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5:00 PM on 04.14.2014

Wake Up, Girls! to shake up Anime Central

Anime Central announced last Friday that seiyuu-idol group Wake Up, Girls! will be attending as guests, along with their producers--anime director Yutaka Yamamoto and producer Hiroaki Takeuchi. Naturally the WUGs will be pres...

Jeff Chuang


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11:00 PM on 03.29.2014

Cri-moe-a: Natalia Poklonskaya responds to getting anime-fied

Depending on where you get your news, the recent actions of the Russian government in the Ukrainian state of Crimea could be a correction of a historical mistake or the violation of a nation's sovereignty...or it could be an ...

Josh Tolentino

2:00 PM on 03.01.2014

2014 JSDF calendar will recruit you with cuteness

What's a better recruitment tool than cute girls? Japan's last recruitment tool, moe mascots for the JSDF, saw recruitment numbers rise by 20%, so why not try real girls? The 2014 JSDF calendar features models posing in unifo...

Brad Rice

1:00 PM on 02.21.2014

Are you lady?! New Idolmaster: All For One details

I'm a secret Idolmaster fan. Ok, maybe it's not so secret since I'm publishing that fact on the internet, but oh well. The reality is that I'm pretty excited for the new PS3 game, The Idolmaster: All For One. Players wil...

Elliot Gay

6:00 PM on 02.06.2014

Kana Hanazawa says 'no boys allowed' for meet & greet

Sorry guys, you're going to have to sit this one out in the cold. Kana Hanazawa's next meet and greet event is going to be a girls-only affair. The event, dubbed Kana Matsuri, will feature a meet and greet, live performance, ...

Brad Rice

12:00 PM on 02.04.2014

Utada Hikaru to tie the knot

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to have your still beating hearts ripped directly from your chest. The lovely Utada Hikaru is soon to be off the market, again. Yesterday, Hikki took to her website and announced to her fans that...

Hiroko Yamamura

4:00 PM on 02.01.2014

Cosplayers reenact Beyond the Boundary idol dance

Hey, remember that crazy filler episode of Beyond the Boundary where the whole crew tries to take down a monster by distracting it with an idol dance number? I seem to recall spending way more time writing about that inciden...

Karen Mead

10:00 AM on 01.24.2014

Wake Up, Girls! PV clips show idols in the flesh

The seven girls of Wake Up, Girls! anime are an unusual representation of their real idol selves as the group Wake Up, Girls! It's got this interesting gap going when the anime and the idol group is made in twain, one based ...

Jeff Chuang



First Impressions: Wake Up, Girls! photo
First Impressions: Wake Up, Girls!
by Jeff Chuang

When critic and director Yutaka Yamamoto announced that his next work would involve an idol group made up of girls from the Tohoku region, it was easy to be skeptical and make a face; I know I did. Given his outspoken and often controversial outbursts regarding not just his works but the state of the entertainment industry in Japan, it's easy to get cynical about his intentions. And, to be fair, anyone who's seen Fractale from start to finish may have second thoughts about watching another full-length TV anime from him.

With Wake Up, Girls (WUG for short), director Yamamoto is taking his ideas about anime and drama to the idol industry. It kicks off with a 52-minute movie, and that segues straight into a 1-cour TV show. This first impression piece will focus on the movie as well as the first episode of the TV anime, as the movie is almost a must-watch if you want the full WUG experience. Don't make the mistake of skipping the movie, because you'll miss out on what makes this series so unmistakably Yamamoto.

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1:00 PM on 11.27.2013

Let's dating Yukari Tamura!

[Update] With a heavy heart  I must inform you that the video has been taken down. But, if you are really curious, the Blu-ray is only $50! (Dot, dot, dot.) Ah, technology. It allows us to do things that we would normal...

Eric Koziol

3:00 PM on 11.25.2013

Kohaku New Years show to feature Linked Horizon

The 64th Kohaku Uta Gassen, or that NHK Kohaku new years variety show where top popular singers from teams red battle the same from team white, will feature Linked Horizon. And guess what they will sing?  Anime music has...

Jeff Chuang





5:00 PM on 10.29.2013

Arpeggio's Trident release first single, "Blue Fields"

Arpeggio of Blue Steel's ending theme "Blue Fields" features several of the voice actresses from the series, Mai Fuchigami, Manami Numakura, and Hibiki Yamamura, who've formed a virtual idol group with their characters from t...

Tim Sheehy

9:00 PM on 10.23.2013

Hyperdimension Neptunia PP going west

I totally called this one early in the year. NISA has announced that they're localizing idol simulation Vita game Hyperdimension Neptunia PP for North America and Europe. The game's title is currently tentative, and we only h...

Elliot Gay

3:00 PM on 10.22.2013

Arashi and Ayase to host NHK New Year's Eve special

NHK have posted an early announcement regarding the hosts for their upcoming 64th annual News Year's Eve special Kohaku Uta Gassen. Once again, aging-boy band Arashi will be hosting for the fourth year in a row, and this...

