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19 May 10:00

Sweet little Digimon toys will get you ready for a Digimon movie marathon

by KK Miller

digimon 2

We’re super excited for the impending release of the new Digimon. Fans and artists are all speculating about the story and design for this new six-part movie series. Details suggest the original cast of “digi-destined” will be back, which means our favorite original Digimon will be back too.

Toy makers are fueling the hype machine, too, as Mega House is releasing a set of figures of your favorite season-one Digimon. These little guys are so cute, you won’t be able to stop yourself from singing that catchy theme song!

After celebrating their 15th anniversary, the Digimon creators knew exactly how to fire up their grown up fan base, by bringing back the original team. Fans of the series will certainly tune in again to see how these lovable characters have grown up over the years. Before the November release of the first movie titled Sakai (Reunion), toy maker Mega House is releasing a brand new set of partner Digimon in-training and rookie figures. In what appears to be the first in a series of Digi-kore (Digimon Collection), you will be able to get Agumon, Patamon, Palmon and Gomamon and all of their previous Digivolutions.

【新商品】本日情報解禁!デジモンアドベンチャー「デジコレ! DATA1」パートナーデジモン達の幼年期、成長期が揃うフィギュア登場!抽選でトコモン通常ver当たるメガ★ megahobby.jp/products/item/… #digimon http://t.co/Gv18KLF1v9


メガハウス とり子 (@mega_girlshobby) May 13, 2015

▼ Agumon

digimon 4

▼ Botamon and Koromon

digimon 8

▼ Patamon

digimon 5

▼ Poyomon and Tokomon

digimon 9

▼ Palmon

digimon 6

▼ Yuramon and Tanemon

digimon 10

▼ Gomamon

digimon 7

▼ Pichimon and Bukamon

digimon 11Tokomon fans (the Digivolution below Patamon) can win an alternate version of this cute little guy through a Mega House lottery.

▼ “Win me! Win me!”

digimon 20

These Digimon make a sweet companion to the already in-stock G.E.M. series, pairing some of your favorite Digimon with their trainers.

▼ Sweet diorama pieces not included

digimon 21

These pre-painted figures will go on sale in September for a suggested retail price of 600 yen (about US$5) each. Fans looking to collect the whole set should see about getting a box as that should contain all eight figures. If your favorite Digimon isn’t among the first set, you don’t have to worry as this is only series one or DATA1, as they call it. We’re sure to see the rest of the colorful Digital Monster cast in the coming months.

digimon 12

digimon 13

digimon 14

digimon 15

digimon 16

digimon 17

digimon 18

digimon 19

Source: Twitter (@mega_girlshobby) via nivimen
Images: Twitter (@mega_girlshobby), Megahobby Station

Origin: Sweet little Digimon toys will get you ready for a Digimon movie marathon
Copyright© RocketNews24 / SOCIO CORPORATION. All rights reserved.

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19 May 18:00

An Adaptation Of A Movie That Doesn't Exist: Tom Scioli On 'Transformers vs. GI Joe,' Part One

by Chris Sims

To say that Tom Scioli and John Barber's Transformers vs. GI Joe is an unusual comic is underselling things quite a bit. On paper, it's a natural fit, an ongoing series that follows in the footsteps of earlier books that have combined the two toy lines into one massive interplanetary battle. In practice, though, it's something a lot bigger, a comic that almost assaults the reader by cramming in as much big, wild stuff as it possibly can --- a toy comic so weird, and so great, that it almost feels like it shouldn't exist.

With the book's second storyline well under way, throwing in everything from vikings to old gods to Dinobots (and with a new printing of the amazing American Barbarian on the way this summer), I talked to cowriter, artist and occasional ComicsAlliance guest contributor Tom Scioli about the series. Today, in the first part of the interview, he talks about the exhausting process of fitting it all into 20 pages, and reveals the adaptation he wrote for a Transformers vs. GI Joe movie that does not actually exist.

Continue reading…

23 May 01:00

Crowdfunding Campaign Seeks to Expand Animator Dorms

Project's US$15,000 goal would establish more housing for low-income animation staff
14 May 10:30

Sony Pictures Classics to Release Our Little Sister Film in U.S.

Adaptation of Akimi Yoshida's Umimachi Diary manga is competing at Cannes Film Festival
17 May 08:00

Ice Blade's Takahashi to Begin Boxing Manga

Series initially teased in 2011
18 May 18:45

23rd Animator Expo Short Is Moyocco Anno's 'Memoirs of amorous gentlemen'

1st season episodes will be removed on May 31
21 May 05:29

Akagi Mahjong Manga Gets Live-Action TV Series in July

Series by Kaiji's Nobuyuki Fukumoto inspired 2005 TV anime series
09 May 05:00

Ore Monogatari!!/My Love Story!! Shōjo Manga Gets Live-Action Film (Updated)

kate

Definitely curious about the casting for this.

Kazune Kawahara, Aruko's romantic comedy manga also inspired ongoing TV anime
20 Apr 18:16

AND…freshly solicited is the THE ART OF MOUSE GUARD:...



AND…freshly solicited is the THE ART OF MOUSE GUARD: 2005-2015 HC due out in July.

10 May 21:40

GM Toolbox: Know Thy Players, Part Two

by savevsjared

Each month, the GM Toolbox offers advice and insights on topics specifically for those brave souls who keep the action moving–the Gamemasters. This month, we continue our series on different play styles with The Silent One, The Alpha, and The Storyteller.

The Silent One:
Frequency: You’ll know it when you see it.
Terrain: In the background
No. Appearing: Usually one…unless they’re hiding from you….
Special Attacks: Hiding
Special Defenses: Shyness

Somewhere in the vicinity of your table, far from the spotlight, you may have a Silent One. Silent Ones often appear with one or more players. Maybe they’re someone’s friend or significant other and they’ve joined the game as a way to spend time with friends or loved ones. Or perhaps they’re just shy and wouldn’t want to find a game on their own. Silent Ones pose no threat to the sanctity of your table per se. Indeed, their unassuming nature makes them quite easy to get along with. And therein lies the problem.

