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02 Oct 17:00

One vs. Many: Gatchaman Crowds Insight

by sdshamshel

Warning: Some spoilers for Gatchaman Crowds Insight, many spoilers for the original Gatchaman Crowds

Gatchaman Crowds was an incredible work of fiction. Even going beyond the immediate realm of anime, Tatsunoko’s remake of their 1970s classic was incredibly clever, intelligent, and challenging. Presenting a story and world that asked how an age of social media, crowd-sourcing, and gamification might affect the very ideas of heroism and altruism, the mix of sociopolitical commentary and vibrant visual presentation made it unforgettable. Back when they announced the sequel, Gatchaman Crowds Insight, I was excited but also skeptical as to how they could possibly follow up on the original. After all, this isn’t the kind of series where you can just set up a new villain to fight or upgrade the characters’ powers, and the finer details of its philosophical ending was such that further scrutiny might benefit its messages less than just leaving it open ended.

Whether or not Gatchaman Crowds Insight is an improvement on the original is debatable, it turns out to be a worthy successor, taking the ideas of the original series and expanding them into, of all things, an examination of the danger of overvaluing a “harmonious” society, as well as an exploration of the conflict between the concept of direct vs. indirect democracies.

Gatchaman Crowds was a series featuring five unique transforming heroes who use their special powers to defend Japan, but the arrival of a program called GALAX that could enable ordinary citizens to gain superhuman abilities and help out in times of trouble changed things. By the end of the series, GALAX had gone under trial by fire, its strengths and weaknesses forcefully put on display, with a controversial decision based in faith in human decency being the outcome.

By the start of Insight, GALAX creator Ninomiya Rui has joined the Gatchaman team, allowing his perspective to influence the team, but soon after arrive two important individuals: a new Gatchaman member named Misudachi Tsubasa, and an alien named Gel-Sadra. A being that can sense mood, Gel-Sadra believes that, if everyone’s minds are united and in agreement with each other, then conflict would end. Underlining all of this is a new attempt to bridge the modern age with democracy, full-on popular voting via smartphone, which inevitably has both its advantages and problems, including fostering conversation and the threat of mob justice.

Altogether, the series takes that idea of social media and heroism and pushed it further to examine the challenges of political power and reform. What makes this anime especially impressive is that, similar to the first series, the solutions that come out carry a great deal of nuance that encourage you to think. In fact, that is probably the core value of Gatchaman Crowds Insight, to step back and really consider how words such as peace, harmony, and more embody so many meanings that are capable of both empowering and manipulating people, even if there is no conscious intention.

As with the original Gatchaman Crowds, the linchpin of this series is its main heroine, Ichinose Hajime. She is perhaps even more important to this newer series even as she seems less prominent overall. One potential criticism of Insight is that it goes overboard with positioning its characters as representatives or mouthpieces for various beliefs (the series goes as far as to have characters recite lines of philosophy on occasion), but Hajime’s inquisitive nature that amazingly combines both skepticism and optimism presents her intellectualism in a way that is fun and accessible. While intellectualism is usually thought of as being wordy and philosophical, in the case of Hajime it’s the way she employs the Socratic Method through her fairly limited vocabulary that becomes that ray of light in the shadow cast by the tyranny of the majority. The visual emblem associated with Hajime and only one other character in the series, a gray speech bubble derived from Gel-Sadra’s alien powers, and the truth of its meaning, are key to understanding Gatchaman Crowds Insight and its critical nature.

Nowhere is Hajime more representative of the series’ values than in her relationship with the previous series’ terrifying antagonist, Berg Katze. At the end of the first Gatchaman Crowds, it is revealed that Berg Katze is now inside of Hajime’s body. Every other person was consumed by their doubts because of how Berg Katze brought out their very fears, but Hajime is somehow able to keep him in check. In this situation, many works would have had her suffering at his constant and unyielding presence as the most dangerous kind of devil on the shoulder. Alternatively, they might have made it a metaphor for some internal conflict. Instead, Insight uses it to show just how powerful Hajime’s way of thinking is. Rather than ignore Berg Katze, she is willing to engage in dialogue with the alien, somehow gleaning useful information from someone who’s actively antagonistic towards her and shutting down the conversation when she needs to. To a lesser extent, she can be seen doing the same thing all of the other characters, especially Tsubasa, whose “get-it-done” attitude contrasts with Hajime’s nature, and it overall shows how much Gatchaman Crowds Insight values that questioning of not only established norms but the very formation of them as they happen.

Given Japan’s history with internal propaganda from World War II (deliberately mentioned in Insight) and the more recent controversy over the decision to expand Japan’s military applications on a global scale (a vote made by Japan’s parliament in spite of polls showing that over 50% of the Japanese people were against this), Gatchaman Crowds comes out an especially relevant time. It has a lot to chew on, and I would hope that not just anime fans but people of all backgrounds and interests take a look at this series. Its views are complex and perhaps difficult to digest as a result, but its overall theme, encouraging us as people to think and understand conflict and harmony as being both beneficial and harmful depending on the circumstances, is not to be missed.

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01 Oct 18:34

Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind to Be a Movie and a TV Show

by Stubby the Rocket

Art by Marc Simonetti (c) Bragelonne, France

Lionsgate has won a bidding war to adapt Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle series! And not just into a movie, or a television series—but both, and a video game, to boot! This deal sets up the studio to develop the multiple stories from The Name of the WindThe Wise Man’s Fear, and various novellas (including The Slow Regard of Silent Things) simultaneously and across multiple platforms.

Rothfuss broke the news on his blog, explaining how the option on his series had expired this past July, right around San Diego Comic-Con. However, apparently that deadline lit a fire under several studios, as the bidding war began at the same time. Rothfuss spent most of SDCC in meetings about adapting the series, and shared how he explained just how impossible it was to turn The Name of the Wind into a movie. He elaborated on how a movie adaptation had never been a huge draw for him:

I’ve never been that interested in a straight-up movie deal. Pretty much every fantasy movie created so far has been an action movie, or plot centered, or both. And my books aren’t like that. My books are about the characters. They’re about secrets and mysteries and the hidden turnings of the world. My books are all about antici-

-pation. And a movie, even a long movie, simply doesn’t have enough time to fit all of that stuff in. That’s why my original option was for a TV show. I wanted space for the story to breathe.

