japan

Devil Survivor 2 photo
Devil Survivor 2

TGS 2014: Devil Survivor 2: Break Record finally gets a trailer


Nicaea's back in service!
Sep 20
// Salvador GRodiles
At long last, Atlus has uploaded a new video on Nicaea that covers Devil Survivor 2: Break Record's visuals. Originally, the game was supposed to come out during the Fall Season back in 2013 for the 3DS, but Atlus decided to...
Oneechanbara Z2 photo
Oneechanbara Z2

TGS 2014: Oneechanbara wins the TGS booth wars


Quite roomy!
Sep 18
// Josh Tolentino
[Update: A bonus piece of fan art from an animator at Lab Zero games, makers of Skullgirls. - Thanks, 2-D!] D3 Publisher are promoting their new game, Oneechanbara Z2: Chaos, and for that they built a booth at the Tokyo Game ...
food skills photo
food skills

You wish you had these cucumber skills


Not a euphenism
Sep 16
// Kristina Pino
One of the foods that I never ate before moving to Japan that I now eat daily is cucumber. Japanese cucumbers are delicious, and I especially like working some insta-pickling on 'em and enjoying them on the side with a meal....
Funnashi photo
Funnashi

Funasshi goes for a dive


Ocean pears
Sep 16
// Hiroko Yamamura
For some reason Japan just can not get enough of Funabashi City's yuruchara Funasshi. Last year the hyperactive pear was voted the number mascot in land of rising sun, somehow beating out the super popular Kumamon, who seems...
Hajime no Ippo photo
Hajime no Ippo

Hajime no Ippo punches a PS3 trailer right into your gut


Just don't end up like Ashita no Joe
Sep 11
// Josh Tolentino
I've never been much into boxing. It always looked so painful to watch two dudes (or ladies) smack each other in the face, even if the faces being smacked weren't mine per se. That said, boxing fiction is rife with tales of ...
Masamune steel photo
Masamune steel

Sword crafted by legendary swordsmith Masamune has been discovered


I would love to see this in person
Sep 09
// Hiroko Yamamura
If you're anything like me, the sheer mention of traditional Japanese steel gets you excited in ways you dare not mention publicly, especially if you want to stay off of government watch lists, and be able to freely travel wi...

Review: Persona 3 The Movie: #2 Midsummer Knight's Dream

Aug 27 // Elliot Gay
Persona 3 The Movie #2: Midsummer Knight's DreamStudio: A-1 PicturesDistributed by: AniplexRelease Date: June 7, 2014 Much like Movie #1, Midsummer Knight's Dream cuts off a lot of the fat from the Persona 3 story so that it can make its way to the end goal within the allotted run-time. What this means is that there are zero social link side stories, and ultimately very little of the school-life portions that help to make the game's so endearing. That being said, I think in the name of letting the full Persona 3 narrative breathe, these were necessary cuts. The film already suffers from how chopped up the original storytelling was, and bringing in the optional content would have only made the pacing suffer more. Unlike Spring of Birth however, the portion of the game that Movie #2 covers is both eventful and ties into the larger plot at large. The film essentially kicks off with Aigis' entrance, and it ends on a huge story beat that also happens to serve as a strong cliffhanger. In my Persona 3 The Movie: #1 piece, I noted that in order to give the narrative a proper through-line, Yuki was given an extremely apathetic personality. The goal was to show his gradually growth into a person who could depend and care about others by the end of the movie, and it works. This time around, the underlying theme becomes “do we really want to go back to everyday life?” The notion of a fear of normality is shared across most of the cast: Yuki is afraid of losing his place, Fuka wants to be useful to the people she cares about, Ken has finally found a new family. The list goes on, but ultimately the heroes now have a true objective (destroying all the large Shadows), and are unsure as to whether they actually want to see it through or not. The seeds of confusion are planted by the primary antagonists, the Persona-users that comprise Strega, who would see the Dark Hour continue eternally if they had their way. Much of the film's focus is on Aigis and her super powers, but the emotional core rests in Ken and Shinji's laps. If you despised Ken in the original game, this isn't going to change your opinion, but I for one never had much of a problem with his character. He's an emotional elementary school kid who has no family to turn to, is given a powerful weapon, and is jarringly made aware of the tragic truth behind his mother's death. After barely appearing in Spring of Birth, Shinji gets plenty of screen time here and happens to have one of the funniest moments across both films thus far. My biggest complaint yet again is the general disjointedness of the movie. Often times the characters will go from hanging out at a restaurant to fighting a main boss Shadow back to back with only a calendar transition to let the audience know that time has passed. On the one hand, the film series has finally introduced its main antagonists and end goal, so it actually feels as though the characters are working toward something. On the other hand, that hasn't erased the fact that due to the nature of the source material, lots of time gets skipped over frequently. That being said, I understand that this is a unique problem that's present when adapting the Persona franchise for TV or film, and I'm willing to accept that these films aren't going to try and find an alternative. It's just something that bares mentioning regardless. On the technical side of things, A-1 Productions has taken over animation duties for AIC ASTA, and it certainly shows. Aigis gets the brunt of the great animation cuts, with her introductory action sequence being a real showstopper. There's still some off-model wackiness that goes on here and there, but on the whole it's solid across the board, and a decent enough step up from the first movie. It's certainly leaps and bounds better than the original animated cutscenes in the Persona 3 game. Shoji Meguro's soundtrack is an electric mix of music from the game and new themes which blend together nicely. His work is rarely ever anything less than great, and I'm looking forward to grabbing the soundtrack CD whenever it's made available. I also want to give a quick shout-out to the best use of the Persona 3 battle theme ever: you'll know it when you see it. Persona 3 The Movie: #2 had the monumental task of not only introducing the core story for the remaining films, but also its primary villains and the rest of the cast. Despite thr brief run time of 93 minutes, it manages to do that as well as impress with some great action sequences and some drama to boot. I wasn't sure what to expect with the studio switch from AIC ASTA to A-1 Pictures, but clearly it was the right move. I had my doubts about trying to adapt Persona 3 into a series of films. It's a huge game with a massive cast, lots of various subplots, and way too much content to tackle in such a short time span. To my surprise however, the movies have been doing a noble job of it. While nothing can replace the experience of actually playing the original source material, Persona 3 The Movie: #2 Midsummer Knight's Dream is a great watch for fans of the game. If you have friends who have always wanted to dip their toes into the franchise without the time investment, you can do a hell of a lot worse than sitting them down with the films. 8.0 – Great. A great example of its genre that everyone should see, regardless of their interest.
Persona 3 The Movie: #2 photo
Baby baby baby baby baby
Despite its pacing problems and general lack of an overarching story, I enjoyed Persona 3 The Movie: #1 Spring of Birth. As far as animated film adaptations of long games go, I think it did a novel job of compressing hours of...