How to deal with them:

Silent Ones generally fall into two categories: very shy/self-conscious or along for the company. For the latter, the best thing you can do is accept that they’re having the level of engagement with the game that they feel comfortable with. As long as they aren’t disrupting everyone else’s fun, that’s absolutely OK. For the former type, you’ll want to make sure they have opportunities to drive the action or offer input to the party’s decision making. It can be easy for quiet players to go unnoticed and eventually become disengaged from the game if more vocal players dominate the game. With that said, you’ll have to do your best to strike a balance between providing opportunities and putting pressure on a Silent One to participate. Offer chances to do so with a light hand…lest you cause them to withdraw even further.

The Alpha:
Frequency: The Right Time, of course.
Terrain: Leading from the front or behind the scenes
No. Appearing: Pray its only 1
Special Attacks: Rapid Fire Decision Making
Special Defenses: Certainty

Alphas have a need for control that can quickly lead to other players becoming discouraged or leaving the game altogether as the Alpha tries to drag the game in a direction that other members of the party might not be comfortable with. Alphas tend to hog the spotlight even if they don’t mean to, because unlike the Silent One, they have no problem at all speaking their mind. Alphas can be quite good at keeping the game moving when a Rules Lawyer feels compelled to argue the finer points of some esoteric use of a skill, or when a Thespian’s soliloquy begins to drag on. In these ways, an Alpha can be helpful…ish. Many Alphas see themselves as careful tacticians and are fond of developing intricate plans then lobbying the party to go along with it. At their worst, Alphas can be overbearing and a bit too fixated on their own fun at the expense of everyone else.

How to deal with them:

Channeling the energy that an Alpha can bring to the table is the key to smoothly integrating such a player into your group. Alphas tend to have a natural penchant for organization and for providing their fellow players with a sense of direction. This can be very helpful if, like the Rules Lawyer, you delegate some of the bookkeeping to them, like tracking the party’s loot, or having them update a list of NPCs the party has encountered. If it sounds like the strategy is “keep them busy”, then you’ve got the gist of it, but it needs to be something of helpful to everyone at the table. And like all players, be sure to give the Alpha their moment in the sun occasionally, as they place a particular importance on being able to lead the charge.

The Storyteller:
Frequency: In Three Acts
Terrain: In the background
No. Appearing: A dime/copper/cred-stick a dozen
Special Attacks: Incessant Narration
Special Defenses: Meticulously Kept Campaign Notes

A somewhat uncommon denizen of the playerverse, the Storyteller takes pleasure in obsessing over the most intricate details of worldbuilding. A Storyteller’s character will almost always have extraordinarily detailed back story, which they will eagerly provide you. Much like the Thespian, they often immerse themselves deep into the psyches of their characters, but they’re far more concerned with how their character interacts with the world than with hamming it up in the spotlight. Storytellers arrive at your table in search of their character’s narrative and exploring that narrative in the campaign world. They are creatures of wild and fanciful imagination and are mostly harmless…as long as they perceive the story being told as interesting. If not, they’ll do anything to make the story bend to their personal whims.

How to deal with them:

Storytellers are, at the end of the day, at the table to have a good time just like everyone else, but in some ways, it can feel like they’re gunning for your role in running the game. Be prepared to answer questions about the cultures/languages/economies/religions and other extreme minutia of your campaign setting with a Storyteller around. Feel free to tell them “Eh, I don’t know”. Then feel free to listen to their ideas about it. Nod thoughtfully often. Eventually they’ll move on to ponder something else. The key to dealing with a Storyteller is striking a balance between letting them explore the deepest aspects of their character’s inner nature while also reminding them to engage with the other party members and the overall story. Asking a Storyteller to help contribute to the party’s campaign notebook is a good way to keep them engaged in events transpiring at the table that don’t involve them. Storytellers can often fall in and out of love with their creations, and don’t be surprised if they switch characters (all with pages of background info) several times throughout a campaign. As long as its not going to adversely disrupt the game or the other player’s enjoyment, there’s usually no harm in letting them do so.

Parting Thoughts:

While the six player styles we’ve covered in the series covers most of what you’ll encounter as a GM, in reality most players will have elements of all of these styles in varying degrees. Be sure to match your tactics to the players you’re working with! Everyone, myself included, has player habits that can sometimes cause GMs and fellow players headaches. Hopefully you’ll be able to use this as a basis for being aware of the blind spots in your own play style the next time you sit down on either side of the GM’s screen.


06 May 19:16

Ghibli fanarts by Bill Mudron.













Ghibli fanarts by Bill Mudron.

03 May 02:08

lolfactory: Life without the oxford comma.



lolfactory:

Life without the oxford comma.

07 May 21:04

‘Phineas & Ferb’ Series Finale Set; Disney Greenlights New Series From Its Creators

by Darryn King
'Mikey Murphy's Law' will premiere in 2017.
08 May 16:30

More Dinosaur Lords Art from Richard Anderson

by Irene Gallo

Dinosaur Lords

We released the Richard Anderson cover for Victor Milán’s The Dinosaur Lords last year with a bit of fanfare....Mostly of the “Holy Sh*t!” variety. The book roughly mirrors 14th century Europe with its dynastic rivalries, religious wars, and byzantine politics…but the weapons of choice are dinosaurs. As I said then, a painting of knights riding dinosaurs was either going to be a cheesy disaster or pure awesome. Thankfully (if not surprisingly) Richard Anderson delivered the awesome.

The subject matter was just too rich not to indulge a little, so we commissioned Anderson to create a few interior drawings for the chapter heads. While Anderson is busy on the cover art for the sequel, The Dinosaur Knights, I thought I’d show off a couple of these drawings.

[Dinosaurs!]

If you are wondering what George R. R. Martin has to do with The Dinosaur Lords, you can read Victor Milán’s essay here. Or if you, like me, enjoy looking at a boat-load of dinosaur art, check out our “Picturing Dinosaurs” gallery.

The Dinosaur Lords will be out July 28th.

