Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around


FI: Sailor Moon Crystal photo
FI: Sailor Moon Crystal

First Impressions: Sailor Moon Crystal

We are not helpless girls who need men's protection
Jul 05
// Brittany Vincent
I never thought I'd be on the verge of tears after watching Usagi Tsukino's very first transformation into the pretty soldier of love and justice for the umpteenth time, but here I sit wiping tears away and swallowing back th...

Pharmaceutical video proves that cute girls are the cure

Feb 10
// Salvador G Rodiles
Your reign of terror ends now, pollinosis. Guided under the supervision of Rohto Pharmaceutical, the Alguard Sisters are here to save the day. Donning the special armor of hope, their powers will cure everyone ...

Video game Steins;Gate is now an anime

Jul 30
// Bob Muir
Though details won't be revealed until the September issues of Newtype and COMPUTIQ, Chiyomaru Shikura, head of game developer 5pb., announced via his Twitter account that the video game Steins;Gate will be receiving an anime...

80 days around Love Plus: not really a confession

Nov 23 // Jeff Chuang
I've been casually looking at the search results from Google over the past couple months, for the term Love Plus. Part of the reason why is that I have to look up stuff to play the game, like FAQs and walk-thru, to complement my non-functional Japanese. The other reason is that there has been some random pieces of news posted in English about Love Plus, and they're quite amusing. We here at Jtor talked about it enough--and why is it always with Nene? Google now lists a news search entry as the top hit for the search term, and it has come a long way to get here (for an untranslated, Japanese galge that doesn't involve rape, anyways). What's up with Love Plus and why does it drive people like these aforementioned goofballs (and me) to "publicize" our experience? Sure, the game, by Konami, is as clean as it can be; besides possibly some inappropriate touching and kissing, there's just the usual "oh silly Japan" innuendo lurking in the background. It's clean, but it's not something to take home and show your grandpa during Thanksgiving.Or is it? Konami has done some creative marketing to prepare the release of Love Plus. Veteran seiyuu sweetheart Sakura Tange and the love letters aside, my copy of the game comes with a sticker on the outside of its plastic shrink wrap, declaring it to be the girlfriend for the masses. It's quite the catch actually--the energy, money, time and effort it takes to court a girl is daunting to someone who already spent all his time working, which is pretty typical of your young adult Japanese salaryman. In a recessionary climate, who can afford the luxury to pamper a girl? It felt like universal healthcare, except it's universal personal romance. I think the sales pitch has the right idea, even if obviously we can see the social problems it leads to when taken to its logical extremes. Still, it's just a video game, right guys?The real attraction of Love Plus, as you might have pieced together now, is that it offers a relationship, and it might satisfy the needs of some. Just like how you can get attached to your pet dog in Nintendogs, Manaka, Rinko and Nene offer the lonely salaryman something to look forward to as the coquette trio play the tunes to the otaku's youthful fantasies. It is done in a way that's socially acceptable as well, since arguably you can't advance past first base. It also doesn't help that the game in itself is masterfully crafted. Being fully voiced, with great graphics (for the DS), and throw in some of the most moe-inducing voices Japan has to offer, the end product is surprisingly useful as exactly that--a cheap (MSRP 5800 yen) romance. To that end, it's not a serious thing. I personally think the whole concept of Love Plus is at most a noble social and marketing experiment; it is a game meant for people who were already playing dating sims and the like. It has a creative gimmick behind it--using the real-time clock of the DS as a way for your virtual girlfriend to chain your actual self to keep appointments and dates. Being a DS game also means that you could easily take your girlfriend anywhere. Being one of the few Americans (percent-wise) who commutes by rail, it was a small blessing as it was easy to make time for Nene (and Rinko and Manaka, in my case). I can afford to throw away 5 or 10 minutes here and there. Plus it's well-made, and it can be amusing on its own, and doubly so as a gag.Despite the niche demographics, Love Plus sold over 100,000 units in the first month, and that speaks volumes as to how many Japanese virtual boyfriends bought into this creative gimmick. Perhaps some of that is thanks to Konami's creative campaign, and some to good word-of-mouth and utter curiosity towards Japan's latest gaming abomination, but when it makes headlines, we're talking about something else.After all, when nerds get it on with their DS literally, the headlines write themselves. And for the guys playing the game, too, because this romance is how each player makes it. I believe that's why I'm still putting in my time, 80+ days later. The game is notably different than every other dating sim that came before. It is very much a game where you are locked on to one of the three girls; it's purely monogamous per character. Using the real-time clock, the player can unlock different content as time passes. Of course, players can cheat and manipulate the clock and look into what there is to unlock, but to truly unlock everything, the game can take years to finish, with multiple trips from the start of the game. Each day, each date, there could be something new waiting for the player. Since Love Plus plays on the DS, it shouldn't be surprising that some dedicated players will bring the console with them, wherever they go, in order to fulfill requirements in the game. Changing the system clock is an out for those who just couldn't bring themselves to play the game in public, but for others that could be part of the fun. I don't think anyone wants to make Nisan's point, but there might be some sense of satisfaction to being able to enjoy the relationship wherever you go, just like a real romantic relationship with another person.Is this why I was willing to sacrifice face for some face-time with Rinko? I think if you are on good terms with your close buddies, they deserve to know how big of a creep you are! In my case, we shared an awkward moment of silence but then the jokes come flying in, just as planned and just as usual among a bunch of friends. There's nothing to be ashamed about; it's just a game, right? Putting my face on the line gives me a reason to examine why I enjoy Love Plus as much as it is. I am not full of answers though; I'm still looking for a good answer to the "why Nene" question. If you got a favorite thing about her or a clue why people find Nene both desirable or/and dangerous for their husbands/boyfriends, please chime in the comments below... [Image by Mayo Riyo]

I confess: I play Love Plus, and not just as a gag.It's tough to explain to my friends when I pull out the Nintendo DS casually. For example, the other day as we finished off some grease pies and chit chat after a meal at the...


All of Sailor Moon in four minutes

Nov 05
// Karen Mead
 Have you ever wanted to know all about '90s anime sensation Sailor Moon, but didn't feel like watching 200 episodes of unicorns, sparkles, and an army of under-aged girls running around in tiny skirts?  If so, I ...

AX 09: Sexy bishoujo cosplay action part 2

Jul 07
// Tim Sheehy
Okay, I'm feeling a little better. I've rested up a bit since my last post and while I think I could probably do another day of Con, I doubt an entire event is still in me this week. Thankfully I won't have to worry about tha...

AX 09: Sexy bishoujo cosplay action part 1

Jul 07
// Tim Sheehy
My legs are still burning from walking that convention last weekend, and while I'd love to say I'm done with them, we have two more huge events this month that I'll be covering. Anime Expo itself was fun, and while we di...

Bishies gone wild: Heart no Kuni no Alice ~Wonderful Wonder World~ gets an OVA

Jun 12
// God Len
If you love bishies (or beautiful men) like I don’t, then be prepared to scream or at least clap enthusiastically because the shoujo reverse-harem game Heart no Kuni no Alice ~Wonderful Wonder World~ will be made into a...

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good day

Dec 25
// Brad Rice
I know it's not quite how it goes, but I just wanted to take a moment and wish all of you readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah. It's been a fun year, and we've gotten a few gifts along the way (forums, a trip to Ota...

Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...