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Anime, Manga, J-Pop, and More!

  • 05Dec

    Turning Japanese Holiday Guide (2011)

    Shopping for the anime nerd or Japanese culture enthusiast in your life this Holiday season? While your local mall may no longer be the best place to look, the internet is always abundant with options, many of which at an affordable price, too. We nerds here at Gaming Angels have you covered, complete with website listings below! FINAL FANTASY Mascots Accessory Case Square Enix Official Online Shop $24.99 This tokidoki inspired accessory bag would be perfect for the nerd chic gamer in your life. It features the four iconic Final Fantasy mascots; Chocobo, Moogle, Cactuar and PuPu. Would be ideal as a makeup bag, or for school or art supplies. https://ssl.square-enix-shop.com/SqEx/us/ShowDetail.action?productId=1173 FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN Folding Fan (Sephiroth) Square Enix Official Online Shop $29.99 This lovely fan features the colors and symbol of Final Fantasy VII’s villain, Sephiroth. It would be a lovely piece of wall decor, and a

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  • 16Nov

    A night with virtual pop star Hatsune Miku

    Last week I received an invite to watch a free concert. Live Viewing Japan is a distribution group that is bringing Japanese Entertainment to theaters near you. The events seem to be worldwide showings but for only one day. I didn’t know what to expect on this adventure. Would there be an audience? A further niche is that this wasn’t your average band we would be watching. It was a concert put on by virtual pop star, Hatsune Miku. Hatsune Miku was developed by Cyrpton Future Media as the world’s first synthesized star. The voice samples are taken from voice actress Saki Fujita and then put through a digital synthesizer. Even though she was an animation with a synthesized voice, she became incredibly popular in Japan. Crypton started playing with some alterations creating different personas for Miku: Soft (gentle, delicate voice), Sweet (young, chibi voice), Dark (mature, heartbroken-like voice), Vivid

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  • 08Nov

    Celebrate 20 years with L’arc~en~Ciel’

    Love L’arc~en~Ciel’? Want to celebrate their 20 year anniversary but can’t afford a ticket to Japan? No worries! Live viewing Japan is bringing The Best of L’Arc~en~Ciel 2 Days Live at Tokyo Ajinomoto Stadium to nine cities across the United States so that fans can celebrate. On November 29th the cities that will host the Best of L’Arc~en~Ciel event include: Baltimore, MD Boston (Manchester), MA Chicago, IL Houston, TX Los Angeles, CA Orange, CA New York, NY – Two locations San Francisco/Bay Area, CA Seattle, WA You can only pre-purchase tickets online here. No tickets will be sold at the theater. L’Arc~en~Ciel was founded in Osaka in 1991. They are going on a World Tour and will be coming to Madison Square Garden March 23rd 2012. Think of this show as your way to get acquainted with their music. “L’Arc~en~Ciel is one of the biggest rock groups to ever come

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  • 26Oct

    Virtual Pop Star launches one night concert special

    On November 10th one virtual pop star will have a concert shown in nine cities across the US. Hatsune Miku will be shown in theaters in her special Hatsune Miku Live Party 2011 39′s LIVE in SAPPORO. Fans can purchase tickets to see the performance in the following cities: Baltimore, MD Boston (Manchester), MA Chicago, IL Houston, TX Los Angeles, CA Orange, CA New York, NY – Two locations San Francisco/Bay Area, CA Seattle, WA Hatsune Miku is a Vocaloid female avatar and probably the most well known of the Vocaloids. Her voice is made with machines, but that isn’t too far fetched from some recent pop stars. “We’re very excited to present this unique Hatsune Miku experience for her U.S. fans,” says Live Viewing Japan Exective Director Hiroki Kotani. “Miku has captivated a global audience with a mix of catchy pop music and captivating technology-inspired visuals. Her popularity has

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  • 23Oct

    Turning Japanese Weekly News (September 20th – October 11th)

    VIZ Media Haikasoru Imprint Releases VIZ Media has announced the release of the newest novel to be published under its popular Haikasoru imprint. THE CAGE OF ZEUS, by author Sayuri Ueda, will debut on September 20th and will carry an MSRP of $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN. The eBook edition will also debut the same day on the Amazon Kindle, the Apple’s iBooks Store and the Sony Reader Store for $8.99. Haikasoru publishes some of the most compelling contemporary Japanese science fiction and fantasy stories for English-speaking audiences, and is the first imprint based in the U.S. dedicated to Japanese science fiction and fantasy in translation. THE CAGE OF ZEUS introduces readers to the Rounds, humans with the sex organs of both genders. Artificially created to test the limits of the human body in space, the Rounds are a minority, despised and hunted by the terrorist group, Vessel of Life.