The Dinosaur Lords Victor Milan

07 May 01:00

Why Does Engrish Happen in Japan? Part 2: Please refrain from using the bathroom alone

by Casey Baseel

ES 1

It’s time once again for an episode of Why Does Engrish Happen in Japan? If you missed the first installment (which we really should have given a clever name like Why Does Engrish Happen in Japan? ~Unexpected Opening to the Truth~) you can check it out here.

Today, we’re taking a look at a hotel in Japan that seems to be clamping down on solo peeing, with a sign posted in its lobby that requests visitors “Please refrain from using the bathroom alone.”

At first glance, this might seem like the sort of announcement you’d come across in a love hotel that specializes in a very specific kind of clientele. That’s not the case, though, as the very bottom of the sign identifies the location as a branch of the Richmond Hotel, which offers mid-range accommodations for both business and leisure travelers.

▼ The atmosphere is more “comfortable” than “kinky.”

ES 2

While Richmond has properties all over Japan, none are in any neighborhoods so rough that you need to have a friend watch your back while you take a leak (honestly, Japan is so safe that taking a dump without backup is never something to worry about). And while many Japanese hotel chains have become more conscious of the environment over the last decade, their eco-friendly policies are usually along the lines of not replacing the guestroom toilet paper roll until it’s completely used up or only providing a new set of towels during a two-night stay if the customer specifically requests it. In other words, the Richmond Hotel isn’t asking that guests maintain a ratio of at least two deposits in the bowl for each flush.

So now that we’ve eliminated those possible explanations, let’s move on to the real culprit, mistranslation, and break it down like a bunch of bilingual DJs who’re overly fond of shouting “Word!” in multiple languages to try to amp up the crowd.

▼ Even if he’s in it, M.C. Linguistics is too dedicated to his field to ever use the word “hizouse.”

ES 5

First, let’s take the original Japanese and write it out using the English alphabet.

ES 4

Otearai nomi no goriyou ha goenryo itadaite orimasu.

The o in otearai and go in both goriyou and goenryo are just prefixes tacked on to make those words more polite. It’s a common practice in the service industry, but they’re not really critical to understanding the phrase, so let’s chop them off.

While we’re at it, itadaite orimasu is a more refined way of saying itadaku, so once we’ve scrubbed all the polish off this refined way of speaking, we’re left with:

Tearai nomi no riyou ha enryo itadaku.

Tearai, while literally meaning “hand washing,” is a common way of saying “bathroom” in Japanese. Riyou is the noun “use,” making tearai no riyou “use of the bathroom.”

We’re going to skip past nomi for right now, but ha (or wa, if you’re spelling it phonetically), simply marks “use of the bathroom” as the subject of the sentence. Enryo means “refrain,” as in “refrain from doing something,” and while itadaku is often used to mean “receive,” it can also mean “have (someone do something).” So the direct translation from Tearai no riyou ha enryo itadaku would be “We will have you refrain from using the bathroom,” or, phrased more naturally, “Please refrain from using the bathroom.”

Whoever translated the sign into English stumbled over nomi, though. Nomi means “only,” or “just.” For example, if you go to the hair salon and just want a cut, with no shampoo or coloring or perm, you’d ask for katto nomi.

Nomi can also be used in talking about people, though. For example, a special offer that only students are eligible for could be described as gakusei nomi, or “only for students.” And while it might be wordier way to phrase it, you could also describe that gakusei nomi offer as “for students alone” and still be grammatically correct, in the sense of “for students alone, and not anyone else.”

Unfortunately for the Richmond Hotel, “only” and “alone” aren’t perfectly interchangeable in English, and it ended up with “Please refrain from using the bathroom alone.” Really, the sign’s Japanese text says “Please refrain from only using the bathroom.”

In other words, the hotel is asking that people not stop in just to use the lobby restrooms without also being guests of the hotel or its attached restaurant. Why is this an issue? Because this particular Richmond Hotel is located in Asakusa, one of Tokyo’s most popular tourist destinations. The neighborhood receives huge crowds of travelers, both foreign and domestic, who flock to the area to see its famous Sensoji Temple, and apparently a lot of them also have been making use of the Richmond’s restrooms regardless of whether or not they’re staying at the hotel. The Japanese text at the very bottom of the sign directs those looking for a restroom to instead use the public ones located between the hotel and Sensoji.

▼ Kanji safari fans can also spot the characters for goriyou again.

ES 3

So don’t worry, while Japan is totally down with communal bathing in its hot springs, peeing and pooping are both still private matters.

Source: Reddit via Byokan Sunday
Top image: Imgur (edited by RocketNews24
Insert images: Richmond Hotel, Wikipedia/Mbdortmund, Imgur (edited by RocketNews24

Origin: Why Does Engrish Happen in Japan? Part 2: Please refrain from using the bathroom alone
Copyright© RocketNews24 / SOCIO CORPORATION. All rights reserved.

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23 Apr 17:04

bear1na: Adventure Time #41 - Finn by Jake Wyatt * Hey! I drew...



bear1na:

Adventure Time #41 - Finn by Jake Wyatt *

Hey! I drew this! I didn’t know that it’d been released yet. But I guess EVERYONE ELSE ON TUMBLR DID holy crap.

-Jake

03 May 10:30

Kare Baka Gag Manga Gets Anime Adaptation Green-Lit

Manga by Bamboo Blade B creators centers on idiotic but handsome boyfriend
28 Apr 23:56

Help! My Lesbian Step-Daughter Has Interfered With My Important Social Calendar

by thingsthatareawful

Dear Prudence, April 2015:

Q. Disrespectful Teenage Daughter: My stepdaughter is 14 years old, and has demonstrated problematic behavior toward me recently, in my opinion. I have been with her mother since 2013, and the girl has radically changed her whole identity. My wife and I are moderate liberals, while my stepdaughter is now a left-wing lesbian. She has cut her hair short, prefers listening to abrasive music, and has made friends with other “LGBTQ,” or whatever the current acronym is. We are an accepting family, and we know several gay people. My family and most of my friends are rather conservative, though, and I would like my stepdaughter to at least put on a dress when we see them, and also refrain from mentioning things about her politics and sexuality. Her mom disagrees, and as a result, we are banned from family events, and I have lost friends. The girl says I can’t decide these things or punish her, since her parents approve of her new identity. Should I keep pushing her and her mom, so that I can retain my other relationships, or should I simply cut my losses?

