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There's an AI Running for the Mayoral Role of Tama City, Tokyo

April 12, 2018 12:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

For residents of the painfully small West-Tokyo area of Tama City, there's been a recent storm of chatter surrounding the upcoming mayoral election. This isn't without good reason, of course. You see, if the current nominee Michihito Matsuda happens to earn the most votes during this election, that would make them the world's first AI (Artificial Intelligence) mayor, ushering in a new wave of possibilities for the district. Let's talk about this, as someone who actually lives in the Tama area.
 


If you ask any foreigner living in Japan what their least favorite time of the year is, chances are they'll tell you local election season. It's the time of the year where desperate candidates and potential mayors-to-be drive around in their obnoxious white vans with megaphones attached and scream in your vicinity why you should vote for them at the most inconvenient of times.

These are the times that I dread leaving my house the most, so imagine my surprise when passing the local electoral signboard when I noticed that one of the electives wasn't some smug person at least ten times my age, but rather, a robot. Not just any robot either, this was a fully fledged AI that was running to become mayor of my district. 
 

The Artificial Intelligence, which has been dubbed under the name Michihito Matsuda, seems to operate by a simple slogan; "Artificial Intelligence will change Tama City." In an effort to offer "fair and balanced opportunities for everyone," the potential AI mayor can be broken down into three main selling points. 
  1. AI Michito Matsuda offers the ability to discover and analyze relevent petitions pertaining to Tama City, as well as break down the positives and negatives and statistically dictate whether this would have a positive or negative effect. 
  2. Intake the dialogue and wishes of residents, carefully calculating what the best way to implement them would be if they match the people's desires.
  3. Find level-compromise in common interest conflicts amongst the people of Tama City. 
Analyzing the policies of the potential AI mayor, we're met with a number of changes that would see artificial intelligence greater implemented into the everyday lives of the people in Tama City. Whether that be the transit, elderly support, or broader topics, it'll be Michihito Matsuda's mission to see them implemented. 
 

If you assumed that artificial intelligence itself couldn't run for mayor, you're absolutely not wrong; that just happens to be where things get truly interesting. The two-person team pushing Michihito Matsuda consists of both Tetsuzo Matsumoto, the vice president of mobile provider Softbank ($74 billion revenue), and former Google Japan representative Norio Murakami. Standing at the forefront of this all, however, is Michihito Matsuda. 

For someone who is extremely interested in seeing further technological integration into human activity, it's quite disappointing to see the poor online management of the campaign. Take for example the official website of Michihito, where you'll see a mishmash of poorly placed together images and coding to create a barely passable layout. How about the fact that, with a simple moment of searching, I've managed to find the potential mayor's design files available for purchase

Well, regardless of what happens, it'll definitely be interesting to see the outcome of this upcoming election. I for one am ready to offer our new AI overlord my full support, that is, if its policies on foreigners in the area are the sort that'll allow me to continue happily living here. 

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Just Cause 3 Collaboration Arrives to FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS

June 22, 2018 5:00pm
by Paul Hartling

 

FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS celebrates its second successful year with a new Just Cause 3 collaboration for a limited time. The event introduces numerous characters and a Just Cause 3 themed event to FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS starting today. Just Cause 3’s protagonist, Rico Rodriguez, and two additional characters, Mario Frigo and Annika Svennson, will be available through a featured summon, while a fourth character, Teo, will be available through a raid summon. Players can face off against the Golden URGA Mstitel to obtain raid points to unlock various rewards. A new trailer showcasing this Just Cause 3 collaboration can be viewed on the Final Fantasy YouTube page.

Additionally, during June and July, a variety of in-game bonuses and rewards will be made available to players in celebration of the second anniversary:

  • Login Bonuses - From June 29 - July 11 and July 12 - July 31, players will be treated to generous second-anniversary rewards in addition to standard daily bonuses, including the special 10+1 Summon Tickets that will guarantee at least one 5-star unit and 5-star Guaranteed EX ticket.

  • Free Daily Summon - From June 29 - July 26, players may summon one character for free per day.