Of all the studios, Lionsgate (who Rothfuss described as “agile and innovative,” with their movie and TV departments actually communicating) got what he was saying, and came back to him with this pitch:

Then Lionsgate got in touch. “About that whole TV-show-and-a-movie thing you mentioned,” they said. “If we’re going to do some sort of big narratively intertwined multi-platform development deal based on your books, wouldn’t it make more sense to do a video game along with the TV show and movies? Because seriously, why wouldn’t we want to do a video game too?” (I’m paraphrasing a little here you understand.)

I said, “What?”

As Rothfuss told The Hollywood Reporter, this deal “will give us the screen time to develop the characters and show off the world.” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-president Erik Feig added,

Pat Rothfuss’s imaginative storytelling, the spellbinding character Kvothe and the vivid world of Temerant in The Kingkiller Chronicle series have a passionate and savvy fanbase and the potential to reach an even broader audience in adaptation. It is rare that a property comes along with a world so rich and multilayered that it lends itself to exploration across film, television and video game audiences at the same time.

Good thing we’ve already cast it!

24 Sep 22:23

Warner Bros. Is Making An ‘Iron Giant’ Documentary and Needs Help From The Crew

by Amid Amidi


If you worked on the film, now would be a good time to share memories and archival materials.
25 Sep 17:05

Traverse the Literary Seas with This World Map of Genres!

by Stubby the Rocket

World Map of Literature Martin Vargic fantasy

We’re big fans of maps: We study them at the minutest level to investigate sprawling fantasy worlds and eagerly invite mapmakers to explain their detailed processes. So we have to tip our hearts to 17-year-old artist Martin Vargic, who constructed a truly epic Map of Literature: a meta exploration into the many genres of literature, with a nod to the intricate guides included in many of the kinds of books mentioned.

Vargic’s work, which pulls from data and pop culture, is being collected in Vargic’s Miscellany of Curious Maps, out September 24 in the UK from Penguin UK and December 1 in the U.S. from HarperCollins. BuzzFeed got their hands on some wonderfully detailed close-ups of the map, plus a gorgeous image of the entire thing. We were especially interested in the Fantasy and Sci-Fi realms, though there were also plenty of Related Subjects to keep our eyes busy.

He tells BuzzFeed, “The Map of Literature is a graphical visualization of how the world’s literature evolved from the ancient era to the present day.” It’s separated into four distinct “continents”: prose fiction, prose nonfiction, drama, and poetry. If you look at the full map, you’ll see that Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, the Bible, and other long-ago cultures populate the pole; fittingly, the other genres ripple out from there. Vargic clearly approached this map from multiple dimensions: It’s fascinating to see how authors like Douglas Adams and Aldous Huxley share borders in Sci-Fi—ditto Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin in Fantasy—but there are also fun touches like the Cliché and Creativity Seas and the Protagonist Peninsula. These little detours are just as important as the lands they border.

World Map of Literature Martin Vargic sci-fi

Martin Vargic/Penguin

Check out the Map of Literature in all its glory on BuzzFeed! You can also see more of Vargic’s work, including an equally intricate Map of the Internet.

06 Sep 16:00

One-Punch Man Anime's 3rd Video Unveils More of Cast, JAM Project Song, Debut Date

Show to debut on October 4 with Kenjiro Tsuda, Minami Takayama, Tesshô Genda, more
07 Sep 06:00

Neko no Dayan Short Anime Gets 2nd Season in Fall

Neko no Dayan, Nihon e Iku series to take place in Japan
09 Sep 06:00

Duo 'Every Little Thing' Performs New Precure Film's Theme Song

Magical girl film with 1 cel-style & 2 CG parts will open on Halloween
01 Sep 21:30

Scientists Have Invented an ‘Ice Cream’ That Doesn’t Melt

by Clint Rainey

The future of picnics.

Scientists in the U.K. happily report that it won't be long before a protein they're growing in bacteria will be able to prevent ice cream from melting. The research team — a group at the universities of Dundee and Edinburgh — is using a molecule called BslA that somehow binds air bubbles and fat droplets to water, forming basically one impenetrable, puddinglike mass. A promising use, so they say, is for ice cream that stays frozen in the sun and won't form ice crystals, theoretically allowing for a better texture.

They say this ice cream could hit shelves in three years, which still may not be long enough to ease all of the reservations about such a physics-defying dairy product. In fact, researchers might be smart to remember last summer's freak-out when people discovered Walmart's ice-cream sandwiches could last in the mid-July sun for 12 hours. Or, worse yet, just wait until the first person eats a bowlful and then checks into the ER, realizing that, even upon ingestion, this frozen dessert refuses to melt.


Read more posts by Clint Rainey

Filed Under: science, england, frozen dessert, unmeltable ice cream

20 Aug 14:36

Tips for better soap living.

by tenillypo

Guys, I am seven days behind and completely lacking in motivation to get caught up. I tried last night! I really did! But I failed out after forcing myself through one episode. I’d like to say it’s because my life is so busy and important, but I think we all know that would be a filthy, filthy lie.

I'm doing stuff Lori


Anyway, lest this blog become nothing but dust and tumbleweeds, here’s some filler from my drafts folder. A little while ago I was laughing about Sam waiting around the hospital for hours just to ask Patrick if he’d spoken to Elizabeth yet, and it started me thinking about how truly weird Daytime soaps are as a genre, and how conditioned we all are to just accept the weirdness. I’m not even talking about the stuff like evil twins and back from the dead so much as all the bizarre conventions of every day soap life. Like:

The Real Estate Market. Soap people are perfectly content to live in hotels. Why rent an apartment when you can just live in a five star hotel suite for years at a time?

Ric Nina and Franco

At least one of these people is a functioning adult
who ought to own some furniture.