Dear Stepdad,

Here you are, trying to be the coolest stepdad of all time, and your stepdaughter defies you by wearing pants and listening to the youth musics! You’re giving her miles and miles–she can wear clothes she doesn’t feel comfortable in! she can pretend to disavow her sexual orientation and tell outright lies about what she believes in order to maintain your social profile with bigots–and she wants A WHOLE INCH of being allowed to be the 14-year-old young woman she is!

This mayn’t stand. You’re the totally reasonable head of household here–after all, you know some gay people who the Bad Advisor is totally sure would count you among their closest confidantes–and here’s this uppity whole total other young human being asserting themselves in the world with the support of their parents, with nary a thought for how it’ll affect your Wine Of The Month Club membership.

You have to decide what’s more important: the love and support of a family you’ve pledged yourself to and from which you might derive a lifetime of affection and personal and political growth, or the dudes who get you the best tee times. 

Do indeed “keep pushing” your wife and her daughter–you’ll soon find that the scads of increased leisure time you find yourself trying to fill will be blessedly more predictable.

29 Apr 23:24

Help! I Think My Niece Is Ugly As Hell

by thingsthatareawful

Carolyn Hax, 28 April 2015:

Dear Carolyn: My 13-year-old niece is tiny and has a big nose. We live in a community where a lot of teenage girls have cosmetic surgery at 16. I suggested to my brother in private that his daughter may be a candidate for this procedure. (My 19-year-old stepdaughter and my wife have had nose jobs.) My brother was deeply offended and angry over my remark. We are not talking. Was I over the line in making this suggestion in a private setting?

Dear One True Arbiter of the Appearances Of Women People,

You couldn’t possibly have been “over the line” in suggesting to your brother that his kid’s face is gross and needs surgical intervention. If anything, you erred in presenting this to him privately–as if it’s somehow inappropriate for a grown-ass person to suggest that a 13-year-old girl should go under the knife to appease the personal tastes of others.

Now, you’ve set up a situation in which you may feel obligated to keep quiet about how ugly you think untold scores of other girls and women are–when the onus is, and should be, on girls and women to amend and adjust their bodies to suit your aesthetic preferences! This creates terrible precedent. Without your indispensable input, given publicly and freely at your convenience, girls and women may come to believe they have a right to look however the fuck they, rather than you, want them to look.

Your brother has a moral obligation to get control of his household, and ensure that any of his females therein work tirelessly to fulfill your expectations for their personal appearance. 

By refusing to engage with you, your brother is causing ongoing and irreparable harm not just to you, but to anyone who may be offended by the way your niece looks. The public at large may lose a valuable opportunity to shame this 13-year-old girl, and countless other women and girls, into compliance with arbitrary and culturally defined beauty standards that must be used to judge their value as human beings.

You’ve done all you can–your brother’s silence is a cruel and unnecessary rebuke, but perhaps at least he’s given you–and definitely not his niece–the gift of not ever having to come face-to-face again.

21 Apr 03:59

clio-jlh: brak666: i-want-life-to-be-art:First look at Jane...





















clio-jlh:

brak666:

i-want-life-to-be-art:

First look at Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in Grace and Frankie, a new original Netflix series that follows two long-time rivals, who are brought together after their husbands announce they are in love with each other and plan to get married.

The series will debut on May 8th, and also stars Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston, June Diane Raphael, Ethan Embry, Brooklyn Decker and Baron Vaughn, with recurring roles set for Geoff Stults, Joe Morton, Ernie Hudson and Barry Bostwick.

OHMYLORD HOLY FUCK

I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE!

cannot wait for this

23 Apr 22:29

tastefullyoffensive: He looks so concerned about everything....

















tastefullyoffensive:

He looks so concerned about everything. (photos by egzo)

Previously: Albert the Angry Sheep Cat

21 Apr 17:00

“Jesus is Kind of Like a Buddha, Right?”

by sdshamshel

This post was sponsored by Johnny Trovato. If you’re interested in submitting topics for the blog, or just like my writing and want to sponsor Ogiue Maniax, check out my Patreon.

It is a somewhat common mistake to assume that Japan as a wholly foreign and alien culture despite events such as the influence of China on its development, the appearance of Commodore Perry, and various interactions with nations such as Portugal and the Netherlands. However, no matter where it comes from, Japan’s own history can be considered unique (and just about any culture or area can say the same), and there are certain implicit and assumed elements that can permeate Japanese culture.

I was asked by Johnny Trovato to address broadly the subject of how theological differences between Japan and countries with more of a Christian history affect how anime and manga are viewed. Truth be told, even though I’ve watched plenty of series which reference religion and spirituality such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Inari Kon Kon Koi Iroha, and Hermes: Winds of Love (don’t watch that last one), I’m not really an expert on the subject. I originally planned on tackling the subject from a fairly limited perspective, but fortunately I recently discovered a book called Holy Ghosts: The Christian Century in Modern Japanese Fiction by Rebecca Sutter. While it’s not quite on the subject of Japanese religions and beliefs, it did help me to realize an aspect of Japanese culture, media, and literature that I believe sheds a bit of light on how religious beliefs are used in anime and manga.

One of the more major lessons I took away from reading Holy Ghosts is that Japan has historically approached religion in a rather pragmatic way. Shintoist, Buddhist, and Confucian beliefs exist together in Japan, but only as far as they’re convenient. When Portuguese Jesuits arrived in Japan and sought to convert its people, not only did the Japanese sometimes interpret Jesus as a kind of “Buddha” that conformed to their own polytheistic views, but many of the daimyo who converted did so because the Portuguese also sold firearms. Spirituality exists, but it has existed to to serve the people, rather than having people be absolutely beholden to one or more gods. Even the idea of the Emperor as god was a response to the prominence of other religious beliefs being used as tools to control territory.