  • Players’ Voice Campaign - From June 29 - July 11, all players may vote in-game to select one of four generous promotions, such as a daily free summon. The promotion that receives the most votes will be implemented in-game during the month of August.

  • Weapon Enhancements - Starting in mid-July, players may upgrade previously obtained weapons through a new limited-time stage, which will be a recurring event moving forward.

  • Half off stamina for story missions and trial battles, increased chances for bonus EXP when enhancing units, increased rank limits, and much more.


Fans can also celebrate the game’s second anniversary from December 8-9, 2018 with fellow players at the FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS Fan Festa 2018 at the Long Beach Convention Center in California. Event updates and information on how to purchase tickets will be available here: https://ffbefanfesta.com.

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A Bathing Ape Set to Release BAPE STA Keychains

June 22, 2018 4:00pm
by Paul Hartling

In the early 2000s, the BAPE STA would’ve been found on so many A-list Hip Hop celebrities worldwide either on the streets and in music videos. Songs had the sneaker mentioned in them and they became such an iconic style for the brand. Now returning for the Spring/Summer 2018 season, A Bathing Ape has released a set of miniature BAPE STA keychains in two different colorways, black with white details and white with black details. For an added touch, each sneaker comes equipped with BAPE STA branding on the back heel and branded silver lace locks. Each colorway then comes with a matching miniature-sized shoe box decorated on par like the actual version.

BAPE’s miniature BAPE STA keychains are set to drop at BAPE retailers and online tomorrow, June 23 for $45 each.

 

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Pasocom Music Club Release Debut Album 'DREAM WALK'

June 22, 2018 3:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

There are few sounds as authentic and refreshing as that of Pasocom Music Club, a fact which makes today's release of their debut album "DREAM WALK" all the more exciting. Made available both physically across Japan and digitally around the globe via platforms such as Spotify and iTunes, you're definitely not going to want to sleep on this release.
 


Ever since they burst onto the scene in 2017, arriving seemingly out of nowhere with "Park City" on Maltine Records, they've consistently grown as one of the most exciting acts to come out of the netlabel scene in recent memory. With a particular focus on more authentic analog sounds, Pasocom Music Club flawlessly paints an image of a different era in Japanese music, whilst still feeling more original than simply a tribute to a previous time. 

Spread out across eight gorgeous tracks, "DREAM WALK" carefully continues and builds upon this trend, allowing for fresh sparks of creativity to come flying through, whilst still sticking to the roots of what made Pasocom Music Club so incredible to begin with. Available now in-stores across Japan, as well as digitally via iTunes and Spotify, you can find Pasocom Music Club via both SoundCloud and Twitter.

 

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2.5 SPINNS Opens New Location in Nakano Broadway

June 22, 2018 2:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

Harajuku-born fashion culture hub 2.5 SPINNS, the otaku-centric offspin of popular Harajuku fashion brand SPINNS, has long stood as the meeting ground between both the realms of 2D and 3D, something that would evidently tug them towards the subculture capital of Nakano Broadway. The news comes following their joint departure from their previous location in the off-streets of Harajuku's famous Takeshita street alongside PARK Harajuku, with the latter returning to their former Cat Street location.
 


Located on the second floor of the always mysterious Nakano Broadway shopping mall, a cooped up bastion of underground cultures of all types, 2.5 SPINNS exists as an alternative to the usual flow of fashion through their vast selection of both dark-toned and ultra-vibrant clothing. Previously a staple of my every trip to Harajuku, I'm sure the store will definitely fit in a world better in a location like Nakano Broadway. Open as of today, you can find everything you'll need to know about 2.5 SPINNS via their official Twitter account, here.

