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8:00 AM on 06.16.2014

Anime Next '14: Studio Trigger

At Anime Next 2014, the "Creative Officer" and "Creative Director" of Kill la Kill, Shigeto Koyama and Hiromi Wakabayashi, respectively, did some show-and-tell for the crowd. Their Saturday panel on Kill la Kill was not ...

Jeff Chuang


Updated! Panel details revealed:

Hironobu Sakaguchi Reflection: Past, Present, Future of RPGs

The father of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi, has announced his PAX Prime 2014 panel where he will discuss his history developing role-playing games, along with revealing more about his new RPG, Terra Battle. Find out more info at PAX Prime website.






ACEN '14: Wake Up, Girls! photo
ACEN '14: Wake Up, Girls!
by Jeff Chuang

Anime Central and Crunchyroll teamed up over the weekend and brought to the USA the anime-idol group Wake Up, Girls! I am more than excited to be able to cover them over the weekend and attend some of their events. Below the jump contains a list of pictures, questions and answers for the seven-girl idol team from their press panel, but also a few from the anime producer and director Hiroaki Takeuchi and Yutaka Yamamoto, respectively.

The Wake Up, Girls! attended ACEN to help promote their movie and TV show, both are currently streaming from Crunchyroll. And as those of you who have seen the show may expect, having the seven idols in front of you really does complete the full experience. Lastly, for the unfamiliar, the Wake Up Girls, from left to right (top image), are Miyu Takagi, Nanami Yamashita, Minami Tanaka, Mayu Yoshioka, Airi Eino, Kaya Okuno, and Yoshino Aoyama. On the left of WUG is director Yutaka Yamamoto, and on the right is producer Hiroaki Takeuchi.

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AB 2014: JAM Project press panel photo
AB 2014: JAM Project press panel
by Jeff Chuang

At Anime Boston 2014, epic anime theme song (anison) rock team JAM Project performed and threw a couple great shows. Japanator was able to join in on their press panel and take some Q&A time. Here are the juicy details about their international fan base and the crazy things they've experienced in the past 14 years, including what happened just the night before during their "solo" live where each JAM Project member performed a solo segment.

It's hard to fully capture what JAM Project does in words, like it is difficult to capture their full sound in a studio recording. If you've attended their lives you might know how it best; there's just something special that forms between the performers and the audience. During the Q&A the group was laid back and some of the guys (namely Fukuyama) were chuckling at the various exploits they've experienced. So take the below interview with some levity. Spoiler: it includes a broken bone, women's undergarment and anison superstar Nana Mizuki.

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11:00 AM on 01.29.2014

Relive Anohana the Movie with producer Shimizu Q&A

Did you watch Anohana the Movie last week? I did, and it was definitely at least an one-hankie experience. Now you can relive it, especially the lighter moments, with the above Q&A taken with the producer of the series H...

Jeff Chuang



Talking with the guys from Boomslank photo
Talking with the guys from Boomslank
by Karen Mead

By now, you've probably noticed Ai Fi, Japanator's lovely resident android, created by illustrator P-Shinobi of Boomslank. I like Ai Fi quite a bit; while aspects of her design remind me of some other anime and game characters, on the whole she feels like her own unique entity. In that sense, she's a good representative of P-Shinobi's work in general: a style that isn't afraid to acknowledge many influences from within the world of anime, yet still feels fresh and distinct.

When not busy creating Japanator-approved robots, Boomslank also sells T-shirts, prints, and cell phone cases featuring P-Shinobi's original, anime-inspired artwork. Naturally, I was curious what it's like to run an original-anime-art business, and the guys at Boomslank were kind enough to sit down and talk shop with me for a while. I found the three brothers who run the business to be passionate, friendly guys who love talking anime, so we kind of ended up talking about Attack on Titan when we were supposed to be talking about expanding product lines. Still, I think it all worked out in the end.