Tim Sheehy

5:00 PM on 10.19.2013

Uta Pri idols form theatrical groups

As a fan of the series Uta no Prince Sama Maji Love 2000%, I would like to keep the masses up to date with all the news that's pertinent to this franchise. The problem is that half the time, I don't understand any of the news...

Karen Mead

4:00 PM on 09.13.2013

Idol of the Week: Yumi Sugimoto

Name: Yumi Sugimoto Birthdate April 1st, 1989 Hometown: Osaka, Japan Measurements 82/58/85 cm  While the weather may be cooling off in some areas, don't tell Yumi Sugimoto that! This week she's sporting some amazing swim...

Hiroko Yamamura

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

1:01 PM on 08.26.2013

Utada Hikaru blogs about mother's passing

On Monday, August 26, Utada Hikaru updated her personal blog to write about her mother, who passed away last week. It is the first entry from Utada since March of 2011.  In the aptly-titled blog post "On the mo...

Jeff Chuang

4:00 PM on 08.16.2013

Idol of the Week: Ai Shinozaki

Name: Ai Shinozaki Birthdate: February 26, 1992 Hometown: Tokyo, Japan Measurements: 87/60/88 cm  My buddy Sal has been covering Idol of the Week for me for a bit, but now that I'm back in action, there's only one way...

Hiroko Yamamura

8:00 PM on 08.02.2013

Idol of the Week: Anna Konno

Name: Anna Konno Birthdate: June 15, 1989 Hometown: Kanagawa, Japan Measurements: 86/59/83 cm  Hiroko was blocked by a large pile of work, so I have decided to cover Idol of the Week again. Anna Konno's ge...

Salvador G Rodiles

8:00 PM on 07.26.2013

Idol of the Week: Anri Sugihara

Name: Anri Sugihara Birthdate: June 12, 1982Hometown: Hiroshima, Japan Measurements: 89/56/80 cm Hiroko's out right now, so I have taken over Idol of the Week again. And what perfect way to cover the segment by havi...

Salvador G Rodiles

10:00 PM on 07.19.2013

Idol of the Week: Ai Shinozaki

Name: Ai Shinozaki Birthdate: February 26, 1992 Hometown: Tokyo, Japan Measurements: 87/60/88 cm  Hiroko's currently flooded with a ton of work right now, so I have taken the liberty of snatching Idol of t...

Salvador G Rodiles





6:00 PM on 07.12.2013

Idol of the Week: Tomomi Itano

Name: Tomomi ItanoBirthdate: July 3, 1991Hometown: Kanagawa, JapanMeasurements: 76/56/79 cm Hiroko's busy with some unexpected business, so she has left me in charge of Idol of the Week again. In a random occurrence of fate, ...

Salvador G Rodiles

6:00 PM on 07.05.2013

Idol of the Week: Yumi Sugimoto

Name: Yumi SugimotoBirthdate April 1st, 1989Hometown: Osaka, JapanMeasurements 82/58/85 cm Hiroko is busy with attending Anime Expo 2013, so she has ordered me to post a gallery of Yumi Sugimoto for this week's segment. Silly...

Salvador G Rodiles

8:00 PM on 07.03.2013

Eriko Sato's bringing sexy back

Eriko Sato, easily one of my favorite idols of all time, has released her latest photo book in over a decade. Time's not often kind to an aging model, but Sato, who turns 32 later this year, has managed to maintain her stunni...

Tim Sheehy

6:00 PM on 06.21.2013

Idol of the Week: Mio Uema

Name: Mio Uema Birthdate: February 5, 1993 Hometown: Fukuoka, Japan Measurements: 75/56/76 cm With hot weather comes hot swim suits. This week the lovely Mio Uema has some fantastic fashions to share with you. This tast...

Hiroko Yamamura

2:00 PM on 06.17.2013

Are you lady? iDOLM@STER film hits late 2013

Things have been quiet ever since The iDOLM@STER feature film was announced a while back. Details are still light, but at least we have a time frame for release. The movie is set to hit Japanese theaters at the end of 2013, i...

Elliot Gay

9:20 PM on 06.14.2013

Idol of the Week: Mirei Kiritani

Name: Mirei KiritaniBirthdate: December 16, 1989 Hometown: Chiba, JapanMeasurements: 76/56/84 cm Hiroko's still occupied with her trip, so I have decided to swipe Idol of the Week from her until she returns to her featur...

Salvador G Rodiles

6:00 PM on 06.07.2013

Idol of the Week: Anna Konno

Name: Anna Konno Birthdate: June 15, 1989 Hometown: Kanagawa, Japan Measurements: 86/69/83 cm  Oh geez, what is going on this week? Not only do we have the amazing Anna Konno, but we also have the mind blowing Mai Sas...

Hiroko Yamamura

6:00 PM on 05.31.2013

Idol of the Week: Ai Shinozaki

It sure is starting to heat up out there. In Chicago, it suddenly went from freezing cold to sweltering heat in a matter of days! There's no doubt about it kid, summer's here. However, something just doesn't feel right. The d...

Hiroko Yamamura