Distract yourself from studying with new Minecraft eraser sets featuring blocks and characters from the mega-hit video game.
As one of the world’s most popular video games, Minecraft has built a legion of fans with its open-world format, which gives players the freedom to challenge themselves and express their creativity through the breaking and building of cube-shaped blocks. Whether you want to recreate the city of Kyoto or bring the floating castle from a Studio Ghibli film to life, the cube-based gameplay is able to make all types of building dreams a reality.
Now, Japanese toy and hobby manufacturer Bandai is bringing the computer generated 3-D building block world to life with a new series of adorable eraser sets. Featuring characters and items from the game, all in their distinctive cube-shaped Minecraft form, these gorgeous pieces will help you design the building of your dreams, while erasing any mistakes you might make in the process.
Picking up on the pronunciation of the first two letters in the word “Minecraft”, the new stationery items are called “My Keshi”, or “My Eraser”, and come in three main sets with a variety of contents.
First up is the “My Keshi Starter Set” (1,300 yen/US$11.53), which is available in two styles, starring default players Steve and Alex from the video game. The “Iron Steve and survival pack”, contains a bed, a chest, grass, coal and the all-important crafting table, while the “Iron Alex and cave exploration pack” features diamonds, gold, iron, TNT, and a furnace.
The “Character Box” shifts the focus to the game characters and their items, with five to choose from, retailing for 500 yen each. There’s Steve with a pickaxe, Alex with a redstone torch, a villager carrying an emerald, a zombie with some rotten flesh and a Creeper with gunpowder.
▼ The “Block Set” comes in two varieties for 1,600 yen each: wood and glass blocks; and rocks and a door.
▼ With their miniature size, these erasers fit easily into pencil cases so you can carry them around with you when you go to work or school.
If you’d like to collect them all, there’s plenty of time to save your yen for a big splurge, as the items in the range go on sale at toy stores around the country from the end of May.
Once again, boobs block the path between Japan and the West.
In some ways, boobs aren’t such a big deal in Japan. Long, long ago, Japanese society largely made peace with the fact that guys like boobs, and resigned itself to the fact that creators are going to, with varying levels of frequency, put generously sized mammaries into movies, video games, anime, and all other sorts of controlled visual media.
Because of that, if you watch enough Japanese animation it’s easy to become desensitized to the presence of female characters with large breasts, just like your brain may stop registering how many adult males in anime have what appear to be 22-inch waists. Because of that, no one really raised any complaints last fall when orders were being taken for a figure set of two characters from monster-rearing video game and anime franchise Digimon, Hikari and Angewomon.
Here’s eight-year-old Hikari…
…and here’s Angewomon.
You might notice that Angewomon’s bustiness is in starkly inverse proportion to the amount of clothes she’s wearing. Moreover, this specific rendition of the character, part of manufacturer Megahouse’s high-end G.E.M. line, seems to have made her cup size larger and outfit skimpier than they were in the Digimon anime.
The figure’s release went off without a hitch in Japan, despite the fact that, even in the world’s foremost producer of not-for-kids animation, the Digimon series is largely aimed at, and supported by, children. In the West, though, things haven’t gone so smoothly.
Crunchyroll, the U.S.-based licensed anime streaming site, also runs an online store selling DVDs and merchandise. Among its recent offerings was the Angewoman/Hikari bundle, but earlier this week Crunchyroll informed its customers that it would be unable to fill orders for it.
In the announcement, Crunchyroll explained that Digimon’s Japanese rights holders objected to selling the figure overseas, and are “no longer providing it to North American and European retailers.”
The Crunchyroll representative went on to say:
“This cancellation came at the order of the original rights holders. They wanted to market Digimon as a child-friendly property, and though[t] this Angewomon figure wasn’t appropriate for that image.”
For its part, Crunchyroll has been perfectly accommodating in its response to the unexpected development, issuing refunds to those who preordered, and also allowing those who had purchased the Angewomon/Hikaru set as part of a bundle with figures of other Digimon characters Angemon and Takeru to cancel their entire order (Angemon being Angewomon’s male, more clothed counterpart).
The development has left many Western fans frustrated, particularly since the figure’s hefty price tag of roughly US$100 meant that while the overall Digimon franchise may be being marketed to children, this particular Angewomon figure most definitely wasn’t. Instead, its likely target market was fans who’ve enjoyed the Digimon anime since its beginning in 1999, making them at least college-aged today and certainly old enough to enjoy looking at a fine pair of breasts.
However, it would appear that Digimon’s Japanese rights holders feel the mere commercial existence of this sort of figure in Europe and North America, at any price point, is damaging to the franchise’s marketability to kids within those territories. That may not be an entirely unreasonable conclusion. If Disney, for example, were to release a line of Disney Princess figures with such heaving bosoms, it’s unlikely that Western parents would cut them much slack simply because they came with premium pricing.