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An interview with Dr Akiko Mikamo photo
An interview with Dr Akiko Mikamo
by Kristina Pino

In conjunction with my review of Rising from the Ashes, I was given a special opportunity to interview its author, Dr. Akiko Mikamo. In case you haven't read the review yet (and why haven't you?!), here's the basic synopsis to get you ready for the rest of this article:

This is a true and incredible story of a Japanese adolescent, Shinji Mikamo, who miraculously survived the first atomic bombing of human kinds. He was on top of his house roof with nothing to shield him at only ¾ of a mile (1,200m) from the epicenter in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 toward the end of the World War II.

But what made Shinji stand out from most of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or even of many other man-made disasters in our history, he never hated Americans as aggressors. He somehow saw things from a much bigger perspective even in the very strict Japanese military government’s mind control of civilians during the war.

Now, read on to see Dr. Mikamo's responses to 10 questions I sent her way after reading her book.

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Catching up with Neon Alley photo
Catching up with Neon Alley
by Karen Mead

Neon Alley, the 24/7 streaming service for anime fans that delivers shows to your PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, just celebrated its first anniversary. In lieu of a birthday party, the service is launching a bunch of new shows on October 18th, including Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic and even some older fan favorites: Revolutionary Girl Utena and Ranma 1/2. The VIZ Media channel also features some live action series, convention coverage, JRock, and other programming relevant to the discriminating otaku.

In celebration of their first anniversary (and because we had a ton of questions), Neon Alley was kind enough to grant us an exclusive interview with Program Director Kevin Kleinrock. Read on to find out about the key ideas behind the service, what we can expect from Neon Alley going forward, and why you should consider integrating this ambitious anime lifestyle channel into your, well, lifestyle.

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Japanator Interviews: Makoto Shinkai photo
Japanator Interviews: Makoto Shinkai
by Hiroko Yamamura

Wow, talk about an awesome day! Back at Anime Expo this year I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with one of my favorite masters of anime, the illustrious Makoto Shinkai. If you've been living under a rock for the last few years you may not know about his ground breaking works like; The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 5 Centimeters per Second, and his recent masterpiece, Garden of Words.

Unfortunately my audio recorder bit the big one during our meeting, so much of the interview is paraphrased. Luckily, I have an amazing memory! We only had a few minutes to catch up since his schedule was so packed, but I hope you enjoy the words we did exchange, and gain some insight to the amazing man.

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8:00 AM on 08.31.2013

Japanator Interviews: Space Station Osaka

Gaming is more social than many like to give it credit for. Arcades used to play a huge part of this socialization but now the majority seems to happen with screens between the players. Of course there are still some arcades ...

Eric Koziol

6:00 PM on 08.29.2013

JX: An interview with Dempagumi.inc

The fun loving group of Dempagumi.inc was kind enough to sit down with me and chat about some of the things that they like. I will warn you right now, the audio does peak when these girls get going. So if you have your speak...

Josh Totman

1:00 PM on 08.29.2013

JX: An interview with 1000say

The electro-pop band 1000say was kind enough to sit down with me and chat a bit about how they started and what 1000say means. We also talk about their tastes in music which was actually surprising. The range was quite large...

Josh Totman







Japanator Interviews: Hiroaki Yura photo
Japanator Interviews: Hiroaki Yura
by Salvador GRodiles

The flames of Project Phoenix's Kickstarter are growing with each passing day, and its heat will ignite the ultimate rebirth when the time comes. Last Saturday, I was given the honor to speak with Hiroaki Yura, the man behind Project Phoenix’s direction and production. Taking advantage of his experience as a musician that’s worked with the East and West, Hiro has gathered a team of top notch people to create a title that will hopefully lead to the rebirth of JRPGs!

Hiro's musical background expands to video game titles like Soul Calibur IV and Diablo III, along with animes like The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumia and Steins; Gate. The man has performed along side many orchestras and composers (such as John Harding and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra) from across the globe. On top of that, he founded Eminence Symphony Orchestra – impressive!

One thing for sure, Hiro is an amazingly talented person in his field, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how he'll impact his first video game project. During the interview, I was able to learn more about Hiro’s plans for the game, along with a few new surprises that I’m super excited for. I also made sure to ask the biggest question behind a certain name that’s been stuck in most people’s head. 

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