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Browsing Category: > Current Affairs

Multi-National Manga Anti-Piracy Coalition Formed

Date: Tuesday 8th June 2010 [16:47] | Posted By: Joe
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... | Source: VIZ Media

Original Laughing Man Creator Dies

Date: Thursday 28th January 2010 [17:14] | Posted By: Joe
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.

Source: BBC News

Jonathan Ross to leave the BBC

Date: Thursday 7th January 2010 [21:57] | Posted By: Joe
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... | Source: BBC News

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

Date: Tuesday 8th December 2009 [16:40] | Posted By: Joe
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... | Source: Seven Bank

London Gets Shibuya Style Crossing

Date: Monday 2nd November 2009 [5:33] | Posted By: Joe
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... | Source: BBC News

Japan wins top country at Wanderlust awards

Date: Monday 23rd March 2009 [16:43] | Posted By: Joe
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. ^_^

Source: Wanderlust

Could Manga Inspire A Murder?

Date: Friday 24th October 2008 [18:46] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

Sky News are running an article about the possibility that manga could inspire murder, and how it frustrates anime fans. It cites the current case of Meredith Kercher, a 21 year old student who was stabbed to death in Italy in a house she shared with other students. It mentions that the prosecution of the case are highlighting that Raffaele Sollecito (one of the accused) was acting out a "dark fantasy", inspired by his manga collection. BBC News have more coverage of the same story.

Read More... | Source: Sky News

London Anime Club to Close Doors

Date: Friday 10th October 2008 [15:57] | Posted By: Spike
Category: > Current Affairs

No, unfortunately not a cruel April Fools joke, David "Dragon" Cotterill has announced that there will be no further regular meetings of the London Anime Club. Although rumours of quarterly or possible anniversary meeting abound, nothing concrete has been set and there are no entries in the event schedule after the meeting on December 7th, which can probably be considered the last one.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

The Pirate Anime FAQ Returns

Date: Sunday 3rd August 2008 [16:31] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

8 years ago, I wrote an FAQ about piracy in anime, and how to avoid buying pirate goods. It started off as a simple guide as part of a site called Anime Digital, but evolved and improved over the years. It's generally regarded as the most comprehensive guide to pirate goods in anime fandom. A mini version has been printed at many anime conventions and distributed among convention staff to quickly spot pirate goods. The anime industry also use it to make anime fans aware of bootleg goods.

For the last 8 years the Pirate Anime FAQ was hosted on the London Anime Club's web server. Unfortunately it's been unavailable since April because of server problems so we have decided to host the guide on Otaku News instead. We'd like to thank the London Anime Club for hosting the Pirate Anime FAQ for the last 8 years.

The Pirate Anime FAQ has been translated into French and German, thanks to the kind help of anime fans. I'll put the French and German translations up soon. However I've made a few small changes to the FAQ to make sure it will fit with the formatting of Otaku News. As a result the translations will need to be updated too.

The old content from Anime Digital is not lost and we're currently deciding if we should integrate the articles into Otaku News, or archive them as a separate site.

So please update your bookmarks, the new URL for the Pirate Anime FAQ is http://www.otakunews.com/piratefaq.php.

Source: The Pirate Anime FAQ

British Theme for Fuji Rock Festival 2008

Date: Sunday 27th July 2008 [16:53] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

BBC News have an interesting article about this years Fuji Rock Festival, which has a British theme, to celebrate 150 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and Japan.

With Union Flags flying everywhere, the article states that many are wearing British themed outfits.
"British acts including The Courteeners, Hard-Fi, Primal Scream and headliners Underworld shared the main stage with Japanese performers on Saturday."

The article also highlights that the Fuji Rock Festival was inspired by Glastonbury.
"We call it the Fuji experience. It is like Glastonbury, but has been perfected in that Japanese way," says the festival's international organiser, Johnnie Fingers (also known as the founding member of The Boomtown Rats).

Source: BBC News

New Non Photographic Law is a bit vague

Date: Thursday 29th May 2008 [18:12] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

Some anime and manga fans in the UK might have heard about the new proposals which would ban obscene images of children. The proposals mainly cover drawings and computer-generated images, however due to certain parts of the proposals being a bit vague, it's not exactly certain what images are classed as obscene. The mainstream press are keen to wrongly cite manga as one such example.

