Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises manga to be published in collected form for the first time

As the last feature-length anime from Hayao Miyazaki, we’re sure The Wind Rises is going to be watched over and over by anime enthusiasts hoping to squeeze one last drop of mana from the celebrated director’s final film. But even if those repeated viewings won’t wear out your The Wind Rises Blu-ray like a fifth-generation Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind VHS fansub, you can only watch it so many times before diminishing returns start to set in.

But soon enough, there’ll be another piece of Miyazaki’s legacy for fans to pore over, as the manga version of The Wind Rises, drawn by the legend himself, is finally being published in a collected volume.

Not every talented anime director is also a talented artist. For example, Mamoru Oshii, of Ghost in the Shell and patlabor fame, can’t draw, which affects his fim process

Miyazaki, though, has no problem single-handedly producing visuals. Not only did he create the storyboards for many of Studio Ghibli’s biggest hits, he penned the Nausicaa manga over a two-year period and also drew a short companion comic for Porco Rosso.

Even those who regularly read Japan’s weekly and monthly manga anthologies cover-to-cover may not be aware of the manga version of The Wind Rises, as it was serialized in model-building magazine Model Graphix, which previously ran the Hayao Miyazaki’s Daydream Data Notes series of illustrated essays. Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises first appeared in the magazine’s pages in 2009, and its last installment came in January of 2010, still three and a half years before the animated The Wind Rises premiered in Japanese theaters.

kt-2

Like the anime, the manga is focused on Jiro Horikoshi, a fictionalized stand-in for the real-life Japanese fighter plane designer of the same name, although the comic’s storyline does not exactly mirror the film’s. There’s also a pretty big difference in the character designs.

Whereas the anime version of Horikoshi has the plain but soft facial features of a typical Ghibli lead, the manga’s Horikoshi has a pig’s snout. While this might seem an insulting choice for a proxy of a historical figure that Miyazaki seems to hold in high esteem, Miyazaki often draws himself as a pig in self-portraits. The artistic choice once again hammers home the parallels Miyazaki draws between the life of Horikoshi and his own, in that they were both skilled craftsmen who put so much of their souls into their work.

A five-year gap between a manga ending its serialization and being published in collected form for the first time is extremely rare, and even in the 2013 documentary about Studio Ghibli, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, Miyazaki mused that The Wind Rises’ manga would never be sold as a stand-alone book. Luckily for his many fans, that prediction turned out to be wrong, and publisher Dai Nippon Eiga says that the book will go on sale in early September.

the wind rises dvd                                                 The tale of princess Kaguya DVD

Advertisements

Dragon Ball Super has started and it it is awesome!

Anime fans weren’t quite sure what to expect in 2013 when Battle of Gods was released in theaters, becoming the first new piece of Dragon Ball animation in 16 years. After such a long hiatus, would it be any good? And would this perhaps be the very last creative gasp from series creator Akira Toriyama?

The respective answers, yes and no, came quickly. Battle of Gods was a fan-pleasing hit, and a follow-up came in the form of the recently released Resurrection “F”.

So after two movies in two years, is Toriyama ready for a break? Nope, he’s ready for more, but this time not in theaters, as Dragon Ball returned to TV this summer with a brand-new anime series.

While the manga remained Dragon Ball for all 11 years it was in serialization, its anime adaptation have gone by a number of names. Starting off as plain old Dragon Ball in 1986, the anime switched its title to Dragon Ball Z before reaching the peak of its popularity. Later came the retouched Dragon Ball Kai, a leaner, cleaner version of the Z portion of the Dragon Ball anime library.

The very first episode of the new series, titled Dragon Ball Super, was broadcast last Sunday, and of course, we checked it out to witness the start of Goku’s new adventures. Dragon Ball fans, get ready for a brand new chapter in the timeless saga that has become a manga and anime classic around the world!

And what did we think of the actual show after seeing the first episode? In a few short words, it was clean, simple fun! There was no fighting, but we’re sure long-time fans enjoyed the laid back and even comical tone of the story that showed the characters going on with their daily lives instead of engaging in fierce battles for a change.

Comments posted by viewers who saw the show also seemed to be generally positive, as many felt the episode was a genuinely feel-good story, with quite a few fans remarking on how incredibly cute Goten is or how lovely Videl is in both appearance and character (Yup, Gohan is one lucky Saiyan!).  Others were tickled by how Piccolo still seems to have a soft spot for Gohan even after all these years. Most of all, though, it feels nice to see the familiar characters we’ve known for so long just enjoying life.