It’s especially convenient for new arrivals, because anyone who visits a soap town for the day inevitably ends up deciding to move there on the spot and never goes back to wherever their life was previously based to take care of petty details like quitting their job, breaking their lease, moving their things, or saying  goodbye to any of friends and family. “I’ll just live in a hotel for months with no belongings, never speaking to anyone I’ve ever known before!” say new soap transplants. “That’s totally normal, right?”

The Little Big Town. Soap towns are at the same time huge metropolises with universities, airports, high class hotels, and a thriving criminal underbelly, but also small towns where literally every person knows each other. Which sounds exhausting, honestly. I don’t even know the names of the people who share my driveway.

The Cabin in the Woods. When any soap character strays more than 10 feet off the road, they are bound to run into an abandoned yet fully furnished and probably unlocked cabin in which to: have sex, store a kidnap victim, get into a shootout with a rival mobster.

(Who owns these cabins? Why are they never there themselves? What do they think when they come back and find bullets/chains/condom wrappers strewn all over?)

The Careless Whisper. Soap people are either selectively deaf or capable of inhuman hearing, depending on whether it’s sweeps or not. See related:

The Not-So-Interior Monologue. When you have a secret that no one can know, it’s always best to explain it out loud in public, as often as possible. Don’t worry if other people are in the room with you when you feel compelled to talk to yourself about something that will ruin your life if anyone else finds out. They won’t be able to hear you unless it’s a sweeps week, and then it won’t matter if you’re talking on a different continent. If it’s sweeps, SOMEONE WILL HEAR YOU.

The World’s Greatest/Worst Detective. In a similar vein, all soap characters are either inhumanly intuitive and capable of sussing out the fact that something is wrong based on zero evidence… or they are completely oblivious no matter how obviously sketchy another character is acting. There is no in between.


“Everything about this is totally normal!”

The Delayed Reaction. That 30 seconds after a dramatic revelation when a soap person will just stare blankly without speaking until we hit the commercial break. See above for the reason why no one else finds this a suspicious response to a simple yes or no question.

The Functioning Alcoholic. All soap homes — including the hotel rooms and abandoned cabins — come equipped with a fully stocked liquor cabinet with fancy barware, decanters of hard alcohol, and often, bizarrely, water. Who keeps room temperature water constantly lying around on the off chance someone’s going to stop by unannounced? Of course that’s a constant danger in soap towns, due to…

Sonny's barware

Mmm… lukewarm water and bourbon.

The Bad Phone Etiquette. No one in soap towns uses the phone like a normal person. By which I mean they mostly don’t use it at all. Why call (or email, or text) when you can just trek all over town and show up unannounced at someone’s home or work to have a five second conversation? On the rare occasions when a soap person does make plans over the phone, they will never, ever specify a particular time and place to meet and always hang up without saying goodbye. Soap people are super rude, actually.

The Unemployment Line. Jobs in soap land are a nice to have, but no one other than doctors and cops really needs them. Higher degrees can be obtained in a few months to a year, and then you only need to show up when the plot requires you be at your job. Don’t worry about paying for the expensive hotel suite you live in, either! Either the owner will owe you a favor or the salary from your one hour of work per week will totally cover it.

Maxie and Lulu lead very busy lives

What do we do all day? NO ONE KNOWS

The Nanny. Despite the fact that many of them either have no jobs or never bother going, almost every soap parent has a live in nanny. How else to find the time to run all over town having every single conversation in person?

The Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome. Fortunately, none of these unemployed people need to afford their nannies for long due to the infamous SORAS, in which a toddler will go away to boarding school and come home a teenager the next year. This becomes especially complicated when children in the same age group aren’t SORASed together, leading to awkward situations where a nineteen year old who was born on screen five years ago is suddenly babysitting for a three year old born on screen ten years ago.

Cameron and Molly

One of us is older than the other.
The answer may surprise you!

The Jack of All/No Trades. Every soap lawyer is an expert at every type of law specialty, and every soap doctor can perform every type of surgery. (Want a cardiac surgeon to operate on your brain? No problem! He’ll go in through the neck. It will be fiiiiiine.) The inverse is that when someone is the best at their chosen profession, every other unnamed doctor in the hospital is apparently a garbage monster who would probably accidentally amputate all your limbs with a chainsaw. Don’t even get me started on THOSE BUTCHERS at Mercy.

ETA the following soap space/time mysteries from the comments:

The Monthday. The phenomenon by which Halloween can last an entire month and then two days later, it’s Thanksgiving. Soap people are even worse at letting the holidays breathe than Target.

The Creative Geography. All soap towns — now matter where they are physically located — are only an hour away from: Mexico, Europe, Martha’s Vineyard, all of Canada, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Las Vegas, the coast of landlocked Bolivia. Possible explanations for this include the theory that: all soap people are actually Time Lords, that soap towns are dotted with naturally occurring wormholes, or that soap people live in Truman Show-like environments and are just too stupid to realize that “Mexico” is literally a sound stage where the same bar they always go to has a sombrero stuck on the wall. You decide what seems more plausible.


What’s your favorite weird daytime soap trope? Will the actual show ever be watchable again? Has Rebecca Herbst’s hair finally grown out of its hideous in-between stage?

Weigh in in the comments while I gird my loins for a catch up marathon.

31 Aug 03:40

Crashing the Boy’s Club: Women Speak Out About Gender Inequality in Animation

by Amid Amidi
Women don't receive the same opportunities as men do in animation, and they're finally speaking out about it.
26 Aug 13:09

Cereal Restaurant Mania, Soup Dumplings in Downtown BK, and More Intel

by Greg Morabito

A bracing blast of restaurant news and gossip to start your day.

— New York's first cereal bar is now open inside a sneaker shop in Prospect Heights. The cereal at Kith Treats isn't even fancypants artisan-style stuff, but rather sugary store-bought flakes that are repackaged in "single-serving Mylar bags," according to the Times. One serving of cereal with milk is $6. People are already lining up for the very same foodstuff that they could purchase from literally any grocery store or bodega in the city for a much lower price. This could quite possibly be an elaborate stunt devised by Ashton and the Punk'd crew, but if you happen to stop by Kith Treats, let us know how that goes.

