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Kyoryuger Brave photo
Kyoryuger Brave

Vamola Mucho: Kyoryuger's Korean spin-off series gets a Japanese dub

A new chapter for the franchise
Mar 20
// Salvador G Rodiles
If there's one thing I never expected to hear about, it's a Super Sentai show getting its own spin-off series that's made in a different region. As more things start to surface on the Korean Kyoryuger show, Zyuden Sentai Kyor...
Live-action Idolmaster photo
Live-action Idolmaster

Wait, what? Amazon's making a live-action Idolmaster show

Kinda missing the point, isn't it?
Aug 28
// Josh Tolentino
Are you ready for this? Are you LADY for this? Amazon certainly thinks so, because it's taking The [email protected], Bandai Namco's landmark idol-simulator/DLC factory, is coming to the one place it has never truly been: The real w...
Legend Hero photo
Legend Hero

Three Kingdoms-themed Tokusatsu Legend Hero's official stream now has English subtitles

Romance of the Three Henshins
Apr 14
// Salvador G Rodiles
You gotta hand it to companies who decide to make their works viewable to people from other regions since it lets them expand their audience. One fine example of this feat is that the YouTube page for the Korean and Chinese&n...
Bar Oasis photo
Bar Oasis

Bar Oasis opens for business later this month

Drink Responsibly
Mar 11
// Anthony Redgrave
Bar Oasis 2 Aftertaste 1 finally has a release date and it's sooner than you think, March 24th. The third sequel to the bartender simulator cum visual novel, Bar Oasis was received warmly for its excellent soundtrack and...

Bar Oasis photo
Bar Oasis

Return to Bar Oasis very soon with After Tastes

Beers and a Sympathetic Ear
Dec 12
// Anthony Redgrave
It's been more than a year later since the last Bar Oasis game was released and finally, Corner Studios have started to trickle out information on the next chapter Bar Oasis: After Tastes. Bar Oasis is an iOS bar role-playin...
Justin Bieber photo
Justin Bieber

Oh, Justin: Bieber in Yasukuni causes international incident

Do you even geopolitics?
Apr 26
// Josh Tolentino
I don't have anything against The Bieb. In fact, I find the hate for him somewhat petty. I mean, it's not like he's against vaccines or whatever. That said, causing an international incident is something you really shoul...
Black Desert photo
Black Desert

Black Desert might be the prettiest MMO I've ever seen

Let's hope it comes this way
Apr 12
// Josh Tolentino
And yes, I'm aware that this is technically a Korean game, and that this site is called Japanator, but dammit, this game is too pretty to not be worth a mention. And this isn't the first time we've highlighted a Korean game,...
Japan photo

Japan ready to deal with potential North Korea attack

Well, for the most part
Apr 11
// Pedro Cortes
Oh, the woes of living close to North Korea. Anybody living close the antagonistic, aggressive dictatorship has to worry about their constant threats of attack. Even if most of these threats are mere political posturing, it's...
World Order photo
World Order

CNN declares World Order the new Gangnam Style?

Mar 27
// Hiroko Yamamura
I know we just took a look at World Order's new video for Have a Nice Day yesterday on The Dose, but while scrolling through CNN's website I came across a pretty hilarious headline. "Is this the new Gangnam Style?" While I w...
World War II photo
World War II

South Korea hosts 'Comfort Women' exhibit at French con

A major European manga festival is battleground for proxy war
Jan 31
// Brad Rice
The Japanese government is none too pleased by an exhibit at France's Festival de la Bande Dessinee d'Angouleme, one of the biggest manga festivals in Europe. The exhibit in question details Japan's atrocities during World Wa...
Kingdom Under Fire II photo
Kingdom Under Fire II

Kingdom Under Fire II to set PS4 alight...someday

The Korean juggernaut returns!
Nov 14
// Josh Tolentino
Hey, remember Kingdom Under Fire? I do...sort of. Way back in the earliest days of Korea's game industry, Kingdom Under Fire was a somewhat dumpy fantasy-themed Starcraft clone. But developer Phantagram (and la...
Daily Dose photo
Daily Dose