One could argue that there’s plenty of potential return on investment in catering first and foremost to Digimon’s older fans overseas. But if Digimon has its sights set on becoming a Pokémon or Dragon Ball Z-caliber mainstream hit, it’s going to need to convince kids’ parents to buy its related products, which in turn is going to make the franchise’s handlers more sensitive to how likely Western moms and dads are to just nonchalantly shrug their shoulders at Angewomon’s prodigious pectoral assets.
▼ And that’s not even touching upon the subject of her backside.
Unfortunately, unlike with the similarly boob-blockaded Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 beach volleyball game, buying directly from Japan and self-importing may not be a possibility, as the figure is no longer in production. As such, the only remaining option may be the second-hand figure market, complete with all the dangers it entails、but we at JWS are there to give you a helping hand…as a matter of fact why don’t you leave it up to us to find you one in mint condition?
Forget seasonal sweets and drinks. In Japan, even pots and tableware get a sakura makeover in the spring, and the results are gorgeous!
Le Creuset Japon, the Japanese branch of the well-known French cookware company, has recently released their spring “Flower Collection” line of cookware and tableware, and the beautiful flower-themed pieces are sure to brighten any kitchen and dining room.
The Flower Collection line includes some of their most popular items with a flower-themed twist in a pop yet elegant style and should be perfect for spring get-togethers and seasonal festivities like Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day, traditionally held on March 3). They even have a special commemorative cookware item for Le Creuset Japon’s 25th anniversary! Let’s take a look at some of the pieces in the collection.
▼ Tea Cup & Fleur Saucer (2,700 yen [US$24.13]):
This dainty tea-cup comes with a flower-shaped saucer and is ideal for serving Japanese-style teas like sakura or plum tea, or even jelly or pudding type desserts.
▼ Fleur Petal Dish Set (6,480 yen [$57.90]):
These small dishes are made in the shape of sakura flower petals. The inside surface of each dish is colored in a different shade of pink and the pieces can be arranged together to form a large flower shape.
▼ Stackable Ramekin Fleur Set (8,640 yen [$77.21]):
This two-tiered stackable ramekin stoneware set comes in an adorable flower shape and can be used to showcase your culinary creativity in a party setting or simply as tableware for daily meals.
▼ Windsor Pot with Flower-shaped Knob (25,920 yen [$231.31]):
This enameled cast iron pot is relatively small and easy to handle, and since it has depth, is ideal for cooking soup or even rice. It comes with two lovely flower-shaped knobs, one in stainless steel, and the other in heat-resistant phenolic material.
▼Cocotte Fleur with Flower-shaped Knob (35,640 yen [$317.84]):
This flower-shaped casserole, also made of enameled cast iron, was a huge hit in Japan last year and it too comes with the same two types of flower-shaped knobs as the Windsor Pot above.
▼ And here’s the big item in the collection, the Le Creuset Japon 25th Anniversary Coccote Ronde Sakura (51,840 yen [$462.10]). To commemorate Le Creuset Japon’s 25 years in Japan, they’ve come up with a special version of their popular 20 centimeter (just under 8 inches) round casserole decorated with beautiful cherry blossom illustrations. This Japan exclusive item will be available in two colors from March 16.
Don’t all of these items make you want to start cooking or (if like this writer, cooking isn’t exactly your forte) plan a spring party? The complete Flower Collection can be seen on Le Creuset Japon’s site if you want to check out all of the lovely products in their line-up. Sure, the items don’t come cheap, but just looking at all those pink and flowery images should put you in a mood to anticipate spring, and of course, lots of drinking during the cherry-blossom viewing season!
Single-piece garment features openable flaps for your twintails and poo.
The Japanese Internet is fond of describing clothing and furniture that’s incredibly comfortable as hito wo dame ni suru, literally “it will ruin people.” The implication is that once you have one of these items, you’ll never leave your cozy little bubble again, slowly transforming into a lazy hermit as you gradually withdraw from society.
The label is obviously meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but Japanese apparel and interior company Bibi Lab’s Dame Gi full-body pajama suit, released last year, was a case where the label seemed pretty accurate. In the wake of its apparent success, Bibi Lab has since updated its product line with a new version that’s designed with the female otaku in mind: the Dame Gi-chan.
Like the ordinary Dame Gi, the new Dame Gi-chan features a hooded, front-zippered design. With no constrictions wrapping around the waist, the garment can easily accommodate any angle of relaxed sprawling or amount of junk food-binging.
While it can be lowered, in its promotional images Bibi Lab strongly recommends raising the face-obscuring hood. The manufacturer lists a number of purported benefits, including keeping your cheeks warm and functioning as an eye mask to help you sleep more deeply, so doubt with the morning light streaming through your windows after marathoning a season of your favorite anime, finally maxing out your video game character’s level, or reading each and every article on JWS.
