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2:00 PM on 02.16.2015

We Chat With Gun Caliber's Bueno: Toys, Choreography, and Toku's current state

After a long and perilous journey, we've reached the end of our long interview with Bueno. To close things off, the man shares with us his plans for the future, along with his own thoughts on the tokusatsu industry and a cert...

Salvador GRodiles

We Chat With Gun Caliber's Bueno: Ninjas, Zombies, and Hardships photo
We Chat With Gun Caliber's Bueno: Ninjas, Zombies, and Hardships
by Salvador GRodiles

Welcome to the second part of our interview with the one and only Bueno. In this installment, the man talks about his experience with creating tokusatsu and shooting porn. On top of that, we get to learn the dark secrets behind his involvement with Gaion Sigma, and how his ideas were stolen when a tokusatsu called Raidenmaru was born. Other than that, the guy reveals his inspirations for Gun Caliber, and we ask him the most important question in the world.

Things are about to get real in this interview, as Bueno continues his with story. In case you missed out on the first part of this segment, you can head over here to catch up on our chat with the guy.

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We Chat With Gun Caliber's Bueno: Wushu, Porn Stars, and making it in Japan photo
We Chat With Gun Caliber's Bueno: Wushu, Porn Stars, and making it in Japan
by Salvador GRodiles

Gun Caliber: Bootleg Edition's stream may have left the scene, but Japanator was able to ask Bueno, the film's Director and main hero, some questions. I guess you could say that he's the Stephen Chow of tokusatsu. Also, his name is the Spanish word for "good," which means that he's destined for greatness.

Due to the amount of information that Bueno shared with us, this feature'll be split into three parts, since the interview is too big to be made into one post. That being said, the first feature will focus on Bueno's connections, and his adventures in Japan.

Join me below as we begin the first part of our interview with Garage Hero's founder. 

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Lantis Fest Vegas: An Interview with Faylan photo
Lantis Fest Vegas: An Interview with Faylan
by Jeff Chuang

As a part of promotion for Lantis Festival Las Vegas, we were able to ask anison singer Faylan a few questions! Since her tie-in with CANAAN, Faylan has done a slew of rocking songs for various shows and games, like BlazBlue Alter Memory, Griasia no Meikyuu and Tokyo ESP.

Big thanks to Lantis Fest for the opportunity!

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Lantis Fest Vegas: Interview with Choucho photo
Lantis Fest Vegas: Interview with Choucho
by Jeff Chuang

Japanator got to ask Choucho a few questions over email! The self-starting anisong artist is now attached to a bunch of great shows and her melodic tones make them all the more memorable, like Girls und Panzer and Gargantia on the Verderous Planet. Big thanks to Lantis Festival for making this interview possible!

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Japanator Interviews: Morning Musume '14 photo
Japanator Interviews: Morning Musume '14
by Hiroko Yamamura

After eleven amazing years, current Morning Musume '14 leader, Sayumi Michishige is graduating after their current tour. The super group known to fans as Momusu have been lighting up Japan's pop charts since 1997, and have absolutely no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. Michishige leaves the always revolving line-up to the other 13 girls, with new girls being added to the gorgeous line-up.

Morning Musume saw a big spike in popularity last year, after a few years of a lull. Many contribute the group's success to Michishige's unique presence and grace, as well as god given amazing looks. Before their show in New York earlier this month, Sayumi took a few moments to speak to me about her thoughts on leaving the mega-pop machine.

Japanator -  Michishige-san, thank you for taking the time to speak to your fans in the United States. What are your expectations for your upcoming show in New York? What do you think of U.S. fans?

Sayumi Michishige - U.S. fans always show such strong feelings, and it's been a long time since I've seen them face to face. They're going to see a new side of Morning Musume。with a lot more dancing.

Japanator - Morning Musume has had non-stop success since their first single, "Morning Coffee". What is the secret to the group's success and popularity?

Sayumi Michishige - Four new members were announced recently, and it's our biggest group in a long time. Morning Musume is constantly developing by adding unique and colorful members. I think that this style of group which never loses freshness grabs the heart of the fans.

Japanator - We are all very sad to hear you are graduating this year, and feel you have really been the face of the group for so long. Can you tell us about any immediate acting or singing projects you would like to announce?

Sayumi Michishige - It seems like it's coming up fast, but at the same time there's a lot of work to do until that day. I'm thinking about what I can do for MorningMusume right up until the end.

Japanator - What has been the hardest part of being the leader of Morning Musume? Are you a little relieved to be graduating?

Sayumi Michishige - The challenge is about how to treat and teach the junior members. I wanted to be in the position of a leader, but I had never actually been in that position before. So, at the beginning I agonized a lot.

Japanator - While visiting New York, is there anything you are hoping to do in your free time?

Sayumi Michishige - There are so many great places to see! New York is a place for fashion, so I'm thinking about that.

Japanator - Please give a message for your fans in the United States and the readers of Japanator.

Sayumi Michishige - It seems like a long time, but now we're coming to the U.S. and the moment has come to perform live in New York. We will perform with all we've got, so please follow us!

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Anime Next '14: Studio Trigger photo
Anime Next '14: Studio Trigger
by Jeff Chuang

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 only packed to the max--a rarity for these types of guests--but the works-in-progress they showed us during the panel was something you just had to be there for, if you are huge fans of the show. For consolation, the pair sat down with the press and offered some Q&A time.

Shigeto Koyama is most notably one of the ex-Gainax guys that worked alongside what makes up Studio Trigger today during their years on Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking. Today Koyama is responsible for several Trigger shows in addition to Star Driver, Heroman, and Captain Earth. Wakabayashi is a Trigger old timer who has also been through the thick of it along with director Hiroyuki Imaishi and the rest, and has a front row seat in the production process.

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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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