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Animax Launches in the UK

Date: 2013 October 25 17:43 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

The first day of the MCM London Comic Con has just ended, we know people are partying into the night, but we're stopping to tell you the latest news from the event.

A new UK streaming / video on demand service has just launched Animax UK. The division of Sony are showing anime on a model similar to BBC iPlayer. The shows are simulcast for everyone to watch for free for 2 weeks. After that they go into the archive where paid subscribers can access the shows. Subscriptions cost £5.99 a month, and will also remove ads from any shows.

Depending on how much anime you watch a month, this could be a good way of catching up with titles without paying for a boxset.

What makes them a bit different, is apart from offering simulcasts they also have movies for paid subscribers, and also offer viewers the choice to watch shows dubbed in English where available, or in Japanese with English subtitles.

If you're going to the MCM London Comic Con this weekend (Friday 25th to Sunday 27th October 2013), you should pop over to their stall for a chance to win a big Sony TV.

It seems along with other legal streaming services Wakanim.co.uk and Crunchyroll, there are lots of ways to watch anime on-line now.

Read More... | Souce: Animax

London's Japan Centre to close it's doors this September

Date: 2013 September 12 15:57 | Posted By:

Category > Retail

London's well known Japanese shop Japan Centre has just announced that they'll be closing their doors on Sunday 22nd September 2013. Currently their store is just around the corner from Piccadilly Circus. The new location and opening details will be announced soon.

The shop has been popular with fans of everything Japanese for years, as it stocks Japanese food, books and current magazines. In the meantime they'll still sell everything via their website until the new location is revealed.

Update: The Japan Centre will reopen at 19 Shaftesbury Avenue in October 2013.

Read More... | Souce: Japan Centre

The latest craze in Japan - eyeball licking?

Date: 2013 August 02 14:46 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

We know readers of Otaku News are up to date with all the latest crazes in Japan, but have you heard about eyeball licking? If you read some news websites they state that it's the latest craze in Japan. They all give the impression that it's sweeping the country. They also interview various doctors who confirm that eyeball licking isn't a healthy thing to do. What they don't do is actually double check with anyone in Japan about this strange craze, because if they did, they'd find out that it isn't really happening. It's another one of those weird Japan stories that people just assume is true.

The Number 1 Shimbun has an excellent article by Mark Schreiber who analyses the origin of the story and how lack of any fact checking caused the article to be picked up by more prestigious news outlets.

Thanks to Matt Alt for making us aware of this story.

Souce: Number 1 Shimbun

Otaku News Podcast Episode 10

Date: 2013 July 29 15:36 | Posted By:

Category > Podcast

The Otaku News Podcast team braved the heat trap that is Colin's flat to bring you the latest installment of podcast goodness. We discuss some of the news to come out of Anime Expo, review The Eccentric Family and Yuyushiki and discuss the 3DS and the Final Fantasy 14 Beta. As Rebecca is off to Japan soon, Spike and Colin tell tale's of their previous trips to the land of the rising sun.

Download Otaku News Podcast Episode 10

MP3 File:
27.9 MB
1 Hour 0 minutes 59 seconds

[Direct Download] [Torrent]

Contact the Podcast crew at:
podcast@otakunews.com
or reach us via Twitter at @OtakuNewsCast
Disagree with us? Suggestions? Ideas? Contact us!

Note general site enquiries should go as usual to Joe at webmaster@otakunews.com

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

An interview With Anime Director Shinichiro Watanabe

Date: 2013 July 27 16:38 | Posted By:

Category > Features

It's not every day you meet an anime director, yet alone one from one of the most highly regarded anime series of all time. Thanks to good folks at Anime Limited we were able to catch up with Shinichiro Watanabe, who is best known as the director of Cowboy Bebop. He has also directed the hip-hop samurai mash-up Samurai Champloo and more recently the jazz anime Kids on the Slope.

We caught up with Shinichiro Watanabe at the May 2013 London MCM Comic Con. He was in town to promote the new release of Cowboy Bebop on Blu-ray along with the DVD and Blu-ray release of Kids on the Slope.

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

On location at Fosse Farm - Alice Cartalet's house from Kinmoza

Date: 2013 July 07 08:19 | Posted By:

Category > Features

For most otaku it would be a dream come true to be contacted by an anime studio wanting to use their home as a location in a new anime series. For Caron Cooper, it is just the latest unlikely chapter in her incredible life story.

