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4:00 PM on 01.30.2014

Journey to the Backyard in Guilty Gear Xrd's opening

It wasn't too long ago that the frankly incredible-looking Guilty Gear Xrd Sign, the next big fighting game from Arc System Works, went into arcade location testing, but we haven't heard much from it since. That's changed to...

Josh Tolentino

6:30 PM on 01.28.2014

Haagen-Dazs release limited flavors Sakura and Rose

For the 30th anniversary of Haagen-Dazs, they will be releasing two limited edition flavors Sakura and Rose. Each of these flavors will have actual sakura petals and rose petals mixed in with the ice cream. Don't worry though...

Josh Totman

6:00 PM on 01.28.2014

Lawyers publish book to empower job seekers

The image of the put-upon salary man in Japanese culture is a powerful one. It is seemingly part of the cultural identity, where after college you jump in a suit and find a job at a big corporation and generally be unhappy wh...

Pedro Cortes

Japanator Eats: McD's Hot & Groovy chicken sandwich photo
Japanator Eats: McD's Hot & Groovy chicken sandwich
by Kristina Pino

This week saw the release of two new sandwiches at McDonald's Japan in their continuing American Vintage campaign, replacing the diner burgers with Tex-Mex of the '70s. We've got a Hot & Groovy Chicken and Beef, both containing some tasty salsa and a relish concoction between the buns along with the meat and some cheese.

These sandwiches will be offered until mid-February, at which point I imagine they'll roll out the next set. The video above is about the chicken sandwich, and it's absolutely delicious - not gonna lie. If you're in Japan in the coming weeks, consider giving it a try!

Oh, hey, that rhymed.

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Annotated Anime: Kill la Kill episode 15 photo
Annotated Anime: Kill la Kill episode 15
by Elliot Gay


The School Trip arc ended in a blaze of glory this week with Ryuko taking the fight to Satsuki and the conflict between Honnouji and Nudist Beach coming to light. Revelations were had, nipples glowed, and buildings were smashed as things finally came to a head for most of the major characters in the series.

And it was damn good.

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4:00 PM on 01.26.2014

Get Hymnos-hyped for Ar Nosurge's opening movie

Remember the Ar Tonelico series? After Ar Tonelico Qoga 3 years ago, I, like most folks, had resigned the franchise to history. Turns out I was wrong, because Gust have just hit full volume on their hyping hor...

Josh Tolentino

12:00 PM on 01.26.2014

Hello, Next Summer: Free! gets a new season

Are you ready to get wet? I'm always ready for a frolic in the water, and Kyoto Animation's betting that you are, too, because they've just announced that Free! Iwatobi Swim Club, the premier animated place to see a gaggle of...

Josh Tolentino

Import Preview: Utakumi 575 photo
Import Preview: Utakumi 575
by Elliot Gay

I quite enjoy the rhythm action genre. 

By no means am I great at them, but there's something undeniably appealing about putting a comfy pair of headphones on and getting in the zone. I've always been big on the genre when playing handheld consoles, and fortunately for me Sega seems to feel the same way. Last year they released Project Diva f for the Vita, and this year they have a sequel ready to go already.

That's not all though. Sega recently released Utakumi 575, a brand new original rhythm game with a unique take on the genre. Is it any good though?

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5:00 PM on 01.25.2014

Bandai releasing Attack on Titan merchandise this April

Bandai is set to release a small line of electronic goods that bare the symbol and colors of the Survey Corps from Attack on Titan this April in Japan.  The SK-01GR large headphones will run you 3,800yen ($37US) and just...

Josh Totman

Go West! Sixty-Two: Put Your Guns On photo
Go West! Sixty-Two: Put Your Guns On
by Elliot Gay

Welcome, dear readers. Today is Saturday, January 25; a very special day by all accounts. Why is it so special you ask? The answer is as simple as understanding the universe.

Today is the 62nd edition of Go West!, your [pretend this is accurate] weekly column about Japanese video games, new beginnings, and parties. 

Ok. Maybe I lied. Today really isn't all that special.

I still have a bang-up lineup of new games to talk about today, so I suppose that's something, I guess.

Let's get on with the show.

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Japanator Eats: Valentine's Day Misdo treat photo
Japanator Eats: Valentine's Day Misdo treat
by Kristina Pino

In today's installment of "Kristina eats things from Japan on camera from unflattering angles," I present to you one of the treats Mister Donut has rolled out for Valentine's Day. They've got three new items on their menu for the event: an assortment of mini bites arranged in a gift box (¥250), and two Pon-de-marshmallows (¥157).

