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Browsing Categories

Page: < Previous [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] Next >

Browsing Category: > Freaky Things

New Offering From Toriyama

Date: 2005 February 11th Friday [13:45] | Posted By: Azure
Category: > Technology

No itís not another manga series, but a car. Manga artist Akira Toriyama famous for Dragon Ball has designed an electric car, the QVOLT! The car's top speed is 18 miles per hour, and is available in 5 colours. Only nine will be made and they will retail for 1,990,000 yen. Itís currently unknown if the car will be able to drive for 30 episodes or go super car level three.

Pictures are available on the Qvolt website.

Source: Anime News Network

Man Constructs 18 Foot Battle Mecha In Back Garden

Date: 2005 January 24th Monday [12:27] | Posted By: Spike
Category: > Technology > Robotics

A man in Wasilla, Alaska, USA has managed to construct his own giant robot in his parents back garden. The 18 foot mecha boasts shoulder-mounted 9-inch nail launchers and flame-throwers capable of a hefty 20 foot reach on the forearms, and just for that extra coolness factor, glowing red eyes. Interested readers can view the full article here, while The Otaku News crew check the price of asbestos body armour.

Source: Juneau Empire

Dancing Robots Save Japanese Culture

Date: 2005 January 18th Tuesday [17:03] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Technology > Robotics

In a story that sounds more like an episode from a comedy anime series, several news websites are covering the details about a robot that has been programmed to record and then replay traditional Japanese dance. The clever researchers at the University of Tokyo are using this to preserve Japanese heritage, since fewer people are learning traditional Japanese dance and now only see it at local festivals.

The robot used for this project was the Humanoid Robot HRP-2 "Promet", from Kawada Industries, our mecha-head readers will already know that this was designed by Yutaka Izubuchi, who has design credits for many mecha in anime series.

The Otaku News Crew wonder if these robots can also play Dance Dance Revolution?!

Source: Robots.net

Japan's Dumbest Criminals of 2004

Date: 2005 January 16th Sunday [11:49] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

The Mainichi Daily News have put up a story covering Japan's Dumbest Criminals of 2004. Highlights include a thief who went back to police to claim a knapsack he'd left at the scene of his robbery and gunman asking for directions from the police while tracking down a Tokyo loanshark.

Source: Mainichi Daily News

Evangelion iPod

Date: 2004 December 28th Tuesday [17:06] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Retail

TechJapan have discovered that Bandai Networks will be releasing a special Neon Genesis Evangelion Edition iPod. Only 2,000 of them are available, it has the NERV logo featuring heavily, it's engraved on the back metal casing, it's also on the screen protector and the special headphones. The included carry case has been made to look like Rei Ayanami's plug suit too! ^_^

The Eva iPod based on is the 20 GB model and is set to retail for 47,250 yen.

Source: TechJapan

Gamer Buys $26,500 Virtual Land

Date: 2004 December 20th Monday [16:29] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Gaming

We've just discovered an interesting story on BBC News, about a Gamer who has purchased an island on the RPG Project Entropia.

Apparently the new owner is able to "make money from his investment as he is able to tax other gamers who come to his virtual land to hunt or mine for gold". The Otaku News crew find this story interesting because this is not a tangible item in the real world, so can easily be copied if the original game creators so desired, we also wonder what would happen if the server went down and could not be restored from back up! ^_-

Source: BBC News

Goodbye Godzilla

Date: 2004 December 12th Sunday [18:05] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

Scotland on Sunday have a write up entitled Godzilla takes final bow, which reports on everyone's favourite rubbersuited monster's final feature film.

Source: Scotland on Sunday

Shocking Shojo Manga

Date: 2004 December 12th Sunday [17:53] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

Mainichi Interactive's Wai Wai, is reporting the current trend of shojo manga (aimed at teenage girls) controversially publishing more erotic and shocking material. Many Japanese parents are concerned, the write up points out that more shocking things can be found on the internet and reminds readers that many girls are not influenced by manga.

Source: Mainichi Interactive

Toyota Make Mecha

Date: 2004 December 10th Friday [19:39] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Technology > Robotics

BBC News have published a very interesting story about Toyota's latest concept vehicles which have been classed as personal mobility devices. The i-unit, a four wheeled leaf like transport looks like it will fit in many futuristic Sci-Fi show, it's built using organic materials, it even has an autopilot on equipped lanes.

