And you guys thought tests in your school were tough? This awesome picture was posted on Danny Choo’s Facebook page.
Now I am waiting to see which student wins and who will be set loose as the new Poke-student.
Follow on Twitter @AltMindz
Posted on Danny Choo’s Facebook page. This model sheet shows the transition from the old ways to the new “Streamed line” way of drawing Anime girls
I really miss the old style it had a ton more detail that now has become so super simple that it looses all its charm and flair.
I personally miss the old school eye designs. The lack of detail on the hair is also a disappointing feature.
Anime hair was never really detailed but they have completely gone crazy with the new style. It’s almost all just a outline and color. the hair also looks so limp and lacks a ton of action.
A Tribute to Donald Richie (1924-2013), Part 1
Richie’s Fantastic Five: Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ozu, Yanagimachi & Kore-eda
Starts Friday, October 18
This Friday, Japan Society is excited to debut our new film series with a 7 p.m. screening of Akira Kurosawa‘s High and Low. This extensive film series is dedicated to the late Donald Richie (April 17, 1924–February 19, 2013), a titan of Japanese film criticism and cultural history who introduced Japan’s most significant filmmakers to the Western world. Part 1 spotlights films by five directors –Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu, Mitsuo Yanagimachi, and Hirokazu Kore-eda – that Richie championed throughout his long career. Curated by renowned film scholar and former Japan Society Film Program Director Kyoko Hirano, the selections run from the canonical to the rarely seen, from the Golden Age to the contemporary, offering a sampling of the best of Japanese cinema.
All films on 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles.
Tickets to each screening: $12/$9 Japan Society members, seniors & students
If you are interested in purchasing group tickets for the event (10 or more), please email@example.com for information on our discounted rate.
High and Low
天国と地獄 (Tengoku to Jigoku)
Friday, October 18, 7 PM
A self-made businessman (Toshiro Mifune) is on the verge of the biggest deal of his life when an anonymous kidnapper threatens to take it all away. Kurosawa’s dynamic and morally complex thriller is repeatedly cited as one of the greatest police procedurals of all time.
The Life of Oharu
西鶴一代女 (Saikaku Ichidai Onna)
Saturday, November 16, 6 PM
A heart-breaking account of a woman’s repeated humiliation and fall from grace in feudal Japan during the Edo period, played with remarkable force by Kinuyo Tanaka. Mizoguchi considered this moving drama his masterpiece.
Thursday, December 12, 7 PM
Yasujiro Ozu’s first color film is a gentle, balanced family drama that examines the struggle between generations through a father’s stubborn refusal to let his daughter choose her own spouse. Shot with a delicate touch in Ozu’s signature serene style. Screening on Ozu’s birthday!
火まつり (Fire Festival)
Friday, January 24, 7 PM
This rarely screened controversial fourth feature from Mitsuo Yanagimachi is an enormously lush and mysterious film revolving around a gruff lumberjack’s refusal to sell his land in the green mountains of Kumano and his ensuing battle with the forces of nature.
ワンダフルライフ (Wandafuru Raifu)
Wednesday, February 19, 7 PM
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s second feature is a moving and reflective fantasy in which the recently deceased arrive at a way station before going onto the next world, having to determine the one memory to take with them. Presented on the one-year anniversary of Donald Richie’s passing.
Images, from top: High and Low © Toho Co., Ltd. All rights reserved; High and Low © Toho Co., Ltd. All rights reserved; The Life of Oharu © Toho Co., Ltd. All rights reserved; Equinox Flower © Janus Films; Fire Festival © Kino Lorber; After Life © New Yorker Films.
A Tribute to Donald Richie (1924–2013), Part 1 Richie’s Fantastic Five: Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ozu, Yanagimachi, & Kore-eda is co-presented with The Japan Foundation.
Additional generous support is provided by Dr. John K. Gillespie.
Japan Society’s Film Programs are generously supported by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund.
Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family, Mr. Kenneth A. Cowin, Mr. and Mrs. Omar H. Al-Farisi, Laurel Gonsalves, David S. Howe, Geoff Matters, and Dr. Tatsuji Namba.
Unless otherwise noted all programs are held at Japan Society.
