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10:30 PM on 12.28.2013

Happy New Year from Japanator

This has been a year of ups and downs and though we've gone through quite a few changes around the network, Japanator's future is looking much brighter. I want to thank each and every one of our loyal readers, especially thos...

Tim Sheehy




Say hello to Japanator's new mascot, Ai-Fi! photo
Say hello to Japanator's new mascot, Ai-Fi!
by Tim Sheehy

For the longest time, Japanator has been without an official mascot, and while we've had some guests make appearances throughout the years -- most-notably Yotsuba -- we never really had one to call our own. It hasn't been easy growing up in the shadow of a big green robot, that's for sure. But, thanks to all the support you've shown us over the past month, we've finally been able to cast that shadow aside.

Naturally, with Mr.Destructoid running the show next door, it became readily apparent that we'd need a to build a robot of our own, capable of taking Japanator to that next level. An android who could rival the best in the business, if you will. With that in mind, it's my pleasure to present the latest addition to our family, our new mascot, Ai-Fi!

If she's not busy bringing you the latest in anime, gaming, or Japanese culture, Ai takes to the streets to fight everything from crime to bad dye-jobs. Maybe I'm making that last part up, but the fine engineers over at Boomslank programmed in a sweet combat mode for us, so it's totally possible. Expect to see more of her from here on out! 

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8:00 PM on 10.18.2013

Japanator's got a new look; more changes to come

If you're browsing the site this evening, you may have noticed our shiny new background and fiery-red text. These are just a few of the big changes we have planned for the site in the coming weeks. We still have a few bugs an...

Tim Sheehy



Let's get HUGE: Japanator rolling out ad-free memberships photo
Let's get HUGE: Japanator rolling out ad-free memberships
by Brad Rice

We here at ModernMethod are rolling out a membership program across all four sites called HUGE. The program is meant to be a game-changer for the entire network, allowing us to bring you better content than you've ever seen before. Right now the program is just available through Destructoid, but we'll be rolling it out on Japanator this week, and any benefits gained from signing up via Destructoid apply across all of our sites.

First, let's talk about what you get. You'll get an ad-free browsing experience on all four of our sites (Destructoid, Japanator, Tomopop, and Flixist). You'll get automatic entry into all of our contests on all four sites. You'll get direct access to staff members. Those are the guarantees, and we're working with some of our partners to provide even more benefits! 

On our end, it allows us to not worry about turning into BuzzFeed or BleacherReport -- putting out articles with a 100-page gallery that forces you to click through over and over again. We'll be able to provide better content, because we are beholden to you, not to pageviews (But don't worry, we'll still run that gallery of embarrassing Elliot photos).

Instead, we'll be able to take a better look at some of the anime and manga out there, raising the discussion to a new level. We'll be able to cover Japanese pop culture more in-depth, and provide some new features that we had only been able to dream about up until this point.

Of course, the first thing to state here is that all of our content will still be free. It's not going behind a paywall or anything cruel like that. We're still committed to providing great content to you, regardless of whether or not you subscribed. If we could move away from advertisers entirely, that'd be the best thing in the world.

So please, go check out the HUGE signup page, and let us know in the comments what you think about it and what you would like to see from us!

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2:35 AM on 08.23.2013

Getting ready for Japan Expo

The night before Japan Expo is upon us. Tim and myself are burning the midnight oil gearing up for the event. Just got done eating some sushi and knocked back some drinks looking forward to what we have planned tomorrow. Stuf...

Josh Totman

2:00 PM on 08.07.2013

Introducing Japana-Tumblr, the Japanator sideblog

Remember the days when a "Tumbler" was a term for some kind of cup? Well, those still ARE those days, but a similarly-pronounced word, "Tumblr" seems to be the thing among internet folks. As trend-chasers of the highest order...

Josh Tolentino



A special message from our founder photo
A special message from our founder
by Josh Tolentino

As you may know, Japanator is part of the esteemed ModernMethod network, a group of sites that includes our figure-loving friends at Tomopop, the film buffs at Flixist, and of course, our gaming pals at Destructoid

Earlier today, our founder, publisher, webmaster, fearless leader, and Head Robot, Niero Gonzales, posted a message about ads, what they do for the network, and what you can do as a reader. We've got the whole message below. Most of the language pertains directly to Destructoid, but the truth is, pretty much anything Niero says about the business of running Destructoid applies to Japanator as well, which is why we saw fit to reprint it here.