To take what is probably too big of a leap into the present day, I think we can still see this tendency at work when it comes to the utilization of religious aspects in anime. Evangelion famously features Christian imagery and mythology mainly as a way to provide something fairly exotic to Japanese viewers, while Spirited Away is just as much about encouraging young people to rediscover nature regardless of overt spirituality. This, I believe, is where a good deal of the confusion or dissonance might lie when it comes to how people in the United States and other traditionally Christian cultures interact with anime. Of course, not every person who lives in those countries is necessarily religious, and there has been plenty of media that plays fast and loose with the Bible, from Bruce Almighty to Teen Angel (I still love that show, by the way), but often there’s some kind of counter-play with the assumption that many people know at least the basics of Christianity and that there are plenty who firmly believe in its tenets.

I’m going to use two examples of media, one from the US, and one from Japan. Xena: Warrior Princess was a popular show when it aired. Having begun as a spinoff of Hercules: The Legendary Journey, it at first focused mainly on ancient Greece and the presence of Greek Gods. Eventually though, they decided to branch off and include Christianity in the show. Xena meets both David and Jesus, and any historian would probably tell you that it makes no sense. It didn’t matter in the show itself to a certain degree, but it was directly up against the value of Christianity in the US, and how accurate or (intentionally inaccurate) a work it was factored into how it was perceived.

Now contrast this with Devilman, the story of a teenager who gains the power of a devil so that he can fight other demons. Its creator, Nagai Go, stated that he designed Devilman to resemble a bat, even though that’s not quite the imagery people in countries more familiar with the idea of Satan and Hell would utilize. Eventually Satan himself appears, and he turns out to be a hermaphrodite because Lucifer has been described in some texts as being as such. However, the main value of Lucifer’s dual-gender appearance is visceral shock, and Devilman as a whole didn’t have to take into account how much its readers would be going to church every Sunday. Devilman, if I recall correctly, also mixes in various spiritual beliefs including Japanese ones, and it all effectively works to (on a somewhat pragmatic level) help the story along.

The idea that religion isn’t this overwhelmingly powerful subject in Japanese culture and society isn’t necessarily shared by all who live there, of course, but I think there’s a lot in the old adage that says, in Japan, you have a Shinto birth, a Christian wedding, and a Buddhist funeral. That synthesis of beliefs and the ability to mold them into whatever you want defies the idea of religion as this overwhelming, monolithic thing that cannot ever be altered, and anime and manga are proof of that.


08 Apr 19:16

Dallas Middaugh moves to Crunchyroll

by Heidi MacDonald

dallas_middaugh.JPG
Early manga adapter Dallas Middaugh, who has been involved in most of the major moves that changed manga from an obscure niche in US fandom to a permanent part of the pop culture landscape, has left his position as Senior Director of Penguin Random House Publisher Services to join Crunchyroll as Head of Brand and Community. He’ll work with the streaming anime service to expand the brand globally.

“With his experience and understanding of our audience and the Manga category, Dallas will be able to contribute invaluably to expanding the Crunchyroll brand and further deepening the relationship to our audience,” said Crunchyroll CEO Kun Gao in a statement .

“Crunchyroll currently brings Anime and Manga to millions of passionate fans,” said Dallas Middaugh. “We have opportunities to reach an even larger audience and bring that audience not just more content, but more fun and exciting ways to interact with it. I’m looking forward to engaging with the community that I’ve been fortunate to be a part of for many years, and providing more ways for them to connect with and experience the best that Anime and Manga — and Crunchyroll — have to offer.”

At Random House, Middaugh oversaw their partnership with Kodansha that saw such blockbusters as Attack on Titan. Prior to that he worked in RH’s own in-house Del Rey manga division; co-founded publisher Seven Seas; and served as marketing director for Viz during the crucial 2000-2003 period. In short, he’s da man.

Crunchyroll offers streaming anime such as Naruto Shippuden, Attack on Titan, and One Piece, and also allows subscribers to read manga and purchase related merchandise. It gained prominence by offering close-to-simultaneous access to hit Japanese shows soon after they aired.

16 Apr 11:30

R-rated movie “Chappie” gets severely nerfed for Japan release, director knew nothing about it

by Scott Wilson

CCrWpCPUUAAsIdC

Chappie, an R-rated science-fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp (of District 9 and Elysium fame), has been out in U.S. theaters for over a month now, but it still hasn’t been released in Japan due to the time it takes to be translated and dubbed.

During that time a storm has been brewing over the film, starting a few days ago when Sony Pictures Japan released a controversial statement: the movie will be censored and edited down to a PG-12 rating.

Japanese netizens who were looking forward to the film are upset over the watered-down version they will be getting, and even though Sony claims to have the support of the director, Neill Blomkamp himself insists he knew nothing about any such cuts.

If you haven’t heard of Chappie, here’s the trailer for your viewing pleasure. With a title like “Chappie” it may sound like a silly little movie about a robot with emotions, but after watching the trailer you’ll see it’s just a bit grittier than that.

Whether or not the movie is your cup of tea is up to you of course, but Japanese people who were looking forward to the film were rightfully expecting to see the same film that the rest of the world got.

However, it doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case. It all started when Sony Pictures Japan tweeted this: (translation below)

映画『チャッピー』へ頂いたご質問に関しまして。 http://t.co/7sbslQ672d


ソニー・ピクチャーズ (@SonyPicturesJP) April 15, 2015

“Thank you for your questions regarding the film Chappie.

In order to ensure that the film reaches as wide an audience as possible, we will be releasing it in Japan with the ‘PG-12′ rating. This is a decision that was reached jointly with our offices in the U.S., the Motion Picture Code of Ethics Committee (MPCEC), and has the approval of the film’s director, ensuring that the integrity of the picture will not be compromised.

Please understand that we cannot disclose the opinions of the MPCEC, nor any of the changes made to the film. We will also be unable to respond to any individual questions related to this matter.

There are no plans for an uncut version to be shown in Japan.

Thank you very much for your understanding, and we hope you enjoy the film.”

The MPCEC is the Japanese version of the MPAA in the U.S. It’s responsible for assigning movie ratings, and for requiring cuts in order to receive certain ratings. The MPCEC currently has four ratings for movies in Japan:

G: Anyone’s welcome. Hooray!
PG-12: Parents are advised to accompany children under the age of 12.
R-15: Only persons aged 15 and older allowed.
R-18: Only persons aged 18 and older allowed.

