japan

Food photo
Food

KFC and Potato Chips. Together at Last


For Increasingly Accessible KFC munchings
Feb 24
// Anthony Redgrave
There are some Japanese snacks that wouldn't fly in the west. Pocari Sweat has the connotation of drinking someone's perspiration, and their eclectic Kit Kat flavours can make some taste buds shudder. But this concept already has me salivating.
Asian Kung Fu Generation photo
Asian Kung Fu Generation

AKFG News: iTunes Albums and New Single


They're Back, BABY!
Feb 20
// Anthony Redgrave
Asian Kung-Fu Generation may not roll off the tongue as well as some other band names but their sound is definitely iconic. Playing on top of animated openings like Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Bleach, AKFG helped en...
Persona 5 photo
Persona 5

Persona 5 is the Lupin III RPG you never knew you wanted


And Atlus knows it, too
Feb 11
// Josh Tolentino
How about that Persona 5 trailer, eh? While the sensible voice in my head cautions me against getting too hyped-up for games that aren't out yet, but the Persona-fan voice in my head is currently drowning it out with shouts a...
Japanese MREs photo
Japanese MREs

Let's take a look at an instant Military meal from Japan


Protecting the troops from starvation
Feb 10
// Red Veron
Now I've had my share of US military rations, better known as "Meals-Ready-to-Eat" (MREs) I've often wondered how other countries handled their on-the-go meals for their troops. US military MREs aren't the tastiest and often ...
Golgo 13 photo
Golgo 13

Golgo 13 is officially Too Old For This Sh*t


The OG hitman retires soon
Feb 09
// Josh Tolentino
Indeed, like a certain police officer, the legendary assassin Golgo 13 is just a few weeks from retirement...literally! After nearly forty-seven years in serialization, the longest-running currently published manga is set to ...
Universal Studios photo
Universal Studios

Universal Studios' Attack on Titan and anime attractions are pure nightmare fuel


Zombies, Monsters, and Nudists, Oh My!
Feb 02
// Josh Tolentino
I took a trip to western Japan last year, and my big regret of the trip was not finding enough time to visit Himeji castle, the best-preserved traditional castle in the country. I think it's time to add another regret to the ...
One Punch Man photo
One Punch Man

It takes just one man to make a One Punch Man anime


Well, a prototype of one, anyway
Feb 02
// Josh Tolentino
If there's anything I've learned over the years of writing about the things I enjoy, it's that making those things - in this case, anime - is very hard work, often done by large numbers of very talented people. That makes th...
Super Mario World photo
Super Mario World

Watch this guy use his amazing nose to play Super Mario World


With a recorder, of course
Jan 29
// Salvador GRodiles
This might surprise most people on here, but Super Mario World was actually one of the first titles that got me into playing video games. As for the reason why I didn't get to play games before the SNES, this was due to my y...
Touhou x PS photo
Touhou x PS

Touhou games may come to PlayStation this year


But not the games you might want
Jan 27
// Josh Tolentino
Ah, Touhou Project. The hyper-popular series of bullet-hell shooters has long been a Holy Grail of sorts for non-PC-owning otaku, and the efforts to get games with the Touhou brand on various consoles have bee...
Arpeggio x JSDF photo
Arpeggio x JSDF

Buy some Japanese navy propaganda, get a free Arpeggio sticker


Just...don't join the navy for your waifu, OK?
Jan 27
// Josh Tolentino
Think "Military-Entertainment Complex", and videogames like Call of Duty or even the actual U.S. Army-sponsored shooter America's Army comes to mind. That's not the only way cross-promotion can happen though. ...
Mari-chan photo
Mari-chan

This adorable Shiba Inu loves to mess with its owner


Mischievous yet cute
Jan 20
// Salvador GRodiles
Dogs may have a great reputation for being loyal to their owners, but that doesn't stop them from messing with their caretakers from time to time. In this case, Mari-chan the Shiba Inu decides to fool around with her master ...
PSN games photo
PSN games

Japan's PSN users sure love them some western games


Downloads aplenty!
Jan 10
// Josh Tolentino
If there's one stereotype about the Japanese game industry that's more true than not, it's that Glorious Nippon hasn't gotten the hang of The Internet and its many facets quite as quickly or in the same way as the rest of the...
Steam sale photo
Steam sale

PSA: Anime is the name of Steam's weekend game sale


Now with more amorous avians!
Jan 09
// Josh Tolentino
Of all the geeky trends people took note of in 2014, one of the least appreciated is the Japanese gaming industry's growing embrace of indie development and global digital distribution. Sure, it's been happening for the last ...
Spider-Man photo
Spider-Man

Japanese Spider-Man always saves the day!