Comiket games photo
Comiket games

Behold the glory of Comiket 86's doujin games


Brought to you by Edelweiss
Aug 15
// Josh Tolentino
It's time for this year's Summer Comiket, and besides immense lines, hordes of otaku, and treasure troves of the greatest and latest in Japan's indie creation scene, there are also...videogames. Of course, in keeping with Co...
Tekken 7 photo
Tekken 7

Please tell Harada about Arabs so Tekken 7 gets better


Pretty please?
Aug 11
// Josh Tolentino
When it comes to character design, fighting games aren't usually known for nuance or sensitivity. For most creators it's generally more important to have a distinct, stylish character than one that's entirely sensitive to wha...
snack video photo
Seriously, what
I just had to try these when I saw them at the store. I've never seen (or noticed) there were flavors besides cheese for Ritz Bits Sandwiches, and lately I've had trouble finding mango juice in my area, so I figured maybe a mango-flavored snack would satisfy my craving. As I type this, I've got the bag open next to me and the smell is kind of making me queasy. It's that strong.

JoJo's Hoodies photo
JoJo's Hoodies

Stardust Crusaders hoodies are JoJo's Bizarre Apparel


Wear 'em like arcana
Aug 07
// Josh Tolentino
Have you ever wanted a Stand of your very own? Too bad, they aren't real, but clothing brand BEAMS may have just brought us the next best thing, in the form of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure-themed hoodies, designed to look like St...
Lap Pillow sim photo
Lap Pillow sim

Finally: Japan simulates the lap-pillow in VR


How long 'til a picking-your-ear mode?
Aug 06
// Josh Tolentino
If Japan and tech-savvy otaku continue to apply their peculiar brand of innovation to the latest tech, we may get the 2D-loving world we've always dreamed of sooner rather than later. The latest blow against the tyranny of 3...
PS Vita photo
PS Vita

Sony invokes dongs to sell the new PS Vita


More like PENIStation, am I right?!
Jul 22
// Josh Tolentino
Remember that time in middle school you and your friends would get naked in the locker room and compare genitals? Me neither, but Sony does. This Japanese ad for the PS Vita calls up youthful PS-envy as young boys remark on ...
Grapefruit popsicle  photo
Grapefruit popsicle

New grapefruit flavor will make you pucker this summer


Sour on top of sour
Jul 14
// Josh Totman
Coming to convenient stores across Japan is a new sour popsicle from the maker of the Gari Gari-kun Soda popsicle. Their new flavor puts your sourness to the test by combining lemon and grapefruit together. The bar itself is ...
PS4 photo
PS4

Japan's Frozen PS4 would've looked better in white


Step it up, Nippon!
Jul 13
// Josh Tolentino
Frozen may have pretty much taken over the world, but that won't stop companies trying to cash in on its popularity with tacky, cheap branded merchandise. No, that doesn't make sense, because that's exactly why companies...
Dogs photo
Dogs