Three Shanghai-born restaurateurs are planning a new soup dumpling parlor at 48 Lawrence St. in Downtown Brooklyn called Yaso Tangbao. The dumpling restaurant — which will also serve noodle soups and entrees like drunken chicken — is slated to open at the end of September.

Bullets Over Broadway actor Chazz Palminteri is opening a Midtown Italian restaurant with the team behind Empire Steakhouse. The actor is currently in Italy eating pasta as research for the new project, which is officially called "Chazz Palminteri’s Ristorante Italiano."

A Florida women is suing hotelier/restaurateur Andre Balazs on discrimination charges. The woman alleges that she applied for a job as controller at Balazs's Sunset Beach hotel, but was told by the hotelier that she wouldn't get the position because she had a disabled son and couldn't give him "100 percent." Balazs's lawyer tells the Post: "We remain firmly of the view that the company’s underlying employment decision here was made on the merits and was not based on any discriminatory considerations."

— The owners of sun-splashed health food cafe Dimes are still planning to open a deli/market at 143 Division, which was the restaurant's original home before it moved across the street. Now Bowery Boogie hears that the team might also be eyeing the space directly next door, which previously housed the Great Wall Bus Company.

— Masao Matsui, the chef/proprietor of pricey Midtown newcomer Tempura Matsui, had to go back to Japan to attend to a personal emergency. His longtime team member Shin Kato is now running the kitchen.

— Michael White's three-year-old East Village pizzeria Nicoletta is applying for a license to sell hard liquor in addition to beer and wine.

— Clinton Street seafood restaurant Black Crescent is still closed because of issues related to a fire that ripped through the basement in January. The team is currently waiting on approval from the DOB and Con-Ed to finish work on the space. Restaurateur Michael Reynolds tells Bowery Boogie: "We had already been inspected and approved by Con Ed to have our gas turned on but then that explosion on 2nd Ave happened and they sent everyone back to DOB."

— And finally, here's how to cut and plate charcuterie like a professional:

17 Aug 14:30

Shake Shack Unveils a Lobster-Topped Burger

by Sierra Tishgart

Just what you need for the last weeks of summer.

We've reached peak summer: Starting today through September 20, Shake Shack locations in Boston and Connecticut will sell the Surf N’ Shack — a hamburger topped with lettuce, tomato, ShackSauce, and Maine lobster.

It only costs $8.99, which is actually a steal for a lobster sandwich, and Homarus is providing the seafood. (With Danny Meyer's backing, you can trust that this won't be an all-mayo, no-claw McLobster situation.) What does Grub have to do to get this on the menu in New York?

[Shake Shack]

Read more posts by Sierra Tishgart

Filed Under: sweet summer, boston, connecticut, lobster, shake shack

17 Aug 17:00

Introducing Inday, NYC's Brand-New Fast-Casual Indian Restaurant

by Robin Raisfed and Rob Patronite

Yes, there are bowls.

It is tempting to compare every new fast-casual outlet to Chipotle, but Basu Ratnam would really rather you didn’t do that with his new Inday, an Indian-inspired counter-service spot opening this week in Nomad. Yes, there are grain bowls. And wraps. And you can choose your (hormone-and-antibiotic-free) protein and your base. But for Ratnam, a former finance guy and first-time restaurateur, there’s no comparison. “Inday is the evolution from that,” he says. “We’re more composed meals, a little more restrained and distinct.” If he finds culinary inspiration anywhere, it’s not in the 1,700-unit quick-Mex juggernaut, but in a single-location hot spot downtown. “We’re closer to something like Dimes,” he says. “Seasonal, ingredient-driven.” And also, he hopes, young and hip — a demographic the 28-year-old entrepreneur is targeting with his menu, interior design, neighborhood, and philosophy.

Inday is a play on “India every day,” and Ratnam believes that now is the perfect time for this particular enterprise. We are living, after all, in a vegetable-centric age, with simultaneous, and sometimes competing, desires for balanced nourishment and exotic flavor — “what Indian food's been about for hundreds of years,” he says. Not that the category isn’t ripe for change: Ratnam envisions a lighter, cleaner, more accessible, and updated style of cooking, something not far from the food his Calcutta-born mother cooked when he was growing up — rooted in her heritage, but shaped by the seasonal approach of Californian cuisine and accented by worldly flavors.

This might have all remained the hunger-spiked musing of a restless private-equity investor, but fate intervened. Two years ago, Ratnam found himself seated at a dinner party next to restaurateur Phil Suarez, a partner with Jean-Georges Vongerichten in roughly three dozen restaurants, including ABC Kitchen and the flagship Jean-Georges. Ratnam described his vision persuasively enough for Suarez to sign on as a lead investor. (Also on board is Irwin Simon, founder of Hain Celestial Group, purveyor of FreeBird organic chickens, Spectrum Naturals oils, and Tilda basmati rice, all of which can be found in Inday’s kitchen.)

Take a look at the menu and the space, which opens officially on Wednesday for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; extended hours begin next week (until 10 p.m.).


The restaurant's interior. Photo: Inday

Inday menu [PDF]

1133 Broadway, entrance on 26th St.; 917-521-5012

Read more posts by Robin Raisfed and Rob Patronite

Filed Under: openings, flatiron, inday, new york city, news, phil suarez

06 Aug 14:08

Dairy Queen's Brooklyn Debut, Mighty Quinn's Chicken Sandwich, and More a.m. Intel

by Greg Morabito

Everything you need to know about New York dining today, Thursday, August 6.

— After weeks of anticipation, Brooklyn's first-ever location of Dairy Queen is finally open at 27 Graham Avenue:

[Photo Eater Tipline.]

This is the Normcore ice cream shop that East WilliamsWick so desperately needed. Dairy Queen had no presence in NYC three years ago, but now there's a location of the chain in every borough. Warren Buffett must be very pleased with himself.

— Busta Rhymes was arrested for throwing a protein shake at a gym employee last night. The incident happened at Steel Gym on West 23rd Street.

