Seiyuu Hiromi Hirata, best known for voicing The [email protected]’s androgynous dancer, Makoto Kikuchi and Zoids Genesis’s Ruji Familon, has now resumed posting in her blog after months of not posting anything. And her first postafter returning? She announced that she has given birth to a baby girl!
In her post, she revealed that this is already her second child, and that she is happy to say that the baby is born healthy, though she mentioned that she is still trying to get used to the thought that her family will now be having four members. She then said that she wants to relax a bit while raising her child.
Hirata’s final post on her blog was back in February, and this has led her fans to wonder why she hasn’t posted since.
Now that her newest family member has been born, we would also like to congratulate Hiromi Hirata!
Mamare Touno (real name: Daisuke Umezu), the Japanese novel author who is best known for his two works, Log Horizon and Maouyu: Maou Yuusha. He was recently charged and now has been found guilty of tax evasion by the Tokyo District Court. Both of his works have received very successful anime adaptations.
The author has been sentenced to 10 months in prison, but that sentence has been suspended for three years, and will be cancelled if Touno remains in good behavior during that three year period. m2ladeJAM, Touno’s rights management company, was also levied a fine of 7 million yen.
According to reports, Touno did not pay the full amount of taxes he was supposed to pay, and neither did he report all of his earnings to the local tax office. He reportedly withheld information that he earned over 120 million yen in royalties from his books and contracts with major publishers by March 2014, making him pay approximately 30 million yen less than what he’s supposed to pay.
This then led to the author going on house arrest, which then led to this guilty verdict. When he was arrested last April, Touno said in a statement that he already payed his taxes and he has cooperated with the government and completed all the necessary paperwork. Both his works have inspired successful TV anime, most notably Log Horizon, which inspired two anime seasons made by two different animation studios.
Hunter x Hunter has returned after more than a year’s worth of absence, and the manga’s creator Yoshihiro Togashi is hounded by rumors that he is too lazy to work on his manga. According to some fans, the reason behind this is that he is too busy playing Dragon Quest to work on Hunter x Hunter. For the authors’ comments section of Weekly Shonen Jump! Magazine, Togashi recently addressed those rumors in a short statement:
While the statement has silenced a few critics, as many are still not convinced that the hiatuses are really due to health problems, for those who do believe he is really suffering, a new rumor has popped up that his wife is now helping him out with his manga because of his poor health.
It is certainly no secret that Sailor Moon mangaka, Naoko Takeuchi, is married to the Hunter x Hunter and Yu Yu Hakusho mangaka. Fans are speculating that specific pages from the manga, after it has returned from its latest hiatus, were drawn by Takeuchi herself, as some of the pages feature an art style similar to that of Takeuchi’s.
Several fans have said that the eyes are a giveaway because its part of Takeuchi’s style. Regardless, Takeuchi doing a few pages for her husbando has become a hot topic of discussion for several manga readers, who are praying that this latest comeback will last a lot longer than two months.
The macabre horror light novel series, Higurashi: When They Cry, is getting adaptedinto a live-action TV drama, and it will star none other than the idols of the AKB48 sister group, the Niigata-based NGT48. A new visual for the series has been revealed, and it features the idols, as well as their other co-stars, in costume:
Be prepared to see these idols like you’ve never seen this before, as the Higurashi franchise has been known for its extreme amounts of gore and violence, with the characters often becoming murderous and psychotic. In fact, the TV drama’s producers have boasted that the show will be an “extreme experience” which is unlike anything seen on Japanese TV before
Toru Otsuka and Taro Miyaoka will co-direct the live-action TV drama, which is scheduled to begin airing on 20 May 2016. It will run for six episodes, with each episode to run for 60 minutes. It will adapt the “Demoned Away”, “Cotton Drifting”, and “Curse Killing” Chapters from the 07th Expansion’s bestselling light novels.
The original visual novel was released back in 2002, and it moved on to spawn various sequels and spin-offs, as well as two very successful TV anime, a live-action movie, a manga, and a light novel series. So, do you think these idols can pull off the YANDERE and psychotic female characters from Higurashi? Looks like we are about to find out this May.