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

009 RE:Cyborg Cinema Review 1

Date: 2013 June 03 14:54 | Posted By:

Category > Anime > Film

We're not going to give you one, but two different takes on the latest anime cinema screening of 009 RE:Cyborg. We also have an interview with the film's director Kenji Kamiyama. Here's Joe's take on the title.

Production IG's Latest movie is a big budget action adventure based on the manga Cyborg 009 that started in the 1960's. Since then it's had several incarnations with different twists. The film was released in Japan in October 2012 and has already made its way to the UK at the BFI as part of a special screening with a Q&A from director Kenji Kamiyama. It'll also show in Scotland soon before hitting UK cinemas in June 2013 thanks to the good people from Anime Ltd. We like such a speedy turn around and hope it becomes such a regular thing for top notch titles.

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

On-line Manga Site JManga to shut down it's retail and viewing services

Date: 2013 March 14 17:57 | Posted By:

Category > Manga

On-line and legitimate manga streaming service JManga will be shutting down it's retail and viewing services on May 30th 2013. In other words it's shutting down in it's current form. The site started offering manga to view on-line from 27th December 2010. It was formed by an industry group of 39 Japanese publishers.

They launched in North America on August 17th 2011, and later expanded out globally in February 2012.

They worked on a subscription model, allowing readers to buy points in order to redeem manga.

All JManga Members will be issued Amazon Gift Cards for use on Amazon.com as a substitute the amount of unused JManga Paid Points (terms and conditions apply).

Read More... | Souce: JManga

Manga Industry Pioneer Toren Smith Passes Away

Date: 2013 March 08 16:00 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Readers will be sad to hear that manga industry pioneer Toren Smith passed away on Tuesday March 5th 2013.

We could write an obituary about the man who brought manga to the English speaking world, but we don't have the words. We suggest you read the one written by Jonathan Clements.

We've never had the privilege of meeting Toren. For many of us, ourselves included, his work were fundamental in discovering the world of anime and manga.

The news was first broken on Twitter and Anime News Network.

Souce: James Hudnall\'s Blog

Johnnys' World: Top of the J-Pops

Date: 2013 January 25 15:36 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

J-Pop fans who can access NHK World will want to tune in for Johnnys' World: Top of the J-Pops.

The documentary focuses on Johnny Kitagawa of talent agency Johnny's Entertainment. The talent agency represents Tsuyoshi Domoto of Kinki Kids and Hey! Say! Jump!.

It'll be broadcast on NHK World on:
Saturday 26th January 2013 - 23:10 (UTC)
Sunday 27th January 2013 - 3:10/ 7:10/ 11:10/ 15:10/ 19:10 (UTC)

NHK World broadcasts content in English and is free to access. It's available in many countries.

In the UK if you have Sky you can access NHK World on Channel 507. If you've got FreeSat you can access it on channel 209.

Failing that, you can also watch the show on-line on the NHK Website, JIB TV, or on the NHK World App on iOS Devices (iPhone, iPad, etc) and Android Devices.

Souce: NHK World

Pirate Anime FAQ Updated - November 2012

Date: 2012 November 03 16:21 | Posted By:

Category > Websites

We've just updated The Pirate Anime FAQ with some more details. We've added details of bootleg bags, bootleg wallets / bill folds and finally included bootleg CD company Miya Records to the Audio CD section.

We've been running the Pirate Anime FAQ for over 12 years now, helping anime fans become aware of bootlegs. Many fans first discover that they've bought bootlegs by reading the FAQ.

As always we appreciate any feedback, so please feel free to get in touch.

We'd like to thank you for all your support over the last 12 years and look forward to the next 12 years! ^_^

Souce: Otaku News

Bunkasai - Japanese Festival London Sunday 11th March 2012 Reminder

Date: 2012 March 10 15:31 | Posted By:

Category > Events

A quick reminder for those in London tomorrow (Sunday 11th March 2012), please don't forget about the Charity Event - Bunkasai Japanese Festival. We've got all the details here. The event is to raise money for Aid For Japan.