Read More... | Source: BBC News

Akira gets bad press

Date: Monday 21st January 2008 [22:06] | Posted By: Voxie
Category: > Current Affairs

A Sun article on the case regarding Meredith Kercher's death last November points out that suspect Raffaele Sollecito has the words "AKIRAFUGA" as his computer's password.

"The court was told the password for his computer is AKIRAFUGA. Akira is a character in violent sado-masochistic Manga comics.

Fuga is Italian for flee. One Akira story relates how the 'hero' ran after trying to rape students.

Sollecito was remanded in custody. "

I think some further analagy is needed on the term "akira" here...

Read More... | Source: The Sun Online

More Nova News

Date: Friday 23rd November 2007 [12:39] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

Following on from the stories about Japan's English Language School Nova being bankrupt, The Times, are running a story by a Nova employee about the situation, even if you're not interested in Nova, but are considering teaching English in Japan it's worth reading, as it gives insight into what to expect when teaching English to a broad array of Japanese people as Oliver Clarke explains - "... no topic seemed taboo as I was frequently regaled with tales of extra-marital office affairs, bowel movements and alcohol-induced vomiting, despite my best efforts to steer the conversations towards shopping or pets..."

The article ends explaining that Nova employees are still waiting to find out what the situation is, as Japanese staff haven't been paid since July, and 4,000 non-Japanese instructors have not been paid since October.

Source: The Times

It's over for Nova?

Date: Friday 26th October 2007 [5:00] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

BBC News are running at story about Nova, Japan's largest chain of foreign language schools. Apparently the company is in financial crisis and has filed for court protection from creditors. 2,000 Japanese staff have not been paid since July and 4,000 non-Japanese instructors have not been paid their October salary, according to union officials. Nova has also closed all of it's schools.

The firm primarily offers English classes, being the largest foreign language school in Japan, Nova were always keen to recruit English speaking graduates eager for adventures in Japan and frequently attend graduate fairs. English Language schools are often used by otaku as a sort of gap year experience, many have extended their stay from just a year to a couple of years, and some even joining the company permanently making their chosen career path. Nova also advertised their lessons heavily in Japan and even had a mascot, the Nova Usagi, a cute pink rabbit who was enthusiastic about learning English.

For our readers who want to go to Japan for a year, we don't think the English language school market has collapsed, Nova lost a court case that had ruled it had misled customers in adverts about it's services, as a result student enrolment dropped, and Nova accumulated huge debts. There are other English language schools in Japan (we wonder if their enrolment has increased instead of Nova's), and failing that there are also a few government schemes for foreign nationals to participate in.

Source: BBC News

Anime Cancelled Following Axe Murder

Date: Monday 24th September 2007 [19:27] | Posted By: Jeremy
Category: > Freaky Things

Two anime series get cancelled after a girl kills her father with an axe!

Read More... | Source: Mainichi Daily News

Manga shares gain in Japan

Date: Thursday 13th September 2007 [8:49] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

As a slightly strange side effect of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announcing his exit, shares in manga retailers in Japan have surged with speculation that manga fan Taro Aso is the leading candidate to replace Mr Abe.

According to BBC News, Mr Aso is a big promoter of manga abroad. They cite the rise of manga publisher Broccoli gaining 71% and Mandarake (a retail store in Japan which is a treasure trove for otaku), jumping 13%.

The article states that Mr Aso served as foreign minister, and suggested that embracing Japanese pop culture was an important step in cultivating ties with other countries. If this is the case the Otaku News crew would like an invite to Japan to meet with Mr Aso to help promote manga and anime. ^_-

Sadly the BBC gets some facts wrong about anime and manga stating that they have "psychedelic colours and outlandish story lines", and emphasises the more explicit side of anime and manga. They also manage to mention Spirited Away and Quentin Tarantino in the same sentence, which I'm sure can lead to all sorts of associations for those who haven't actually seen the wonderful family film that is Spirited Away.

The article also states that Mr Aso created an International Manga Award to honour non-Japanese cartoonists.

