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Browsing Category: > Current Affairs

Hello Kitty Is Not A Cat

Date: Thursday August 28th 2014 [17:36] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

Every so often in the news you hear something that takes you by surprise. This week The LA Times found out that Hello Kitty is not a cat.

While researching Sanrio's super star character for a museum retrospective at the Japanese American National Museum in LA Christine R. Yano an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii (and currently a visiting professor at Harvard, as well as a Hello Kitty expert) discovered that Hello Kitty is not a cat.

Read More... | Source: LA Times

An interview with Japan Camera Hunter

Date: Wednesday July 9th 2014 [14:15] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Features

Normally on Otaku News, when we talk about otaku we mean fans of anime and manga. There are plenty of other areas worth exploring. Today, we'll introduce you to someone who loves cameras.

With the world going increasingly more digital, the photography scene around the world is seeing a resurgence of film and there is a demand among amateur and professional photographers alike for good film cameras. Film photographers enjoy the tangible nature of the photos and the fact that film slows the whole process down. Developing the picture is something to look forward to, it doesn't give instant gratification like a digital camera.

Certain cameras are now regarded as classics of their era. Japan is the natural place to go if you want a nice film camera because the country is ubiquitous for photography and cameras with so many camera brands being Japanese. While in other countries things are going on-line, physical camera shops both for new and second hand goods are a thriving business.

Bellamy Hunt lives in Tokyo. He runs a website called Japan Camera Hunter. He's passionate about photography and film. If you want a decent camera sourced from Japan, he's your man.

Our editor Joe caught up with him over a coffee in Shinjuku.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Ambassadors of Cute

Date: Sunday July 6th 2014 [4:43] | Posted By: Lucy
Category: > Culture

What are these strange cute mascots, who are they, and what do they do?

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

The Wind Rises Review

Date: Wednesday March 5th 2014 [3:03] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

While Hayao Miyazaki's latest offering The Wind Rises awaits it's special UK preview on Wednesday 23rd April 2014, it is currently being shown in the US and Australia. We were lucky enough to catch a screening in English recently.

Here's our review of the film.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Looking back over 2013 with Otaku News

Date: Tuesday December 31st 2013 [11:39] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

We don't normally do retrospective articles like this, but we thought it would be interesting to look back over the year that was 2013. February 2014 will mark 10 years of Otaku News. The last 12 months we've managed to cover a lot of interesting things and it'll be fun to go over all the events we were able to bring you in 2013.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Otaku News Podcast Episode 12

Date: Tuesday November 5th 2013 [16:48] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Podcast

The Podcast crew is back for a bumper episode covering recent news, licenses and cake. Being reviewed we have Gatchaman Crowds, Beyond The Boundary (Kyoukai no Kanata) and the so far rather awesome Kill la Kill. Rebecca has just returned from a trip to Japan, so we get to hear her take on Toyko. The podcast wraps up with a new feature called Stream Run where Colin tries to talk about all the new shows he's been watching on Crunchyroll as fast as he can.

MP3 File:
77.9 MB
1 Hour 25 minutes 02 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... | Source: Otaku News

The latest craze in Japan - eyeball licking?

Date: Friday August 2nd 2013 [14:46] | Posted By: Joe
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.

Source: Number 1 Shimbun

Otaku News Podcast Episode 10

Date: Monday July 29th 2013 [15:36] | Posted By: Joe
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... | Source: Otaku News

An interview With Anime Director Shinichiro Watanabe

Date: Saturday July 27th 2013 [16:38] | Posted By: Joe
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... | Source: Otaku News

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

Date: Sunday July 7th 2013 [8:19] | Posted By: Joe
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... | Source: Otaku News

009 RE:Cyborg Cinema Review 1

Date: Monday June 3rd 2013 [14:54] | Posted By: Joe
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... | Source: Otaku News

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

Date: Thursday March 14th 2013 [17:57] | Posted By: Joe
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... | Source: JManga

Manga Industry Pioneer Toren Smith Passes Away

Date: Friday March 8th 2013 [16:00] | Posted By: Joe
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.

Source: James Hudnall's Blog

Johnnys' World: Top of the J-Pops

Date: Friday January 25th 2013 [15:36] | Posted By: Joe
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.

Source: NHK World

Pirate Anime FAQ Updated - November 2012

Date: Saturday November 3rd 2012 [16:21] | Posted By: Joe
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! ^_^

Source: Otaku News

Funimation sues former ADV company, Section23, Sentai Filmworks

Date: Friday January 13th 2012 [18:01] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Current Affairs

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

Read More... | Source: Anime News Network

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

Date: Thursday January 5th 2012 [13:34] | Posted By: Eeeper
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 companyís UK and French sister divisions have also released similar statements.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Cowboy Bebop Movie Script Charity Auction

Date: Wednesday November 30th 2011 [14:50] | Posted By: Joe
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.