— Joshua and Heidi Smookler are taking Mu Ramen on the road for a pop-up in Washington D.C. this week.  Eater D.C. reports that the Smooklers are actually using this event "as a testing ground for interest" in the area. The Mu team is looking at spaces in Georgetown and Arlington for a possible spinoff of the popular ramen restaurant.

— Following in the footsteps of David Chang and Shake Shack, Mighty Quinn's has added a spicy crispy chicken sandwich to the menu. It's made with thigh meat that's smoked then fried. The chicken patty is served on a brioche bun with chili lime sauce, plus pickled celery and cucumbers. Owner Hugh Mangum tells Gothamist: "I was resistant to doing a fried chicken item before because of logistics and we were going to offer a chicken sandwich as a lighter fare, healthier item...Then seeing that this thing was happening was kind of, well, hell with it, let's throw caution to the wind."

— Last night's episode of The Jim Gaffigan Show featured cameos from Smith & Wollensky, Katz's, and Sardi's. Also, someone attempted to bribe Gaffigan with a Cronut:

You can watch the episode online for free.

Rupert Jee has taken the "Letterman" sandwich off the menu at Hello Deli, which is located in the same building as The Ed Sullivan Theater. He also switched the name of the popular "Schaffer" sandwich to "The Colbert," as a tribute to the Late Show's new host, Stephen Colbert.

East Village bar/venue Lit Lounge is currently closed. Last month, the owners announced plans to shutter the space and open a new iteration of the bar in Bushwick. A teacher was arrested a few weeks ago for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old in the bar's bathroom. A neighbor tells EV Grieve that the bar has been dark since the week of the arrest. The owners of the bar have not made any announcements about its closure, and a new team has applied for a liquor license for that space.

— If everything goes according to plan, Anthony Bourdain will debut his ambitious new international food market in the next year or so. The chef/author/omnipresent food media star tells Time about the inspiration behind this project:

I’m looking very much at a Singaporean hawker center as a model. Or a Chinese dai pai dong, like they have in Hong Kong. But there is nothing like it in the States that I’m aware of. And there’s certainly nothing like it in New York. It’s an amazement to me that nobody has done that.

A few months ago, news broke that Bourdain and his crew were in negotiations for a giant space at Pier 57 — AKA the SuperPier — where Google will be a future tenant. The project is slated to include a beer garden, a bakery, a tapas bar, and numerous Singaporean hawker-style food stalls.  Along with the Torrisi Four Seasons revamp, this is arguably one of the most-anticipated openings of 2016.

— And finally, here are Marc Murphy's tips for cooking lobster:

13 Aug 19:27

Five Terrific Lamb Burgers in New York City

by Nick Solares

While beef is, and always will be the king of burger meats, lamb is becoming increasingly popular in NYC. And with good reason: lamb can match the richness and mouthfeel of beef and adds its own inherent funk and gaminess, giving a different dimension to the burger eating experience. It also allows chefs to broaden the culinary influences they attach to their burger recipes. Here are five lamb burgers that are worth shepherding.

The Breslin

The Breslin Lamb Burger

April Bloomfield's sandwich at The Breslin might not have been the first lamb burger in NYC, but it the one that has had the biggest impact on the trend. Justifiably famous for the The Spotted Pig burger, Bloomfield decided to go in another direction when she opened The Breslin back in 2009 and crafted a lamb burger instead. It has proved immensely popular, accounting for as much as a third of all orders. The grass-fed lamb patty comes served with a slab of feta cheese, thin slivers of red onion, and a mayo spiked with cumin. $22.

Dirty French

Dirty French

The Torrisi Boys' play on the global reach of Gallic cooking finds expression in the lunch-only lamb burger at Dirty French. The buxom lamb patty is topped with Bûcheron cheese, a goat's milk variety from the Loire valley, and onions cooked with cumin, evoking the flavors of the Middle East and North Africa. $21.

Clover Club

Clover Club

Cocktail hot spot Clover Club serves a six ounce lamb burger on a toasted roll with sliced red onion and chevre goat cheese, with a choice of potato chips or a green salad on the side. The patty is impressively seared and at first blush looks like a regular old hamburger patty, but it tastes a lot earthier, with that pleasing richness that lamb fat brings to the table. $14.



David Waltuck's brunch-only spiced lamb burger is topped with bacon mayonnaise and chutney made with fig and caramelized onion. It's served on a brioche roll with chickpea fries on the side. The patty is so loosely packed that it crumbles easily yet has an impressively dense crust from the pan searing, giving it some serious Maillard flavors. $22.

Five Napkin Burger

Five Napkin Burger

The kofta burger at Five Napkin Burger is a good entryway into the world of lamb burgers for those unfamiliar them. It  contains a blend of beef and lamb making it more approachable to novices. While it might not display quite the level of artistry of the other burgers here, it still makes a compelling case for lamb as a burger meat. Evoking the flavors of a gyro, it comes topped with chopped tomato, cucumber, a pepper and onion salad, and tahini sauce on a soft white roll. $16.75.

Editor markup for Hermano Venue "The Breslin Bar ". This is only visible in the story editor.
Editor markup for Hermano Venue "Dirty French - 180 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002". This is only visible in the story editor.
14 Aug 20:45

Noodle Hero Successfully Orders Ramen With 100 Slices of Pork

by Chris Crowley

Looks like a normal bowl of ramen.

In what is perhaps the greatest achievement in recent ramen history, a RocketNews24 reporter bravely ordered 100 slices of roast pork with his noodles, a victory that no doubt deserves to be celebrated with a few scoops of ramen ice cream by all.

Read more posts by Chris Crowley

Filed Under: major achievements, japan, ramen

12 Aug 07:00

New Fire Emblem Manga to Begin in September

Fire Emblem Fates character designer, story writer to collaborate on manga
06 Aug 16:46

Help! My Grandbaby Is Being Raised By Its Parents

by thingsthatareawful

Dear Abby, 4 August 2015:

DEAR ABBY: Whatever happened to respecting one’s elders and recognizing grandparents as head of the family? I recently returned from visiting my son, his wife and my new grandchild. My son’s wife and I had many disagreements on how to care for my grandchild. Instead of respecting my years of experience as a mother and appreciating my help, she chose to ignore my instructions and advice.