A Daily Dose of Music: F.T. Island

Spicy Korean action
Jul 31
// Hiroko Yamamura
Sure, K-Pop sales may slowly be on a decline in Japan, but that isn't getting in the way of these amazing boys from Korea. We haven't featured any international bands in a little while, so I thought it might be appropriate t...
Old Boy Trailer photo
Old Boy Trailer

Can the Old Boy remake bring anything new?

Why a remake?
Jul 11
// Hiroko Yamamura
When the film adaptation of Garon Tsuchiya's Old Boy manga was released in Korea, it sent shockwave across the film industry. The grittiness, plot, and twists still have people talking today, and its place in histo...
Old Boy poster photo
Old Boy poster

Spike Lee's Old Boy remake gets a poster

What's the lines mean?
Apr 17
// Hiroko Yamamura
I never picked up the original Old Boy manga, but I was a really big fan of the Chan Woo Park film. Ever since I heard Spike Lee had decided to remake the film for Western audiences, I've been quite wary of the concept. Howev...

Review: DJMAX Technika Tune

Jan 27 // Josh Tolentino
DJMAX Technika Tune (PS Vita)Developer: PentavisionPublisher: Pentavision GlobalRelease Date: December 4, 2012MSRP: $45.00 (PlayStation Network Store) As implied by the title, DJMAX Technika Tune is an extension of the DJMAX Technika line, an arcade series known for using a massive 22-inch touch screen as its main interface. That makes the Vita a natural (if smaller) fit for the series, and Pentavision have fully committed to making their touch-based game work with the Vita's own touch wizardry. In fact, the game is almost exclusively touch-based. Besides pushing the Start button to skip the opening movie, nearly every game action from tapping notes to navigating menus is done on the touch screen. Smudge-averse players should keep a cloth handy to clean up every so often. The mechanics are as might be expected for a rhythm game (the relative novelty of a touch screen aside). Players will tap notes as a sync bar passes over them. The closer to the bar they hit, the better the score. The screen is split into two horizontal halves, and the sync bar crosses them in turn, first left-to-right on the top half, then in the opposite direction on the bottom half.  The notes themselves are either to be tapped on cue or dragged along a specific path. Successful hits feeds into a "Fever" gauge. When full, the Fever power can be triggered to grant maximum score to every note hit so long as it's not missed completely.  So far, so standard...until Technika Tune starts involving its party piece: the Vita's rear touchpad. The rear touchpad is used to bring yet more note types into play, tapping or holding. The touchpad notes are thankfully simpler, requiring only proper timing rather than precision aim as with the front-screen notes, but having them in play ups the level of concentration and coordination required considerably. The touchpad antics can actually be turned off via the menu (simply turning the rear notes to normal front-screen ones), but once past the initial learning curve the additional challenge is thoroughly enjoyable, especially as tougher songs tend to cluster mixed note types from both inputs, making for a level of physical involvement just short of a dancing- or plastic-instrument-based rhythm game. Just don't try to play it in a moving vehicle, or while standing up. The kind of grip needed to keep one hand free to tap the front screen while maintaining a finger on the other hand to tap the touchpad makes the Vita vulnerable to being dropped to the floor or even grabbed by an opportunistic thief. DJMAX Technika Tune boasts four game modes derived from the arcade original, though the "Star Mixing" and "Pop Mixing" modes are really just the "Easy" and "Medium" difficulty settings, respectively (Star Mixing nixes rear touchpad notes entirely). In those two, players will play through three songs of their selection (the available songs change each time), and their the final score grade is averaged from the scores of the individual performances. "Club Mixing" mode has players pre-selecting a disc set (some of them with names like "Popping-Like" and "LOVE-A-ROUND"), then picking three songs from that set to make their run. A fourth "Boss" song is selected automatically based on performance in the first three songs. "Free Style" is a simple free play mode, allowing players to play any song without restrictions.  