Souce: Bunkasai

Bunkasai - Japanese Festival London Sunday 11th March 2012

Date: 2012 February 06 17:34 | Posted By:

Category > Events

London based readers looking for some Japanese culture should head over to the Bunkasai - Japanese Festival on Sunday 11th March 2012. The event is set to run from 9:30am to 4:30pm at the Park Crescent Conference Centre. The event is to support the charity Aid for Japan, which aids survivors of the March 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami. The Bunkasai will run on the first year anniversary

Cultural highlights at the Bunkasai include the Tea Ceremony, Engeki play, Traditional Japanese dance, martial arts demonstration, Taiko drumming, and cosplay.

Advance tickets are now on sale.

Read More... | Souce: Bunkasai

Funimation sues former ADV company, Section23, Sentai Filmworks

Date: 2012 January 13 18:01 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Funimation sues ADV, Sentai and others for alleged debt arising from ARM/Sojitz deal.

Read More... | Souce: Anime News Network

Interview with Kaz

Date: 2012 January 10 22:57 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

Audio interview with Kazé UK representative Andrew Partridge where we talk about Kazé UK's origins, their plans for blu ray anime releases, Anime On Demand and more.

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

Bandai US and UK shuts down DVD/BD/Manga production

Date: 2012 January 05 13:34 | Posted By:

Category > Retail

The US anime releasing division of Bandai has announced that from February they will cease publication of both new anime titles and manga titles. The company’s UK and French sister divisions have also released similar statements.

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

Cowboy Bebop Movie Script Charity Auction

Date: 2011 November 30 14:50 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

The folks at FrontTowardsGamer.com have got in touch with us to spread the word about their charity auction. They've got a copy of the Cowboy Bebop Movie Script, which has been autographed by the US voice actors.

The charity auction aims to raise money to build video game stuffed care packages for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Souce: FrontTowardsGamer.com

Japan Underground to Organise Free Asian Cinema All-Dayer

Date: 2011 August 24 22:16 | Posted By:

Category > Events

London based fans of Japanese cinema will want to keep Saturday 3rd September 2011 free for the Free Asian Cinema All-Dayer at Bloomsbury Lanes, Bedford Way, Tavistock Square, WC1H 9EU. It's organised by the good folks behind Japan Underground to raise awareness and support for the independent Asian film companies that lost their stock when the Sony DADC centre was burnt down in the England riots on 8 August.

Third Window Films and Terracotta Distribution are confirmed for the screenings.

Japan Underground have also sent us details about Unshin a Japanese pop/rock band based in the UK who'll launch their debut album at Japan Underground. This is event is scheduled to run 7pm-3am Bloomsbury Lanes, Bedford Way, Tavistock Square, WC1H 9EU after the Free Asian Cinema screenings.

Read More... | Souce: Japan Underground

Tokyo bath-house murals in danger of dying out

Date: 2011 July 07 18:24 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Tokyo bath-house murals are in danger of dying out as the number of people qualified to paint them and the numbers of people visiting bath houses diminishes.

Read More... | Souce: The Guardian

Doctorate in manga, a dream otaku degree?!

Date: 2011 June 29 16:13 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Have you ever wondered what the ultimate otaku degree would be? Kyoto Seika University are offering it's first doctoral program in manga studies next year. They have a whole Faculty of Manga (I wonder if I could work there, it'll be my dream job).

The university plans to enrol four doctoral students starting next year.
Thanks to My San Antonio for the tip off.

Souce: Kyoto Seika University Faculty of Manga

Mnet Premieres New Series Culture Japan with Danny Choo on July 5 2011

Date: 2011 June 21 15:30 | Posted By:

Category > Anime > TV

US based readers who can receive Mnet will want to tune in July 5th 2011 at 9:30pm ET/PT to catch Culture Japan which stars expert otaku Danny Choo. Each week Danny will explore different aspects of Japanese pop culture.

You can also catch the show on Crunchy Roll.

Read More... | Souce: Mnet

Cosplay For A Cause 2012 Calendar

Date: 2011 June 14 15:03 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

We've been sent details about the Cosplay For A Cause 2012 Calendar. It contains some of the top cosplayers from all over the world, with all the proceeds going to the Japanese Red Cross Society. 2012 may seem like a long way off, but it doesn't hurt to plan ahead and every little donation helps.

Read More... | Souce: Cosplay For A Cause

Spirit of Hope Charity Anthology for Japan and New Zealand Disaster Victims

Date: 2011 June 05 16:34 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

The Comic Book Alliance have sent us details about their latest project Spirit of Hope. The comic anthology has been created to raise money for the the Japan and New Zealand disaster victims.

