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Little Witch Academia's Yusuke Yoshigaki Gets Tokyo Expo

November 13, 2017 5:00pm
by Mike Tamburelli

Yusuke Yoshigaki has played a crucial role in bringing some of anime's most beloved stories to life. He began his career at Gainax almost immediately upon graduating from the prestigious Yoyogi Animation School in Tokyo, the oldest institution of its kind in Japan. Working primarily as a key animator -- one who draws the "genga," or keyframes, of any given piece of animation -- Yoshigaki has laid the groundwork for the many breathtaking scenes we've seen in many Gainax anime like FLCL, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt. 

When many of his peers decided to leave Gainax for greener pastures, Yoshigaki followed suit by joining Studio Trigger with his close friend and fellow key animator Hiroyuki Imaishi. There, he would go on to work on key animation for When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace, and of course, most recently, Little Witch Academia. Now, an upcoming exhibition in Tokyo aims to shed even more light on Yoshigaki's work on the series.

 



SF gallery. in Nakano, Tokyo, will host the "Yoshigaki Yusuke Gengaten - The Art of Little Witch Academia" exhibition from November 16 to 28. The exhibition will be open every day, except Wednesdays, from 1:00 pm until 9:00 pm JST. Entry is free of charge.

You can expect to see not only original genga, but also character design sheets and a plethora of Yoshigaki's private sketches and drawings.

A one-man exhibition such as this is certainly no small deal, and in their official news releaseStudio Trigger spared no words of praise when it came to Yoshigaki's accomplishments. 

Carefully surveying and observing - packing tons of ideas into one drawing. Layouts that make us feel the drama even outside the realms of a frame. For 20 years, he has been acquainted with Hiroyuki Imaishi, who has described him as the "ideal animator."


If you are going to be in Tokyo over the course of the next month and are also a Little Witch Academia fan, then I can't think of a better way to spend zero money on what is shaping up to be a truly special bit of anime tarriance. 

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Whole Year of New 'Full Metal Panic!' Works Kicks Off Today

November 25, 2017 12:00am
by Mike Tamburelli

The news that the Full Metal Panic! series was finally getting a new entry certainly made a splash when it came to light last year, but that much-anticipated TV anime won't actually hit the airwaves until Spring of 2018. What does appear to have slipped under the radar for the most part, however, seems to be the three "Director's Cut" films.



The films are, for the most part, comprised largely of the original 2002 anime's footage. However, some brand-new cuts and drawings have been interspersed throughout the films, and the official FMP site revealed a nice chunk Part One's new cuts. Check them out by scrolling through the gallery below.


Full Metal Panic! Director's Cut 1st SECTION: "Boy Meets Girl" begins a very limited theater run in Japan today. You can catch the film for one week only at one of three locations --  Kadokawa Cinema Shinjuku, Tokyo; Tachikawa Cinema City, Tokyo; and Umeda Burg 7, Osaka.

You can also check out the film's trailer below.
 

Once 1st SECTION wraps up, you can expect both  2nd SECTION and 3rd SECTION to screen on January 13, 2018 and January 20, 2018 respectively. All theater-goers will be entitled to a wonderful new drawing by the light novel series' original illustrator, Shikidouji.
 

Fans will not have to wait long at all after being caught-up on the events of Full Metal Panic! and (presumably) Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, as the fourth season will finally see the light of day next spring as Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory, which is cleverly shortened to FMP: IV, or "four." Neat!

Katsuichi Nakayama, who previously worked on the likes of Bodacious Space Pirates and Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, is directing the series at Studio XEBEC. It's comparatively shiny, new and pretty, similar to the new cuts shown above. I'll leave you now with the trailer for IV,  so that you can bask in the return of one of anime's most beloved action comedies one more time. It sure is going to be an incredible year to be an FMP fan!
 

Full Metal Panic! - official site

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DAOKO Details 2nd Album 'THANK YOU BLUE'

November 23, 2017 5:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

Earlier this month we received word that DAOKO would be releasing her second studio album "THANK YOU BLUE" on December 20, 2017, here in Japan. The album was set to neatly package all of the rising artist's songs from her major debut up until now, offering a total of 14 tracks made available in either standard or limited edition format. Uploaded today to DAOKO's official YouTube channel, we get a peek into the limited edition version of the album which includes seven music videos in total.

For the now 20-year-old singer and rapper DAOKO, the second album couldn't possibly come at a better time. Perhaps for many, their initial encounter with her lyrical workings was the 2014 electropop spectacular "ME!ME!ME!," a song made in collaboration with TeddyLoid. More recently than that, however, DAOKO was launched into the world of mainstream superstardom here in Japan following the release of her single "Uchiage Hanabi," a song made to accompany the 2017 "Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom? " anime film. 