333 East 47th Street (at First Avenue)
New York, NY 10017
By Cass Pineda
Every era has its monster. During the reign of England’s Queen Victoria, fear of a generation’s rising sexuality popularized the charismatic, blood-sucking vampire. During the Cold War, communists became grey-faced, saucer-flying aliens bent on dissecting red-blooded American capitalists. Today, our technology-obsessed and mindless consumerist society makes us the perfect targets for the latest and possibly most terrifying monster of all: zombies.
From Dawn of the Dead to Shaun of the Dead, zombies have become popular in Western movies in recent decades, but undead hordes with boners for human brains are known the world over. They embody everything people fear about death and also cause us to question about what it means to be human, themes that the high-octane anime High School of the Dead (based on the manga series by Daisuke Sato) addresses with class. Combined with almost nonstop brain-splattering action and a cast of attractive, well-endowed young women, HotD has quickly become one of my most favorite animes of all time.
However, many would be inclined to disagree. It appears to be one of those shows where, as a watcher, you will either love it or hate it. A lot of it probably has to do with how you feel about panty shots and oscillating boobs. Those aside, however, it is a powerful story, driven by a cast of passionate characters determined to survive during a zombie pandemic and subsequent nuclear holocaust.
The main protagonist, Takashi Komuro, is an average second-year student at Fujimi High School, dealing with ordinary problems (like his girlfriend dumping him and dating his best friend) when he witnesses a horrific attack on a group of teachers. As things begin to escalate, he gathers up his friends in order to escape: ex-girlfriend Rei Miyamoto is a skilled spear handler, and best friend Hisashi Igo is a black belt in karate. They are joined by Takashi’s childhood friend and self-proclaimed genius Saya Takagi, pudgy gun otaku Kohta Hirano, and level-headed kendo aficionado Saeko Busujima. Eventually with the help of ditzy school nurse, Shizuka Marikawa, they escape the school grounds on board a bus, with plenty of zombie-smashing along the way.
Violent zombie annihilation became popular with recent movies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland—in fact, it became almost an art. In HotD, the students are just as creative in fighting for their survival, but it is not always as easy as decapitating undead foes for twelve wonderful episodes. They also face human adversaries, such as the sinister pedagogue Koichi Shido and other desperate survivors in a world gone mad. In the first episode, Takashi is even forced to kill his best friend, a traumatic experience that comes back to haunt him later in the show. These interactions are handled artfully, and in some ways are more frightening than the conflicts with the obvious zombie enemies.
Zombies themselves vary in representation throughout mainstream media: in the popular game series Left 4 Dead, they are mutated “rage” zombies, undead who have physically morphed to become stronger, faster, and decidedly more ugly than living humans. In Zombieland, they still looked like people, but are driven only by hunger. The zombies in HotD are more akin to the shuffling, unthinking masses first brought to us by George A. Romero, and more recently, Shaun of the Dead. This consistency in characteristics is important in creating a realistic scenario and world for the story to play out in as Takashi and his friends learn more about the zombies’ strengths and weaknesses. In fact, zombie movies and culture exist in Takashi’s world, but the characters, in some effort to keep themselves separated from the bizarre circumstances around them, do not call them zombies; instead, they refer to these creatures cryptically as “Them.”
While the manga was first released in Japan in 2007, the anime adaptation did not arrive until 2010. It is visually brilliant, with smooth (yet bouncy!) animation and fantastic, mood-setting music. The opening theme is exciting yet haunting, and the ending theme is different for each episode. There is no laziness from the studio when it comes to action shots or even mundane scenes, and it is beautifully cinematic. As I mentioned before, they also seize upon plenty of opportunities for panty shots and sideboob, and while in any other show this would be tasteless or even offensive, these comedy elements are needed to break the intensity, and are done within the reasonable realms of their situation.
As with any show that exercises elements of a “harem” style anime, the main group’s characters fall into familiar tropes and behaviors (like tsundere Takagi and kudere Busujima) but this is actually beneficial to their interactions, lending some spice to their relationships rather than making them obnoxious and repetitive. Nor are they two-dimensional and predictable, and over the course of the series, reveal surprising aspects of themselves and their pasts.
The anime series itself ends on a boggling cliffhanger, but the seven-volume manga (distributed by Yen Press) was made available in the States in the beginning of this year, and the hardcover omnibus of the full color version is due in November. The anime series is available (subbed and dubbed) on Zune Marketplace, iTunes, Netflix, as well as DVD and Bluray. The phenomenal soundtrack was released by Geneon last year.