Read More... | Souce: Comic Book Alliance

Stradivarius violin to be auctioned to raise money for Japan quake

Date: 2011 May 02 16:10 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

BBC News have an interesting story about am exceptionally well-preserved Stradivarius violin being auctioned to raise money for the Japan quake. The violin is known as The Lady Blunt.

BBC News says - "The 1721 violin is being sold by the Nippon Music Foundation, with the entire proceeds going to their Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund."

Apparently The Lady Blunt has set a record price every time it was sold last century.

Tarisio will auction the violin online on 20th June 2011.

"Tarisio described the foundation's decision to sell 'what is considered the finest violin of their collection" as "a gesture of profound generosity'."

The violin fetched $10 million USD when it was last sold in 2008.

Souce: BBC News

Aid for Japan - London - 15th May 2011

Date: 2011 April 29 13:56 | Posted By:

Category > Events

We've been sent details about Aid for Japan an up coming charity event in London on Sunday 15th May 2011. It's to raise funds for the victims of the recent earthquake.

It'll be at -
Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
London
WC1R 4RL

Nearest Tube station is Holborn.

They'll be holding a selection of workshops focusing on Japanese culture, including the Tea Ceremony, performances a Kimono Fashion show, a cosplay show, along with with a Shibuya and Harajuku fashion show. There'll be a manga drawing workshop too.

Japanese food and drink will also be available for attendees to buy on the day.

Souce: Aid for Japan

NFC Mobile phones in Japan

Date: 2011 April 29 10:28 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

BBC News have an interesting story about Near Field Communication embedded in mobile phones (Keitai) used in Japan. This allows the user to have a card payment system built into their phone, check into hotels and even access their hotel room using the mobile phone as an entry card. Combined with the QR code users can read details from the environment around them. Augmented Reality also gets a mention too.

This technology is emerging in the English speaking world, but is firmly established in Japan.

Souce: BBC News

Heart Japan Charity Event - 20th April 2011

Date: 2011 April 09 18:10 | Posted By:

Category > Events

London based fans of Japan looking to have fun and raise money for charity should keep Wednesday 20th April 2011 free for Heart Japan. The event is set to run from 6:30pm until 11pm at Vibe Bar on Brick Lane.

It's to raise money for the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Fund.

There'll be live bands, DJs playing the best Japanese music, plus a chance to win some original artwork by Bryan Lee O'Malley the creator of Scott Pilgrim in their charity auction.

Read More... | Souce: Heart Japan

Japan tsunami dog rescued after 3 weeks out at sea

Date: 2011 April 04 16:09 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

After the tragic events in Japan, it's nice to hear a heart warming story now and again. BBC News ran a story about a dog rescued by the coast guard after 3 weeks out at sea. Ban the dog survived by staying on top of the roof of a house as it was washed out to sea, she was rescued by the coast guard's helicopter.

The 2 year old dog was later reunited with her owner after seeing a TV news report.

"Ban immediately jumped up and wagged her tail when her owner appeared, local media reported."

Souce: BBC News

Wagamama sold to private equity firm

Date: 2011 March 26 13:30 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Japanese style noodle bar chain Wagamama has been bought by private equity firm Duke Street from Lion Capital for £215 million.

London's City AM reports that Lion capital have owned the chain since 2005 and more than doubled it's UK presence. The sale was planned since August last year. Lion were hoping to get £250 million for the sale.

Impressively the London branches of Wagamama have been known to turn over 12 sittings a day.

Souce: City AM

We Love Japan - Tohoku Earthquake Relief Concert

Date: 2011 March 25 18:29 | Posted By:

Category > Events

Saturday 2nd April 2011 is when you should head to London for the We Love Japan Tohoku Earthquake Relief Concert. It'll be held at The Relentless Garage from 7pm. They'll have a wide selection of live music, comedy and karaoke, plus some of the most promising London-based Japanese musicians.

Tickets are £10 if booked in advance on-line or £12 on the door.

All proceeds from the evening will go to the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund.

Read More... | Souce: We Love Japan

March 2011 - Earthquake and Tsunami devastate Japan

Date: 2011 March 13 15:20 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

On Friday 11th March 2011 an Earthquake hit the east coast of Japan.