So if we’re keeping all of the ratings straight, what was originally an R-rated movie in the U.S. (R-18 equivalent) has now been cut down to what is basically a slightly cheeky film that’s suitable for both adults and older kids. And despite Sony’s insistence to the contrary, the film’s director seems to have not been a part of the discussion in this decision, as can be seen in his tweeted responses to a Japanese fan:

@mazy_3 don't know what you mean. One edit...worldwide


Neill Blomkamp (@NeillBlomkamp) April 15, 2015

@mazy_3 @SonyPicturesJP no... I'm trying to get to the bottom of it. Was Never told


Neill Blomkamp (@NeillBlomkamp) April 15, 2015

With both the controversy of the cuts and the director being kept in the dark about them, Japanese netizens had lots to tweet about:

▼ “So basically they just said: ‘We don’t give a crap about you.’ Thanks Sony!”

「お前らに答える義理はねぇ!」と来たね!さすがクソニーだね! RT @SonyPicturesJP 映画『チャッピー』へ頂いたご質問に関しまして。 http://t.co/Ck4NhbmKda


ヒロコン (@V570) April 15, 2015

▼ “Are they idiots? I was looking forward to this, but now I’m definitely not going.”

@SonyPicturesJP バカじゃねえの。観る気満々だったけど絶対行かねえ。


いくと真打@ドエル (@irekomi_dra) April 15, 2015

▼ “I’ve been waiting for the release, but I’m very disappointed by this. No way I’m going!”

@SonyPicturesJP 公開を愉しみに待っていたのにこの仕打ち、本当に心から失望した。絶対に見に行かん!


源河真之 (@ShindenJ7W1) April 15, 2015

▼ “I wouldn’t be surprised if they just get some stupid flavor-of-the-month comic actor to do Chappie’s voice. It’s all a part of their plan to somehow benefit from enraging their fans as much as possible.”

@SonyPicturesJP ついでにチャッピーの声は(今が旬の)お笑い芸人さんで吹替するんですね。なるほどー と云う冗談はさておき、ファンを敵に回す炎上マーケティングが有効であると云うデータでもあるんでしょうかね。


キ之國屋紊左ヱ門 (@kinobun) April 15, 2015

The backlash against the changes is so great that a petition has been created calling for the film’s more violent scenes not to be cut:

▼ Even Chappie himself seems to have signed it, so it has some official support.

sonyp2Change.org

Unfortunately, no matter how many signatures the petition gets, the odds that anything will change are very small. Japanese fans of the film will just have to wait until it is released on DVD/Blu-ray to see the director’s true vision. Let’s just hope that the home-releases don’t get the same cuts too, or else we’re going to see a whole lot of imported movies make their way into Japan.

Source: Twitter via My Game News Flash
Featured/top image: Twitter

Origin: R-rated movie “Chappie” gets severely nerfed for Japan release, director knew nothing about it
Copyright© RocketNews24 / SOCIO CORPORATION. All rights reserved.

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16 Apr 18:00

This deal is getting better all the time: Marvel announces Lando #1 for July

by Heidi MacDonald
kate

Oooh Alex Maleev art!

STWLANDO2015001cov_B.jpg

Star Wars Celebrations is underway and Twitter is collectively peeing its pants as announcements roll out, but here’s one of the first:A new limited series for Lando Calrissian to be written by Charles Soule with Art by Alex Maleev. SOLD RIGHT THERE.

“Is Lando Calrissian the coolest character in all of Star Wars? Depends on who you ask, probably. But if you ask me, the answer is yes, and I plan to prove it with this story,” says series writer Soule.

In Marvel’s Lando, developed closely with Lucasfilm, the titular character — in the days before he became a hero, but still with Lobot at his side — looks to steal one of the galaxy’s most valuable ships. But, as usual, he may be in over his head.

“Before Cloud City, before his glorious Death Star run,” continues Soule, “Lando Calrissian was just a man trying to make his way through an uncaring universe determined not to recognize that he was undeniably the coolest man in the galaxy. But Lando’s got a plan to change all that… and it starts with the deal of a lifetime.”


Marval has alreayd done the obvious by giving Darth Vader and Princess LEiz there own solo titles for the first time, and sales have been through the roof. Will Lando live up to the sales? I wouldn’t bet against it.
Landoscan_flat_YU-193x300.jpg

14 Apr 17:00

Gundam Build Fighters TRY Fighting References

by sdshamshel

Gundam Build Fighters Try has made a number of references to fighting styles from other anime, manga, and games, especially towards the end of the series.

In Episode 19, the character Ichinose Junya pulls off a couple of attacks from various fighting styles. This includes a demonstration of boxing, which might look familiar:

This is actually Makunouchi Ippo’s finishing combination from Hajime no Ippo: the Liver Blow, the Gazelle Punch, and the Dempsey Roll.

Next, Junya demonstrates attacks from Ba Ji Quan:

This specific sequence leading into the shoulder tackle is one of Akira’s signature attack strings from the fighting game series Virtua Fighter:

In Episode 20, Kamiki Sekai, one of the central characters of Gundam Build Fighters Try, sends a burst of energy rippling forward by slamming his fist into the ground:

This is a reference to Terry Bogard’s special move, “Power Wave,” which he’s used since the original Fatal Fury and all other games he’s appeared in.

This last one I’m not 100% certain on, but in Episode 23 Junya appears again and confronts Sekai:

I believe it is supposed to be an homage to Fist of the North Star, specifically Souther’s Nanto Hou’ou Ken style:

That’s all I’ve spotted for now. If there are more, then I’ll probably make another post.

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13 Apr 16:30

S.W.A.T. Reviews: Spring 2015 Pt. 1 (Did I Say That Out Loud?)

by reversethieves

Follow us directlyon Stitcher, or on iTunes

The premise of these reviews is simple: watch the first episode of a series and then immediately sit down to record a review mini-podcast. The reviews are five- to ten-minutes long and entirely off the cuff. As always we only review new shows (so no sequels or continuations) and try to avoid anything that just looks outright awful.