What's probably got all of our mecha fan readers excited is Toyota's i-foot, it's a bipedal "robot-like device" (that's the BBC's way of saying mecha to their readers ^_-), it can apparently walk at about 1.35km/h (0.83mph) and even tackle staircases. The BBC article then goes on to talk about exoskeletons in the military and other possible uses for the concept vehicles.

Both these vehicles are on display at the Toyota Group Pavillion at Expo 2005 - Aichi, Japan, where Toyota's opening show even has music playing robots!

Source: BBC News

Snuggling Ifbot A Toy For The Elderly

Date: 2004 December 2nd Thursday [7:59] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Technology > Robotics

Yahoo! News are currently running a story about the Japanese Snuggling Ifbot, a 45cm (18 inch) robot that is programmed to provide just enough small talk to stop the elderly going senile through lack of communication. The robot is able to match several million patterns of word phrases when spoken to. The robot also adjusts it's speech based on the date and time.

'To a statement, "Isn't it nice today?", the robot could say, "It is a fine autumn day," by detecting the season from its internal clock.'

The robot currently is only able to speak Japanese and retails for 576,000 yen ($5,600 USD). The makers are planning to develop an English speaking version of the robot as a language aid to Japanese children learning English.

Source: Yahoo! News

Kinnikuman Gets Trashman in Trouble

Date: 2004 November 25th Thursday [17:47] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Toys

The Mainichi Daily News is currently running a story about Kinnikuman (better known as Ultimate Muscle In the USA), which has landed a 48 year old trashman in trouble. He took about 120 action figures from a waste disposal site where they were dumped after failing to sell in stores. Since the action figures were thrown away, they became property of the disposal company and as a result the trashman has been charge with theft. Strange, but true.

Source: Mainichi Daily News

Hello Kitty Statuette Sold For $100,000

Date: 2004 November 25th Thursday [17:16] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Fandom

The BBC are reporting that a Hello Kitty statuette made of platinum and studded with diamonds has been sold for 10.5 million Yen (that's about $102,450 USD)! The 4cm (2 inch) figure was made to celebrate Hello Kitty's 30th Birthday and has been on sale since August.

The Osaka branch of department store Mitsukoshi says that a local customer has purchased it. Otaku News have no idea who the buyer is, but we believe that they must be a pretty serious Hello Kitty fan! ^_-

Source: BBC News

Sukebe Success is Bad News for Japanese Commuters

Date: 2004 November 24th Wednesday [15:54] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

The Times On-line are currently running a story about how a year-long national campaign against bottom-pinching in Japan has failed. Apparently Japanese perverts (or sukebe) are getting more devious despite harsh penalties which can be as extreme as a maximum of seven years' imprisonment. However most Japanese women are too embarrassed to report the report the crime and most courts are a generally lenient to the gropers.

A survey reported that up to 64 percent of women in their twenties and thirties had been molested on public transport. Solutions include separate Women only carriages.

Source: The Times On-Line

Pop Divas Create Tourist Attraction

Date: 2004 November 14th Sunday [17:24] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

You can't beat The Daily Mainichi's Daily News' WaiWai Section for strange headlines. But this headline - Gay neighbors bummed out by
dangers of walking on wild side
surely deserves a prize. The article focuses on the problems currently faced at Tokyo's gay quarter in the Shinjuki 2-Chome district. Apparently it has become a tourist spot were people visit to observe the local gay and lesbian population unwinding. This recent phenomenon of tourists visiting is attributed to some of Japan's biggest pop divas such as Ayumi Hamasaki who is a regular at gay bars, mainly to avoid her fanbase. The article also mentions that with an increase in tourism it has also led to an increase in crime.

Source: Daily Mainichi's Daily News

Girlfriend's Lap Pillow

Date: 2004 November 14th Sunday [17:09] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

TechJapan first mentioned an article about the Boyfriend Arm pillow, some readers may, erm, be pleased to hear that they're taking international orders for them now.

Well now they're mentioning the creators Kameo Corporation's latest crazy invention the Girlfriend's lap pillow. TechJapan features a translated interview with the developer of this, rather "interesting" product. The article also has pictures.