Originally it was declared a magnitude 8.8, it has since been revised to 9.0, making it one of the biggest ever recorded in the world, according to the Daily Yomiuri.

BBC News states - "Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said Japan is experiencing its greatest hardships since World War II as it tackles the aftermath of an earthquake, tsunami and a growing nuclear crisis."

NHK reports that confirmed deaths top 1,500. They also state - "Miyagi prefectural police say the death toll in their prefecture alone is almost certain to exceed 10,000."

You can help by donating to the British Red Cross or donating to the American Red Cross.

Streaming site Crunchyroll will also match any money you donate up to $5,000 USD.

People in town and city centres around the world are also collecting money for the earthquake fund.

Souce: NHK World

Momo the Chihuahua joins the police

Date: 2011 February 21 16:43 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Following on from our earlier coverage on Momo the police Chihuahua we're pleased to report that the little dog has now joined the police the Japanese Police.

The Daily Yomiuri reports that special police jacket has been made for the doggy. The jacket reads "Shokutaku Keisatsuken" (Part-time police dog).

We're thinking this sounds like a great idea for a kids anime show. Momo the Mini Search and Rescue Dog!

Souce: Daily Yomiuri

BBC apologises for Japanese atomic bomb jokes on QI

Date: 2011 January 23 13:06 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

BBC News are covering a story about jokes made on popular panel quiz QI not going down well with Japanese viewers.

"Panellists made light of the experience of Tsutomu Yamaguchi who survived the Hiroshima atomic bomb in World War II and the Nagasaki one three days later."

Japanese viewers complained to the Japanese Embassy in London.

"The BBC said it was sorry for any offence caused and would be replying shortly to a letter received from the Japanese embassy in London."

This story has also been covered internationally, receiving a lot of attention in Japan too.

Souce: BBC News

Momo the Chihuahua set to join the Japanese Police

Date: 2010 November 21 15:53 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

BBC News are reporting an amusing story about the Japanese police force who have recruited a chihuahua named Momo. The tiny dog has been selected to become part of a search and rescue team which are used for disasters such as earthquakes. It's small size will allow it to squeeze into places too small for regular rescue dogs to reach.

Souce: BBC News

Exposing the world of Japan's yakuza

Date: 2010 October 05 16:25 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

BBC News have an interesting article on Jake Adelstein a journalist who reports on the Japanese mafia. It forms an interesting insight into the seeder criminal side of Japan.

"Compared with his home country, the crime scene here was very different - in Japan, organised crime has not been driven underground.

'There is an idea within Japan that the yakuza are a necessary evil, that by having them around they keep street crime down,' Adelstein explained."
The article also mentions the threats Adelstein faced -

"Erase the story... or we'll erase you. And maybe your family. But we'll do them first so you learn your lesson before you die."

Souce: BBC News

Manga and comics what's the difference in a name?

Date: 2010 September 06 15:56 | Posted By:

Category > Manga

Last moth the results of the Morning International Comic Competition were announced.

Curiously enough they've discovered what the difference a name makes. The previous 3 competitions were called the Morning International Manga Competition. They discovered an issue with calling their competition a manga competition.

Read More... | Souce: Morning International Comic Competition

Low-tech Japan

Date: 2010 July 13 08:24 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

BBC News have an interesting article about the often unnoticed low-tech side of Japan. The article highlights some interesting points such as ATMs that close when the bank does and how lots of processes are still paper based.

Souce: BBC News

News in manga format

Date: 2010 June 11 08:58 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Wired have an interesting article about news in manga format. The website newsmanga.com has current affairs explained in manga. The site employs more than 100 manga artists to cover breaking stories, updating 10 or 15 times a day. The site is in Japanese, but the Wired article has some translated and mirrored examples when you wave the mouse over the image.

Souce: Wired

Multi-National Manga Anti-Piracy Coalition Formed

Date: 2010 June 08 16:47 | Posted By:

Category > Manga

Multi-National Manga Anti-Piracy Coalition Formed

We've received some very interesting details from VIZ Media about the formation of a Multi-National Manga Anti-Piracy Coalition.It seems that the industry has grown tired of Scanlations - manga scanned into a digital format and distributed without the copyright holders consent. The coalition include the 36 members of Japan's Digital Comic Association, Square Enix, VIZ Media, TOKYOPOP and Yen Press.