It’s finally April, and spring is definitely in the air, and you know what that usually means in Japan, right? Yes, it’s sakura season! However, it seems that many foreigners (and some Japanese) tend to confuse the sakura, or cherry blossoms, with two other pink 5-petal flowers, which also bloom almost at the same time.
These three Japanese flowers are all beautiful, they are all pink, they all have five petals, and they all signal the start of spring, so its a bit understandable that many get confused with telling them apart, however, they don’t all bloom at the same time. Plum blossoms come first in mid-February, followed by the peach flowers in mid-March, and then sakura (late March).
Another way to tell them apart is the shape of their petals, as plum blossoms (left) have a shorter petal, peach flowers (center) have a pointed petal, and there is a cleft in a sakura petal (right), as Japanese twitter user, @TECHNOuchi, pointed out:
You can also tell them apart with the branches of the trees. Plum blossoms (left) develop individually, and they grow directly on the branches themselves, which means that the flowers don’t have any stems. Peach Flowers (center) usually bloom in pairs, and have short stems. In contrast, sakura have long stems and form multiple-flower clusters, which make them a lot more dramatic.
Finally, when it comes to color, while all three can come in the familiar “sakura pink” color, they can also have other variants, such as the sakura (top) and plum blossoms (center), which can come in a shade of white. However, only the plum blossom can come in a shade of purple.
So there you have it, so next time you go to Japan around March or April, you can now be able to tell these three apart!
If you haven’t gotten enough of Working!!! and the wacky crew of Wagnaria, we have some good news for you, as the series’ spin-off web-manga by Karino Takatsu, titled WWW.Working!!, is also getting an anime adaptation. The anime is set in a family restaurant called Wagnaria, but not the same one as the main series, but a whole different branch.
Well, that certainly promises some new laughs from a whole different cast of characters. A new key visual for the upcoming anime has also been revealed, and it shows us the work crew of that different Wagnaria branch which the anime will be following.
A drama CD for WWW.Working!! was released previously, and it was revealed that the cast from that drama CD will be reprising their roles, and they are:
Yuuichi Nakamura as Daisuke Higashida
Haruka Tomatsu as Hana Miyakoshi
Sora Amamiya as Shiho Kamakura
Kensho Ono as Yuuta Shindou
Youko Hikasa as Sayuri Muranushi
Kouki Uchiyama as Masahiro Adachi
Risa Taneda as Kisaki Kondou
A-1 Pictures will once again be animating the series, with Working!!! (season 3)’s Yumi Kamakura directing the new TV anime.
Sure, we may be missing Takanashi, Popura, and the others at that other branch, but I wonder what sorts of laughs will this different Wagnaria crew be giving to us?
And speaking of the main cast, the crew of the Wagnaria!!! from the original anime series starred in several “spin-offs” for April Fools’ Day.
The Winter 2016 event for Kantai Collection has now ended, and the game update which ended the event fielded a few new surprises, including the addition of a new Kai Ni, which was given to the Mutsuki-class destroyer, Satsuki.
Satsuki can be upgraded to Kai Ni at level 75, and blueprints are not required. Much like her older sisters, Mutsuki and Kisaragi, Satsuki Kai Ni is also featured wearing a jacket, however, unlike the Kai Ni for her older sisters, she has been developed for more anti-air combat. And like Kasumi Kai Ni, she can also equip Daihatsu-class landing crafts to get more resources for expeditions. New quests have also been added, both of which involve Satsuki Kai Ni.
The update also allows the Russian destroyer, Verniy, to also equip the Daihatsu-class landing crafts, as well as the Anti-torpedo Bulge (Medium). It also adds more equipment which can be upgraded for Akashi’s improvement arsenal like the Ro.44 Seaplane Fighter, which can also be equipped by the big battleships like Yamato, Musashi, Nagato, and Mutsu.
KanColle is also celebrating the Hinamatsuri season, which include new furniture and NPC CGs for both Akashi and Ooyodo. Spring-themed furniture are also making their return, and new seasonal Hinamatsuri voice lines for several ships have also been added.
However, the big news is the official announcement of the KanColle Android version, with registration to join now open. According to the KanColle Wikia,
Players who set the Lever in the Registration option as “Registered” will be later placed into a lottery where random players of ~100,000 will be chosen to be able to start using the KanColle Android App first. (Devs said they’re working to let as much users to be early users as possible) Until then, please leave the lever as “Registered” and wait until further notice by the Developers.
