The roof top of Ghibli Museum in Tokyo
from Rob, May 11th, 2015 6:57 am, Japanese Culture


The Robot Soldier located on the rooftop garden of the Ghibli Museum.

On the museum’s roof is a garden with a life-size statue of a robot from the final episode of Lupin III Part II and Castle in the Sky.The Robot Soldier was made by the artist Kunio Shachimaru. The statue is made from bronze and took a year to create.



The first image is my original picture and the other two are my attempts to play with levels. This is from when we went to the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo (September 2014)

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Fuji TV’s Rafu-kun
from Rob, May 11th, 2015 6:20 am, Japanese Culture


Fuji Television: Rafu-kun

A small blue dog who is a tad goofy but rather passionate and devoted.
Laugh loves music, especially the Beatles. 
Always on the lookout for something new, 
Laugh loves to browse the web on his laptop wherever he goes.

Pal: Chibi the cat 
Favorite Food: Hot Dogs

Puppy Rafu-kun is the Fuji Television mascot whose name is derived from the English word “laugh” and was originally a character for a TV show broadcast in 1998. You can find Rafu these days on all sorts of adverts and available in many types of products, but his background has not yet been made public in much detail.

On the island of Odaiba stands the Fuji TV building.

We have been to Odaiba every time we go to Japan, but last September (2014) was the first time we ever noticed Rafu-kun.

He was everywhere, from the stairs to all the booths,Nooks and even on logs.

He is on the ticket to the observation deck of Fuji TV.

I only wish I knew who designed him. Stay tuned to our YouTube channel where we will show you a lot more from Odaiba and Fuji TV.

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Manga artist Masashi Kishimoto makes first international appearance at NYCC and NYSW
from Bill, May 7th, 2015 10:41 pm, Comic Con, Japan, nycc2015


Creator of Naruto to Participate in Two Panels and Multiple Autograph Sessions at
East Coast’s Biggest Pop Culture Convention

NORWALK, CT – May 5, 2015 – ReedPOP, the world’s largest producer of pop culture events and producers of New York Comic Con, today announced that renowned manga artist Masashi Kishimoto, creator of Naruto, one of the most successful manga properties on the planet, will be appearing at New York Comic Con and New York Super Week. In what will be his first ever international appearance outside of Japan, Kishimoto will take part in two panels and multiple autograph sessions, giving fans unprecedented access. His panels will take place on Thursday, October 8 and Saturday, October 10 during New York Comic Con. He will also host autograph sessions at Kinokuniya Bookstore and Barnes & Noble as part of New York Super Week. Masashi Kishimoto is appearing at New York Comic Con with the support of VIZ Media.

Kishimoto was born in 1974 in rural Okayama Prefecture, Japan. His first version of Naruto, drawn in 1997, was a one-shot story about fox spirits; his final version, which debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, quickly became the most popular ninja manga in the world. The series spawned multiple anime series, movies, novels, video games and more. Having concluded the series in late 2014, he has kept himself busy with the sidestory Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring and with writing the story for the latest Naruto movie, both of which will focus on the title character’s son, Boruto. Naruto is published in North America by VIZ Media.

“Kishimoto is one of the biggest names in manga and a major influence on artists across the globe,” said Lance Fensterman, global senior vice president of ReedPOP. “We’re thrilled to have him added to our lineup this year and think fans are going to love the chance to get close to an icon.”

New York Comic Con, the crown jewel of New York Super Week, will take place October 8-11 at the Javits Center. The show is the East Coast’s biggest and most exciting popular culture convention with the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies and television. The show’s panels and autograph sessions give fans a chance to interact with their favorite creators, while screening rooms feature sneak peeks at films and television shows months before they hit either big or small screens. New York Comic Con is the second largest pop culture convention in America and the only one that takes place in the comic book, publishing, media and licensing capital of the world — Gotham City.