Source: TechJapan

Strong Yaoi Sales on Amazon.com

Date: 2004 November 14th Sunday [8:34] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

ICv2 are reporting an interesting trend with Amazon.com's manga best seller list. Apparently Yaoi is three of the top five, four of the top ten and six of the top fifteen manga titles. ICv2 point out that these sales are only on Amazon.com as the American Bookscan list doesn't not match with these sales figures, with only Del Rey's Tsubasa Volume 3 appearing at the top of both lists.

ICv2 speculate that people purchasing Yaoi prefer the privacy and relative anonymity that on-line reatilers offer and that the two main Yaoi publishers Digital Manga and CPM Manga don't have the marketing clout or number of titles compared to other publishers with titles at the top of the graphic novel lists.

Source: ICv2

Advertising Industry Discover Anime

Date: 2004 November 5th Friday [18:42] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Retail

Recently it seems that anime and manga have become so cool that the American advertising industry have decided to use either real anime or adverts done in an anime style.

Anime News Network have made us aware that Nike are now airing adverts loosely based around Bruce Lee's Game of Death. The advert has NBA Star Lebron James facing Kung Fu Basket Ball challenges in a pagoda. The anime segments produced by Studio 4įC were originally intended only for Japan, but the advertising agency and Nike like them so much that they decided to air them in North America too.

Yesterday the Otaku News Crew also found details on Yahoo News about Asian themed restaurant chain Benihana who have just released an anime inspired commercial. After watching the Benihana commercial we thought it wasn't news worthy alone however it goes well in context with the Nike commercial.

Read More... | Source: Anime News Network

Japanese Find Best Chat-up Line in the World

Date: 2004 November 4th Thursday [5:22] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

According to Ananova Japanese sociologists and psychiatrists have come up with the best chat-up line in the world! So remember "Rainen no kono hi mo issho ni waratteiy-oh" which translates as "This time next year, let's be laughing together."

The winning chat-up line is supposed to work anywhere, but particularly well with an office acquaintance. So lonely otaku should give it a try, you never know it might work! The Ananova article gives a complete breakdown of why the line works so well.

Apparently Japanese officials hope it will help solve a population crisis in Japan, where birth rates have plunged.

Source: Ananova

Robots Learn Etiquette

Date: 2004 November 3rd Wednesday [18:19] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Technology > Robotics

BBC News are running an interesting article about a study at the University of Hertfordshire. They intend to learn about robots and robotiquette by playing games like pass-the-parcel. The idea of this experiment is develop the way future robots should behave in social situations. Anime and manga of course have many different solutions to this and in some cases I don't think the robot will pass the pacel along once it has it! ^_^

The BBC are also reporting that the demand for robots will increase increase drastically by 2007.

Source: BBC News

Hello Kitty Celebrates Her 30th Birthday

Date: 2004 November 1st Monday [15:15] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Retail

Sanrio fans don't need reminding, but some other more causal otaku would need know that today, November 1st is Hello Kitty's 30th Birthday! Kitty and her twin sister Mimmy White were born on 1974 November 1st to her happy parents George and Mary White. The jolly Kitty lives with her parents and sister just outside of London.

Hello Kitty is hugely popular all over the world and ADV have published a very good article about it, interviewing some of the ADV crew behind the latest DVD release. They also interview the voice of Hello Kitty - Monica Rial, who we interviewed in August.

Read More... | Source: ADV Films

US Army Troops Get Anime Goodies

Date: 2004 October 18th Monday [17:54] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Press Releases

In one of the more unusual press releases we received this week eigoMANGA have announced that they are sending anime and manga care packs to U.S. Army Troops destined for Iraq.

Apparently there is an anime club formed by the Army troops in Colorado Springs base called "A.N.I.M.E. Club". Independent media and publishing company eigoManga are asking for local otaku to donate anime and manga gifts to the anime fans in the US army.

Read More... | Source: eigoMANGA

ADV Cosplay Caps

Date: 2004 October 6th Wednesday [17:55] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Toys

We've just got news from ADV about some really cool headgear! Their toy deparment it seems have had some great fun producing "Cosplay Caps" based on the animal characters from their popular titles. These hats are a bit similar to the ones worn by the Digi-Charat gang. They've got Menchi and a Puchuu from Excel Saga, Saizo the pig from Peacemaker and Kaleido Star's baby seal Jonathan.

