Shoujo-filled Anime Week in Review: From Nisekoi to Infinite Stratos

Fans of the manga, Nisekoi (ニセコイ, False Love), will be delighted to hear that an anime adaptation is slated for the works. Written by Naoshi Komi (古味 直志), Nisekoi is the usual shoujo manga with the harem plot. The story revolves around the high school boy, Raku Ichijou, who is set to become the heir of Yakuza group. In come Chitoge Kirisaki, daughter of rival gang and a confusing yet hilarious love triangle involved.

Around 6 volumes with over 75 chapters have already been released among various manga platforms. There have been no other details regarding the debut of the anime.

Next up is Infinite Stratos slated for a second season this Fall. In the announcement on the official website, second season of TV Anime Infinite Stratos will start airing on October 2013. The broadcast of a second season was made just last month and new heroines have already been mentioned. The latest new heroine has already been aired on the website namely Tatenashi Sarashiki (更識 楯無). It’s another harem in the works but still worth the watch with cute girls plus Charlotte back on track.

A quick synopsis of Infinite Stratos is as follows: “Japan engineered an armed powered exoskeleton “Infinite Stratos” (IS) and it became the mainstream of weapons. Orimura Ichika is a 15 year old boy and accidentally touches an IS placed in the IS pilot training school. He is found to be the only man who can operate IS and forced to enter the training school. Ichika’s busy school life surrounded by girls has begun.”


Last but not the least is Henneko: The “Hentai” Prince and the Stony Cat. With twelve episodes slated, episode five has already been released. Staying true to classic manga perverse humour, the story is that of a typical high school student who wishes away his tendency to lie. The hilarity begins when the mysterious cat statue instead forces him to say everything on his mind in pure honesty. Of course, a girl comes along to heighten the fun.

It’s the usual harem/ service filled-moe plus comedy that Japan anime never runs short of.


Two Weeks Countdown to One Piece’s Oda Eiichiro’s Return

Fans of the high profile manga, One Pirece, are quite used to the hiatus but this time around it’ll be a longer wait. Oda Eiichiro, the renowned creator of One Piece, has taken a break due to his health. Earlier this year, Oda had been hospitalized due to peritonsillar abscess, a complication of tonsillitis.

The series is set to resume by June 10th and counting down the days on the calendar, it’ll be a two week wait more. The official announcement was made on Shonen Jump’s website. As for One Piece, Shonen Jump issues will continue to ship by May 27 to June 3 without any action scenes from Monkey D Luffy.

While Japanese fans have June 10th to wait for, western shores will have a taste of Oda Eiichiro’s animation with the debut of One Piece on Cartoon Network. Monkey D Luffy and his gang are set to hit Toonami’s line-up. The show had already garnered a whopping 995,000 views. Hopefully, One Piece on Toonami is set to bring in more anime to the small-screen.

Neon Genesis Evangelion Staff Cursed, Tiffany Grant

Tiffany Grant, the English-language voice actor of Asuka from the popular anime series “Neon Genesis Evangelion”, discussed during the anime convention SwampCon how those involved with the show’s production seemed to be cursed.

Grant hosted a Q&A session during the anime convention were she talked about a wide range of topics. A topic heavily discussed was her involvement with the series she is best known for, “Neon Genesis Evangelion”.

While talking about Evangelion, Grant revealed that many people involved with the show, herself included, seemed to have bad things happen to them while working on the series.

“When I went to work to record the dialogue for the ‘End of Evangelion’ movie, I was driving to the studio and my muffler fell out of my car! I was talking to Tristan MacAvery, the voice of Gendo Ikari, and he said, ‘Oh my god! That happened to me too!”. So when he was going to record ‘End of Evangelion’, the muffler fell out of his car too. I am telling you, it is cursed,” she explained.

While car troubles were the extent of Grant’s experience with the Eva Curse, another member of the production crew, Wade Shemwell, was continually injured during his time working on Evangelion.

“He worked on [Evangelion] for a year and there was always some car accident that he was in. Every time you’d see him, it would get worse. He would have a limp, then he had a cane, then he was hobbling…It was awful,” she said.

In addition to the Eva Curse, Grant revealed some other interesting tidbits of information about the production of the Evangelion series.

“In 2003-ish, Gainax went back in Japan and remastered the video and remixed the audio for the Evangelion TV series. They spent more money remastering the series than they spent on the entire series the first time,” she revealed.

Interest in “Neon Genesis Evangelion” remains high despite the series originally airing in the mid-90s. The series is currently going through a reimagining of the series through the “Rebuild of Evangelion” movie series which has been well-received both commercially and critically.

“W:Wonder tale” announced as new single from Tamura Yukari

Tamura’s first single of 2013 will be titled “W:Wonder tale” and it’s scheduled to drop in stores on February 6th. Reportedly, it will have a total of three tracks.

The title track will be used as the ending theme for the tv anime, ‘Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru‘, which will begin its broadcast in January.