Best Spider-Man ever
Jan 09
// Josh Tolentino
All us normal everyday folks know to call their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man when they get into a jam, but what happens when Spider-Man gets into a jam? If Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott is to be believed, ...
Surveillance robot photo
Surveillance robot

Japan Ministry of Defense's surveillance robot is almost ready to roll out


Transformation feature included
Jan 02
// Salvador GRodiles
Good news, everyone! It turns out that the Japanese Ministry of Defense's Technical Research and Development Institute is close to finishing their special surveillance robot. Going by the name of the Throwable Type Reconnaiss...
3rd Super Robot Wars Z photo
3rd Super Robot Wars Z

3rd Super Robot Wars Z Part 2's trailer will heat up your blood


Groovin Magic!
Dec 13
// Salvador GRodiles
At long last, Bandai Namco has uploaded the first trailer for 3rd Super Robot Wars Z: Tengoku Hen, and things are looking interesting for Super Robot Wars Z's finale. First and foremost, Diebuster is making its debut in the ...
Shrimp Cannon photo
Shrimp Cannon

Want Shrimp Tempura in 3 seconds? Take this cannon


Mid-air Ebi-Fry
Dec 02
// Josh Tolentino
You never know where useful information will come from. For example, would you expect to learn a secret technique for preparing fried shrimp in an instant from...a wireless carrier? Yeah, neither did I.  NTT Docomo's pr...
Gundam photo
Gundam

Check out this amazing 'anime-style' Gundam model


3D goes 2D
Nov 24
// Josh Tolentino
Rejoice, otaku, for the utopia that is the 2D world is much closer than we thought. All it is is a matter of shading, if the jaw-dropping work of Gunpla builder Mumumuno is anything to go by.  The champion builder has co...
Godzilla photo
Godzilla

This Godzilla game trailer tugs at your kaiju-lovin' heart


Also including Godzilla 2014
Nov 22
// Josh Tolentino
And here I was thinking I wouldn't have to cart my PS3 out of the closet anymore. Now Japan's gone and teased a pretty nifty looking Godzilla game, one that's a far cry from the official tie-in app for Hollywood's recen...
One Piece photo
One Piece

Watch One Piece's creator doodle, and get advice from Zoro


Oda takes on the internet
Nov 12
// Josh Tolentino
If you've got a property as popular as One Piece floating around, it's a good idea to give it a place to weigh anchor in the unfriendly seas of the internet. I'm sure that's what Eiichiro Oda and company were thinking wh...
Pigeon drones photo
Pigeon drones

Arrange pigeon drone booze parties with Kirin


Three drones to the wind
Nov 05
// Josh Tolentino
Ever wanted to knock back a brew with a bunch of cool drones? Well, too bad, because Kirin's got the opportunity for you, with a new campaign stunt involving a little family of four drones, decorated to look like friendly pi...
Final Fantasy XV photo
Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV full of pretty tech, pretty boys, pretty cars


I want all three
Nov 04
// Josh Tolentino
Much as I enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII, even I could see that the franchise has been in sore need of a fresh approach, and despite having been in development for the better part of the last decade, Final Fantasy XV might ...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Aw Snap: Attack on Titan to cross over with the Marvel universe


The Titans are in for a big surprise
Nov 03
// Salvador GRodiles
Now here's something that you don't hear everyday. Marvel Comic's Talent Scout C.B. Cebulski has announced that Attack on Titan is crossing over with the Marvel universe in Japan. Best of all, the special segment'll...
Manga apartment photo
Manga apartment

When you visit Japan, try a manga apartment


Behold the manga apartment
Nov 03
// Josh Tolentino
What's the first thing you want to do when you visit Japan? If your answer is "Sit around reading manga in the first room I arrive at," then Slow Curve has just the lodging for you! Slow Curve have announced that they're work...
Animals photo
Animals

Watch a sumo wrestler go up against a polar bear in Shinjuku


LALSH shows us its true colors
Oct 24
// Salvador GRodiles
During the early week of October, there was a video that featured a person walking a polar bear through Shibuya to promote LALSH's Oct. 24 announcement. Now that the promised day has passed in Japan, Eagle Liang uploaded a v...
Books photo
Books

Learn how to create daicon radish animals with this upcoming book


Daicon Panda Sculpting 101
Oct 19
// Salvador GRodiles
Are you interested in learning how to make daikon radish art?  If you answered "yes," then you'll be happy to know that Daikon Radish Artist Kimimarokku's releasing a book that teaches people the basics of creating daico...
Animals photo
Animals

Feast your eyes on a man walking nine cats through Tokyo


On a stroller, of course
Oct 13
// Salvador GRodiles
I may be more of a dog fan than a cat one, but it's hard to ignore an adorable moment where a guy takes his Chinchilla and Himalayan Cats for a walk in the streets of Tokyo. Instead of walking them like a dog, the man places ...
Animals photo
Animals

Holy Snap: A person walks a polar bear through Shibuya's streets


There's something fishy about that bear
Oct 09
// Salvador GRodiles
At first sight, I was surprised that someone decided to take a polar bear to Shibuya, since the concept behind this action isn't something that you don't see everyday. Based on the animal's movements, it's obvious that the p...
Sugoi Japan photo
Sugoi Japan

Sugoi Japan wants you to vote for your favorite anime and manga


and light novels and all that
Oct 02
// Jeff Chuang
Sugoi Japan is a publisher effort--by rounding up a bunch of the publishers and getting endorsements from some celebrities, maybe Japan can highlight some of the most engaging and popular anime, manga and light/entertainment ...
New 3DS photo
New 3DS

This New 3DS commercial shows off Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's Kawaii Touch


Nintendo's characters receive an amazing makeover
Sep 29
// Salvador GRodiles
I may not be a huge Kyary Pamyu Pamyu fan, but it's hard to say "no" to her style that brings us an abstract take on cute things. Speaking of which, Nintendo made an interesting move when they chose to feature Pamyu in the N...
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.







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