After I returned home, I was told by my son that I was no longer welcome to visit my grandchild unless I apologized to his wife for trying to undermine her parenting. I told him she should apologize to me for not showing me respect as the grandmother.

How can I make my son see that it is his wife who is wrong, and not me? – UNAPPRECIATED GRANDMA

Dear Unappreciated Grandma,

The uppity young bitches these days have an awful lot of opinions about how to raise “their” (your) children in “their” (your) homes, don’t they? This is definitely significantly different from past times, in which literally every young person did literally every single thing they were told to do by literally everyone who was older than them, without exception, every time, because that is a one thousand percent true fact about how the world used to work and no longer currently works, in any circumstance whatsoever.

You deigned to grace with your generous and omniscient presence the home your son seems to think is “his” (it’s yours), which he shares with “his” (she’s yours too) wife and “their” (your) baby–all the while graciously staying silent about the reality that in fact your children and everyone and everything in their orbit belongs to you because you are older than they are. You played along with their little charade of having “their” (your) family, and generously dictated the terms on which they would raise “their” (your) grandbaby. They should be thankful that someone as wise and important as you instructed them on how to live their lives in the singular fashion in which it is appropriate to live a life, which is to say, in full deference to you.

As you rightly know, there is only one correct way to raise children, which is to say, the way that you raised children. Literally all children who were raised different to how you raised your children will grow up to be inveterate puss pockets, whereas your child-rearing abilities are demonstrably unparalleled. 

Your son, raised to perfection by you, the greatest parent of all time, doesn’t see that it’s literally impossible for you to “undermine” “his” wife’s parenting since she is the mere vessel for carriage for your grandbaby, over whose dominion you exclusively rule, because you are older than other people are.

You cannot make your son see the error of his obviously self-absorbed and controlling wife’s ways. The sad truth is that people who are blinded by "their” own self-importance rarely realize the error of "their” ways until it is too late. 

29 Jul 17:00

Oscar-Nominated 'Dam Keeper' Animators Work With Anime Studio

anima inc. produced Cat Sh*t One short; Tonko House to adapt Japanese children's book for film
03 Jul 13:00

Official ukiyo-e project brings a bit of historical Japan to a galaxy far, far away

by KK Miller

star wars 1

Japan is just as crazy about Star Wars as the rest of the world and everyone is eagerly awaiting the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, on December 18, 2015 (Good news! It’s being released in Japan at the same time as most of the world!). So it’s the perfect opportunity for a number of Star Wars affiliated projects to get under way. One project is striking a chord with our love of Japan and our love of Star Wars as it combines a traditional art form with a very non-traditional universe.

The connections between Japan and Star Wars are well-documented and quite amazing. Even visually, just by looking at Darth Vader’s iconic helmet you can see that it was inspired by the headgear helmets worn by the samurai in the way it extends down the neck and features a faceplate. It’s also easy to find Star Wars merchandise with their own Japanese spin on them like lightsaber chop sticks, Star Wars inspired sake cups and Star Wars characters re-imagined in a Japanese style.

This latest project, funded through the Japanese crowd funding site Makuake, puts a traditional stamp on the Star Wars universe. While the characters have been drawn in an ukiyo-e style before, this might be the first time prints have been officially approved by Lucasfilm. Three gorgeous prints combine the epic Star Wars tale with the beauty of Japan by depicting scenes and characters from the movies.
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The real gem of the bunch is the close-up okubi-e of Darth Vader. An okubi-e is a Japanese portrait print in the ukiyo-e style showing only the head or the head and upper torso.  Masumi Ishikawa, the designer of these ukiyo-e, wanted to arrange the Death Star like a moon in the background and have Darth Vader standing in the middle of flames of hatred. This print also includes the name “Darth Vader” represented by ateji, kanji that sounds like the name. Usually the characters are chosen for their sound only, but these kanji have a meaning as well. Ishikawa chose the ateji, 堕悪巣俾荼 which can be read as “daasu beida and also has the meaning of a “suffering servant that fell to the webs of evil”.

star wars 5

The other two prints feature a scene from the Battle of Hoth and Queen Amidala posed with R2-D2. Each piece of artwork is intricately crafted in wood and then expertly printed onto paper. You can see some of the work in a behind the scenes video from their Makuake page.

As traditional art and an official Star Wars product, the ukiyo-e prints are not cheap. A single print can be purchased by supporting their Makuake project for 54,000 yen (US$ 438.84), while a lucky few have already purchased the limited run of all three prints for 162,000 yen ($1,316.54).

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If you have the money to spare, this might be the most traditional Japanese way to display your geekiness to the world. The Makuake campaign just started, but each piece is only being printed 100 times and they are going fast. Head on over to their project page if you want to own one of these amazing pieces of art for yourself.

Images: Makuake

Origin: Official ukiyo-e project brings a bit of historical Japan to a galaxy far, far away
Copyright© RocketNews24 / SOCIO CORPORATION. All rights reserved.

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18 Jun 13:00

Hold on, some people are actually making money at comics!

by Heidi MacDonald


After yesterday’s gloom parade over the economics of comics, and the small number of people who seem to be making a good wage from making them, writer Kieron Gillen delivered another set of metrics that was far more cheerful. He wrote it in response to a website’s concern trolling over sales of The Wicked + The Divine—a much loved series which Gillen writes and Image publishes—falling to the dangerous level of 22,519 copies, a level so low that the writer wondered if this was the end of the book…before admitting that it probably wasn’t.

As Gillen points out, numbers for a creator owned Image book are a lot different than for a Marvel or DC book, where such a number would be in the danger zone. Actually, that number would indicate that Gillen and his collaborator Jamie McKelvie could possibly buy me a beer at some point.

I’ll give you some really basic rule of thumbs for indie comic commentary:

Anything selling stably over 10k in single issues is a cause for celebration and joy. The creators are almost certainly extremely happy.

If you’re selling over (ooh) 12k, you’re probably making more than either of the big two would pay you, unless you’re one of the very biggest names.

