Japan the Otaku show: Japanese beauty products
from Rob, November 11th, 2013 9:36 am, Japan The Otaku show

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Taken from Danny Choo’s Facebook page. This unique facial product is suppose to make you years younger.

What do you think?

Follow us on Twitter @AltMindz
Follow Danny @Dannychoo

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The Life of Oharu + Updated Ozu Screening!
from Bill, November 7th, 2013 8:39 pm, Entertainment, Japan, TV & Movie News

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Kirishima
The Life of Oharu (1952)

Saturday, November 16, 6 PM

Our extensive film series A Tribute to Donald Richie (1924-2013), Part 1 marches on with The Life of Oharu, a golden-age masterwork by the legendary Kenji Mizoguchi. Set in feudal Japan during the Edo period, The Life of Oharu is one of the most devastating of Mizoguchi’s films about exploited, fallen women. Starring the amazing Kinuyo Tanaka as the eponymous Oharu, who suffers repeated humiliation and abuse as the victim of a cruel patriarchal system that forces her into a destitute life as a prostitute. Featuring incredible black and white photography that is as beautiful as it is haunting, The Life of Oharu stands among cinema’s greatest achievements for its aesthetic beauty as well as the unflinching, poetic realism of its storytelling. Mizoguchi considered this his masterpiece, and it’s not to be missed.

“A near-perfect work.” – Dave Kehr, The Chicago Reader

Oharu… quite likely comprises the most powerful feminist protest ever recorded on film.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum

Introduction by Joel Neville Anderson, filmmaker/scholar, PhD student, Visual and Cultural Studies, University of Rochester.

All films on 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles.

TICKETS
$12/$9 Japan Society members, seniors & students

If you are interested in purchasing group tickets for the event (10 or more), please email f2@japansociety.org for information on our discounted rate.


Kirishima
Late Autumn (1960)*

Thursday, December 12, 7 PM

Yasujiro Ozu’s poignant and under-appreciated late-period gem Late Autumn is now the third screening in our monthly Donald Richie film series.

*Late Autumn is replacing our previously scheduled screening of Equinox Flower due to unforeseen circumstances. Tickets for Equinox Flower will be honored for our screening of Late Autumn and do not require an exchange. Any customer who already purchased tickets for Equinox Flower is entitled to a refund upon request. All inquiries can be directed to our Box Office manager, Julia Moran, at (212) 715-1246. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your understanding.

MORE INFO

Film Schedule


Woman and War 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.
TICKETS


New Shoes Late Autumn
秋日和 (Akibiyori)

Thursday, December 12, 7 PM

A thoughtful and elegiac late work by Yasujiro Ozu starring the beautiful Setsuko Hara as a widow whose daughter refuses to marry in fear of abandoning her. An often under-appreciated gem, Late Autumn stands alongside the master’s best films. Screening on Ozu’s birthday!
TICKETS


Light Himatsuri
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.
TICKETS


After Life After Life
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.
TICKETS


Images, from top: The Life of Oharu © 1952 Toho Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.; Late Autumn © 1960 SHOCHIKU Co., Ltd.; The Life of Oharu © Toho Co., Ltd. All rights reserved; Late Autumn © 1960 SHOCHIKU Co., Ltd.; 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.

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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

Japan the Otaku show: pic of the day
from Rob, October 20th, 2013 8:00 am, Japan The Otaku show

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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

Japan the Otaku show: Anime designs 90s vs 10s
from Rob, October 19th, 2013 8:30 am, Japan The Otaku show

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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.

Kurosawa’s “High and Low” Kicks Off Our Donald Richie Tribute This Friday
from Bill, October 15th, 2013 7:54 pm, Entertainment, Japan

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Kirishima
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 KurosawaKenji MizoguchiYasujiro OzuMitsuo 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 emailf2@japansociety.org for information on our discounted rate.

Film Schedule


High and Low 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.
TICKETS


Woman and War 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.
TICKETS


New Shoes Equinox Flower
彼岸花 (Higanbana) 

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!
TICKETS


Light Himatsuri
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.
TICKETS


After Life After Life
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.
TICKETS


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.

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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

Japan the Otaku show: taste figures
from Rob, October 4th, 2013 9:00 am, Japan The Otaku show

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This picture is from Danny Choo’s website and was taken during Wonder Festival 2013.

Check out the full set of images here

Follow me on Twitter @AltMindz
Follow Danny on Twitter @DannyChoo

Japan the Otaku show: pics and flicks
from Rob, October 2nd, 2013 7:00 am, Japan The Otaku show

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Remember that time you jumped on the Tokyo Metro and everyone was a living doll?

Yeah, this awesome pic was posted on Danny Choo’s Facebook page.

Follow us on Twitter @ AltMindz
Follow Danny on Twitter @Dannychoo

Japan the Otaku Show:Earplugs with style!
from Rob, October 1st, 2013 10:30 am, Japan The Otaku show

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Thanks to Danny Choo’s Facebook page we get a look at a new way to sport earplugs.

Anime Review: High School of the Dead
from Cas, October 1st, 2013 8:00 am, Anime review

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.)

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