Tamura voices the heroine ‘Natsukawa Masuzu’ in the anime.

Shortly after the single’s release, Tamura will hold her birthday event, ’17-sai Dayo?! Yukari-chan Matsuri!!’, on February 22nd at Pacifico Yokohama. She will then hold a 2-day concert at Saitama Super Arena on June 22nd and 23rd.

One Piece Film Z Has Record Weekend

Bunka Tsushin, a Japanese news company, reported that the new One Piece film sold 600,000 tickets on its 1st day grossing 750 million yen approx.($9 million US) at the box office.

As of December 17th, it was announced that the anime ‘ONE PIECE FILM Z‘ has recorded the most successful opening weekend for a Japanese movie over the past decade.

‘ONE PIECE FILM Z’ is the twelfth movie adaptation of Oda Eiichiro’s hit manga ‘One Piece‘. It opened on the 16th and has attracted more than 1,140,000 viewers and earned 1,372,050,000 Yen ($16,390,509 USD) in just two days. Other movies that opened on the same weekend – such as ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey‘ and ‘Yokai Ningen Bem‘ – had no chance against this long-running franchise.

Moreover there has never been a more successful opening weekend for a Japanese movie since 2001. It beat this year’s strong competition made up of ‘BRAVE HEARTS: UMIZARU‘ and ‘Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo.‘, its own prequel ‘ONE PIECE FILM STRONG WORLD‘ and even the 2004 Studio Ghibli masterpiece ‘Howl’s Moving Castle‘. It’s most likely to become the most successful Japanese movie of 2012 as well.

Similar to its prequel, the distributor prepared 2 million “pirate treasure bags” including a copy of the special “1,000th Volume” Oda had drawn exclusively for the moviegoers of ‘ONE PIECE FILM Z’. However, the opening weekend exceeded all of their expectations and so they already decided to print another 2 million copies in order to keep up with the number of viewers.

Giant Kuratas Robot For Sale in Japan

Like many Japanese, Kogoro Kurata grew up watching futuristic robots in movies and animation, wishing that he could bring them to life and pilot one himself. Unlike most other Japanese, he has actually done it.His 4-tonne, 4-metre 13 feet tall Kuratas robot is a grey behemoth with a built-in pilot’s seat and hand-held controller that allows an operator to flex its massive arms, move it up and down and drive it at a speed of up to 10 kph 6 mph.“The robots we saw in our generation were always big and always had people riding them, and I don’t think they have much meaning in the real world,” said Kurata, a 39-year-old artist.“But it really was my dream to ride in one of them, and I also think it’s one kind of Japanese culture. I kept thinking that it’s something that Japanese had to do.”

Read the rest of the story: Giant Kuratas robot comes to life in Japan.

One Piece to Open Osaka Exhibition in November

Earlier this year Eiichiro Oda celebrated his success of manga illustration over the span of 15 years by, showcasing his original illustrations at the "One Piece Exhibition." Due to popularity of the event hosted in Tokyo, organisers are adding another event in Osaka.

Below are two commercials promoting the event. Attendees will be able to catch full previews of Oda sketching his famous manga characters step-by-step.

(November 24 – February 17)

Voice Actress Romi Park Taking Time Off After Surgery

Voice actress Romi Park has reported from her hospital room on September 12 that she will be recuperating for about three weeks.

Park had surgery for an unspecified number of polyps on her vocal cords. Because of this, she will not be able to use her voice for several days, but she has mentioned that she will be doing her best to recover and go back to work.

Romi Park is famous for her roles as Fullmetal Alchemist’s Edward Elric, Bleach’s Hitsugaya Toshirou and NANA’s Nana Osaki.

Nerawareta Gakuen’s Natsuki to be voiced by AKB48′s Watanabe Mayu

AKB48’s Watanabe Mayu will lend her voice and singing talents in the upcoming anime film “Nerawareta Gakuen”. She’s also singing its theme song.

Watanabe commented, “Though I’m a little anxious, I would like to enjoy voice acting for this. Since ‘Natsuki’, whom I’m voice acting for, is a very cheerful, cute, and charming girl, I’ll try my best so that people watching the anime will like her!”

Natsuki’s childhood friend ‘Seki Kenji’ will be voiced by Honjo Yutaro.

World Cosplay Summit 2012

An audience of about 18,000 attended the World Cosplay Summit 2012 finals in Nagoya, Japan on Saturday. 40 representatives from 20 countries, including the United States, competed for the top spot.

Japanese cosplayers Yukari Shimotsuki and Kaito won this year’s grand prize as the characters Hijikata Toshizō and Kazama Chikage (family name first) from Hakuōki Shinsengumi Kitan. The duo won the ANA Prize and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prize. This is Japan’s second win in four years, having won in 2009.

The World Cosplay Summit was launched in 2003 with four participating countries. Since then, it has expanded to 20 participating countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The last four years’ grand prize winners were Brazil (2011), Italy (2010), Japan (2009), and Brazil (2008).