High School of the Dead thrilled me because it is different, and contains everything I love about action shows and zombie horror, with the right amount of comedy mixed in. It is a must for zombie flick and action-anime fans, but be careful with who (and where) you watch it. The sexual themes are obvious and while appreciated by some, might get you in trouble with others. The strong voice actors in both Japanese and English keep pace with their on-screen counterparts to create a likeable cast that kick so much undead ass that you’ll hope they’ll be on your side when the zombie apocalypse eventually comes.
(And it will.)
Japan the Otaku show: Yokohama’s famous fried penis
Originally posted on Danny Choo’s Facebook page.
This sign says Chinchin Yaki or simply Fried Penis. Not too sure why this sign has fried penis on it or even what it would be for.
Nevertheless, it’s another wacky sign that we just love to see. Also a great little picture to teach some Japanese!
The breakdown is ち=chi ん=n
焼=yaki. Translation breakdown: ちんちん=slang for penis 焼=fried.
Week in Review: Hello Kitty Beer and One Piece Hats
Plus an anime cafe and digital divas!
Gomu-Gomu Awesome Hat!: You love the anime, you read the manga, you buy all the toys, but how can a true One Piece devotee show their love of all things Mugiwara to the world? Well, if you have $50, you can get your rubbery hands on the Premium Bandai-produced replica of Luffy’s straw hat! Made by legendary hat maker Tanaka Hats, this authentic and stylish headgear is fit for the king of the pirates.
Drunk Kitty: Thought that Hello Kitty was already on every single product that ever existed? You were right, but now you can add one more piece of Kitty swag to the overwhelmingly long list: beer. Taiwan Tsing Brewing Company is now shipping the beer to Taiwan and China, and the Hello Kitty suds come in various fruity flavors. More like Hello Tipsy…
Vocaloid Idol: Do you live in Japan and love to sing, but hate to leave your house? Fear not, because Sony Music is holding open auditions to find the newest Vocaloid pop idol! Teens younger then 25 can submit their entries online and at select karaoke spots in Japan, and the winner of the search is guaranteed a concert performance debut in the new year. Could you be the newest digital diva?
This is Only Sort of Creepy: Visitors to Akihabara, Tokyo’s mecca of all things otaku, can now satiate their hunger for both food and buxom anime babes in one fell swoop by paying a visit to the Fantasista Doll Cafe. The pop-up shop features a menu based on the newly launched multi-platform series. Dining options range from character-themed cocktails to fried mackerel to “special” desert and beyond. We almost don’t want to know what’s so special about it.
Meet Japan’s 102 Year-Old Sprinting Champion
Age ain’t nothin’ but a number; BMI isn’t.
How many times have you looked back and forth between your gym bag and your Xbox controller only to opt for a more sedentary course of action? Well, one Japanese man proves that it’s never too late to get in shape and that it doesn’t need to take hours and hours of backbreaking training to do it. Meet Japan’s answer to Jack LaLanne, Hidekichi Miyazaki, a 102 year-old man who not only trains regularly, but holds world records in the 100-meter dash. It’s only fitting that this past Mondaywas Respect for the Aged Day in Japan because we are definitely in awe of Miyazaki-san.
Running wasn’t a lifelong pastime for the Shizuoka native; he did track and field in his youth, survived a bout of tuberculosis at age 20 and worked for 32 years on an agricultural co-operative. After retiring at age 72 he took up the Japanese game of go, but soon his fellow players passed away. It wasn’t until seeing a TV program about a woman in her nineties who was competing in shot put that he decided to take up running at age 92 because it “is something you can enjoy even if you are alone.”
Training several times per week, Miyazaki typically gets up at 7:30 AM, dons a backpack with a 3kg weight inside, does 100-meter dashes for about an hour or so at a nearby park until his heart rate reaches 120 BPM, then finishes up with free weight exercises before returning home. And all of that training paid off – he set a world record in the 100-meters for runners over 100 with a time of 29.83 seconds and, at a recent event in Kyoto, he ran in the over-90 division by himself. His dream? To one day race against the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt. The gauntlet has been thrown. Your move, Usain.