These are the first batch from the new season and now we’ve broken them into (helpful?) categories:

Sentence: Free to Go

Listen – First impressions of The Heroic Legend of Arslan from Liden Films. It is streaming on Funimation and Hulu.

Listen – First impressions of RIN-NE from Brain’s Base. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – First impressions of My Love Story!! from MADHOUSE. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – First impressions of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches from Liden Films. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Sentence: On Parole

Listen – First impressions of Re-Kan! from Pierrot+. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – First impressions of Show by Rock!! from Studio Bones. It is streaming on Funimation and Hulu.

Listen – First impressions of Seraph of the End from Wit Studio. It is streaming on Funimation and Hulu.

Listen – First impressions of Sound! Euphonium from Kyoto Animation. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – First impressions of Saint Seiya: Soul of Gold from Toei Animation. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – First impressions of Blood Blockade Battlefront from Studio Bones. It is streaming on Funimation and Hulu.

Sentence: Lock ‘Em Up and Throw Away the Key

Listen – First impressions of Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma from J.C. Staff. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – First impressions of Punch Line from MAPPA. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – First impressions of Urawa no Usagi-chan from A-Real. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

 


Filed under: 2015, Anime, Anime Seasons, Guides, Podcasts/Videocasts, S.W.A.T. Reviews Tagged: Blood Blockade Battlefront, Food Wars, My Love Story!!, Punch Line, Re-Kan!, Rin-Ne, Saint Seiya, Seraph of the End, Show by Rock!!, Sound! Euphonium, The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Urawa no Usagi-chan, Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
12 Apr 20:00

Save vs. Interview: Shaz

by savevsjared
kate

Interesting idea about how to deal with botched rolls!

Beginning today and on the second Sunday of each month, Save vs. Me will highlight a different Player by sharing their stories and thoughts on tabletop gaming. We kick off our interviews with Shaz—Player, DM, and mother of two with a fondness for flames! 


Introduce yourself!

Hi, I’m Shaz. I’m currently a stay at home mom of two little ones and a total nerd. I love to read, cook, crochet, and watch anime. I have a background in the sciences, so I’m also into sci-fi and real life science too. I also love going to conventions and cosplaying.

How long have you played games and how did you get into tabletop gaming?

My parents are big board game players, so I’ve been playing those since I was little. But, I didn’t really get into games until college when a friend introduced me to Settlers of Catan. It was a very different sort of game than I was used to playing and I thought it was great.

Ah! I love Catan. Always enjoyed turning sheep into bricks into wheat.

Sheep are my favorite!

What was your first game?

Settlers was the first of this new wave of board gaming that I played. As far as RPGs go, my first experience was through video games. We had Final Fantasy on the NES and games like Kingdom Hearts later on. When I was in college, World of Warcraft came out, and we all go into that. Playing Warcraft was really what got us to try out Dungeons and Dragons because we liked the RPG aspects of WoW, but wanted something where we interacted in person more.

It sounds like you started playing D&D with the some of the same people you played WoW with. Do you feel like intra-party dynamics change at all when playing an MMO versus a traditional tabletop game?

The dynamics changed just a little bit. A lot of the time we played WoW, we all played in the same room on our laptops because it was easier to communicate. So it wasn’t like we had to get used to playing face to face. But I do think that WoW has a much different pacing than D&D. Like, if you have some downtime, there’s plenty to do on your own. Or if you just need to putter around a sell items or hunt for quests, you can do that on your own time. In D&D, all of that happens with the group for the most part. And you never quite know when you’re going to run into fights or have lots of plot to run through. With WoW those things are a little more certain, so the group is usually just going through big quests together and not the “boring” stuff.

Do you prefer tabletop RPGs to MMOs at this point, or do still enjoy both?

I prefer tabletop RPGs right now simply because I like the group dynamic that we have. We started playing D&D through Roll20 because one of our group members was diagnosed with a chronic health problem and it makes it hard for him to get to our house to play in person. Roll20 works really well, but I miss the in person playing a bit. So when we can, we have a true tabletop night and break out the other board games.

Do you have a favorite game or favorite genre of game? If so, what about it appeals to you?

Right now I think my favorite board game is Firefly. I’m a fan of the show, but it’s an excellent board game anyway. I like any games that have co-op in them or at least games where the point isn’t really to complete with the other players so much. I enjoy playing competitive games, but since that’s how a majority of games are played and it’s nice to play something different. It also makes for a nicer gaming environment when you’re not screaming obscenities at your friends during the game. We’ve got the Game of Thrones board game as well, and people are very, very unhappy after a night of that game (aside from the winner, whose usually grinning like an asshole). So I’m glad that there are more and more co-op games coming out now. I can’t wait for the Ghostbuster game to come out.

Sweet! I hadn’t heard there was a Ghostbusters gaming coming out. I feel like we’re seeing more co-op games in the space lately. Have you seen the Pathfinder Card Game? It’s a “GM less” way to enjoy the RPG and kind of a co-op game from what I hear.

I’ll have to look into this!

What games have you not tried, but would like to?

I’ve heard good things about Betrayal at House on the Hill and the Arkham Horror games. Unfortunately, like a lot of board games, they’re pricy, so we haven’t picked them up yet.  

What was your first character?

I can’t remember my character’s name, but she was a half-elf warlock. I played with her with my college D&D group. I wish I still had her character sheet, but it was lost during one of my many post-college moves.

What do you use for inspiration for your characters?

I guess I try and make characters that I would find interesting if they were the character in a book or movie I was reading/watching.

Do you have a favorite kind of character to play?

I usually end up being some sort of magic user because I don’t think I play fighter characters very well. Warlocks are my favorite because I like the background of the character (the idea that they’ve made a pact with some sort of magical creature) and I enjoy lighting things on fire.

Do you run/GM games?

Yes, I am the currently DM for my D&D group.

Do you run pre-made adventures or create your own material as you go?

When we started, only myself and one other player had any background in D&D. So when we decided to try out D&D with our gaming group, we bought the 5th Ed. starter set, just to make things easier. This is my first time DMing and with the new edition, going through the pre-made adventure has made things run more smoothly. We’re almost done with the starter campaign and after that we’re going to try out a created adventure that I’ve tied into the pre-made campaign.