Set to be included in the limited edition of the album is the following:

Music
01. 打上花火 (DAOKO × 米津玄師)// Utagi Hanabi (DAOKO x Kenshi Yonezu)
02. ステップアップ LOVE( DAOKO × 岡村靖幸)// Step Up LOVE (DAOKO x Yasuyuki Okamura)
03. Juicy ▷玉屋2060% (Wienners) // Juicy 
04. さみしいかみさま ▷小島英也(ORESAMA) // Samishii Kami-Sama 
05. ShibuyaK ▷小島英也(ORESAMA) // ShibuyaK
06. BANG! ▷小島英也(ORESAMA) // BANG!
07. ダイスキ with TeddyLoid ▷TeddyLoid // Daisuki with TeddyLoid
08. 拝啓グッバイさようなら ▷多保孝一 / TAKU INOUE // Haikei Goodbye Sayonara 
09. 同じ夜 ▷D.A.N. // Onaji Yoru
10. GRY ▷O.N.O (THA BLUE HERB) // GRY
11. もしも僕らがGAME の主役で ▷小島英也(ORESAMA) // Moshimo Bokura ga GAME no Shuyaku de
12. ゆめみてたのあたし ▷小島英也(ORESAMA) // Yume Miteta no Atashi
13. Cinderella step ▷江島啓一 (サカナクション) // Cinderella step
14. ワンルーム・シーサイド・ステップ ▷Tempalay // One-Room Seaside Step

DVD/Music Videos
01. チャームポイント ▷AAAMYYY // Charm Point
02. 歌舞伎町の女王 ▷江島啓一 (サカナクション) // Kabukicho no Jou
03. BOY (Re-Arrange) ▷staRro // BOY (Re-Arrange)
04. ぼく (Re-Arrange) ▷STUTS // Boku (Re-Arrange)
05. okay! ▷Mummy-D (RHYMESTER) // okay!
06. さみしいかみさま (Re-Arrange) ▷薔薇園 アヴ (女王蜂) // Samishii Kami-Sama (Re-Arrange)
07. Fog (Re-Arrange) ▷GOTH-TRAD // Fog (Re-Arrange)

Included in the standard edition of the album is the following:

Music
01. 打上花火 (DAOKO × 米津玄師)// Utagi Hanabi (DAOKO x Kenshi Yonezu)
02. ステップアップ LOVE( DAOKO × 岡村靖幸)// Step Up LOVE (DAOKO x Yasuyuki Okamura)
03. Juicy ▷玉屋2060% (Wienners) // Juicy 
04. さみしいかみさま ▷小島英也(ORESAMA) // Samishii Kami-Sama 
05. ShibuyaK ▷小島英也(ORESAMA) // ShibuyaK
06. BANG! ▷小島英也(ORESAMA) // BANG!
07. ダイスキ with TeddyLoid ▷TeddyLoid // Daisuki with TeddyLoid
08. 拝啓グッバイさようなら ▷多保孝一 / TAKU INOUE // Haikei Goodbye Sayonara 
09. 同じ夜 ▷D.A.N. // Onaji Yoru
10. GRY ▷O.N.O (THA BLUE HERB) // GRY
11. もしも僕らがGAME の主役で ▷小島英也(ORESAMA) // Moshimo Bokura ga GAME no Shuyaku de
12. ゆめみてたのあたし ▷小島英也(ORESAMA) // Yume Miteta no Atashi
13. Cinderella step ▷江島啓一 (サカナクション) // Cinderella step
14. ワンルーム・シーサイド・ステップ ▷Tempalay // One-Room Seaside Step​

Set to be released on December 20, you'll be able to pick up your copy of DAOKO's second major album "THANK YOU BLUE" both online and in-store. For further information, be sure to check out her official website, here.

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'Devilman Crybaby' is an 80s Anime Adapted for Modern Days

November 23, 2017 12:00pm
by Mike Tamburelli

We have waited twenty-seven years for the next big thing within the Devilman franchise. Throughout those twenty-seven long years, both the anime industry and the way it's consumed have undergone some pretty major changes. While we're not saying there's no room for the property in the year 2018 -- because we're absolutely not -- it takes a certain level of faith in a series to revive it after so long. But if there's anything worthy of such faith, it would most definitely have to be Devilman.