▼ Positioning the face hole just right will allow you to barely peek out of it.
But just because you’re hiding your face doesn’t mean you can’t show off your stylish twintails, thanks to the flaps on either side of the hood.
▼ If you’re a one-tail kind of girl, there’s also a ponytail opening in the back.
▼ The Dame Gi-chan also works great with the Sandwiched Between Twintails Pillow, another product from the brilliantly warped minds at Bibi Lab.
Another feminine touch is the soft inner lining for the chest area, providing added comfort for braless Dame Gi-chan occupants.
And in carrying on the tradition started by the regular Dame Gi, the backside unzips, allowing you to quickly expose your derriere and situate yourself on the toilet when nature calls.
Bibi Lab thinks the Dame Gi-chan is just the outfit to wear when snapping your newest selfie…
…or when inviting your girlfriends over for a Dame Gi-chan party.
If this looks like just the sort of multi-faceted garment you need, the Dame Gi-chan can be ordered through us for 7,045 yen (US$59).
Want to feel a little special in the bath? These hot guys (ikemen) in anime form can help you with that!
Anime production company TMS Entertainment has come out with a series of unique bath kits in their “Bath Time Boyfriend” (Nyuyoku Kareshi) line of products to make your bathing experience extra luxurious and enjoyable.
The Bath Time Boyfriend series has actually existed for some time now — their moe bath salts that went on sale in 2012 have been a hit with consumers. The products in the series, which include items such as aromatic soaps and moisture lip packs in addition to bath salts, each feature male anime characters that serve as your virtual boyfriend to make sure your bath time is relaxing and pleasantly fragrant.
The special bath kits, which were released earlier this month, feature four of the eight “boyfriends” in the series and come with their popular bath salts, along with a body sponge, coil-shaped plastic hair tie, and toe separators.
▼ Here’s the bath kit and its contents:
Of course, we also have to share the four bath time boyfriends. And yes, they all have their own individual profiles!
1. Shota Sugimizu (the aroma of cedar wood)
Shota is 20 years old, born April 2 (an Aries, because horoscopes are a big thing in Japan), has blood type A (because blood-type profiling is also a thing in Japan, for some reason), is a university student, and is 173 centimeters (five feet eight inches) tall.
2. Riku Kikawa (lemongrass)
Riku is 18 years old, born July 26 (Leo), a high school student with blood type O, and is 178 centimeters (five feet 10 inches) tall.
3. Yukari Yagi (eucalyptus)
Yukari is a 21 year-old university student born July 8 (Cancer) with blood type AB and is 175 centimeters (five feet nine inches) tall.
4. Kouga Konomi (rosemary)
Kouga is a 25 year-old pastry chef born April 23 (Taurus) with blood type A and is 189 centimeters (six feet two inches) tall .
So, which hot ikemen is your favorite? Of course, you can always choose based on each character’s theme aroma, but since this is the Bath Time Boyfriend line of products we’re talking about, we figure it kind of makes sense to pick the kit with the guy of your preference.
The bath kits are available from Amazon Japan (which charges an extra 500 yen shipping within Japan) and also at select Village Vanguard shops (which is located 1 km from our office)for 1,620 yen (US$14.38) each. If you like feeling pampered in the bath, then this might be the perfect gift for yourself, and we’re sure they can make fun presents for your (hot-anime-guy-loving) friends as well. We hope you have a great bath time with your very own ikemen!
How long have you been a Rolling Stones’ fan, well if the answer is”I can’t really remember”, than the chance is big that you have some vinyl carefully stacked away behind your CD cases. I love my records (I have 4..) much more than I love my CD’s, this has nothing to do with the sound quality or any hi-fi snobbism , no it’s about the fact that a record has character… A CD is basically an upscaled floppy disk, it’s digital, it’s cold, it’s the tin man from OZ before he met Dorothy…it lacks personality. You use old scratched CD’s to scare away pigeons.
Now how many folks hold on to their 45 rpm/33 rpm or 12 inch records, even though they skip or are scratched…I’m sure you can scare away the pigeons, hell even a freaking emu, with those black shiny circles, but we don’t…no we treasure our old records, put them in boxes and give them a nice place in the attic next to our old toys(well if they didn’t escape to some daycare center led by a grumpy teddy bear) .
People love analog, it feels handmade and personal and that includes its shortcomings, a $40.000 Bell&Ross watch is truly a magnificent piece of art, analog, hand-made and every stockbrokers dream, but it loses one minute a day, while your $30,- Casio watch will keep perfect time.