Additional exciting details about New York Comic Con and New York Super Week events, talent and sponsors will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information, please and REEDPOP
ReedPOP is a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions exclusively devoted to organizing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and partnering with premium brands in the pop culture world. ReedPOP is dedicated to celebrations of popular culture throughout the globe that transcend ordinary events by providing unique access and dynamic personal experiences. The ReedPOP portfolio includes: New York Comic Con (NYCC), Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Prime, East, South and Australia, Emerald City Comicon, BookCon, Oz Comic-Con, Comic Con India, Paris Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, TwitchCon, Shanghai Comic Convention and UFC Fan Expo. The staff at ReedPOP is a fan-based group of professionals uniquely qualified to serve those with whom they share a common passion. ReedPOP is focused on bringing its expertise and knowledge to world communities in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, India and Australia. (

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Myth of Tomorrow
from Rob, May 7th, 2015 6:29 pm, Japanese Culture

While walking through Shibuya Mark city you will see a massive painting







Lost for decades in Mexico, Taro Okamoto’s 30m-long mural was recovered and moved to a new home in 2008: the station concourse inside Shibuya Mark City. Sometimes compared to Picasso’s Guernica, The Myth of Tomorrow depicts the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as an eruption of vibrant colours, centering around a skeletal figure caught in the blast. The work’s atomic associations were brought home in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi meltdown, when art collective Chim↑Pom pasted an image of the stricken nuclear reactors in one corner of the painting

to get more of an understanding of this piece please read this


Shibuya Mark City, 1-12-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya Station (Yamanote, Ginza, Hanzomon, Fukutoshin, Tokyu Toyoko, Denentoshi, Keio Inokashira lines)

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Gundam cut in Japan
from Rob, May 1st, 2015 6:27 am, Japanese Culture


ガンダム カット” , “Gundam Cut.” is a Gundam-themed barber shop in Aomori Prefecture, Japan. 


Located far north of Tokyo,


This barber shop doesn’t actually have Gundam inspired hair cuts, but what they do have are a ton of Gundams in their driveway.



The barber himself builds these monstrous mechs for fun and takes him (sometimes) up to a year to complete.

He said a costumer said “Gundams are cool” and the next thing he knew he has spent 10 years making these magnificent statues.



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A Most Famous Naruto Unmasking
from Rob, April 28th, 2015 6:19 am, Anime/Manga News


This was originally posted by Kotaku.


For years, fans have wondered what was under the ninja’s cowl. Last year, in an interview with Shonen Jump (via Saiyan Island), Kishimoto was asked if was going to show the character’s full face.

“I want to reveal it,” Kishimoto replied. “I’m just not sure yet on how I’ll do it. It might be done in the manga or maybe in an upcoming anime movie, but there is nothing planned as of yet.”

Since then, the character’s entire face hasn’t been revealed. Until now. Kishimoto drew a special manga for the current Naruto exhibit that is being held in Japan.



So, was this the face you all thought it would be? Let us know.

Also check this article for the breakdown of the Naruto exhibit

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FUNimation’s NEW PS4 App is here! Visit the PSN to download for FREE!
from Bill, April 23rd, 2015 8:54 pm, Anime/Manga Reviews, Gaming

Unleash your anime experience! Download the<br />
FUNimation PS4 app today!

The FUNimation PS4 App
is Now Available!

The FUNimation Streaming Service app is now available for PS4! This FREE app lets you enjoy the latest and greatest FUNimation dubbed and subbed anime shows and movies on your PS4.

Find Out More!

