.

Dec 02 // Jeff Chuang
For all the Miku haters in your life... [embed]30581:3143:0[/embed] Mitchie M - The Greatest Idol (album)MSRP: 3000 yen (~$31 USD) A lot of people think little of Miku because, in the end, she's just a highly mixed, computer-generated set of sounds. Maybe it's more a statement on the heavily edited and tuned pop music of today than anything else, but to my ears, Mitchie M's Miku sounds no different than half of Perfume's library--or most high-energy pop female vocalists out there. While there is still a gap for those with a keen ear for the human voice, I wonder how well songs like "Weekender Girl" can do in a blind A/B test? This is all just to say Mitchie M is one of the best at using Miku as not just another instrument in the mix, but crafting a sound that makes the vocaloid capture some of the warmth of a human vocalist. If you spring the extra 900 yen (~$10) for the deluxe version of this album, it comes in a LP form factor, featuring a bigger version of Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's illustration of said greatest idol. Of course, The Greatest Idol is not just good for fooling people about Miku, but it features the best of Mitchie M over the years, including his popular tracks from the Project Diva games. You can check out an abridged sample mix in the video up top, with Miku introducing the tracks herself. For your karaoke friends who like hot blooded, full-metal, screaming encores... [embed]30581:3144:0[/embed] JAM Project - Thumb Rise Again (album)MSRP: 3000 yen (~$31 USD) JAM Project does a lot of theme songs, but in recent years they haven't done a normal, solo album. The anime music power group has taken a lot of the time over the years touring, and while that's a great way to forge a new audience all over the world, they've been doing largely the same playlist. Now, with a new album this autumn, I'm glad they'll have an opportunity to sing some brand new stuff. Thumb Rise Again takes all of what JAM Project stands for, mixes it up and distill it back to its true arena rock essence. I think for anyone who had a great time at a JAM Project concert, this is a no-brainer buy. Just listening to the first track sends chills down my spine, it's so good. JAM Project played a set on Youtube back in October and demoed the PV for the titular track, Thumb Rise Again. Check out the video above to get a taste. For the alternative, fun-loving idol fan... [embed]30581:3145:0[/embed] Momoiro Clover Z - 5th Dimension (album)MSRP: 2667 yen (~$28 USD) Momoiro Clover Z is a relatively new idol act--but in this day and age, it sometimes takes no time for a quality idol group to go from zero to sixty in popularity. I think the group's sophomore album demonstrates the kind of chops that propelled them so far and so quickly; having a couple solid anime music tie-ins also helps, like the ending to Joshiraku and Bodacious Space Pirates. The best thing about Momoiro Clover Z is that they are a group focused on unabashed, full-throttle fun. There's the usual pandering-to-the-lowest-common-denominator going on, but they do it with such panache you're more likely to laugh it off than to find it offensive or awkward. Or maybe it's because the whole thing sounds just a little bit on the ludicrous side of "Oh Japan" that you won't mind too much. This is one idol group that has mass appeal without all of the baggage, and these five ladies sing their hearts out. For those who likes rock music and Psycho-Pass... [embed]30581:3146:0[/embed] Ling Tosite Sigure - i’mperfect (album)MSRP: 2913 yen (~$30 USD) Supercell - Zigaexperientia (album)MSRP: 3000 yen (~$31 USD) Okay, to be honest, for many people who love music, Ling Tosite Sigure may be hit or miss. I think they're definitely a quality alt-rock band who've taken the hard road from indie to major. They have an interesting, if unique, sound, and this album is one way to get a taste of that. What sweetens the deal is all their Psycho-Pass tie-ins. For those who are interested in the always-developing J-rock cycle, i'mperfect is a good start. For those who prefer to stay on the more pop/anime side of things, the new Supercell album is probably what you want. Or both! They both are really good rock music! Supercell's third full album probably doesn't need much of an introduction, but I think the two new vocalists really knocked it out of the park. Just also note that besides the rocking opening number embedded above, Zigaexperientia also features the theme songs to Magi, BRS TV, Nerawareta Gakuen, and Psycho-Pass. For that one disgusting seiyuu otaku in your life... [embed]30581:3147:0[/embed] Kana Hanazawa - claire (album)MSRP: 3000 yen (~$31 USD) Confession: I check out a lot of seiyuu music. Over the years, one constant I found out is that most of it just isn't very good. It's not even because the seiyuu can't sing; quite the contrary (and more and more in recent years), many of them can hold a tune. Rather, more often than not they're just not well-produced. It's not unusual to find a song that doesn't fit the vocal range of