Character progression elements make an appearance, too, as players can gain experience and level up their profiles, unlocking different appearances for notes, more difficult Club Mixing sets, and "DJ Icons" that confer various benefits, like faster Fever gains or bonus experience. Besides the DJ Icons and note skins, players will gradually unlock pictures, art and bonus movies for the game's Collection mode. They'll also be able to view the videos and listen to any of the songs without gameplay in Album mode. All these words and not a one about the game's actual music selection!It's fair to say that for most players, DJMAX Technika Tune's music will be best described as "foreign". Consisting largely of Korean artists I've never heard of, the track list runs a spectrum of genres and classifications I never knew existed, including "Happy CORE" and "Reggaeton-like". The majority of pieces run in the techno and dance spectrum of composition, with some notable exceptions in the form of songs from K-Pop idol quintet KARA. For some reason, rapper Aspektz also has a song in the game, "In The Tdot", which is about the city of Toronto, Ontario. That one's my personal favorite, though it's one of the less challenging patterns in the game. Each song is accompanied by an elaborate visualization that players will be far too busy playing to pay much attention to. Thankfully, they're viewable in Album mode, and look great on the Vita's OLED screen. The videos themselves run the spectrum of motifs, from straightforward music videos for most of the KARA songs to CG sequences featuring spacefighter battles to anime-style characters acting out the lyrics to more abstract kaleidoscopic displays. While the the novelty of the touch interface lends the game a physicality absent from pretty much any rhythm game not tied to a peripheral (ala Rock Band), a number of smaller twists also distinguish it from its peers. Tapping a note plays a sound effect that also serves as part of the song, instantly letting players know if their timing is off. In a nice touch, tapping any region of the play area produces a different effect, so one can work off frustration simply by flicking away and producing a stress-relieving cacophony. Optional settings can also be toggled to change the direction of the meter bar, have notes blink in and out, or even not render notes at all for a truly insane test of memory. The experience isn't free of hangups, though. The button to trigger Fever mode is inconveniently placed, sequestered in a tiny corner of the screen. During tough songs it's almost impossible to hit without risking a broken combo, undermining its usefulness as a score-booster. The notes also seem somewhat small in size. Players with thick fingers or long nails may find their own hands messing with the accuracy of their taps. Minor quibbles aside, DJMAX Technika Tune manages to pull off that feat most essential to the success of any good rhythm game, by fostering the competitive, score-obsessed perfectionism that lies at the heart of arcade thrills. It harnesses the same urges that compel one to restart a song at a single missed note or to play over and over again in pursuit of a perfect combo.  DJMAX Technika Tune offers a smooth, enjoyably frustrating experience rooted in precisely-tuned gameplay fundamentals, and presented attractively, with a level of engagement that relies on mechanics rather than sentiment, effectively transcends one's taste in music, which in the case of the game's arguably exotic track listing would present the highest initial barrier to entry. It may not be especially generous with the extras and fluff, but gets it all right where it counts the most, with the added bonus of making the PS Vita's touch gimmicks useful and relevant to play. 8 -- Great - (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)
DJMAX Technika Tune photo
It's enough to make you like KARA
Prior to playing DJMAX Technika Tune for this review, I could count the number of times I had listened to K-Pop music on one hand, one of those being PSY's "Gangnam Style". To some, that would make me only slightly more ...


Gundam Style!

Aug 17
// Hiroko Yamamura
The hilarious Korean video for the song Gangnam Style by Psy has become an instant social networking phenomenon and overnight meme. I knew I wasn't alone when I started humming the words "Gundam Style" along with the song! Y...

PSA: PlayStation Network Store to go down in Korea

Jun 20
// Josh Tolentino
Now yes, I know this site is called "Japanator", which would nominally keep Korean news off our radar - not until we launch our peninsular offshoot "Joseonator", anyway - but I'd think this news is significant enough to put u...