Phew that introduction was much longer than I intended it to be, I hope you’re still with me, because I’m getting to the main story just now… The problem with records has been that they damage easily, aren’t very portable and record players aren’t that cheap either or convenient or good looking (except the really expensive ones). A Technics SL-1200 looks good in club or a bed room, but I’m sure the missus won’t see it as extension to her carefully arranged interior. Recent record players are quite complex to use and delicate, not something you let your 6 year old handle, well maybe except for this Record Runner…, the Record Runner is a battery-powered record player which you place on your record, and the Record Runner will spin on the vinyl, and pushes sound out through the frankly awful speaker.record runner amazon link
Well Japanese electronics brand Amadana has come up with the perfect record player, it really ticks all the right boxes; it’s of proper quality, it’s very easy to use, it’s very reasonably priced and it’s lovely to look at.
For those Rolling Stones fans there is this 27,000 yen, limited edition (1000) record player. Let’s see what this baby has to offer and why I think that this will make the perfect player for the casual listener. First up is its design, it’s beautiful in its simplicity, coming in acrylic black with the famous John Pasche designed “tongue”logo, a limited edition serial number plate, one knob a tone arm and the platter is all what is present on the top, a slip mat with “the Rolling Stones” written on it and ”smoke”cover are also included.
The single knob on top of the player is not to adjust the speed..no it’s a volume button! Yes this turntable can work as a stand alone player without the need for an amp and speaker system, the sound comes from two 40 mm full range speakers located in the front legs, it’s genius. It has a RCA analog terminal which means that you can connect this player to your amp and use it as a conventional record player. It also has USB output so you connect this to a computer and turn your analog records into digital files. The speed selector is located beneath the player and you can pick from “33” for your regular records and “45” for your singles and 12 inch records there’s even “78” for your grand father’s collection ! (reviews on Amazon Jp have revealed that this might not be the case, the switch is located beneath the player but it’s not so easy easy to find…a lot of reviewers complained that they couldn’t locate it at all..)
Included in the package is a cartridge and stylus(needle), which is a good thing, but for this price the included stylus will be crap(ish), and we highly recommend you to get a proper needle…yes it DOES make a big difference!
This product is now up for pre-order with delivery scheduled on the 22nd of April, only a 1000 will be made so…..
If you don’t care about the Rolling Stones, then this “normal version” would do the trick too and that for 10,000 yen less.
Remember though that this Record player isn’t a substitute for an expensive one, the quality of construction and things like damping, the balance and quality of the tone arm, the perfect pitch, the power unit and even the quality of the RCA ports are non comparable to say a Teac TN-570, a record player with digital output as well, but that comes with a price….if I had the money, no children, no technologically challenged wife, a proper record collection (you don’t need great record player for Shakin’ Stevens), and most of all a great stereo than the Teac would be very high on my wish list….sigh. link
If you don’t care about the digital part then the Denon DP-500 would make a great player.link
The choice is yours with the exception that the Amadana players aren’t available outside Japan…that’s where you need our kind help.
Time to dust of your records and paint some black doors red again, no reason to shut out the past if the “now” has the ability to combine both.
Wow that must be the longest title ever, and yeah although I agree that it’s a mouthful, I couldn’t shorten it anymore even if I tried…
Select fashion shop Nano Universe and radio station FLiPLiPS (coolest name ever) announced the sale of a T-shirt created for the upcoming of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra’s(Sukapara in short) concert in Kyoto on April the 15th and the 16th.
As the band’s name suggests, this is a ska band and not your average J-pop group, these boys have the musical skills to back up their game, they are not just a bunch of good looking, fabricated by some clever agency short termers. They have performed at concerts all around the globe and they have established themselves as a true ska band.
Back to the T-shirt..the shirt is designed by Moriya Tsutomu, designer of Ila and art director of several musical acts in Japan.
The design of the shirt is inspired by the petals of cherry blossom which are blown from the trees by strong May winds or hanafubuki as the Japanese call it(flower-storm), which is a strong part of the love the Japanese have for these lovely pink blossomed trees. Its fleeting beauty is as a metaphor for life itself. The Japanese take their hanami or blossom viewing season very serious and although lots of foreigners see the usual hanami parties as just an excuse to drink and be jolly, for Japanese it’s so much more…. kinda like a tulip to a cloggy.
Falling petals for the Japanese and a tulip(glass)for the Dutch
In the center of the shirt you can see Kyoto tower and as an act of selfless promotion, Kyoto Tower has announced that 100 wearers of this T-shirt will get free admission to this tower and you’ll receive a sticker in the same design as the shirt! So if you want to visit Kyoto this year during its most beautiful season then ordering this shirt would be a no-brainer.
This shirt is now up for pre-ordering and will be delivered in April, maybe just in time to wear to the concert and cost ¥ 3,800.