The Pre-Registration will end on the next upcoming maintenance at a later date.
This also means that interested players must register for the lottery BEFORE the next maintenance begins. And since this is going to be a lottery, just being registered will not guarantee that you will automatically be signed up for the Android game. To register, click the red-highlighted option as featured in the image and then pull the lever. If it changes to green, this means that you are now registered for the lottery.
Both the Android version and the PC browser version are linked to the users’ DMM accounts, which also means that the game an admiral is playing in his PC browser will be the same for the Android version, so all the rare ships that you have, like Yamato, Musashi, Prinz Eugen, etc., will also be transferred.
There is still no word if the Android version will be region-locked, and no iOS version has been announced thus far.
Street Fighter is as popular as ever, and during a recent event for the franchise’s latest game Street Fighter V, the organizers recently held a special cosplay contest for Chun-Li cosplayers. The event was called the ” Miss Chun-Li ” contest but the twist was that the eventual winner was someone that was totally unexpected … or is it?!
Facing stiff competition from the likes of model and gamer, Kayo Satoh, gravure model, Yuka Kuramochi, and actress Mai Hino, cosplayer and body builder, Taichi Shimizu faced overwhelming odds to win the Miss CHun-Li contest, all while cosplaying as the dreaded “Red Cyclone” himself, Zangief!
How could a guy, cosplaying a muscle-bound Russian grappler with a mohawk win a cosplay contest meant for women cosplaying a Chinese interpol agent?! The odds are just astronomical and he really pulled off a huge upset against two models and an actress.
But all kidding aside, the contestants were given a chance to show what they’ve got on stage, however, it was clear who really had the audience’s heart… yeah, not the cute girls, but that muscular guy in red tights.
Sendai, one of the largest cities in Japan; a modern city with great scenery and delicious food, it is also home to the Anime “Wake Up, Girls!”. And what better way to enjoy Japan than to go on an Anime Pilgrimage by visiting Sendai and experiencing their wonderful sights and sounds first-hand yourself? Here are some of my recommended places-of-interests and attractions the next time you drop by Sendai, including some restaurants that fans of “Wake Up, Girls!” would especially appreciate.
Have a meal at “Kisuke“
In episode 1 of the “Wake Up, Girls!” anime, the girls work on a gourmet report for the restaurant “Kisuke“. What is so good about this restaurant?
When trying out Sendai’s specialities, you definitely cannot miss out one of their most well-known food products: beef tongue! “Kisuke”, established in 1975, is one of the MUST GO places if you want to try this delicious dish. The beef tongue dishes here are served in your choice of Salt (Shio) or Sauce (Tare) flavours, and are paired with a special bowl of barley rice (Hitomebore). The grilled beef tongue is extremely tender and melts in your mouth, while the barley rice is nutty, sweet and goes well with the meat. What’s more, if you want to, you can sit down right by the bar to see how they prepare and grill the beef tongue!
Many famous personalities have similarly visited this shop and given their stamp of approval by way of signed boards. Do you recognise any of them?
In episode 1 of the “Wake Up, Girls!” Anime, the girls had a meeting in this very cafe. Cafe Bijou is great to drop by during the evening for a relaxing cup of coffee. With a tranquil atmosphere, it is a comfortable place to just chill out with some friends and take a break from the hustle and bustle of traveling all day, or simply grab a sip and do some light reading from the cafe’s own collection of books and magazines.
The cafe also offers an assorted menu, from curry rice and Napolitan spaghetti, to a wide variety of teas and drinks. Their warm & crispy waffles and decadent cakes are my personal ‘must try’ items at this place.
Given their feature in the Anime, many fans have made it a point to travel to this cafe. They have also left message books made by themselves which the cafe has graciously agreed to display. If you ever come across them on your visit, do leave a message for the girls!
More information about Cafe Bijou can be found here. Also twitter here.
Grab some pancakes at Pancake & Cafe 38 Mitsubachi
Similarly to “Kisuke“, “38 Mitsubashi” appeared in episode 3 of the Anime. The girls made their big announcement to have a live performance in front of this restaurant. Since this has appeared in the Anime, why don’t we check it out?