What do you use for inspiration for your campaigns?

I’ve got a lot of sci-fi/fantasy elements stored up in my brain, so it’s just a matter of picking a choosing ones I like and then trying to put some new ideas in there.

What’s the hardest and or easiest thing about being the DM? What’s your favorite thing about it?

The hardest thing about being a DM is finding the right pace. First there’s the issue of balancing times when the players are exploring or fighting and the times when they need to get information or go to a town to rest/buy/sell. If you never give the players downtime, then the plot can get really thin and I don’t think that’s very interesting. But some players get annoyed when they aren’t punching monsters in the face. Secondly, players like to approach things very differently and sometimes that can cause pacing problems too. If you have a player that really likes to be strategic, things can slow down too much. On the other hand, if you have a player that just barges into places without much thought, everyone can get bogged down in endless fights.

The easiest thing about being DM, at least for me, is making calls about odd rules or strange things that players think of. I’m not a DM that really hammers everyone about sticking to the rules because I don’t think that’s very fun and when you’re stopping to check books all the time, it destroys the storytelling. I pretty much let my players do what they want, assuming they can make their rolls. My favorite thing about being a DM is botch rolls. We stole a house rule from the D&D podcast Nerd Poker where if a player rolls a 1 on a check or attack, they have botched. I then roll a D100 to see how bad the botch was. Anything over 75 is bad and the closer you get to 100, the worse it is. A 95-100 on a botched attack probably means that character is dying in a hilarious way (like lighting themselves on fire on a botched fireball). Every time a 1 comes up, it’s like Christmas has come early.

What would you say to people who are curious about gaming but have never tried it?

It seems like board games in general are becoming really popular right now. There are tons of new ones coming out through big companies and small ones with Kickstarter. There’s so much to choose from, there has to be a game that you’d like. And there’s lots of resources! I watch Will Wheaton’s Tabletop show, have an account with Boardgamegeek.com, and I’m lucky enough to live near a few stores that specialize in games and have really helpful staff members. If you’re interested in D&D specifically, many game stores run D&D beginner groups and roll20 (the online RPG gaming site) also has lots of open groups for new players. I also highly recommend the D&D starter set. It’s not very expensive and will give you a taste of D&D before you fully commit.

Anything else you’d like to say about gaming that we haven’t covered?

Games are a great way to spend an evening with friends and family! And as I mentioned, there’s plenty of places to connect with people online as well.

Promote yourself and/or your stuff! Tell us where we can find you online, please?

You can read about my boring life and my adorable kids on twitter @phoenixphire24.

Thanks so much for your time, Shaz!


12 Apr 14:30

Yowamushi Pedal Spare Bike Spinoff Manga Starts New Series Centering on Kinjō

New series follows Sōhoku High School's captain after his 1st Inter-High
10 Apr 17:00

Yo-Kai Watch: Amano Keita vs. Nathan Adams and the Meanings of Names

by sdshamshel

youkai

The Yo-Kai Watch video game series has been a smash hit in Japan, even managing to outsell Pokemon. Recently there has been news to start bringing the franchise and its accompanying merchandise to English-speaking audiences, and the main character of Yo-Kai Watch, Amano Keita (pictured above, right), has become Nathan Adams. This leads me to speculate on the specific choice made here, and to think about how it compares to the meaning inherent to the original name.

Video games are no stranger to changing characters’ names to make them more culturally accessible, but a question arises as to whether there is any meaning lost (or even gained) in localization of names. For example, a lot of Pokemon characters names gain become much more explicit in terms of wordplay though in a way that has less to do with the inherent meanings of names and more to do with how they sound or have built up associations through culture and history (Lance the Dragon Master, Brock the Rock Gym Leader).

In the case of Amano Keita (which sounds like a fairly typical Japanese name) in Japanese his name references very specific things, and because the name has official kanji it becomes easier to see what it could mean. Amano Keita is 天野景太, where 天 means “sky/heaven,” and 景 means “scenery/view.” The Ama in Amano is on a basic level associated with the Japanese goddess Amaterasu (EDIT: It also might very well refer to Amanojaku, a demon-like creature in Japanese folklore. Thanks to Zack Davisson for informing me!). Thus, Amano Keita’s name basically means “a view of the heavens,” which I think associates him with spirituality and mythology and thus the titular youkai in Yo-Kai Watch.

What about Nathan Adams? Initially, what can’t be ignored is the fact that “Amano” and “Adams” sound somewhat similar. I have little doubt about that.

In terms of basic meaning, a Google search reveals that both Nathan and Adam are Hebrew in origin (Adam being a little more obvious in that regard), so there might very well be a continued connection to heaven and spirituality through the name as well. At the same time it probably won’t earn the ire of those who don’t wish to associate Judeo-Christian beliefs with the Japanese occult, because even though Nathan means “gift from God,” Nathan Adams is also fairly generic-sounding and few truly associate names like “Christopher” with Christ anymore.

However, I’m not sure if this is the actual reasoning, because as explained above, I don’t know the degree to which a localization would actually pursue the deeper origins of names, especially because they don’t have the benefit of kanji to make things explicit. That said, sometimes names are selected because of how they sound, with different kanji used to transform it into a “real” name, similar to English. For example, the female character in Hurricane Polymar is Nanba Teru, or “Number Telephone.”

There is another way in which the English name can be associated with the spiritual and the occult, which is The Addams Family. This, I think is actually more of a likely origin, and while Yo-Kai Watch isn’t focused on the macabre the way The Addams Family is, there’s still that connection with the afterlife, ghosts, and monsters. As for Keita vs. Nathan, I wonder if Nathan was picked because it sounds close to “nature.”

While it’s difficult to draw firm conclusion, I believe that both names spirits and the occult/celestial, though due to cultural differences their exact meanings don’t exactly draw from quite the same concepts. I get the feeling little of this will actually matter in terms of how the character of “Nathan Adams” is perceived, but it was at least fun to explore the potential connotations of his name.

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