Set to release on Netflix January 5, 2018, Devilman Crybaby is a beast of a way for the streaming giant to flex their muscles (and wallets) in showing how serious they are about their stake in the anime industry. With music from Japanese supergroup Denki Groove blasting throughout the trailer, we're teased with one of the series' most hype-inducing trailers to date. 

The Masaaki Yuasa-directed anime spectacular has long topped people's must-see lists since it was first announced over five months ago. With a slew of high-quality works under his belt including Ping Pong and The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl, it shouldn't come as much surprise as to why there's so much buzz surrounding this anime. 



DEVILMAN crybaby: official site

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The Hidden Secrets of Anime Expo - What You Need to Know

November 22, 2017 12:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

We're nearing the end of 2017, and that basically only means one thing -- Anime Expo 2018 is just around the corner. It's a yearly pilgrimage for just about any anime fan around the globe, making their way to the Los Angeles Convention Center for the multi-day spectacular that we've come to know and love. With how much that goes on within those days, however, it comes as no surprise that there are a few gems that fly under most peoples radar, and we want to make sure you know what they are:

1. Acoustikaraoke

I'd like to hope it comes as little surprise when I mention the cultural importance karaoke holds here in Japan. Possibly one of the most important pastimes over here, karaoke is considered by many to be the cornerstone of a good weekend. But what if that two-hour session could go even further --  what if we could build upon it, building it into something even more. That's where "Acoustikaraoke" comes into play at Anime Expo. Offering the opportunity for attendees to showcase their instrumental and ensemble ability through live performances, acoustikaraoke builds upon the foundations laid by traditional karaoke, making it an event worth your time in checking out. 

Find more out about it here.

2. Art Show Exhibition

Been hard at work but perhaps still not ready to push your art through to the Artist Alley? That's where the Art Show comes into play. Offering a space for up-and-coming creators to showcase their latest works, the Art Show is absolutely somewhere to visit if you're looking to support the next-generation of creatives, and especially if you're looking to create a voice for yourself.

Find more out about it here.
 

3. Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

Looking to branch out from the ordinary discussions between fans of anime? Perhaps looking to dwell beyond the surface, and dig a little deeper into just what "anime" means in a modern context? That's where Anime Expo's "Anime and Manga Studies Symposium" comes into play. Offering integral discussions about anime is a global medium, you'll be able to join fellow academics and the general public to discuss the history and themes of various anime, all whilst having your voice to be heard. If you've got a point that you're keen to share, you'll definitely want to check out this panel.

Find more out about it here.

4. Career-Oriented Workshops

In the year 2017, and perhaps even more-so in the year 2018, the prospect of working in the anime industry is becoming more and more achievable. With the acknowledgment that global audiences are wanting to make the next big move, panels like "Career Workshops" are becoming more and more essential in bringing forward fresh ideas across the industry. For those interested in making a splash in the fields of ADR engineering, subtitling, or game localization, this panel is absolutely for you.

5. AMV Chef

Even before the very concept of Food Wars, young creatives have been cooking up fresh recipes for various AMVs (Anime Music Videos) across the internet. "AMV Chef" calls on the best of these creators to give it their all in creating something amazing using a grand palette of pre-determined clips within a set amount of time. It's an intense battle between the greats and is guaranteed to be a total riot for those attending. 

For both fans of AMVs and budding creators alike, this is absolutely an event not to be missed. Find out more about it here.

6. Cosplay Poker

Feeling particularly lucky while dressed as your favorite character? Then maybe it's time to give "Cosplay Poker" a try over at the tabletop gaming area. Offering an environment for both those in and out of cosplay to play their hand at a tournament-style game of No-Limit Texas Hold 'em, there's countless opportunity for a fair hand at fun over at this table. 

7. Meet the SPJA Board of Directors

Looking to voice a recommendation or concern regarding the happenings around Anime Expo? Well, this is absolutely something to check out. Run in a round-table format, attendees of the convention are invited to share their recommendations and queries with the staff and organizers of North America's biggest anime convention. 
 
With Anime Expo 2018 set to take place from July 5 - July 8, we're rapidly approaching one of the biggest events of the year for fans of Japanese culture and Anime as a medium. These are just a small sampling of the events that take place at Anime Expo, but they're also something that should definitely be highlighted just a little more. For even more information about the upcoming convention, be sure to check out the Anime Expo website, here.

Check out the original posting via Anime Expo.