For this video, I went for the chocolate Pon-de-marshmallow with strawberry icing, but you can check out the image below for a look at everything (via entabe). In the case of today's treat, I can say that it's tasty if you're into sweet berry-flavored stuff. If you're like me though, it might feel too sickeningly sweet, an effect I also experienced when I tasted those berry Pocky on chocolate sticks. Maybe it's just that particular flavor that makes me feel a little ill?

In any case, enjoy the video above! As usual, you've got the comments section below for any feedback and/or suggestions for future videos, and for you shy folk out there, my email is kristina (at) japanator (dot) com.

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Annotated Anime: Kill la Kill episode 14 photo
Annotated Anime: Kill la Kill episode 14
by Elliot Gay

The action moves away from Honnouji Academy this week as Satsuki takes her conquest on the road to the best part of Japan: the Kansai region.

Football teams, old lady networks, and a whole lot of kansai dialect combine to form episode 14 of Kill la Kill, and boy is it a doozy. It's a loaded episode that does a lot to fill in the blanks about the show's world, and we even get to spend some more time with the Elite Four, which is always a good thing in my book.

Plus Kamen Rider references and Ryuko's current outfit equal success.

Vroom vroom, baby.

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8:00 PM on 01.22.2014

Shinjuku snapshot: 'Stainless' captures Tokyo life

Adam Magyar put together a fascinating and beautiful video, capturing everyone on the platform as a train pulls into Shinjuku station. Shot at 50fps, "Stainless" features countless people trapped in stillness or showing the ...

Brad Rice

6:00 PM on 01.22.2014

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia author creates new manga series

For various reasons, I don't read a lot of manga. I try to catch the first volume or two of certain series that I'm either reviewing or have watched an anime adaptation of but other than that, a lot of very good manga series ...

LB Bryant

9:00 AM on 01.21.2014

Get ready to party in this 10 min Sengoku Basara 4 video

Capcom's Sengoku Basara franchise (anime included) is awesome, and if you have an opinion that differs from this then I presume that you have no soul. Ok, maybe that's something of an exaggeration, but my point stands that t...

Elliot Gay

7:24 PM on 01.20.2014

Corpse Party: Blood Drive Official Website goes live

I'm super jazzed for the upcoming Vita horror game, Corpse Party: Blood Drive. I'm hyped that the team will be returning to the style of the first game (and Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient), and I suppose I'm just happy that thi...

Elliot Gay

Go West! Sixty-One: Elliot's Longest Day photo
Go West! Sixty-One: Elliot's Longest Day
by Elliot Gay

After approximately four hundred bajillion hours of travel across the world, I'm back in Japan.

I'm still alive.

That's right folks. Welcome back to Go West!, your one and only [insert-time-frame-here] column about new Japanese video games, bad puns, and a cynical man living in Japan. This week marks the first GW! of the new year, and while I wanted to do something special, the lack of releases leaves me with very few options.

Still, three new games are better than none. This is especially the case when one of them is a relatively high profile cross-media release. 

Let's get this party on the road, champs.

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11:00 AM on 01.18.2014

Chris Hart's first Japanese single to release in February

Chris Hart has become a bit of a sweetheart in Japan. He's been fascinated by the culture and language for some time, and released videos of himself singing on YouTube which were noticed by a talent show specifically for for...

Kristina Pino

12:00 PM on 01.16.2014

Tokyo gets some serious Kit-Kat love this month

We at Japanator love our Kit-Kats. Sweet, chocolatey, crispy goodness. While they may not be the most premium chocolate candy out there, it's the magical combination of those thin wafers and mid-grade chocolate that just hit ...

Hiroko Yamamura

4:00 AM on 01.16.2014

Nippon Ichi's new game has the best title

Yep, the best title. Here it is: "ハーレム天国だと思ったら、ヤンデレ地獄だった". Didn't ...

Josh Tolentino

Annotated Anime: Kill la Kill 13 photo
Annotated Anime: Kill la Kill 13
by Elliot Gay

2013 has come and gone, which means it's time for the return of TRIGGER's Kill la Kill.

When last we left off, Ryuko was in a not so great place, the treacherous Nui was causing all sorts of problems, and Mako was off being Mako and saving the day. The puzzle pieces have started to fall together and we had just started to get a peek at Revocs, the huge organization that seems to be at the center of Kill la Kill's odd world.

Let's do this.

