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9:00 PM on 02.28.2014

Is this an advertisement, or just a strange video?

Oh, the wonders of Facebook. Some of the things I find on there are beyond strange, and I recently came across this gem. A lot of people were talking about it, so I knew it was going to be weird nonetheless. But I'm not reall...

Amber Hunt

1:00 PM on 02.28.2014

Host club shut down, forced 90 women into prostitution

There's been a lot said about the vicious circle of host clubs in Japan. How female hosts prey on the salary men, how male hosts prey on their lonely wives, how the female hosts then go to the male hosts for the same services...

Pedro Cortes





12:00 PM on 02.28.2014

Yup, Ar no Surge definitely has fields and battles in it

When it comes to videogame ads, I always find the Japanese marketing apparatus amusing, particularly for anything below the triple-A tier of development. Reason being, besides the endearing awkwardness of indie and mobile de...

Josh Tolentino

12:00 PM on 02.26.2014

Valhalla Knights 3 Gold gets an inexplicable trailer

I was so tempted to just post this video without comment, but that would be unprofessional, and I pride my professionalism when it comes to posting complete bullcrap. Well, "bullcrap" is a harsh word, and there are no words ...

Josh Tolentino

8:00 AM on 02.26.2014

Yay Consumer Electronics: PS4 sells 322,083 in Japan

In case you didn't know, the PS4 has just launched in Glorious Nippon, three months after its North American and European debuts, and the numbers are in for the new platform's first two days of Japanese sales: The console ha...

Josh Tolentino

11:45 PM on 02.22.2014

Come on and get down with Capcom's new Deep Down trailer

Surprisingly for a game that's had four trailers so far and is due out on the PS4 sometime this year, we still don't know a lot about Capcom's Deep Down. We know it's some kind of action game apparently in the vein of From S...

Josh Tolentino

3:30 PM on 02.21.2014

New Persona Q trailer gets English subs

Ok Atlus. I'm as hyped for Persona Q as much as the next person, but this onslaught of new media needs to stop. By which I mean it needs to continue every week until the game's release. Ok? Thanks. New Persona Q trailers hit...

Elliot Gay

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

4:00 PM on 02.18.2014

Blue Dragon's Haruka releases new album

When an artist leaves a major record label and disappears from the industry, it takes a lot of drive and ambition to mount a comeback, let alone your own record label, but that's exactly what singer-songwriter Haruka has don...

Tim Sheehy

10:00 AM on 02.18.2014

Mcdonald's Japan is getting funky

Continuing the American Vintage campaign, McDonald's Japan have revealed the next wave of sandwiches, which are released this week and represent the era of funk (the '80s). Behold: the American Funky BBQ beef and chicken burg...

Kristina Pino

12:00 PM on 02.17.2014

An overview of Hinamatsuri and some speed snacking

As Japan gears up for Spring, there are plenty of new snacks to enjoy. But this time, I'm changing things up a little bit. Instead of just taunting you with the awesome treats available to me all the time (including a Misdo ...

Kristina Pino

8:00 AM on 02.16.2014

Misdo is meeting Spring with strawberries

I'm pretty much over Winter at this point. I mean, I've been over it. But nowadays, with all this stupid snow, I'm feeling the desire to see Springtime more than ever. And in an effort to get people like me even more in the m...

Kristina Pino

3:00 PM on 02.15.2014

'Chicken Cordon Blue' at Freshness Burger looks amazing

I can't explain the meaning of changing around two letters of the name of this sandwich, but I will absolutely accept it on the grounds that it looks absolutely delicious. Freshness Burger, one of the various burger chains th...

Kristina Pino





8:00 AM on 02.15.2014

Huzzah! New gameplay footage for Monolith Soft's X

I love Monolith Soft. I've been following the company ever since it was founded by Tetsuya Takahashi and Hirohide Sugiura after they left Square Co. in the late 90s. I dug the Xenosaga titles, adored Xenoblade, and even like...

Elliot Gay

9:00 AM on 02.14.2014

Starbucks Japan is ready for cherry blossom season

Starting tomorrow, February 15, Starbucks will be stocking all kinds of cherry blossom-themed goods in their stores. The attractive themed drinks of this campaign are a sakura (white) chocolate latte and frappuccino, which wi...

Kristina Pino

2:29 AM on 02.14.2014

Aigis and Teddie get their own Persona Q trailers

I'm unreasonably hyped for Atlus' upcoming Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth for the Nintendo 3DS. I love me some Etrian Odyssey, and I also adore the Persona games, so this seems like a pretty great marriage of concepts as...

Elliot Gay

8:00 PM on 02.13.2014

Watch Sony's latest Japanese PlayStation 4 ad

Check out Sony's latest commercial for the PlayStation 4, set to launch in Japan on February 22nd. The ad features a multi-cultural cast of gamers and cosplayers who, rather than actually play anything, jump around and pose ...

Tim Sheehy

2:00 PM on 02.12.2014

Japanese govt Twitter account unleashes the moe

Love it or hate it, moe has seemingly invaded just about every aspect of Japanese life from pop culture to the government. A case in point would be the office of Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Tel...