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GraphersRock Showcases Second Puma Collaborative Collection

November 20, 2017 2:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

You might remember a few months ago we shared a piece about an upcoming Tokyo-themed line of sneakers coming from PUMA, and particularly our praise we had for the GraphersRock collaborative kicks. I couldn't do it then, and even now I can't stress enough my belief that the Tokyo-based designer is quite possibly one of the most forward-thinking creators I've stumbled across. This belief, in particular, shines extremely bright in the long-awaited second season of his collaboration with PUMA, which we finally got to feast our eyes on today. 

It was about a week ago today that I made my way to Harajuku's PUMA locale to pick up a copy of the collaborative zine that just released to tease the upcoming collection. It was filled with GraphersRock's usual internet-tinged designs and flavor, but I don't think there could have been anything that would prepare me for what was to come. 


If GraphersRock's "Turn on Tokyo" sneakers were the cutting-edge of sleek, internet-age fashion design, then this new season must be the pinnacle. It's a six-piece accumulation of everything I'd come to know and love about their designs, all while dashing in a breath of fresh air through the use of both color and cuts. I could rave on forever about the smallest details, but none of it would ever do the collection any justice -- unlike these pictures.


Tsugi Kori by GraphersRock // 2 Colorway // 16,000 Yen + Tax


Disc Blaze Leather by GraphersRock // 2 Colorway // 20,000 Yen + Tax


GraphersRock Woven Jacket // Black // 30,000 Yen + Tax


GraphersRock SS Tee // Black // 9,000 Yen + Tax


GraphersRock Sweat Pants // Black // 18,000 Yen + Tax


Back Pack by GraphersRock // Black // 18,000 Yen + Tax

Set to release December 2, 2017, here in Japan, you can absolutely expect to catch me in line to get my hands on a few choice pieces from this collection. From the announcements made online, it definitely seems like there isn't going to be an international release, but that could of course change with given time. Much like previous releases, you'll be able to pre-order the collection from 19:00 on December 1 via the online store, and there's also set to be a release event at PUMA's Harajuku locale. 

For a full list of locations and details, you can visit the official PUMA x GraphersRock website here.

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Dai Sato Reddit AMA Highlights

November 20, 2017 12:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

It was under a month ago that we announced our collaborative efforts with Reddit's own /r/anime, and it was this past weekend that those very efforts accumulated and bore fruit. Bringing our own co-founder, Dai Sato, over to one of the internets largest anime communities, we allowed fans worldwide to buzz him with any questions that they may have had. In total, we got a total of over 35 questions answered spread across a wide variety of topics from Dai's dream projects, all the way to his fascination with anchovies on pizza.

In an effort to make the whole thread a little bit more accessible to everyone, we've gone ahead and compiled all of the questions and answers presented in the thread right here. There's a lot of questions that we've been dying for people to know, and perhaps even more which we didn't even know ourselves. Having been the script-writer behind series such as Eureka Seven, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and a number of others, it comes as no surprise that we got some genuinely incredible questions, and we couldn't be more pleased with the answers Dai so happily shot back. 

To celebrate, we've compiled a handful of our favorite answers from the AMA, for your viewing pleasure. You can check out those very questions and answers below:

Having sat down for over 3 hours to answer the questions of fans, we couldn't have been more happy with the turn out of the whole event. We've got a whole lot more coming, and will continue to bring forward some of the best names in the industry to Reddit's /r/anime to answer your questions. If you've got anyone in particular you'd be interested in seeing, by all means let us know in the comment box down below. If you're interested in checking out the full AMA session over on Reddit, you can find it here.

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'Dragon Ball' Voice Actress Hiromi Tsuru Has Passed Away

November 17, 2017 12:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

Truly tragic news surfaced today when it was announced that Hiromi Tsuru, perhaps best known for her voice roles as Bulma in the Dragon Ball series, has passed away at age 57. The voice actress was found unconscious in her car along the Shuto Expressway here in Tokyo, with both her seatbelt fastened and hazard lights enabled.

It's being reported that Hiromi Tsuru passed away due to an aortic dissection. It's currently unclear when this occurred. After being rushed to the hospital she was shortly thereafter announced dead. Born in Yokohama, Japan, Hiromi Tsuru had been working in the industry since 1978 when she was only 17 years old. 

It wouldn't be until the 1980s that the young Hiromi Tsuru would truly blossom into the phenomenal voice actor we all remember her as, following on from an enormous string of high-profile positions. With roles in series such as Dragon Ball as Bulma and Child Piccolo Jr., all the way to Anpanman's own Dokin-chan, the voice actresses voice was heard near and far. 

Our condolences go out to the family, friends, and fans of Hiromi Tsuru, and we hope she may eternally rest in peace.
 

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