Source: BBC News

British rural tea-rooms seek geisha girls

Date: Thursday 12th July 2007 [17:03] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

BBC News are currently running an interesting story about the quest for geisha in Cumbria. The Lake District is a popular destination with Japanese tourists. So much so that Cumbria Tourism has translated a map of tea-serving places off the beaten track into Japanese and even hosting a Green Tea Day on 19th July 2007. Cafes on the tea trail are advertising for geishas to help with intricacies of the tea ceremony. Experts are also required to help translate the more trickier recipe names like "tarty tarn drizzle" into Japanese.

Fully-trained geisha are rare and apparently would charge up to £7,000 (more than $13,000 USD) to fly across from Japan. So the tourist association is hoping some more local experts can help out. Which is why I'm really posting this story on Otaku News. I know of our readers would be able to help. Any experts when it comes to tea etiquette in Japan should contact Cumbria Tourism. I'm sure a few translators could come in handy too. ^_-

Source: BBC News

Russian ninja caught in Italy

Date: Wednesday 13th June 2007 [4:51] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

In what can only described as a truly bizarre story reported by BBC News, it seems that Italian police have arrested a Russian robber wearing a ninja like outfit. He has all the hallmarks of an excellent manga villain, dressed all in black the ex-military robber equipped with a night scopes, bow and a knife breaks into farmer's houses and robs them and their families.

The wannabe ninja was only caught out when a farmer was expecting him and was ready and waiting with a rifle. Coming down the stairs the farmer tripped on the last step, letting the gun off and frightening the robber away, who instead of jumping into trees or flipping out, hopped into a bicycle and made a getaway into a nearby cornfield, where he was followed and later caught by police.

Source: BBC News

National Office for Vocation use manga to promote vocations

Date: Thursday 26th April 2007 [17:12] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

Following on from our story about the Manga Bible, it seems that many religions want to remain accessible to a wider audience, according to the Catholic News Agency manga will be used to promote vocations in the UK.

The article states: "We have chosen the Manga cartoons for the 2007 campaign, because we hope it will appeal to young people under twenty as well as people in their thirties," Fr. Paul Embery, Director of the National Office for Vocation, explained to the Italian Religious Service.

A new website has been launched too - www.calledtoday.com which features artwork in a manga style and tells the stories of various people dedicated to the church.

Source: Catholic News Agency

Manga events at the Bristol Comics Expo

Date: Wednesday 11th April 2007 [13:34] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Following on from our earlier story about the Bristol Comics Expo (on 12th and 13th of May 2007), we've got some more details regarding their coverage of manga stuff. They'll have:

- Tokyo Pop
- Sweatdrop Studios
- Selfmadehero
- Yishan Li
- Umisen-Yamasen
- Siku
- Boychild Books
- Ilya
- Misako Rocks

They've bundled everyone together into a Manga Ally too, as always it's good to see Sweatdrop attending these events.

Read More... | Source: Bristol Comics Expo

UK MP fears reduction of British children's TV

Date: Monday 19th March 2007 [15:30] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > TV

The Guardian are reporting on British Conservative MP John Whittingdale's recent speech at the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers conference. Mr Whittingdale is the chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee. He's rather worried about a children's TV and the impact of pulling food advertising from children's TV - "[It will] have a damaging effect on children's broadcasting that will lead to money going out of it, the effect will be fewer children's programmes produced in this country except for the BBC," the main concern he stresses is increase in imported Children's TV - "There will be a growth of the likes of Japanese anime cartoons and American animated content which is something we are concerned about and may need to be addressed as part of challenge of maintaining public service plurality."

So in a nut shell he's worried that there won't be enough British produced children's TV, as ITV has been reducing it's children's output. The Otaku News crew want more TV greats like Danger Mouse. ^_^

Source: The Guardian

Oriental City under threat?

Date: Wednesday 22nd November 2006 [13:33] | Posted By: Azure
Category: > Current Affairs

Many readers of this site will be familiar with Oriental City in Colindale, North London (formally known as Yohan Plaza) a purpose built shopping centre which contains in all manner of East Asian shops, restaurants as well as a Sega arcade.