After exploring and touring around, some pancakes and coffee are just the thing for you to replenish your energy. This cafe offers pancakes in an impressive number of flavour combinations, in several jumbo-sized servings. For the big-eaters out there, you might want to take up this challenge yourself, or go the normal route and share it with some friends.
The main specialty of this shop is the 10-levels (Juu-Dan) pancake, a dish often mentioned in the anime. Although it might not look too intimidating in the picture, it really is a momentous undertaking to finish. You have to see it for yourself to believe it!
More information about 38 Mitsubachi can be found here. Also twitter here.
Experience a live house at MACANA
One of the places where the girls based themselves to perform. Live & Club MACANA appeared in episode 5 of the Anime. In this episode the girls were still very inexperienced in performing, but later worked harder to become better.
While not a common scene in Singapore, this club is a great place to jam to some rock music. The club hosts many lives during the night for people who enjoy the night life of jumping and cheering to these live performances. From Rock music, to Japanese Pop, and occasionally Idols, the line-up for every other night is different. The monthly schedule is put up on the club’s website and the club itself is open every evening. Why not free your nights in Sendai for some fun and see if it’s for you? Who knows, you might come across some performers that you’re interested in!
If you find yourself wanting for a drink during the night, there is a drink bar in the club. Fans of the various acts on stage would often mingle around after each live to talk about their personal experiences and thoughts on the performance. You can mix around and make some new friends with similar interests this way!
More information about MACANA can be found here. And twitter here.
Bring home some souvenirs from “Kumagai-ya“
“Kumagai-ya“, home to one of the girls “Airi Hayashida” is also a traditional Japanese sweets store. This place appeared in episode 7 of the Anime.
This traditional Japanese sweets store has been open for over 300 years and is currently operated by the tenth generation owner.
The store offers many different Japanese sweets (dagashi), including various types of mochi, all of which are beautifully and meticulously decorated. Even though their sweets are largely based on just rice and sugar, you will be surprised at what kind of magical treats they have managed to create simply using those two ingredients.
One sweet I’m particularly fond of is the “Kurumi Yubeshi“, a mochi filled with walnuts. The mochi is soft and has a great texture to it, sweetness that is not overwhelming and the walnuts add a delightful crunch to the treat.
In a nod to the show, this store decorates their interior with her character goods, which you can see right from the moment you enter.
In addition to their signature regular Japanese sweets, the store has also created special Japanese sweets themed according to “Wake Up, Girls!”. The most note-worthy one is in my opinion the adorable shark-shaped mochi, which is “Airi Hayashida”‘s representative animal.
Aesthetically and gastronomically pleasing, their sweets make perfect souvenirs for your family or friends and provide an alternative to the usual gifts you can buy at the airport before flying home. You will definitely not regret a trip made here!
More information about “Kumagai-ya” can be found here (website), here (Facebook) and here (Twitter).
These are just some of the locations featured in the “Wake Up, Girls!” Anime. Besides being a lot of fun, going on an Anime Pilgrimage is a valuable way to get closer to the show’s creation and production processes. Of course, there are still many more which I highly encourage you to explore and visit for yourself.
“Wake Up, Girls!” is an anime about a tiny production company based in Sendai, Green Leaves Entertainment, on a verge of going out of business. The company last desperate actions to scout out seven girls to form an new idol unit, hoping to save itself by using this unit to take over another established idol unit, the I-1 club.
Big things are happening with Kantai Collection this year, and they started out with 2016’s very first new Kai Ni ship. The destroyer, Kasumi, who did not only receive one Kai Ni, but two, as KanColle has added Kasumi Kai Ni and Kasumi Kai Ni B.
Kasumi Kai Ni can be achieved at Level 75, and features a more balanced version, while Kasumi Kai Ni B is achieved at Level 88 and focuses more on anti-aircraft warfare. By achieving Kai Ni, she can now also equip Daihatsu Landing Crafts, the Fleet Command Facility, and Large Radars which were only allowed in larger ships prior to getting a Kai Ni. She will be the first destroyer to be able to equip these items. She also gets two new quests centered around her.