the singer, or with poor delivery, or a song that would've sounded much better if it wasn't sung in character. So when I ran into Kana Hanazawa's solo debut, I was definitely surprised by how effective all of those elements came together in order to produce a very listenable product. Granted, this is still all about Kana Hanazawa. Do you like her voice? I think most of us do, given how many popular character she has voiced--although some may be getting a little tired of her, to be honest. But from the addictive vocals of Renai Circulation, there are few better ways sweet nothings can be whispered into one's ears (and not just because it takes a special kind of kimoi otaku to play this with a boombox, in public). If someone forces you with fire and/or poison to pick out a seiyuu album, choose this one. For your friend who never gets tired of "One Winged Angel"... Theatrhythm Compilation AlbumMSRP: 3800 yen (~$40 USD) Some people just cannot get tired of Final Fantasy music. Square-Enix knows this, which is why they came out with Theatrhythm and packaged it with DLC, making a shiny dime on rearranged music from ages ago. Of course, for people who love the music, this means a soundtrack for said Theatrhythm game is now a thing. I've long lost count the number of Final Fantasy compilation-type releases out there (including at least a couple this year), but the Theatrhythm Compilation Album is pretty neat in that it's both a compilation and it has music from a totally new game, as Theatrhythm has its own original compositions. This 5-disc set is also a good value at just a little more than the price of a normal CD album. That's good, because you might be gifting some things a Final Fantasy music nut may already have...not that any of them will mind, from my experience. For those who love bombastic music and Attack on Titan... Attack on Titan SoundtrackMSRP: 3000 yen (~$31 USD) We already know that Linked Horizon is going to perform on Kohaku, so this is a sure way to get a piece of that hot Jaeger popularity and familiar yourself with that catchy line in German before the Dec. 31st TV show. To me, the Attack on Titan soundtrack celebrates not just a popular anime this year, but the body of work of Hiroyuki Sawano. This young composer (only 33 years old!) burst onto the scene and created some really great scores for shows like Blue Exorcist, Psycho Pass, Guilty Crown, Gundam Unicorn, Sengoku Basara, and probably his latest hit, Kill la Kill. I think that alone justifies this gift for anyone who appreciates soundtrack music, even if they don't care too much about that anime with tall walls and giant man-eating monsters. Attack on Titan might be the "biggest" sound that Sawano has produced for an anime, so it's at least sure to amuse. Hopefully it'll be a gateway for people to explore Sawano's other scores, so they'll discover the diversity of his work. Keep in mind, if you know your giftee doesn't love Attack on Titan, the Kill La Kill soundtrack-- also out just in time for Christmas-- makes a great alternative. For the master-grade figure collector... Max Factory 15th Anniversary - Belldandy with Holy Bell (fixed-pose PVC figure)MSRP: 19800 yen (~$200 USD) To celebrate its 25th year, Max Factory decided to release one of their resin kits as a prepainted PVC figure. What you get in the box is a towering 1/10 scale of Belldandy of Ah My Goddess, with Holy Bell coming out of her back. Yeah, Ah My Goddess is not as popular in 2013-2014 as it was back in the day, but for those who appreciate fine craftsmanship, you can't go wrong with Bell. This is simply one of the most amazing fixed-pose PVC figure that you can buy off the shelf, without touch-up, painting and assembly (well, very minor assembly is still required). As of this writing you can actually buy this thing from the usual importers like HLJ, Hobby Search, Amiami, and the like. Each figure of this limited edition release is individually numbered, so when it's gone it is most definitely gone. Sure, it probably won't fit in a Detolf, because it deserves better than that. This is a figure that can anchor or be the centerpiece of a collection, the kind that comes by once every few years, and even among those, few are as classic as this. You can find more pictures and more places to order from via Tomopop. To those well-versed in Tankery... Girls und Panzer StuG III (Team Hippo colors)MSRP: 4775 yen (~$50 USD) You can buy Girls und Panzer on DVD and Blu-ray this Christmas. Great. Now get a tank to go with it. Our own Josh Tolentino recommended it, probably because Team Hippo is great, and frankly a tank with this look is simply the best. By best I mean it will bring your friends and family a lot of laughs, strange stares, and general hysteria (in a good way, surely). That said, this well-modeled StuG III has optional parts you can swap in for a more, shall we say, conventional look. There is even a third option to change the paint job to mirror its later evolution within the anime, once the tankery practitioners realized that tall flags and wild bright colors