Once you're done reading it (and hopefully choosing to "whitelist" Japanator on your ad-blocker), the next best things you can do as readers of Japanator, Destructoid, or any other ModernMethod sites is post your thoughts and suggestions in the comments (or email them to us), as well as visiting our community poll and voting on what you'd like to see from a potential "premium" version of the network, which is an idea we've been toying around with!

Rest assured, we intend to do what's best by you, the readers, because what's good for you ends up good for us as well. You're why we do this, after all!

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Want some changes on Japanator? Let us know! photo
Want some changes on Japanator? Let us know!
by Chris Walden

You may have noticed that over the past few months Japanator has made a few changes here and there. The lovely folk with the clacky keyboards at Modern Method want to know what the most important people at Japanator want to see added, removed or changed in future site updates. That means you guys!

All you have to do is go to the real nifty site we've set up, then let us know in as much or as little detail as you like what you want to see happen to Japanator. The site redesign was the beginning, and we want to make sure that our lovely readers get exactly what they want.

Give it a little think and then head on over, just remember that the quicker we know, the quicker we can work on it! Thanks guys!

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Japanator Doesn't Recommend: Rental Magica photo
Japanator Doesn't Recommend: Rental Magica
by Brittany Vincent

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya achieved something wonderful with its deliberate swapping of chronological episodes and the order in which each serial was broadcasted. Once viewers pieced together the puzzle it was a joy to rewatch the series in the order it was meant to unfold.

Rental Magica has the same trick up its sleeve, but the fact that its episodes aren't necessarily following the flow of time only seems to serve as a fruitless gimmick in an attempt to hide the fact that there's really nothing inventive going on here at all, even if it is dressed up in a gorgeously-animated package.

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First Impressions: Nakaimo photo
First Impressions: Nakaimo
by Jeff Chuang

You know you're in for a ride when the anime you're about to watch has one of those retarded-long light novel titles involving a sister and way too many words to easily abbreviate. The marketing material calls it Nakaimo (like, say, Oreimo), but I like to call it There's a Sister Among Us. Or There's a sister. Or Who Is IMOUTO? Or any one of the other creative phrases floating on the internet. Or you can stick with the classic Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!

Thankfully these super-long names rarely indicate the substance of the story, as it is in this case. Well, it is a harem setup. It has a little sister, so we think. But what else does it have? Click on...

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Final Impressions: Natsuiro Kiseki photo
Final Impressions: Natsuiro Kiseki
by Jeff Chuang

Natsuiro Kiseki, ironically, concluded right before the start of July, the customary time all the Japanese kids get out of school. I tend to enjoy anime that has a seasonal theme and airs at the same time of the year. Natsuiro Kiseki, literally, is a title about a miracle with a summer motif. To that end, the title does not lie. It wasn't as timely as it could've been but since summer started on the 20th of June, so I suppose it was still appropriate.

But after twelve weeks (and one off week) of following the adventures of four close friends, have we had enough? Can we live and part ways with Natsumi, Saki, Yuka and Rinko? Do we even care for this Hanasaku Iroha look-alike? Click on!

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Sakura-Con 2012: Japanator
Sakura-Con 2012: Japanator "To-do" Guide
by OxKing

Guys, Seattle is going to be crawling with cosplayers tomorrow. Some really good, some kinda terrible. The thing with conventions like Sakura-Con 2012, which I sure all attendees know officially begins tomorrow morning, is that most con-goers don't even really care who wears the best Itachi garb, or even who can pull off a better Cloud Strife. Just the fact that everyone can have fun wearing and doing and saying whatever they want for an entire weekend is enough to get those not already obsessed with cons hot and bothered. And if that's not enough for you, the idea of seeing the ironically "fashionable" Emerald City suddenly swarming with people in furry costumes and huge groups of sentai heroes should do it to convince you that Sakura-Con is still a big thing in Seattle every year.

There's a lot going on this year, with plenty of guests ranging from American voice actors like Steve Blum, to important figures in the anime industry like Gen Urobuichi and Yoshiaki Kawajiri. In between the tons and tons and tons and tons of panels throughout the weekend- hosted by fans of anime, guests, voice actors, and companies like FUNimation and NIS America- expect to hop in line for the huge concerts and raves going on. Naturally, it's difficult to keep track of all of the cool stuff going on, especially if you don't already have a plan set in motion. 

This is where this handy guide and Japanator come in! Aside from keeping track of some key stuff happening this weekend, I'm here to break down some of the smaller, cooler stuff going on as well, breaking it into categories for those who love AMV's, want to show off your cosplays, the cool stuff screening in the theaters and so so so much more! Hit that jump for all of the details on this years Sakura-Con! 

[Images credit to Eli Schwimmer]

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