Of course, as Toriyama’s comments about foes from a neighboring universe suggest, it won’t be all fun and play for the Dragon Ball warriors, but it looks like the tone will remain light at least for a little while longer. In fact, fans are already saying that they’re looking forward even more to next week’s show, which they’re saying will be a must-see episode, as it’s apparently going to be about…Vegeta taking his family out on a holiday! Yes, we’re definitely looking forward to that one, since it’s not often that you see the Saiyan prince taking time out for a vacation.

So, we’re glad to say Dragon Ball Super seems to have gotten off to a good start. We’re sure Toriyama-sensei has some exciting surprises in store for us, and we hope the fun and entertainment continues for many weeks to come!

1000091321_2dragon ball styling super saya

Pet shelter in Japan tugs at the heart strings by advertising pets with their expiry date

e382ade383a3e38397e38381e383a3222

Some places in our world can inspire us and break our hearts at the same time. When it’s a place that houses defenceless animals for a limited period as they search for owners to love them, we can’t help but cheer wildly for the organisation on the one hand, while it takes everything to stop us from beating our fists on their chests like sobbing children when we learn that they can’t keep them all forever.

And so it is with this particular pet shelter in Japan, which refuses to sugar-coat the situation of pets in need and so posts pictures of animals in their care with an expiration date below them. If you ever needed any prompting to skip the pet store, these photos of cats, dogs, rabbits, birds and reptiles will certainly have you heading straight to the local shelter instead.

Animal lover @yuki_sato6021 posted the following tweet on July 8, urging future pet owners to visit the Petto no Uchi (Pet Home) website before going to the pet store. Since then, his tweet with the Twitter-blue tear has been re-tweeted more than 48,000 times.

With branches around the country, Pet Home specialises in connecting animals with foster parents. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for the organisation to care for the animals forever, so each pet comes with an expiry date. If they’re unable to find a suitable owner by this time, the animal will be euthanized.

While the unfortunate practice of euthanization is in line with other animal shelters around the world, what’s really pulling at people’s heartstrings in Japan is the fact that those with just days left flash red on the website, with messages like “six days left” or “foster parent deadline is today”.

▼ With five days left, this kitten is available from the Setagaya branch in Tokyo for 16,000 yen (US$130.28)

of-1▼ With just three days left, a good owner with 20,000 yen ($162.85) will save this dog’s life in Aichi Prefecture.

of-2Even though the prices are just a fraction of the original prices, we still wonder why they’re asking people to pay for them.

One piece meets traditional Japanese culture

One Piece is being adapted into a fully-fledged kabuki play. With the performance dates coming up within a few short months, the official kabuki website Kabukibito has released a Laboon-sized amount of new details.

Although a warning before you click ahead: if you have not read or watched One Piece up until the time skip, be aware that thar be spoilers ahead!

For those unaware, kabuki is a traditional form of Japanese theater that combines drama, dance, elaborate costumes, thick makeup, lavish scenery, and the bizarre. As opposed to “higher class” Japanese Noh drama, kabuki is intended for the common man and typically involves a lot of shouting, making One Piece the perfect candidate to become a kabuki play of its own.

▼ Basically it will be like every One Piece character acting like Kumadori. Yoyoi!kumadori

The time period of the play’s story will be from the rescue of Ace from Impel Down, up until the great war that led up to his execution. It should also be noted that all actors in kabuki are male, which is going to make, uh, certain parts of One Piece a lot harder to reenact.

▼ Yeah, it should be interesting to see how they pull that off.

nami

The show will run from October 7 until November 25 at the Shinbashi Enbujo in Ginza. Tickets for the October shows will be available starting August 20, while tickets for the November shows will be available September 20. If you’re lucky enough to live nearby and want to go, we recommend camping out the ticket website the day they go up, because they’ll move faster than Luffy at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

The kabuki world has really been making an effort to reach out to wider audiences recently, and with One Piece being adapted into a show, we wonder what they’ll come up with next. What are your predictions? Let us know in the comments section below!

source Japaaan Magazine

You’re planning on coming to Japan? Let us camp out for you!

Final Evangelion movie coming in December, claims quote from Japanese magazine

Depending on how you do the math, anime fans have now been waiting somewhere between three and 20 years for the upcoming, and supposedly final, Evangelion movie. The franchise began as a TV series in 1995, with its most recent installment, the third film in the Rebuild of Evangelion reboot and/or sequel, having debuted in Japanese theaters in 2012.

A release date has yet to be officially announced for the fourth Rebuild movie, but a weekly Japanese news magazine recently published a quote from an industry insider who claims he knows when the last Eva film is finally coming out.

There’s a lot of A-list talent involved in the Rebuild of Evangelion films. First off, there’s series creator Hideaki Anno, arguably the most respected director in anime now that Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki is retired. There’s also Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, who’s been providing Eva’s human art since the very beginning, and whose career as a character designer has lasted almost 30 years at this point.