Puppy Power! Two canines rescue their owners from a bear attack


Man's best friend is now man's best hero
Jun 30
// Salvador GRodiles
There's something great about seeing a canine save someone from danger, as it symbolizes the strong bond between a dog and its owner. Speaking of which, we encounter two different situations in Japan where a dog manages to s...
Perfume photo
Perfume

Check out a teaser for Perfume's upcoming single Cling Cling


Late to the party
Jun 23
// Kristina Pino
We're a little late in catching this, but a couple weeks ago Perfume released a little teaser and some images to go with their upcoming single, Cling Cling. As usual, the girls look absolutely fabulous, and I'm probably going to love this release just like I love pretty much all of their songs. Cling Cling will be released July 16th in two editions.
World Cup photo
Eat your way through the games
The World Cup fever is in full swing, so I figured it was about time I highlighted some of the stuff Japan has been producing to celebrate. Sure, you can head on to the mall and grab a hat, jersey, or stuffed Pikachu to show...

Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Colossal Titan now terrorizing various landmarks around Japan


The chibiest of Colossal Titans
Jun 18
// Kristina Pino
Most tourist attractions and gift shops in Japan aren't complete without a huge selection of various cute phone straps and keychains you can buy as a memento. You can find them with Hello Kitty, Stitch, One Piece characters, ...
Daily Dose photo
Daily Dose

A Daily Dose of Ab Crunches: Wonder Core


Happy Birthday!!
Jun 17
// Josh Tolentino
Hiroko's out today, which leaves you trapped in here with me! Bahahaha! And for today's Dose, hot abdominal fitness courtesy of this commercial for the Wonder Core exercise machine, starring the sensational six-pack of ...
Princess Water photo
Princess Water

Drink a tall glass of your favorite Disney princess


Bourbon water nails it
Jun 17
// Kristina Pino
Entabe reports that Bourbon brand drinking water is now going to come in bottles with Disney Princess designs on its labels. The designs themselves are rather pretty: fashion designer-looking artwork with pastel watercolor wa...
Food photo
Food

Got a rice cooker? Then you can make some tasty pancakes too!


I gotta get me one of those.
Jun 16
// Pedro Cortes
The rice cooker is an appliance that you see pretty often in anime and dramas. Considering how important rice is in the general Japanese diet, that shouldn't be a surprise. What is surprising are the various other things you ...
Mister Donut photo
Japan's version of a cronut emerges
With my return to Japanator comes the return of videos in which you get to watch me eat stuff from Japan with more regularity. My first entry in this new era of food videos features an inspired dish, the Mr Croissant Donut, ...

Unforgiven photo
Unforgiven

Ken Watanabe does Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven


Can't wait until they do Dirty Harry!
Jun 12
// Josh Tolentino
Japanator's about more than anime, don't you know! It's also about watching dignified hunks like Ken Watanabe do a samurai take on Clint Eastwood's 1992 western Unforgiven, and that's exactly what this is.  Yurusarezaru...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

The Scouting Legion takes on the Bearded Titan


This is going to get hairy
Jun 10
// Josh Tolentino
So what if they want to devour us whole for reasons unknown? The least we can do is make them look good while doing it, right? Apparently, that's Schick's logic for trying to hawk safety razors for the sake of mankind's grea...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Move over, Gendo: Attack on Titan now selling razors


How do Titans shave?
May 31
// Josh Tolentino
Hey, remember when Gendo Ikari and the Evangelion crew teamed up with the forces of crass commercialism to hawk razorblades? Yeah, that happened, and now mankind's greatest challenge isn't a bunch of giant, skinless cann...
Science photo
Science

Japan wants to farm the sun...IN SPACE


That'll be an interesting crop to pick
May 06
// Pedro Cortes
Through some of the worst disasters can come some of the best, most innovative ideas. After the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent meltdown at Fukushima, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA for short, has ...
Anime photo
Anime

Gainax's Aoki Uru set for 2018


That's a long ways away
May 03
// Elliot Gay
Last year, Studio Gainax announced that they were finally returning to their Aoki Uru film project. A sequel to the classic Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise, the film was initially conceived of in 1992, but for a va...
Video Games photo
Video Games

Vita rhythm game IA/VT's latest trailer is colorful in all the right ways


Tap tap tap
May 02
// Elliot Gay
Marvelous is clearly making a bid for some of that sweet Project Diva pie with their upcoming rhythm game, IA/VT -Colorful- For the uninitiated, IA/VT is a music game starring IA, a brand new Vocaloid that started to gain tr...
Video Games photo
Video Games

New 5 minute Persona Q trailer is too hype


There's another gameplay trailer too
May 02
// Elliot Gay
The past few months of Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth trailers have been fairly brief. Character overviews, brief bits and pieces of battles; there hasn't been a beefy video exploring the entire game in quite some time. ...

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