The complex's new owner Development Securities, is planning to redevelop the site, offering current tenants alternative accommodation whilst it does so. Current tenants argue that the development will disrupt the community adding that plans to allow space for a DIY superstore would destroy Oriental City's distinctive feel.

Source: The Independent

PS3 Disasters Already

Date: Saturday 18th November 2006 [9:44] | Posted By: Jeremy
Category: > Freaky Things

A dislocated jaw and gunshot customers already reported at releases for the new PS3.

Read More... | Source: G4TV.com

Japanese traumatised by Paris

Date: Monday 23rd October 2006 [3:24] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

A syndicated press article reports that around a dozen Japanese tourists each year need psychological treatment after visiting Paris. Apparently the real Paris does not meet their expectations, with unfriendly locals and scruffy streets. Harsh customer service when compared to Japanese shops and everyone looking stern on public transport seem to be key factors.

More bizarrely some people have extreme symptoms of being traumatised in Paris, with individuals believing their hotel room was bugged, another thought that she was being attacked by microwaves, with one man certain he was Louis XIV, this sounds like a plot from a crazy anime series.

Source: The Scotsman

YouTube take down nearly 30,000 Japanese Clips

Date: Friday 20th October 2006 [12:36] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Websites

BBC News and many other news sources are currently reporting that 29,549 clips have been removed from YouTube after the Japanese media companies complained of copyright infringement. The popular video hosting site (recently bought by Google for $1.65bn USD) frequently had clips from Japanese TV shows along with some anime as well.

It is not clear from the article what content has been removed, if it's Japanese TV programmes, more extreme quiz shows, comedy sketches and skits such as Matrix Pong, users of YouTube will have to discover that for themselves. What will be interesting to find out is if YouTube will automatically take down any future content or if the Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) will have to file more requests.

Source: BBC News

Chinglish bad Engrish begone!

Date: Sunday 15th October 2006 [13:22] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

Those familiar with Engrish the nonsense English found in Far Eastern countries where English can be written in unpredictable and impossible to understand ways, will no doubt feel a bit of sympathy towards Beijing who are trying to clamp down on what BBC News have dubbed Chinglish in time for the 2008 Olympics. People can report the mistranslations and a panel of English professors and expatriates will review the signs and hopefully provide a more meaningful translation.

Source: BBC News

Japanorama Returns

Date: Monday 4th September 2006 [3:57] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > TV

Keen readers of TV guides may have spotted the return of Japanorama, Jonathan Ross' TV show focusing on the more cool and bizarre side of Japanese culture. The previous season was well worth watching, and this latest instalment promises to be just as entertaining and informative.

UK Viewers (with freeview/cable/satellite) can catch Japanorama on BBC Three starting Thursday 7th September at 11pm, this weeks episode Ross explores the meaning of kakoii, Japanese for cool.

Source: BBC Three

Rare Games Collection Stolen

Date: Sunday 20th August 2006 [15:36] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Fandom

We've been passed a press release from DDR:uk, a group of hardcore Dance Dance Revolution fanatics, on the 18th of August their equipment was stolen (with the exception of their custom build DDR machine, as it too big to easily move), their £25,000 collection includes a wide variety of rare and sought after games, most of which are no longer in production, along with specialist hardware and games controllers.

Since the items in question are rather unique, we would like to ask community minded otaku to be aware of the items stolen and keep a look out for them on places like popular auction sites, specialist games dealers and other places second hand goods are traded. The DDR:uk crew are offering a reward for any information.

The DDR:uk crew also help run events at anime conventions such as the games room, which was a huge success at AmeCon 2006, with the DDR machine being a huge attraction, along with the more unusual classic games. DDR:uk also put a plea out for hardware and games donation to help replace what was stolen.

On a side note the AmeCon manga library (which is made up of generous donations from Tokyopop and Tanoshimi and is stored with the DDR:uk hardware), was also vanadilised by the same criminals, with boxes of manga thrown out onto the street into the rain, and is now spoiled as a result.

We've deliberatly posted this to all editions of Otaku News, as although the items in question were stolen in the UK, many of the items stolen are rare they're desirable internationally, so all our readers should be made aware.

Read More... | Source: DDR:uk

Foreign Minister Proposes Awards For Anime

Date: Tuesday 9th May 2006 [10:32] | Posted By: Jeremy
Category: > Current Affairs

Japan's Foreign Minister proposes Nobel Prize-like awards for anime and manga artists.