Start your All-AccessPass streaming experience today, and unlock instant access to…

  • The latest simulcast shows as soon as they air in Japan
  • Thousands of subtitled and dubbed anime episodes and movies
  • Ad-free in HD
  • Exclusive access to FUNimation Broadcast Dubs: English-dubbed episodes available within weeks after broadcasting in Japan with the All-AccessPass
  • Video extras that take you behind the scenes of your favorite shows with the All-AccessPass
Subscribe Today!
The FUNimation Streaming Service app for PS3 has also been upgraded to match the PS4 app. If you’re a PS3 user, you can now enjoy improved searching, episode queues, and account syncing, allowing you to continue watching where you left off across devices.
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Ex-Ghibli Artist to make directorial debut! Plus Naruto 2.5 Theater and More!
from Bill, April 23rd, 2015 8:52 pm, comic book, Entertainment, Japan, Movies

Latest eBook Releases on ComiXology!
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Latest Videos on TOKYOPOP TV!
Ore Monogatari!!
DetectiveConanSunflower_Thumb 2
Detective Conan: Sunflowers of Inferno
Toyota G Sports Japanese Commercial
Yokokuhan – Official Trailer on TOKYOPOP TV!
Manga Survey of the Week!
Former Ghilbi Artist Yōjirō Arai Making Directorial Debut!
TaifunoNoruda 4

Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro – Studio Ghibli is synonymous with animated movie magic. Even the nice old lady slinging sweet tea at the corner store in my small Kentucky hometown has heard of these classic Japanese films and knows the name Miyazaki (probably because of me in this particular case…). With Miyazaki retiring, however, the question arises of who will take up the torch in the next generation.  Who will champion the Ghibli-style animation and storytelling we have all grown to love?  Fortunately, we may have our answer.

Yōjirō Arai, a former Studio Ghibli animator who lent his hand to such Ghibli films as Arriety, From up on Poppy Hill, and The Wind Rises, is set to make his directorial debut. Studio Colorido, who also released Arai’s short film “Control Bear,” will be bringing us Arai’s first animated feature film, Taifu no Noruda, this summer. You can check out a tantalizingly short 15-second teaser to the left.

Read More

This Week From Stu-Senpai: Naruto 2.5!


Konbanwa 今晩は from Tokyo!!

It’s supposedly spring but it’s been rainy and cold – at least it was nice during sakura season!  But rain and cold is a good time to stay indoors – and watch a live theater performance of everyone’s favorite ninja, Naruto!

The Shibuya Tourist Association has gone out of its way to support a very cool theater – AiiA in Shibuya, where Naruto is playing.   The Japan 2.5 Dimensional Musical Association is dedicated to theatrical performances (typically musicals) of anime, manga and game properties.  And their line up is pretty amazing (I’m checking out Death Note tomorrow night!) !!

So, one thing that makes Naruto 2.5 (and other 2.5 theater performances) special is the high-tech subtitle method.  You can rent goggles which project subtitles in front of you while you’re watching the play – a version of augmented reality.


Read More

Watch the Exclusive Interview

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Kit Kats from the oven? Try the crazy world of Japanese candy From Japan Crate
from Bill, April 17th, 2015 2:51 pm, Japan

What’s so different about Japanese candy?
Japan has a culture rooted in thousands of years of history–that’s a lot of time to develop interesting snacks and candy. In Japan, flavors are released seasonally and even regionally. This leads to some pretty unique and outrageous candies. Japan Crate’s goal is to bring those uniquely Japanese snacks to our subscribers. Take a look below to see what crazy things we send!
Candy with humor
Moko Moko Toilet Candy

Japanese candy often has funny themes or imagery. This do-it-yourself creation is part liquid/part foam and is as fun to make as it is to eat. Open the top of the toilet, add the magic crystals, and then add water. The toilet foams up as you race to drink it with your straw. Don’t try this with just any toilet!
Amazing candy innovation
Gumi Tsureta
Here’s an easy way to impress your friends. Simply mix a couple of powders with water and separate them with a straw. Watch as your powder instantly forms a long gummy tongue. This candy is nothing short of magic.
It’s downright delicious
Baked Pudding Kit Kats
Japan is pretty well-known for its elaborate Kit Kat flavors. These require a few minutes of baking, but the reward is worth it. These guys are exclusively sold in Japan, but we’ll bring them to you.

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