Source: FrontTowardsGamer.com

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

Date: Tuesday June 21st 2011 [15:30] | Posted By: Joe
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... | Source: Mnet

Cosplay For A Cause 2012 Calendar

Date: Tuesday June 14th 2011 [15:03] | Posted By: Joe
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... | Source: Cosplay For A Cause

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

Date: Sunday June 5th 2011 [16:34] | Posted By: Joe
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... | Source: Comic Book Alliance

Stradivarius violin to be auctioned to raise money for Japan quake

Date: Monday May 2nd 2011 [16:10] | Posted By: Joe
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.

Source: BBC News

March 2011 - Earthquake and Tsunami devastate Japan

Date: Sunday March 13th 2011 [15:20] | Posted By: Joe
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.

Source: NHK World

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

Date: Monday September 6th 2010 [15:56] | Posted By: Joe
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... | Source: Morning International Comic Competition

News in manga format

Date: Friday June 11th 2010 [8:58] | Posted By: Joe
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.

Source: Wired

Multi-National Manga Anti-Piracy Coalition Formed

Date: Tuesday June 8th 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 January 28th 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

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

Date: Tuesday December 8th 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

Could Manga Inspire A Murder?

Date: Friday October 24th 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

CBLDF to take on manga obscenity case

Date: Friday October 17th 2008 [15:20] | Posted By: Azure
Category: > Current Affairs

The comic book legal defence fund has agreed to take on the case of Christopher Handley. Handley has a collection of over 1,200 manga a handful of which the US government claims is obscene and contain images of minors involved in sex acts.

Read More... | Source: Comic Book Legal Defence fund

Totoro Forest Project

Date: Tuesday August 12th 2008 [17:26] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Fans of Studio Ghibli and those concerned with conservation will be interested to hear about the project to save Sayama Forest, which is also known as Totoro Forest. The project aims to auction off original artwork and sell a book with the collected art, in order to raise money to protect Sayama Forest.

"A fund-raising exhibition / auction to benefit the Totoro No Furusato National Fund, the Japanese non-profit foundation established by Oscar-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, which is leading efforts to preserve and protect the Sayama Forest. The auction will feature original art created by internationally-acclaimed artists in the fields of animation, comic books, and illustration."

Fans will have to travel to Pixar Animation Studio in Emeryville, California.

Source: Totoro Forest Project

The Pirate Anime FAQ Returns

Date: Sunday August 3rd 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

Bandai Visual USA to be liquidated

Date: Wednesday June 4th 2008 [19:44] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Current Affairs

Bandai Namco Holdings has announced the liquidation of the American division of their Bandai Visual releasing arm effective July 1st 2008.

Read More... | Source: Anime News Network

It's over for Nova?

Date: Friday October 26th 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 September 24th 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 September 13th 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 July 12th 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 June 13th 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

PS3 Disasters Already

Date: Saturday November 18th 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 October 23rd 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 October 20th 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 October 15th 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

San Francisco hotel to have Anime theme

Date: Friday October 13th 2006 [3:57] | Posted By: Davie
Category: > Anime

Interesting news from Anime News Network, San Francisco's Best Western Miyako Inn Hotel is going to be turned into a Japanese pop culture persona, starting with a contest to rename the hotel. The new theme will be "an energetic, optimistic expression" of anime, manga, J-Pop, and street fashion, said Matt Harvey, Creative Director of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, a boutique hotel operator that took over the 125-room hotel in May.

Source: Anime News Network

New York - Tokyo Music Festival scheduled for this weekend

Date: Saturday September 23rd 2006 [15:58] | Posted By: Dallas Marshall
Category: > Events

Fujisankei Communications International (FCI) and Sharp Electronics Corporation join forces to present you the New York-Tokyo Music Festival 2006 on Saturday, September 30, 2006 at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park a free, all-day, good old-fashioned outdoor concert that will have some inspired artistic talents from the East and the West. The festivalís focal point this year is on artists that are just beginning to make a name for themselves in several different musical subgenres, ranging from Turntablism to Dancehall, Hip-hop to Progressive Jazz.

Read More... | Source: Anime News Service

Rare Games Collection Stolen

Date: Sunday August 20th 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

Manga Added To Dictionary

Date: Saturday July 8th 2006 [2:39] | Posted By: Davie
Category: > Manga

According to Anime News Network the word 'Manga' was one of the latest words to be added to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. It joins words like Google, gastric bypass, drama queen, and about 100 other nouns, verbs, and adjectives. The new edition is expected to be released this fall in its original left-to-right format

Source: Anime News Network

Japanese Prime Minister To Visit Graceland

Date: Thursday June 29th 2006 [3:18] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

While attending talks between US President George W Bush and Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the two leaders will pay a special visit to a very American home. They will be visiting Graceland the famous house of rock and roll legend Elvis Presley.

According to BBC News this is widely seen as a thank you gesture from Mr Bush to Mr Koizumi, who is known to be a huge Elvis fan. Mr Koizumi has even released a CD with a selection of his favourite Elvis songs. The Japanese PM is such a dedicated fan he helped fund a statue of the King which now stands in Harajuku.

Source: BBC News

Foreign Minister Proposes Awards For Anime

Date: Tuesday May 9th 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 April 3rd 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 March 6th 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

Browsing Category: > Current Affairs

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