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Browsing Category: > Current Affairs

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 festival’s 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

Death Sentence Upheld for Otaku Murderer

Date: Monday January 23rd 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 January 10th 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 January 7th 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 January 5th 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 December 18th 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 October 17th 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 October 5th 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 September 30th 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 September 8th 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

The Tokyo Beach Scene

Date: Wednesday August 10th 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 July 5th 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 June 16th 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 June 10th 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

Su Doku Newspaper Wars

Date: Tuesday May 10th 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 May 7th 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 April 29th 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 April 12th 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

Idols Everywhere!

Date: Thursday March 31st 2005 [16:58] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

Japan Today have just published an article that explains the inner workings of the Japanese Idol industry. This fascinating read highlights the fact that the Japanese industry is the reverse of the "western" industry, where Japanese Idols are hired and trained by agencies who give them a percentage of their earnings. It mentions a selection of agencies each with their own speciality in the market place. Interestingly enough agencies also teach their employees something that many western celebrities should have lessons in "things like how to hold their alcohol, how to spend money wisely".

Source: Japan Today

The State of Japanese Comedy On TV

Date: Wednesday March 30th 2005 [17:36] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

Michael Naishtut has written a good article for Japan Today that focuses on the lack of decent comedy on Japanese TV. It also covers the different types of genres commonly associated with Japanese comedy and forms good introduction to anyone wanting to learn about such things.

Source: Japan Today

Kimono Makes A Come Back

Date: Tuesday February 22nd 2005 [16:49] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

According to Japan Today some traditions just can't be beaten, and it appears that the kimono is making a come back in Japan, with kimono lovers regularly gathering at Ginza (Tokyo's luxury shopping district), to share their joy of Japanese clothes.

Apparently kimonos have almost disappeared from normal life because they are seen as impractical and expensive when compared to western style clothes. Fans of kimonos enjoy feeling relaxed, different and enjoy expressing their individuality through their outfits.

Source: Japan Today

Japan Advised To Promote Gross National Cool

Date: Tuesday December 14th 2004 [15:54] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

In a rather amusing news story covered by the AFP on Yahoo! News, experts advised the Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to promote "Gross National Cool" as a tool of foreign policy! The experts from the Japan Forum on International Relations believe that Japan's full range of admired cultural resources ranging from the Japanese sense of beauty, to today's movies and anime should be used to promote Japanese interests abroad.

Spirited Away's Oscar win gets a mention, as does the crisis in Japan's education system with students slipping in international league tables. What's also interesting is the fact that South Korean drama Winter Sonata has generated 1.1 billion dollars in revenue for South Korea due to increased Tourism, Otaku News has already covered a story on Bae Yong-Jun the popular actor from the show.

Source: Yahoo! News

US Game Pirates Arrested.

Date: Sunday December 12th 2004 [18:20] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

Reuters are reporting on arrests of Game pirates in Washington D.C., for selling modified games consoles which are able to play pirated video games, the machines in question already had 15 games copied across. This is an interesting story, because it is not clear in the article if the modifications have been done for "backup purposes", or just for the sake of piracy. It should also be noted that Anime News Network mention that the retailer in question had been boycotted in the past at Otakon 2000 because they were selling bootleg anime.

Source: Yahoo! News

Densha Otoko (Trainman) Japanese Best Seller

Date: Thursday November 25th 2004 [18:04] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

Here at Otaku News we know that our readers are cultured and intelligent individuals, which is why you've probably already heard about Densha Otoko (Trainman) a new Japanese best seller, based on a series of bulletin board posts board after the protagonist, a young Japanese man "Trainman" rescues a woman "Miss Hermes" from a pushy drunk on the train.

The collection of e-mails and bulletin board postings with emoticons, slang forms and such forms the book which spans over 360 pages. The story is more of an on-line diary where Trainman asks for and receives advice from fellow geeks on how to approach "Miss Hermes". Densha Otoko has sold over 260,000 copies in three weeks.

The Japan Times Online and ZDNet UK both have good write ups on the book and the internet culture surrounding it. Following on from bottom pinching perverts it's certainly nice to hear that there are still heroes on the trains!

Source: The Japan Times On-line

Sukebe Success is Bad News for Japanese Commuters

Date: Wednesday November 24th 2004 [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

Educational Value of Manga In The UK

Date: Tuesday November 16th 2004 [18:33] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

The Times Education Supplement (a Times newspaper for teachers and people working in the education sector) are running a story about the educational value of manga, interestingly enough they make the same common misconceptions about manga - "Mangas depict wide-eyed heroes, often in varying states of undress". The Reading Agency, an organisation that promotes literacy, is encouraging schools to buy Manga comics, it seems they want to get as many children to get into reading by introducing them to manga. They've compiled a list of 150 recommended Manga titles, deemed suitable for teenagers and are sending them to all libraries and schools. The Otaku News crew imagine that this will help TokyoPop UK's already very healthy sales figures! ^_-

Source: TES

US Army Troops Get Anime Goodies

Date: Monday October 18th 2004 [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

Otaku Boost Japanese Economy!

Date: Friday September 3rd 2004 [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

DNA Tests for Pork in Japan!

Date: Saturday May 29th 2004 [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

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