If you’re selling anything near 20k, you probably have to buy drinks for your friends.

And in a real way, if Phonogram settled around 6k back in 2006, I suspect Jamie and I would have settled into doing it for another 40 or 50 issues.

There’s all manner of exceptions to the above, but if you look at the charts and bear that in mind, you’ll be closer to how the industry looks at those numbers.

None of the above includes digital sales.

As he goes on to enumerate, if you’re not including sales of TRADE PAPERBACK COLLECTIONS in the indie equation you are missing a huge income source:

None of the above include trades. You throw trades in, and you change everything entirely. A cursory look at hit indie comic numbers reveals that their trades sell much more than Marvel/DC main universe trades, with a few exceptions (There’s a reason why Matt and David’s Hawkeye was such a big thing, and it wasn’t its monthly sales). Let’s bold another sentence.

You cannot do an industry commentary column on indie books without including  the impact of trades.

Jim Zub wrote a lot about all this a while ago, and updated it with numbers similar to Gillen’s. At the breakeven-ish point for an Image comics (let’s say ~5000 copes) the creative team gets 25% of the profits, which on a $3.99 would be about a buck, the ballpark I’ve often heard for Image books. it’s only that, a ballpark, but it does give you some idea. A book selling $10k a month is making money.

And how many Image books are selling that? Well, ICv2’s numbers just came out so let’s take a look!

WALKING DEAD #141 (MR) $2.99 IMA    68,931
SAGA #28 (MR) $2.99 IMA    55,239
INJECTION #1 (MR) $2.99 IMA    41,648
WYTCHES #6 (MR) $3.99 IMA    34,259
DESCENDER #3 (MR) $2.99 IMA    29,717
MYTHIC #1 [*] $1.99 IMA    29,361
OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA #9 (MR) $2.99 IMA    28,961
CHRONONAUTS #3 (MR) $3.50 IMA    26,605
JUPITERS CIRCLE #2 (MR) $3.50 IMA    24,499
EAST OF WEST #19 $3.50 IMA    22,482
FADE OUT #6 (MR) $3.50 IMA    20,678
WICKED & DIVINE #10 (MR) $3.50 IMA    20,562
SONS OF THE DEVIL #1 (MR) [*] $2.99 IMA    19,392
BLACK SCIENCE #14 (MR) $3.50 IMA    17,090
KAPTARA #2 $3.50 IMA    16,635
SPAWN #252 (MR) $2.99 IMA    15,904
TREES #9 (MR) $2.99 IMA    15,821
RUNLOVEKILL #2 (MR) $2.99 IMA    15,669
SAVIOR #2 $2.99 IMA    13,625
INVINCIBLE #120 $2.99 IMA    13,191
MANTLE #1 (MR) $3.99 IMA    13,076
BIRTHRIGHT #7 $2.99 IMA    12,561
ODYC #5 (MR) $3.99 IMA    12,557
DEADLY CLASS #13 (MR) $3.50 IMA    12,299
MATERIAL #1 (MR) $3.50 IMA    11,708
NAILBITER #12 (MR) $2.99 IMA    10,688
VALHALLA MAD #1 $3.50 IMA      9,952

Answer: 27. Okay now you know who can buy you a drink!

On a more serious note, most of the books in the above list sell for $2.99 or $3.50, so there is less to split between writer and artist, letters, colorists and designers have to be paid, etc etc. And also, the ICV2 estimates are just that…estimates, and consistently about 10% low, although there can be other discrepancies, so you shouldn’t take any of these numebrs as gospel, especially the trade sales—total sales are VERY different from the ICv2 numbers, which don’t take bookstores, some online sales, digital, library, book fair or many other numbers into account.

And were still not talking an insane amount of money. Let’s say a book sells 10,000 copies and makes $7500 for the creators. That’s $90,000 a year to be split among the team, so you need another income course for a vacation or retirement.

But still, you CAN make money making comics!!! I suppose I shouldn’t encourage people after yesterday’s dismal reality check; but I think my being in a band analogy stands. It’s better to have made comics or music than never to have tried at all. Most people in every creative endeavor are never going to reach the highest highs, and comics are no exception.

What is concerning is, as I’ve often pointed out, the comics bottom line is a lot lower than in other vocations. There was a pretty lively Twitter conversation yesterday about my piece and especially David Harper’s survey; I’m not sure I have the storify skills to capture it but it came down to people accepting low rates because they are so eager to get into comics and undercutting other creators.

And also, there’s a fairly narrow window in which to make decent money when you do get there. Scott Snyder may make more from Wytches than he does from Batman, but Image is only one publisher, and as hot as they are, they can’t publish everything. (Although we’ll see after this year’s Image Expo.) Image is the best game in town but it has finite resources. Marvel and DC offer good page rates—although Marvel lowered theirs for all but their top creators last year—but the competition is fierce, the politics are daunting and getting established takes a lot of hard work.

Nobody promised you fame and fortune when you got out of cartooning school, but you should have some path forward that doesn’t involve only three publishers or sleeping three hours a night.We need more options, more competition among publishers, and more safety for creators to make decisions that improve their page rates.


More on that later but in the meantime, what do YOU think?

20 Jun 13:55

シャフ度 [Shafudo]

by bangin

I have lost my password to log in here. How long have I left my blog? Well, what shall I say first…okay, hi I am bangin, Japanese cosplayer, and the owner of this blog, Japanese words of anime fans, by anime fans, for anime fans. I shall introduce you those words which stem from anime or Japan’s subculture. I mean, they are otakish words, you know.

Anyway, I almost forgot to write in English. No no, my English is sucks in the first place. Takes much time to make a post. Well, days ago I got an e-mail from someone who asked me to make a post here. Oh no, thank you. Somone is still following my blog! Then I do, for sure.


If you are following any anime series from the anime production, Shaft[シャフト], you might have found one thing. It always happens, frequently happens. She looks down…he looks down…and they have an exultant look or that kind of look. Yes, that is シャフ度[shafudo], or shaft angle. シャフ[shafu] is from Shaft, and [do] means angle. In this case, is technically 角度[kakudo] or angle. Whenever you are aware of this angle, you are watching anime by Shaft.