Even the soundtrack boasts big-name stars, as all three of the presently released Rebuild movies have featured theme songs by Hikaru Utada, one of the most celebrated acts in Japanese music history. Utada’s commitment to the Eva movie series is so strong that even after the singer went into hiatus at the end of 2010, she still wrote, produced, arranged, and performed the song “Sakura Nagashi” to be used as the theme for 2012’s Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo.

eu-1

Depending on how you do the math, anime fans have now been waiting somewhere between three and 20 years for the upcoming, and supposedly final, Evangelion movie. The franchise began as a TV series in 1995, with its most recent installment, the third film in the Rebuild of Evangelion reboot and/or sequel, having debuted in Japanese theaters in 2012.

A release date has yet to be officially announced for the fourth Rebuild movie, but a weekly Japanese news magazine recently published a quote from an industry insider who claims he knows when the last Eva film is finally coming out.

There’s a lot of A-list talent involved in the Rebuild of Evangelion films. First off, there’s series creator Hideaki Anno, arguably the most respected director in anime now that Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki is retired. There’s also Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, who’s been providing Eva’s human art since the very beginning, and whose career as a character designer has lasted almost 30 years at this point.

Even the soundtrack boasts big-name stars, as all three of the presently released Rebuild movies have featured theme songs by Hikaru Utada, one of the most celebrated acts in Japanese music history. Utada’s commitment to the Eva movie series is so strong that even after the singer went into hiatus at the end of 2010, she still wrote, produced, arranged, and performed the song “Sakura Nagashi” to be used as the theme for 2012’s Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo.

Related:

new Evangelion figure

10318475anow up for pre-order

New action manga stars… anthropomorphized blood cells?

saibouforfeatureA Japanese manga artist has introduced a new manga series which follows a team of red and white blood cells trying to protect the human body they call home.

Of course, no matter how dramatic and complicated the human body is, it probably wouldn’t make for a very exciting comic book to just have a bunch of actual red blood cells just floating along in the blood stream and talking to each other, so Akane Shimizu, creator of the series – which is titled Hataraku Saibou – did the logical(?) thing and represented the various cells as human characters.

There aren’t a whole lot of details about the plot available at time of writing, but based on images, it looks like each of the various cell types will be portrayed in a way that’s characteristic of the real-life cell’s job. So, the red blood cells are depicted as delivery girls (side note: in their red jackets they actually kind of look like female versions of Fry from Futurama), the white blood cells are a squad of elite fighters, the platelets have big glue gun-looking weapons and such.

It looks like, based on what little in the way of plot synopsis we could dig up, the series will be a sort of action/drama/comedy hybrid (but then again, what manga isn’t, really?), splitting its time between the action-oriented scenes of the white blood cells and platelets, and the more day-in-the-life stuff of the frantically working red blood cells and whatnot. It’s also safe to bet that the stories will be at least somewhat educational, but that doesn’t seem to be the main focus.

saibou1

Hataraku Saibou is actually a continuation of a one-off work, Saibou no Hanashi, from the same author, which received the Sirius New Age Award for excellent manga from a new author.

There’s no word yet on if or when a foreign publisher will pick up the manga for publication outside of Japan. Something tells us anthropomorphic blood cell action manga don’t make the jump west very often, so hardcore readers may need to cross their fingers for a fan translation and/or learn Japanese

Let us order it from amazon japan

A true “east meets west” fashion statement/

It’s hard to find a more Japanese piece of clothing than the yukata, the lightweight kimono worn in the summer. Over on the other side of the Pacific, there are few more iconic symbols of American fashion than blue jeans. So what happens when you put the two together?

You get the denim yukata.

Not only is the denim yukata an unorthodox garment, it was born from an unlikely partnership. Sure, you’d expect denim clothes from American jeans company Lee, but how exactly did Tsukada Nojo, a chain of izakaya restaurants in Japan, decide to get into the fashion business?

Whatever the impetus, the two companies’ have teamed up to produce the two products seen here, the denim mini yukata and denim samue.

While traditional yukata are available in both men’s and women’s designs, the denim mini yukata is just for ladies.

dy-0Shorter than a normal yukata, the denim mini yukata is also cut for a more fitted look. It’s offered as a 26,000-yen (US$208) set with your choice of a yellow, red, or blue obi (sash).

dy-2For guys, Lee and Tsukada Nojo have created a denim samue, a traditional craftsman’s outfit consisting of a shirt that ties closed along the abdomen and a pair of drawstring pants.

dy-5tsukada nojo x Lee

Don’t forget to check our website and see what advantages we can give you by ordering through us.

japanwebshopping.com