LB Bryant



Import Preview: Puyo Puyo Tetris photo
Import Preview: Puyo Puyo Tetris
by Elliot Gay

Those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably read my tweets hyping up Sega's new crossover puzzle game, Puyo Puyo Tetris. A few folks have expressed confusion toward my excitement, going so far as to wonder if I'm just being sarcastic.

The reality is much more simple than that.

Puyo Puyo Tetris has kept me glued to my Vita screen for over 20 hours at this point. It's just that damn good.

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4:00 PM on 02.08.2014

The cutest Kendo players should wear Hello Kitty armor

A Twitter pic snapped by Ayatan at a recent Hello Kitty expo caught the cutest kendo bogu I've ever seen. I wonder whether it's fully functional? The most customizing I ever see on these pieces are in the stitching or occasio...

Kristina Pino



Go West! Sixty-Four: You got Puyo all up in my Tetris photo
Go West! Sixty-Four: You got Puyo all up in my Tetris
by Elliot Gay

Welcome to another riveting, awe inspiring, and emotionally draining edition of Go West!, your [inconsistently] weekly column about Japanese video games and some masochistic idiot.

This week, the game of all generations hits store shelves. 

Ok, maybe that might be a wee bit hyperbolic, but the reality is that I'm super duper hyped. We also have a handful of other important-ish releases for pretty much all of the major consoles, so hang onto your butts.

It's time to dance.

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1:00 PM on 02.08.2014

Some upcoming film releases in Japan for 2014

For those of us who enjoy going to the movies now and again and live in Japan, it can be frustrating to have to wait ages for some international films, but not so long for others. Keeping track of their releases can get confu...

Kristina Pino

10:00 PM on 02.07.2014

Misdo serving up churros after my own heart

So it looks like today, Mister Donut Japan released some heart-shaped churros in their continued Valentine's Day-themed treat-making. There are three different kinds, with chocolate, strawberry, and "white" flavors, and they ...

Kristina Pino

4:00 PM on 02.06.2014

Annotated Anime: Kill la Kill episode 16

And just like that, the curtain has been pulled back from many of Kill la Kill's ongoing mysteries. The exposition episode has come and gone, leaving behind a wealth of new information and revelations. Things on the show will likely never be the same, and it would appear as though the gears in the big machine are finally moving. Also glowing neon nipples. Let's do the thang.

Elliot Gay





8:00 AM on 02.06.2014

Drakengard 3 gets a NA release date and CE

Square Enix's Drakengard/Nier series is weird.  The first two games are gameplay messes that made me want to toss my controller out of a window. Nier is much better in that regard, as it's a functional video game that's ...

Elliot Gay

4:00 PM on 02.04.2014

The doujinshi fanzine industry is worth a lot of money

I suppose it should go without saying for some more savvy otaku, but the fan-comic industry (aka doujinshi) is pretty big in Japan. That said, not everyone knows just how big it is. Until now. A representative from Comitia, a...

Josh Tolentino



Japanator Eats: Haagen-Dazs Rose and Sakura flavors photo
Japanator Eats: Haagen-Dazs Rose and Sakura flavors
by Kristina Pino

Josh Totman brought you a preview of the two new flavors Haagen-Dazs is rolling out for their 30th anniversary, and I'm here to eat them on camera.

Though some stores appeared to be stocking these since yesterday, today (February 3rd) is the official release date on these little delights. As Josh explained (and I failed to note before taste-testing), the rose batch has strawberry and plum ice cream with rose petal syrup, and the cherry blossom batch is cherry ice cream with sakura petal syrup. Both are wonderful, though right now isn't necessarily the best time for cold treats given we're still slogging through winter.

That didn't stop me, of course. Check out the video above to get my full impressions, and if you're in Japan, head on over to your nearest grocery or convenience store to sample some yourself. If you aren't, I guess you can just enjoy them vicariously through my videos.

Have any burning questions about life in Japan or suggestions for future videos (including food requests)? Drop them in the comments along with any other feedback you've got, or email me directly: kristina (at) japanator (dot) com.

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8:00 AM on 02.03.2014

Osaka leads the way to free WiFi in Japan

It's been a long, and I mean long, time coming, but one city in lovely Japan has finally, finally gotten with the program and decided to offer free WiFi. And surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, depending on how you look at it), ...

Kristina Pino



Go West! Sixty-Three: Gundam in your Gundam on the Gundam photo
Go West! Sixty-Three: Gundam in your Gundam on the Gundam
by Elliot Gay

Welcome to the latest and greatest Go West!, your [why-do-I-even-try-to-be-timely] column about Japanese games, life in Japan, and Idea Factory. 

Ladies and gentlemen, this week is actually a very special one. The latest in one of Bandai Namco's biggest video game series is hitting the PS3, which means it's time to rejoice.

Self-proclaimed saviors of the JRPG, Imageepoch, have also released a brand new game. I'm sure somebody out there is probably happy about that.

Follow me as I take you for a ride on my hype train.

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3:00 PM on 01.31.2014

Animal rights poster becomes internet meme

Quick, what's the first thing you think of when you see the header image? For most, it's a statement about how animals are not delicious and shouldn't be eaten. For the internet, it's an opportunity for silliness. The poster ...

Pedro Cortes