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Dragon Ball FighterZ is Coming to Switch in the West in September

June 22, 2018 1:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

Announced earlier this week, Bandai Namco's incredible Dragon Ball FighterZ is coming to Nintendo Switch in North America later this year, with a planned release date of September 28, 2018. The news comes just a day after the game's release date for Japan was officially announced, meaning owners of the Switch won't need to wait much longer to get their hands on the fighter. Originally announced at E3 2018 for the Nintendo Switch, the game released during January for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
 


Developed by Arc System Works and based on Akira Toriyama's legendary Weekly Shonen Jump series Dragon Ball, there are few fighters that had been requested make their way to Switch more-so than Dragon Ball FighterZ. While I've long enjoyed other fighting titles in the franchise such as the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi games, it'll be exciting to finally be able to get my hands on what many are lauding to be the best Dragon Ball game to date.


Update: In addition to the release date news, it was revealed that pre-orders for the Nintendo Switch version of the title will come with the Japan Exclusive Super Famicom Dragon Ball fighting game Super Butoden, as well as the Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan versions of Goku and Vegeta.


Set to release on Nintendo Switch on September 28, 2018, in the West, further details on Dragon Ball FighterZ can be found via its official website.

Source: Siliconera

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Bandai Namco Announces Details, Twitch Partnership for Dragonball FighterZ World Tour

June 22, 2018 12:30pm
by Paul Hartling

Today, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment announced the latest details for DRAGON BALL FighterZ World Tour, a new tournament centered around the insanely popular anime fighting game, DRAGON BALL FighterZ. The tournament was created in partnership with Twitch which is the exclusive live streaming service for DRAGON BALL FighterZ World Tour and the ultimate managing partner for league operations, circuit events, and content on a global scale.

The inaugural stop for the DRAGON BALL FighterZ World Tour will begin at the CEO Fighting Game Championships taking place next weekend from June 29th to July 1st in Daytona Beach, Florida. Living up to its billing as a worldwide tournament, the DRAGON BALL FighterZ World Tour will feature “Saga Event” stops, including: Ultimate Fighting Arena (France), Thunderstruck (Mexico), Southeast Asia Major (Singapore), VS Fighting (United Kingdom), and CEO Fighting Game Championships (USA). Fans can catch all the action live on the World Tour’s official Twitch channel: twitch.tv/dragonballfighterz. For more information on the entire DRAGON BALL FighterZ World Tour, definitely visit the tour’s official website at dbfzworldtour.com.

 

DRAGON BALL FighterZ is a massive international success and fans around the world have been clamoring for an official tournament series built around the game,” said Eric Hartness, Vice President of Marketing, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. “With the DRAGON BALL FighterZ World Tour, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment and Twitch are doubling down to create an epic worldwide tournament series of Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan proportions. We can’t wait to see the epic battles that will surely emerge from our highly skilled DRAGON BALL FighterZ global player pool.”

 

DRAGON BALL FighterZ World Tour tournaments will be held throughout 2018 in the countries listed above until the grand finals taking place in January 2019 with a specific date and venue unannounced at this time.

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m-flo presents OTAQUEST LIVE powered by LDH USA - Artist Showcase

June 22, 2018 12:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

We're officially less than two weeks away from our much-anticipated m-flo presents "OTAQUEST LIVE" powered by LDH USA event, and we couldn't be more excited. Bringing together some of Japan's biggest talents into one jam-packed night, we've decided to launch a brief 32 track playlist to get you up to speed with everyone who will be taking over the night. Taking place at the Microsoft Theater on July 5, 2018, at 4:00 pm, let's get things in the groove in anticipation:
 

A sample of each of the artists performing at m-flo presents OTAQUEST LIVE powered by LDH USA @ Anime Expo 2018!

Tickets on sale now at Showclix

All Anime Expo® 2018 Badges are valid for entry, badge is required in addition to your show ticket. Learn more at Anime Expo's official website.

m-flo presents "OTAQUEST LIVE" powered by LDH USA is a music festival featuring Japan’s biggest stars. This jam-packed event will unite dance music & J-Pop lovers in celebration. Energized by legendary Japanese group m-flo and PKCZ_official, LDH USA aims to increase the popularity of Japanese pop music & culture.

We can't wait to see everyone at the event, and hope you're all just as excited as we are! Those interested in checking out further information, as well as a further breakdown of all the talent performing at the event, can check out our full archive, here.

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