Originally scanlations were manga translated by fans into their native language from Japanese. This can be seen as the manga equivalent of anime fansubs. Some scanlation sites branched out to scans of manga that was already official translated and licensed outside of Japan.

This has cost the manga publishing industry significant amounts of money, not just in lost book sales, but lost opportunities in the relatively new market of eBooks and mobile devices.

The coalition intend to target scanlation sites and aggregators of scanlation sites. They've drawn up a list of 30 sites to targeted for action. First they will ask the sites to cease distributing scanlations. If the sites fail to cease distributing further action will be taken depending on the jurisdiction of each site. Actions include legal injunctions against the sites, reporting the sites to governmental anti-piracy units of law enforcement, including the US Justice Department, local law enforcement agencies and the FBI.

Fans curious about piracy in the anime and manga industry should read the Pirate Anime FAQ.

This is not the first time the anime and manga industry has attempted to stop piracy in the industry, but this is the biggest and most coordinated international effort so far. With many companies in the industry forced to make cut backs, closing down offices, laying off staff, we wonder if this is the start of a new approach? Will more companies pursue legal options? Are fansubbers next?

Read More... | Souce: VIZ Media

Tokyo's First Robot Wedding

Date: 2010 May 16 10:47 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

BBC News have a fascinating article about a wedding with a difference in Tokyo. It was the worlds first wedding to be conducted by a robot. Appropriately both bride and groom are connected to Japan's robotics industry. The robot is called the I-Fairy, has flashing eyes and a flowery headdress, it speaks in Japanese and can be seen on the BBC video instructing the groom to to lift the brides veil for the traditional first kiss. The article does not state if the robot has any legal power to marry anyone.

Souce: BBC News

Japanese PM's dress sense proves unpopular

Date: 2010 May 15 05:41 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

BBC News have an interesting article about Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama's fashion sense, or rather lack of it. A checked multi-coloured BBQ shirt he recently wore draw a lot of criticism. Apart from raising lots of eyebrows with bad dress sense the Prime Minster has seen his ratings tumble for not fulfilling a key campaign promise of moving the American Military base in Okinawa.

Souce: BBC News

Original Laughing Man Creator Dies

Date: 2010 January 28 17:14 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

Author JD Salinger dies, aged 91. Anime fans who have seen Ghost in the Shell : Stand Alone Complex, will be aware of the Laughing Man. The Japanese producers of the series created the antagonist after being inspired by a short story by JD Salinger, which was called The Laughing Man.

The logo used in Ghost In the Shell : Stand Alone Complex also references Catcher in the Rye, his best known work.

Souce: BBC News

Jonathan Ross to leave the BBC

Date: 2010 January 07 21:57 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Jonathan Ross has announced he's going to leave the BBC. It's all over the entertainment section of the news, celebrity gossip news so why is it on Otaku News too? Well we're curious as to what he's going to do next.

Caitlin Moran TV Critic for The Times has made an interesting speculation -
"What most people don't seem to realise is that the documentaries he did on Japanese films, anime and cultish subjects were absolutely fantastic and I imagine he might want to go and do more of that."

Read More... | Souce: BBC News

History Girls

Date: 2009 December 29 10:04 | Posted By:

Category > Fandom

BBC News have an interesting video about History Girls in Japan. The video shows girls who like to cosplay has historical Japanese characters including shinsengumi the samurai police with distinctive blue and white uniforms. The girls with an interest in history are known as rekijo, or History Girls. Making it one of the buzz words for 2009

The article mentions it's more about fantasy than historical accuracy and highlights that many girls get into the historical side of things through games like Dynasty Warriors. They point out that historical men were more rugged than today's modern wimpy men too.

Souce: BBC News

Seven Bank to Discontinue ATM Services for Overseas-issued MasterCard Brand Cards

Date: 2009 December 08 16:40 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

A keen eyed Otaku News reader has sent us details about ATM services in Japan that will impact MasterCard users visiting the country.

Carrying cash is often very useful in Japan. Getting money out from an ATM can be difficult as not all banks accept western credit cards for cash withdrawal. The best place to withdraw money is often 7-Eleven using their Seven Bank ATM machines.

Due to changes in the terms and conditions from MasterCard, Seven Bank will no longer accept overseas-issued MasterCard brand cards as of December 14th. The bank is still accepting Visa, American Express, JCB, China UnionPay, Discover and Diners Club.