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First Impressions: Nisekoi photo
First Impressions: Nisekoi
by Elliot Gay

Once upon a time there was an awesome Jump manga series called Double Arts by a man named Naoshi Komi. A wonderful little story about a pair of people who had to hold hands at all times, Double Arts would go on to be canceled after its third volume despite how great it was. I still cry myself to sleep every night over its cancellation.

Years later and here I am, watching Shaft's anime adaptation of his latest series, Nisekoi. Going in fairly blind, the only thing I knew about it was that it was a romantic comedy taking place in a non- fantasy world where people didn't have to hold hands in order to survive.

A little under half an hour later and I find myself thinking "maybe that isn't so bad."

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12:00 PM on 01.14.2014

Rejoice?! Monster Monpiece possibly headed west

I like Idea Factory a whole lot. For as much as it seems like I enjoy giving them sass, I think IF does some awesome work in the visual novel genre. Their otome games are super popular and with good reason; they have an atten...

Elliot Gay

9:00 AM on 01.14.2014

A look at Corpse Party: Blood Drive's character models

I love me some horror games. Anybody who has ever joined me over at my Twitch channel knows how much I enjoy being scared out of my mind. This is actually a fairly recent development directly caused by Corpse Party, the stran...

Elliot Gay

Japanator Eats: Mountain Dew Cheetos photo
Japanator Eats: Mountain Dew Cheetos
by Kristina Pino

At the behest of our Editor-in-Chief Tim Sheehy, I went ahead and grabbed a cup of these Mountain Dew corn snacks all the crazy kids are talking about. I wasn't expecting them to taste good, really. And I procrastinated tasting them for a week before I finally decided to buckle down and take one for the team.

As it turns out though, they're actually not that bad. They're not great, either, and I can't eat the whole cup in one sitting. But as a lemon-flavored snack, they're not that bad. See my full thoughts in the video above, and as usual, leave your feedback as well as requests for future videos in the comments below! Alternatively, you can email your suggestions directly to my inbox: kristina (at) japanator (dot) com.

Aren't in Japan but want to buy these? Here's the easy button.

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10:00 PM on 01.11.2014

Would you take the Curry Challenge?

I've made no secret of my love for Japanese curry: that hearty, comforting sauce; those piles of silky, pillowy rice; sliced pork with a crispy-fried outside and a juicy, delectable inside. All together, it makes for a nigh-p...

Karen Mead

Review: Ys: Memories of Celceta photo
Review: Ys: Memories of Celceta
by Elliot Gay

Falcom's Ys series is the unspoken hero of the action RPG genre. 

Starring red-haired adventurer Adol, the Ys games are sprawling quests that test your reflexes as they throw you into large worlds with monsters that desire only to smash you to pieces. They're not complicated games, but Falcom has damn near mastered the craft of action RPG creation.

Ys: Memories of Celceta is an interesting beast in that it's the first time Falcom has directly tried their hand at making Ys IV. You see back in the day, Falcom outsourced the fourth game to two separate developers, Hudson Soft and Tonkin House. Both were great games (The Dawn of Ys and Mask of the Sun) in their own right, but for many years, fans hoped for Falcom to go back and tell their version of Adol's journey in the forest of Celceta.

Does Memories of Celceta hold up to the legacy left behind by Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys and Ys IV: Mask of the Sun?

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5:00 PM on 01.07.2014

Tokyo travel agency is letting us all go to space

Hey, do you have ¥25 million to spare? If your answer was yes, then this is your invitation to go to space. Yup, I said it, travel to space. A new Tokyo travel agency is allowing this to happen, and nearly 600 people have...

Amber Hunt

Japanator Eats: McD's '50s honey mustard chicken sandwich photo
Japanator Eats: McD's '50s honey mustard chicken sandwich
by Kristina Pino

As per my notice on yesterday's post regarding the new "American Vintage" food items at McDonald's Japan, celebrating American food of the '50s, '70s, and '80s, I went ahead and grabbed a sandwich from the first wave. The honey mustard chicken sandwich is pretty much as delicious as it looks on the ad, and if you're in Japan, it's absolutely worth your yen just (at least?) once.

Check out the video above for my full thoughts and marvel at how daintily (not) I can eat a burger on camera! Have any suggestions for future videos, any cultural or life questions about Japan, or snacks you'd like me to try and talk about? Hit me up in the comments, or email me: kristina (at) japanator (dot) com.

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8:00 AM on 01.06.2014

McDonald's Japan serves up 'American Vintage'

Starting tomorrow, January 7th, McDonald's Japan is rolling out new items and even new t-shirts under the banner American Vintage, which is apparently their portrait of how Americans eat. More specifically, how Americans ate ...

Kristina Pino