Speaking of Shaft anime, I can think of Bakemonogatari[化物語], Arakawa Under the Bridge[荒川アンダーザブリッジ], Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei[さよなら絶望先生], or Dempa Onna and Seishun Otoko[電波女と青春男]…but wait, Revolutionary Shoujo Utena[少女革命ウテナ] is also made by Shaft. 懐かしいね!

シャフ度 can be frequently seen in the anime series by Director Teruyuki Shimbou[新房照之] who has been working for Shaft. Especially, it seems like this started from Bakemonogatari.


It’s always so hard, isn’t it? Shadow and light are so hard. This is important when we talk about シャフ度. Not only looking down, but you have to bend down backwards like an arc. This is easy to say, but hard to do!


Come to think of it, there’s one more Shaft’s technique. That’s 黒板ネタ[kokuban neta]. 黒板[kokuban] is a blackboard and ネタ[neta] is a topic or just a troll. You see this on the blackboard in the classroom. The board is full of off-topic words or nonsense. This is the idea Shaft often uses. Well, I feel we always need to fill in the blank on the blackboard, no?

03 Jun 16:40

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08 Jun 06:00

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This manga is about eating breakfast, I need it.

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26 May 18:05

Pizza Hut Shoved 8 Meat Pies Into Its Crust

by Clint Rainey

These look about ready to hatch.

Over in Australia, Pizza Hut says that it's had a "lovechild" with the country's famed meat-pie-maker, Four'N Twenty, producing this concoction pictured here. It's a pizza "stuffed" with eight meat pies.

This is what actually arrives in the box — the ketchup adornment is apparently DIY:

This just happened and I don't know why. #meatpiepizza @pizzahutaus #straya

— Jen Ryall (@jennijenni) May 26, 2015

This horrifying new item has provided ample opportunity for puns, but the brands themselves prefer the fooling-around angle. Four'N Twenty and Pizza Hut Australia are officially in a "complicated" relationship on Facebook, and there's been some Twitter flirtation. Brands gone wild!

So glad to see you’re having fun with attractive girls @FOURNTWENTY

— Pizza Hut Australia (@PizzaHutAus) May 22, 2015


— Pizza Hut Australia (@PizzaHutAus) May 23, 2015


Read more posts by Clint Rainey

Filed Under: the chain gang, australia, four'n twenty, mash-ups, meat pies, pizza hut

22 May 15:58

Killer New Dining Options at Coney Island, The Rockaways, and Jacob Riis Park

by Layla Khabiri

Headed to the beach? Here's a guide to all the awesome new food options.

With Memorial Day weekend and some beautiful weather coming up, New York's beaches are all gearing up to reopen for the summer season. While there is greatness to be had in old-school seaside dining, there are a lot of awesome new food options across the city's beaches this year. So if you're headed to the seaside this weekend and looking for something different, here's a guide to all your new options.

The Rockaways

Rockaway Beach Surf Club

The Rockaways has seen a lot of changes this year, none of them for the worse. Although the ever-popular Rockaway Taco won't be returning to its Beach 96th Street spot this season, now that co-owners Andrew Field and David Selig have parted ways, Field has opened Tacoway Beach nearby at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, on Beach 87th Street. The new space has more seating, and will serve alcohol to go with those tacos.

Meanwhile, at the former Rockaway Taco space, Selig has partnered with the MP Shift, a design/branding studio, to host a popup called The Summer Shift. It features a rotating roster of Latin American chefs, including Gerardo Gonzalez of El Rey, Camille Becerra of Navy, and more, from this weekend through September 7. Paleta specialist La Newyorkina will also be there all summer, serving Mexican-leaning popsicles.

The restaurant at the Playland Motel has reopened under new management, Dan Cipriani, who vows to make it less of a party place – no more 4 a.m. closing times. Cipriani, who also owns Lodge in Williamsburg and ran the Southern barbecue truck at Rockaway Beach Surf Club last summer, says that the plan is to do more "community based events, art openings, collaborations with skate and surf companies, open mic nights." The menu is a list of summer hits: fish tacos, breakfast tacos, and some jerk chicken and ribs thrown in for good measure. Cocktails also follow the seaside theme, with options like a guava margaritas.

Also look out for new upscale coffee shop/juice bar Rockaway Roasters, as well as Beach Sliders, which will be serving miniature White Castle-style burgers, and Chicks to Go a Peruvian restaurant specializing in roasted chicken and sides like fried cassava.

If you do choose to stick to old favorites, Edgemere Farm, Sugar Bowl, Caracas Arepa Bar, Conchos, and Rippers are all also back in action now for the summer season.

Jacob Riis Park


After being kicked out of its north Brooklyn digs to make way for a BMW dealership, the Brooklyn Night Bazaar has been reborn as the Riis Park Beach Bazaar. That's sad news for Williamsburg, but great news for this beach, where the options have previously been limited to basic concessions like hot dogs and bags of chips. The Bazaar opens this weekend, bringing food vendors like Brooklyn Star, Fletcher's BBQ, Court Street Grocers, La Newyorkina, and Ample Hills to the "People's Beach". Plus the "BarZaar" will serve beer, wine, and frozen cocktails. There will also be beach chair rentals, shuttle service, concerts, nail and tattoo artists, and tarot readers.

Opening hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., seven days a week.

Coney Island

Flicker Creative Commons

The newest outpost of outdoor food market phenomenon Smorgasburg opens on Coney Island tomorrow. It will host a dozen vendors, including Bon Chovie, Dan & John's Wings, El Super, Excell Kingston Eatery, Home Frite, La Newyorkina, Mile End, Mofongo, Queen Cobra Thai, and Red Hook Lobster Pound in shipping containers along the boardwalk. There will also be two bars, and plenty of street art to peruse on the 20 or so walls installed by Thor Equities (which is developing the lot nearby) and curated by art dealer Jeffrey Deitch. Smorgasburg will open daily from 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.

And keep an eye out for an outpost of Wahlburger's, the Massachusetts burger chain run by Mark Wahlberg's brother, which is set to open in June.