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  • 13Sep

    Turning Japanese Weekly News (August 31st – September 13th)

    Japanese Pop Group Ryo(Supercell) Releases Brand New EP SEKIRANUN GRAFFITI Featuring Vocals By Hatsune Miku Following up the release of its first full-length record in the U.S., the Japanese pop artist/group, Ryo (Supercell) has released a brand new EP. The new release, SEKIRANUN GRAFFITI, is available now exclusively on iTunes and Amazon and features vocals from Hatsune Miku, the world’s first virtual pop diva. The EP’s title track, “SEKIRANUN GRAFFITI” (SEKIRANUN means Thundercloud), is also the theme music to the latest Hatsune Miku PROJECT DIVA arcade console game and video game for the PSP, which will be released in Japan this fall. Japanese Pop Group Ryo(Supercell) Releases Brand New EP SEKIRANUN GRAFFITI Featuring Vocals By Hatsune Miku And Available Now From Sony Music Direct On iTunes And Amazon Innovative Multimedia Group Follows Up Chart Toping Full-Length Album With New U.S. Release Featuring Vocals By World’s First Virtual Pop Star Following

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  • 06Sep

    Manga Review: 51 Ways to Save My Girlfriend by Furuya Usamaru

    Earlier this year I came across a manga that is emotional, shocking, truthful and prophetic. It was considered as Science Fiction, until March 11, 2011 that is. Manga 51 Ways to Save my Girlfriend (Kanojo wo Mamoru 51 no Houhou ) has become a psychic premonition and of a slice of life in post quake Japan. This fictional earthquake story was written by FURUYA Usamaru back in 2006. The manga spares nothing and takes a look at the darkest sides of disaster. The main character is a guy who is looking for a job at Fuji TV headquarters in Odaiba. Known as a resort and tourist attraction the island of Odaiba is home to an Aquacity an enormous shopping mall, a high tech multi-plex cinema and a gourmet zone which is the largest in Japan. The major attractions of Odaiba are mentioned in the manga as the characters make their

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  • 02Sep

    Manga Review: Soil by Atsushi Kaneko

    I read manga every night. It’s my guilty pleasure and an insomniacs ticket to dreamland. I read several popular ones like Bleach, Claymore, Fairytail, Vampire Knight, Kuroshitsuji, and Kanojo Wo Mamoru 51 No Houhou, to name a few favorites. From time to time I get tired of the formula. Slice of life, high school kids doing this or that, or some such about nothing. There aren’t updates everyday to read, so occasionally I’ll do searches. On one particular night I set the search engine I was using for ‘mystery’ and found Soil. SOIL is a parapsychological mystery by Atsushi Kaneko. It begins with a story that seems to be about two detectives and the disappearance of a family. Set in weirdly named “Soil New Town” (New Soil Town?), which seems to be a sleepy pastoral community, of course appearances are deceiving. As it is presented, you may empathize with the

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  • 30Aug

    Turning Japanese Weekly News (August 10th – August 30th)

    I’d like to first apologize for the delayed news lately. Life commitments and hurricanes can preempt such things. But without further adieu~ Sentai Filmworks Announces License of Coicent and Five Numbers Sentai Filmworks today announced its acquisition of the twin sci-fi anime mini features COICENT and FIVE NUMBERS. Although not directly connected, both films exemplify the best of Japan’s new wave of up and coming anime masters, with COICENT reuniting writer/director Shuhei Moritai and character designer Daisuke Sajiki, who previously collaborated on the seminal CGI anime hit Kakurenbo, while FIVE NUMBERS teams director Hiroaki Ando, (who handled CGI duties for Steamboy and Noiseman,) with character designer Masaru Gotsubo (Samurai Champloo,) and scripter Dai Sato, whose previous credits include HALO: Legends – The Package, Ergo Proxy and screenplays for Cowboy Bebop. Although the two titles will be available separately via digital distribution, Sentai has announced that that they will be released

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  • 09Aug

    Turning Japanese Weekly News (July 27th – August 9th)

    VIZ Media’s Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys Wins 2011 Eisner Award Manga Masterpiece Recognized With The Comic Book Industry’s Most Prestigious Award VIZ Media is proud to announce that NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS was recognized with an Eisner Award in the Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia category during award ceremonies held at the recent Comic-Con International event in San Diego, CA. Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys is published in North America by VIZ Media’s Signature imprint. Volume 17 of the series will be released in August. 20th Century Boys is the story of a group of boys who try to save the world. Humanity, having faced extinction at the end of the 20th century, would not have entered the new millennium if it weren’t for them. In 1969, during their youth, they created a symbol. In 1997, as the coming disaster slowly starts to unfold, that

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