However, the biggest news in Kantai Collection this week has got to be the introduction of monthly reward for the December Rankings, which has definitely gotten admirals everywhere talking. Why you ask? Because one of the rewards is the 16-inch Triple Gun Mount Mk.7, which is a gun not used by any of the Axis Powers, because it was used by the United States of America, an Allied country, and to be specific, it was used in their powerful Iowa-class Battleships, which were made to counter Japan’s most powerful warship, the Yamato.
The Kantai Collection developers have noted that the American naval gun is is “an early implementation of the equipment” and that it will fully be implemented as early as spring 2016. They have also mentioned that they will be introducing new ships which will come with this equipment. Now, the only ships which have historically been fitted with the 16-inch Triple Gun Mount Mk.7 are the four Iowa-class Battleships, Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri, and Wisconsin. This means that the developers are implying that as early as spring this year, we might be seeing American ships in Kantai Collection. However, they will not be the first ship in the game from an Allied nation, as that status belongs to the Soviet destroyer, Verniy, who is actually the former Japanese destroyer, Hibiki.
However, like the time Hibiki got turned into Verniy, the move came with mixed reactions. Nevertheless, admirals are generally excited that they may finally get to see Americans in KanColle. Again, before you guys start waving the stars and stripes and shooting your guns, while shouting ‘Murrica!, the American ships are only being hinted by the developers and nothing has been officially confirmed yet. But even so, the conversation is now up in the air.
Aside from the obvious Iowa sisters, which are being heavily hinted on, the United States, particularly their mighty Pacific Fleet, have plenty of historic warships which would make great additions to KanColle, and we have listed the Top 5 US warships from World War II that we think will be a great addition to the game. Here are the ships we think would make an excellent fit in DMM and Kadokawa’s popular PC browser game:
5 – USS Hornet (Yorktown-class Aircraft Carrier)
This American Aircraft Carrier was the one responsible for the daring Doolittle Raid, which bombed several key Japanese cities as retribution for the Pearl Harbor attack. If the developers are adding American ships, it would be very interesting to see this Carrier being armed with her historic B-25 bombers, which were once deemed too large to be carried by an aircraft carrier.
4 – USS San Diego (Atlanta-class Light Cruiser)
The second most-decorated warship of the US Navy during World War II, the USS San Diego is one of the ships which symbolized the end of World War II as she is the very first Allied warship to enter Tokyo Bay right after Japan surrendered. She also has some history with Nagamon Nagato, which would definitely make things a bit more interesting.
3 – USS Atlanta (Atlanta-class Light Cruiser)
Kantai Collection is known for adding some very unlucky and tragic warships like the Fusou sisters, Taihou, Akebono, and Mutsu, and if the developers are planning to add US ships, the Atlanta should definitely join KanColle’s “Unlucky Tea Party.” This is because she was unlucky enough to be fired upon and sunk by friendly fire during the confusion of Solomon Islands campaign. Such Misfortune.
2 – USS Johnston (Fletcher-class Destroyer)
In anime, we often see Americans being depicted as hot-blooded and always charging head first into the fight. What better ship to show that signature American boldness than the USS Johnston, the destroyer who stood up to the dreaded Yamato, by charging head first into the fight during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, ultimately being sunk, but managing to damage several Japanese Cruisers and making the great Yamato retreat! Yes, this little destroyer led the charge of the legendary Taffy-3 and forced the Yamato to retreat. If KanColle is adding American ships, they should give the USS Johnston a hot-blooded attitude, like the ones you typically see in Shounen battle mangas.
1 – USS Enterprise
The Grey Ghost, The Big E, Lucky E, The Most Decorated Warship of WW2, are just some of the nicknames this legendary Aircraft Carrier has gotten through its historic service, which only a few warships can match. While the most revered WW2 ships from other countries are Battleships like Japan’s Yamato and Germany’s Bismark, the US has an Aircraft Carrier, which repeatedly haunted the Imperial Japanese Navy through daring raids and unforgettable heroics, especially during the Battle of Midway and the Solomon Islands Campaign. Boasting 20 Battle Stars, a Presidential Citation, and several other awards and service medals, the Grey Ghost is perhaps the most well-known American warship during the war, and we would really be happy to see her get added in KanColle.
So, what do you think would happen if the developers would finally add American warships? Which US warship are you the most excited about if this were to really happen?