Read More... | Souce: Seven Bank

The rise of Japan's girlie man generation

Date: 2009 November 06 11:48 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

The Times has a fascinating article about the rise of Japan's 'girlie man' generation. Known as the herbivore generation these fashionable men turn away from the traditional life of the corporate salaryman. Not keen on drinking or expensive cars.

The article highlights that rather than grinding away at the work place they'd rather have a much more fulfilling life.

"They are thrifty and abhor consumerism."

"In every Japanese convenience store are special sections devoted to men's cosmetics, eyebrow shapers, packets of disposable wipes for dealing with sweat and body odor, skin whitener. The herbivores may not buy beer and cars but they spend on keeping themselves odourless, hairless and pale. Their clothes come from cheap, fashionable chains such as Uniqlo. This week, Shinya Yamaguchi, 23, a fashion designer, launches his latest collection of skirts and lacy tops - all aimed at men. Many of Japan's younger male celebrities, bands such as Arashi and actors like Eita, Teppei Koike and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, project an effeminate, herbivorous look."

So is the herbivore the next stage of evolution for the bishie?

Souce: The Times

London Gets Shibuya Style Crossing

Date: 2009 November 02 05:33 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

BBC News have an interesting article about a new crossing on Oxford Street in London.

The London shopping district now has a crossing inspired by the X style walk way. The most famous of which can be seen at Shibuya in Tokyo and is frequently filmed in documentaries that feature Japan.

The opening ceremony sounds like a lot of fun -
"In homage to its Far Eastern inspiration, the mayor will strike a two-metre high cymbal as Japanese musicians play taiko drums."

They even got cosplayers involved too -

"A giant X, in the form of 60m (196ft) of red ribbon will then be unfurled by devotees of cult Japanese Manga characters dressed in colourful costumes."

The London Mayor said the crossing was "a triumph for British engineering, Japanese innovation and good old fashioned common sense".

Oxford Street is frequently very busy with more than 200 million visitors a year and ideas like this help ease congestion at the bottle neck area of the tube station.

The BBC News Website has photos of the event you can even see a few cosplayers there too. ^_^

Update We've been sent some great photos of the opening ceremony.

Read More... | Souce: BBC News

Japan wins top country at Wanderlust awards

Date: 2009 March 23 16:43 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

Travel Magazine Wanderlust have just announced their annual travel awards. Japan won top country.

Wanderlust readers were:
"... mesmerised by its man-made attractions: Tokyo's 'fluorescent skyscapes', its indoor rollercoasters, hi-tech loos and hotels boasting 'unbelievable levels of service and comfort'."

Readers also were moved by the "country’s ancient culture and underlying serenity".

The article reads like everything an otaku already knows about Japan. ^_^

Souce: Wanderlust

Capcom Bond Blunder

Date: 2009 February 25 17:44 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

The state of the world economy is all over the news at the moment, with pictures of stressed out stock brokers, being a common image. This week a mistake was made on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. One trader at the Japanese branch of Swiss Bank UBS made a colossal error, trying to buy 3 trillion yen (about $31bn USD, or £21bn GBP) in bonds for Capcom. Luckily as the order was placed out of hours they were able to cancel it.

Apparently the trader was intending to buy 30 million bonds instead. UBS deny it's a case of fat finger error with the user pressing the same key too many times, but another computer error of some sort.

We're guessing that with all the hype in Street Fighter IV, the trader was keen to pull off their own Ultra Combo with bonds!

Souce: BBC News

Hetalia Anime causes a storm in South Korea

Date: 2009 January 26 17:16 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

The Daily Yomiuri are currently running an article about Hetalia causing an uproar among South Koreans.

The show was set to be broadcast on Japanese satellite channel Kids Station on January 24th 2009. However on January 16th the station cancelled their plans to run the show.

Read More... | Souce: Daily Yomiuri

Cat Cafes in Tokyo

Date: 2009 January 14 08:58 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

BBC News have an amusing story about the current trend in Akihabara - Cat Cafes. The article mentions Ja La La Cafe, where clients pay by the hour for the company of cats petting and photographing them. We've heard of these pet rental places before. Most Japanese apartments don't allow pets, and for many jet setting business people pet ownership isn't practical, so the pet cafes have sprung up as a result.

Read More... | Souce: BBC News

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