Read More... | Source: Anime News Network

Italian Police Raid Firm Selling Pirate Anime

Date: Monday 3rd April 2006 [15:00] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > DVD

According the Mainichi Daily News, Italian police have raided firms in the first European case of pirated anime DVDs. As the author of the Pirate Anime FAQ, I've been aware of pirated anime DVDs ever since the format was released, however, it seems that the Italian authorities have started to clamp down on them, seizing around 400 titles, which included Naruto, New Getter Robo, Hinotori and Mazinger. The company raided originally sold leg anime, but started to sell Hong Kong bootlegs in 2002. Around 20,000 to 30,000 copies were sold each month for 25 euros each. The article states that the company and other companies being investigated are accountable for 90% of all pirated copies on the Italian market, as well as 60% of the legitimate market! It also shows that these companies make huge profits, (900,000 euros a year apparently), and that the companies in question are also being investigated for tax evasion.

This article is interesting since I've always had trouble getting solid figures for pirate anime merchandise, as a result it's been hard to gauge how much it's been hurting the anime industry. These figures present an insight to how much anime fans are being ripped off by pirate DVD companies and the retailers that sell them. Apparently this is the first time authorities have exposed a case of pirated Japanese anime Europe, I have a list of many other retailers and will be happy to pass them on the authorities if requested.

Maybe this is the first of many such raids, a sign of things to come to those other bad anime retailers out there, but I also hope that the authorities do not mistake legitimate import DVDs from other countries (often called grey imports) as pirate DVDs.

Source: Mainichi Daily News

No Oscar For Howl's Moving Castle

Date: Monday 6th March 2006 [15:28] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > Film

Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year, beating Corpse Bride and Howl's Moving Castle. Reading around forums some anime fans are upset by this, but many more are realistic, Howl although beautifully animated is not as good storywise as Spirited Away, or many other previous Miyazaki works, many fans on the Miyazaki Mailing List have stated that they don't regard it to be the same league as other epics, like Nausicaa, Laputa: Castle In the Sky, My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service or Porco Rosso. At least Studio Ghibli were beaten by a strong competitor, as this is Nick Park's forth Oscar.

Source: BBC News

Death Sentence Upheld for Otaku Murderer

Date: Monday 23rd January 2006 [10:34] | Posted By: Jeremy
Category: > Current Affairs

Tokyo Supreme Court upholds death sentence for the Otaku Murderer.

Read More... | Source: Anime News Network

Britain Goes Sodoku Mad

Date: Tuesday 10th January 2006 [15:09] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

Amusingly Crisscross are currently running an article about Britain's current Sodoku Craze, it briefly covers the history of the numbers game and how The Times started the Sodoku wars in the national newspapers.

Source: Crisscross

Ugly Japan

Date: Saturday 7th January 2006 [16:17] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

While many people see Japan as a land of beauty with it's historical buildings, accent shrines and woodlands. However there are some parts of Japan that are ugly, which is why The Times, have published an article about Professor Shigeru Itou report which slates ugly landmarks that are in drastic need of an overhaul. Itou is Japan's most senior urban planning expert and has spent the last two years researching the worst eyesores. Anime fans will be interested to know that the 8 lane motorway over the ornate Nihombashi bridge is considered the worst offender. The bridge has been a feature of many scenes in historical titles like Kenshin.

Source: The Times Online

Geisha Confidential

Date: Thursday 5th January 2006 [17:14] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

With Memoirs of a Geisha hitting the cinema screen soon lots of articles about Japan and Geisha. The Telegraph have put a great article about geisha life in Japan which aims to dispel the common myths about them being nothing more than courtesans, when in fact they are more entertainers and performers.