The non-twin Olsen is in talks for the Old Boy remake

Feb 29
// Hiroko Yamamura
I want Pizza! Wait, wrong Olsen. Elizabeth Olsen, the younger sister of the sensation known as the Olsen Twins, is now in talks with producers about the lead female role in the Spike Lee's remake of Old Boy. Park Chan-Wook's ...

A Daily Dose of Music: T-ARA

Sep 04
// Hiroko Yamamura
For today's daily dose we decide to cross the pond, and take a look and some exciting new ladies from Korea. T-ARA have released a Japanese version of their hit Bo Peep Bo Peep. The single is due on shelves September 28th, as the adorable ladies look to take Japan by storm. Nyan?

Mnet teams up with Comcast to bring Asian media to cable

Apr 06
// Brad Rice
Exciting headline, isn't it? Sometimes, these cable deals can seem a little boring, but this one caught our eye: a company called Mnet is teaming up with Comcast to distribute Asian pop culture in a dedicated channel. So, the...

Has North Korea been censored out of Homefront Japan?

Feb 17
// Josh Tolentino
Hey, ever watch Red Dawn? It's a movie about how America is taken over by the soviets. Homefront is a new game that's kind of like that, except you replace Russia with North Korea. Or, in the case of Japan's version of H...

Morning Musume piss off Koreans with ill-advised blog

Nov 04
// Pedro Cortes
In a severe case of think before you type,  Kameri Eri and Tanaka Reina of Morning Musume fame have found themselves caught in a bit of racist trouble with a photo posted on Tanaka's blog. The photo has the girls posing ...

Terrifying Pikachus will make both you and your baby cry

Oct 28
// Bob Muir
Oh god! What is going on here? What is happening with these things?Pikachu buggy rides are apparently a common sight outside stores in Japan, but in South Korea, they're a little, well, wrong. These things are goddamn terrify...

North Korea demands apology for Japanese colonialism

Aug 13
// Bob Muir
Back in 1965, Japan and Korea put aside their differences over Japan's brutal colonization of Korea - which included forcing men into military service, forcing women into sexual slavery as "comfort women," seizing t...

South Korea punishes people for their ancestor's crimes

Jul 21
// Brad Rice
Yes, this article does have to do with Japan, before you ask.During the colonization of Korea at the turn of the 20th century, there were a number of pro-Japanese Koreans that decided to help facilitate their new overlord's d...

Koreans wage internet war upon 2ch, FBI on the case

Mar 04
// Josh Tolentino
Well, when on the internet Korea and Japan seem to be perpetually at war, but a more severe blow was dealt against Glorious Server-Downed Nippon apparently after a group of South Korean netizens orchestrated a Denial-of-Servi...

Stick your tongue out at linguistics FAIL

Dec 22
// Karen Mead
Apparently, some South Korean parents are convinced that their children cannot speak English well because their tongues are too short. To combat this, err, problem, some South Korean doctors are now offering to perform a proc...

Facepalm: Xenophobes call Korean kids 'spies'

Dec 20
// Josh Tolentino
Now look here, Japanese ultranationalists. I understand that you might be getting the willies over Korea. Its northern half lobs missiles at Glorious Nippon for giggles, and its southern half seems to be sucking up some of yo...

FUNimation will make their own anime

Nov 24
// Karen Mead
FUNimation has appointed executive Chris Moujaes to the post of Director of Original Animation. Now, Moujaes, previous President and Chief Creative Officer of Boomstar Inc., seems like a reasonably qualified fellow, so there'...

G-Dragon's Butterfly PV is stunning

Oct 30
// Tim Sheehy
Occasionally I'll throw up a PV by a Japanese artist, either because I want to showcase a new release, or just because I love the song. In this case however, we're taking a look at one of the latest releases by Korean solo ar...

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