These hats are made exclusively for ADV Toys and aren't Japanese import items, they're made from a fleece type fabric. At the moment we haven't got a set release date for them, but we do know that they'll retail for $14.99

Read More... | Source: ADV Toys

Yakuza Caught Trying To Film Litigant Using Hidden Camera

Date: 2004 September 19th Sunday [9:49] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

The Mainichi Daily News are running an interesting story about a Yakuza (Japanese mafia) caught trying to film a litigant in a police station.

Source: Mainichi Daily News

Yo! Sushi Tycoon to Launch Capsule Hotels in UK

Date: 2004 September 12th Sunday [12:30] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

The Scotsman.com is running a story about Simon Woodroffe (the entrepreneur behind Yo! Sushi) latest plans to bring Japanese style Capsule Hotels to the UK.

Read More... | Source: Scotsman.com

Otaku Boost Japanese Economy!

Date: 2004 September 3rd Friday [19:15] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

Canadian website Globe Technology.com are running an interesting article about Otaku boosting the Japanese economy, apart from cosplaying they "... have also done something else: created a big-money market that analysts are calling the 'mania' economy".

Apparently according to the Nomura Research Institute, Japanese otaku fork out $2.35-billion (USD) a year on manga, anime, computer games and merchandise.

Source: GlobeTechnology.com

Toilet 2.0

Date: 2004 September 2nd Thursday [15:51] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

TechJapan are running an interesting story on the latest Japanese toilets! Funny I know, but these things are always amusing (yes I'm aware toilet humour doesn't normally go on this site).

Source: TechJapan

Anime Digital Interview Jonathan Brands from ADV USA

Date: 2004 August 31st Tuesday [10:11] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

While at AmeCon I was lucky enough to score an exclusive interview with Jonathan Brands from ADV USA. It started by Jon going -

"Hey Joe! You've got a website right?"
The rest went up on Anime Digital.

Source: Anime Digital Interview With Jonathan Brands

Japanese FTC probes big 5 record firms for 'off-key' phone-song sales

Date: 2004 August 29th Sunday [16:47] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

The Asahi Shimbun are currently running a story about mobile phone ring tones.

The Japanese Fair Trade Commission have searched the offices of Japan's five major record companies and other firms suspected of monopolizing sales of hit songs as ring tones for mobile phones.

Source: Asahi.com

Learn Japanese by Reading Manga

Date: 2004 August 28th Saturday [10:21] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Press Releases

Washington Otaku will be pleased to know that the Japanese Language Center will be running a course that focuses on learning Japanese by reading manga!

Read More... | Source: Japanese Language Center

Japanese research shows 7% of Otaku are anime fans, while 35% into manga.

Date: 2004 August 26th Thursday [10:55] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Fandom

According to the results of a study released by Nomura Research Institute in Japan on the 24th, there are 2,850,000 people considered "otaku" in Japan, with a combined market power of around $2.6 billion. 35% are into Manga, 28% for Games and Idols, 7% for Anime, and 2% into PC construction.

Source: Anime.org.uk

Kickboxing robots draw crowds in Japan at Robo-One

Date: 2004 August 13th Friday [13:31] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Technology > Robotics

CNN are running an interesting story about Kickboxing robots at the Robo-One tournament.

MLive.com also have good coverage of Robo-One.

Source: CNN.com

Japanese Researchers Produce Trout From Salmon

Date: 2004 August 5th Thursday [16:52] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

Researchers at a Japanese university have succeeded for the first time in producing trout from salmon, in a method that promises hope for protecting endangered species.

Associate Prof. Goro Yoshizaki and other researchers at Tokyo's University of Marine Sciences and Technology succeeded in the method by injecting primordal germ cells (PGCs), which can grow into either sperm or eggs, from a rainbow trout into the body of a male yamame (landlocked salmon).

Source: Mainichi Daily News

DNA Tests for Pork in Japan!

Date: 2004 May 29th Saturday [17:14] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

In Japan "kurobuta" - the English rare breed of Berkshire pigs are prized for their meat. The BBC are running a story about Sygen a company that breeds and sells these pigs for a Japanese market. Due to fraud, they've had to use DNA testing to prove the authenticity of the meat on the shelves.

Source: BBC News

Jet-powered Nausicaa Glider Project

Date: 2004 February 21st Saturday [18:53] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

The people on Slashdot have posted an interesting article about - Open Sky a Jet Powered Nausicaa Glider Project!

It really does look good, if not Insanely dangerous!

Source: Slashdot

Browsing Category: > Freaky Things

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