Source: The Telegraph

Ninja Tourist Tour

Date: Sunday 18th December 2005 [15:36] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

The Mainichi Daily News are currently running a story about a ninja skills roadshow taking place in Taiwan next month. Experts are from Iga in Mie, an area famed for the ninja art. The event is planned by the Iga tourist association aims to give demonstrations at hotels and department stores with blowgun darts and ninja starts. Apparently the ninjas will then use their skills to infiltrate further afield including South Korea, America and Europe. We have yet to hear if these ninjas will be wailing on their guitars, as this would be totally cool and by that we mean totally sweet. ^_-

Source: Mainichi Daily News

Photo Blogging For Otaku

Date: Monday 17th October 2005 [16:01] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Websites

Blogging is all the rage at the moment, with everyone and their dog putting up content about this that and everything. Many blogs are just angst fests. However hunting around can be interesting and rewarding with many different takes on anime fandom and Japanese Culture in general. Photo Blog site Flickr offers a wealth of photos for otaku, featuring Gundam, some nice Catbus, the cast of Naruto and Evangelion! One enterprising otaku even has his own Calcifer to keep his car warm. There are tons of cool images for you too look at on Flickr, so why not add your own! ^_^

Source: Flickr

Bootlegging Trader Evicted From Australian Con

Date: Wednesday 5th October 2005 [20:29] | Posted By: Jeremy
Category: > Current Affairs

A trader was evicted from an Australian anime convention on charges of bootlegging, harassment, and misleading prices.

Read More... | Source: Anime News Network

Manga Sales Decreasing in Japan

Date: Friday 30th September 2005 [22:12] | Posted By: Jeremy
Category: > Manga

Manga sales decreasing in Japan due to rental shops and used sales.

Read More... | Source: Anime News Network

Manga-ka in Trouble With School

Date: Thursday 8th September 2005 [21:37] | Posted By: Jeremy
Category: > Current Affairs

Anime News Network has reported that manga-ka Rieko Saibara, creator of the manga strip Mainichi Kasan and winner of the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize earlier this year, is in dispute with the school where her eldest son attends. The dispute is in regards to a panel of the manga published last November, which the school claims is too closely inspired by real events and people.

Mainichi Kasan, which translates as "Daily/Everyday Mom", depicts the daily life of a woman and her children. The panel in question shows five school children being referred to as "the Five Class Dummies". Following the panel's publication, Saibara was called in to her son's school (the name of the facility has not been given), where she was told that she was causing trouble for them and demanded that she refrain from depicting school scenes in her strip. Saibara argued that her work is fiction and that she has the freedom of expression. The school, however, said that she should take more consideration for the other children and their patrons and that her manga clearly depicts that school, even featuring their name. While there is no indication of any lawsuits having been filed by either party involved, the dispute currently remains unresolved.

Source: Anime News Network

Is KyuuCON a Scam?

Date: Thursday 25th August 2005 [17:36] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

After posting the press release from KyuuCon yesterday, it's been brought to our attention by various members of UK anime fandom that there is something fishy about KyuuCON. Firstly it appears that the venue mentioned the Plymouth Pavillions has not heard of KyuuCON or the organisers in question. The second major alarm bell is where the payments are going, into a personal bank account and not a building society account/non-profit account in the conventions name.

What's also interesting is their sudden change of heart, and the way they've just moved everything back a year. Plus this thread brought to our attention at the AyaCon Forum. At this current moment in time, based on what we have heard, we believe that KyuuCON is either very poorly organised or a cash grabbing scam, either way, we suggest you avoid KyuuCON for now.

Read More... | Source: Anime Fandom

The Tokyo Beach Scene

Date: Wednesday 10th August 2005 [18:49] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

With the summer heat kicking in everyone wants to hit the beach. So in Tokyo sunbathers can visits the sands of Shibuya, where an artificial beach has been made available to the public for 9 days. 1,000 tons of white sand was imported from China to make this beach which has even has a special volleyball area. Built at a cost of 500m yen, it will also feature a concert, films and a fashion show. This original concept was inspired by the artificial beach made in Paris last year, and is a publicity stunt for SKY PerfecTV! who are hoping to attract around 200,000 eager visitors.

Source: BBC News

Japan University Forms New Manga Department

Date: Tuesday 5th July 2005 [17:54] | Posted By: Jeremy
Category: > Manga

Going to school to learn about art just got a whole lot cooler. At least in Japan it has. Anime News Network has announced that the first ever Manga Department will begin next spring in 2006 at Kyoto Seika University in Japan. The school's already existing manga art courses will be merged together to form the new department. 200 students will have the option to take classes that not only include how to produce manga, but also animation courses as well. No details have yet been provided on exactly what classes will be available.