do poorly in combat. So, yes, the option is there to disguise this very eye-catching conversation piece. On a separate note, if the gift can wait until after Christmas, I would also recommend the ending version of the Team Anglerfish Panzer IV which ships in January. To those who have mastered the digital... Japanese Playstation Network cards, Japanese iTunes cardsMSRP: Varies To some people gifting gift cards may be cold and impersonal, but to some otaku it's a great favor, assuming you give the right cards. Some things are only available as a digital purchase, and some of us prefer to do things the futuristic way-- because the future is, like, now. Last year I recommended the Playstation Store point cards. Confession: I probably spent more than 30,000 yen on Idolm@ster-related digital purchases, just on the Playstation Store. And that is just Idolm@ster. This year we're adding Japanese iTunes gift cards to the list, because regardless of what's happening in the industry, iTunes Japan is simply the best one-stop shop for your Japanese music needs. In fact, probably all of the music recommendations on this list will end up on iTunes, if they are not already there. As usual, the issue of setting up a Japanese account is going to be a barrier to entry, either for the Playstation Store or the iTunes store, but there are a lot of guides online to help you with it. Helping someone set up an account can also be a great gift you can give to your friends or family, on top of obtaining these cards for them. Speaking of which, J-List and Play-Asia are just two of many sites that offer these for the holidays. With that new-found purchasing power, you can buy, say, most of Square-Enix's music library. Most major label (and many smaller label) music publishers also go to iTunes as Japan's biggest digital music shop. You can access the growing number of games on the iOS app store as well, if language is not an issue. On both iTunes and Playstation Store, a ton of raw anime (available to rent or purchase), plus the Playstation Store's game library, is just a few button presses away.  For the stationary otaku with the best handwriting... [embed]30581:3148:0[/embed] Hobonichi Planner 2014MSRP: Starting at 2500 yen (~$26 USD) The concept is simple--combine a planner with a journal, and here you have it. The Hobonichi Planner is a planner that opens up with a page a day, with monthly views and a day-by-day view. You're encouraged to doodle or otherwise be creative with the planner and use it every day. Draw in it, use it as a scrapbook, use it as a diary, whatever you want. The first English-language version of the Hobonichi Planner is now available for 2014, so it makes a natural present. Kristina has reviewed the Hobonichi Planner for us. What's kind of neat are the special covers you can buy and customize your planner with--including two very sweet North Face covers. For those interested, you can order the planner (also called a techo) directly from Hobonichi. More importantly, there's a community of stationary-oriented people around the Hobonichi Techo, which may be helpful to get you (or the giftee) up to speed in terms of what you can do with it. Well, there you have it-- that's all of our holiday shopping guides for this year here at Japanator. We hope you have something special picked out for every otaku on your list, and maybe even some non-otaku. If you're currently scratching your head over what to get the remainder of the folks on your list (should any remain), when in doubt, go with chocolate. 
Shopping: Music photo
Jam some bombastic tunes in your stocking
You've already seen our holiday recommendations for anime, manga, and video games; what could possibly be left? Quite a lot, actually. Not only do we have recommendations for music lovers (and we hope that group includes pret...

Tokusatsu photo
Tokusatsu

Rejoice! Garo gets a boatload of new announcements


Christmas has arrived early this year
Nov 23
// Salvador GRodiles
Garo Appreciation Day (a.k.a the Garo announcement on November 23rd) has ended, and the Golden Knight is ready for a new year! Before I move on the next step, I'll need to summon my armor by creating the proper circle w...
Anime photo
Anime

Za Warudo! JoJo's new season to premiere next Spring


2014 is going to be the Year of the JoJo!
Nov 18
// Salvador GRodiles
I don't know about you, but a part of me is wishing for 2013 to be over already. Other than Space Dandy's super amazing entry into the 2014 Winter Anime Season, the return of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is another fine treat to ...
Manga photo
Manga

Huzzah! Seven Seas grabs The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer


Seven Seas unleashes an amazing surprise!
Nov 11
// Salvador GRodiles
Today is an incredible day to be a manga fan, because Seven Seas is going to license The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer (a.k.a. one of the best seinen titles in existence)! While they haven't made an official announceme...






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