Source: Anime News Network

Japan and France Team Up To Develop Supersonic Jet

Date: Thursday 16th June 2005 [12:45] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Technology

BBC News are covering a story about the Japanese and French plans to produce a successor to Concorde the renowned supersonic jet plane. Both countries unveiled the plan at the Paris airshow and stated that the 300 seat plane would reduce flight times between New York and Tokyo to six hours! This new aircraft will also be more refined than Concorde producing less noise.

Source: BBC News

Washington post brands Akihabara Geek Ghetto

Date: Friday 10th June 2005 [9:47] | Posted By: Azure
Category: > Culture

The Washington post has an article about Akihabara, which brands it a Geek Ghetto and describes the maid café’s outfits as ‘French maid-meets-Pokemon outfits of adult manga’ another paragraphs states ‘That, along with the child pornography aspect of some adult manga, has led to allegations that some nerds are pedophiles.’ It also goes on to link Japans Geek culture with social problems in Japan.

Source: Washington Post

Japanese Lessons offered on Virgin Atlantic Flight

Date: Sunday 5th June 2005 [5:08] | Posted By: Davie
Category: > Current Affairs

According to Japan Today, British Airline Virgin Atlantic will be offering Japanese Language Lessons on its London-to-Tokyo flights. Univerb Publishing House of Sweden developed the course and it will be offered as the airline’s in-flight entertainment system.
"Passengers can learn basic phrases or brush up on fluent conversation," said Katie Marks,
Programming coordinator for Virgin's onboard media, adding that Cantonese and Mandarin will also be added later this year.

Source: Japan Today

Su Doku Newspaper Wars

Date: Tuesday 10th May 2005 [18:09] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

BBC's Newsnight show, have just run a TV version of this BBC News article about Su Doku. The article basically explains that a news paper war has broken out in the UK over the Japanese number puzzle Su Doku, an addicting game that can be solved using logic, so those with a phobia of mathematics can play! The game is becoming so popular it's actually now a selling point on newspapers front pages. Su Doku can be computer generated, so if you want to play take a look at Sudoku.com.

Source: BBC News

Scissors, Paper, Stone Wins $20 Million Contract

Date: Saturday 7th May 2005 [7:49] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

Picture this, you're the director of Japanese electronics corporation Maspro Denkoh, you've got a $20 million collection of Picassos and Van Goghs that you want to sell, but can't decide if the contract should go to Sotheby's or Christie's to auction them. So what do you do? Get a represtentive from each prestigious auction house to visit and explain the benefits of using their auction service? Why no! You get them to play scissors, paper, stone! BBC News has the details of this hilarious incident and also the result.

The winner actually planned ahead by asking staff's two 11 year old daughters for tips! ^_-

Source: BBC News

The Recent Phenomenon Of 'Sexy' Japanese Otaku

Date: Friday 29th April 2005 [14:40] | Posted By: Ash
Category: > Culture

The UK Times newspaper this week carried a two page article of at Bridget-Jones style blogger Artesia, who has written a document of her relationship with an Otaku man which has fascinated the Japanese and has asked serious questions about the conflict between old-world Japanese beliefs and the massive Otaku culture.

Read More... | Source: The Timesonline.co.uk

Everyone Wants The Totoro House

Date: Tuesday 12th April 2005 [15:29] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Production > Studio Ghibli

According to the Daily Yomiuri On-Line the Totoro House at the Aichi World Expo 2005 has many local Japanese governments staking their claim to the property.

Many local authorities are keen to get Satsuki's and Mei's 1950's style house from the anime classic Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro) moved to their prefecture, not only will it prove a big hit with locals, but it will surely make a major tourist attraction too. The house is already one of the most popular features at the Expo and has been covered on Otaku News before. The Youmiuri article has more details such as "The wooden house was built using joints, not nails, and the glass used in the windows is not new, as the panes were all salvaged from old buildings."

The Otaku News Crew are currently considering collecting signatures so they'll let us live in it! ^_^

Source: Daily Yomiuri On-Line

Browsing Category: > Current Affairs

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