By Tom Smith.
What results when a Naruto addict and a vocaloid producer combine forces? Anime song goodness, obviously! That’s exactly what happened when Japanese twosome GARNiDELiA exploded onto the scene in 2014, unleashing their first single “Ambiguous”, a track that will no doubt be familiar with anyone watching Kill la Kill – it’s the series’ second opening and you can watch its music video right here.
Originally the twosome pursued musical adventures independently of each other. Composer and producer toku (with a little ‘t’, because why make things easy for foreign journalists) started late in life, with a baptism by mecha space opera Macross Frontier as he entered his 30s. The anime series was the first to really capture his imagination, particularly due to its intergalactic pop diva character Sheryl Nome and aspiring singer Ranka Lee. Ever since watching the series, toku began watching late night anime whenever possible, and started composing his own anime-inspired tunes using vocaloid software and Miku Hatsune. Soon he was arranging (anime!) tracks for Sony’s latest otaku idols LiSA and Haruna Luna. Continue Reading
It's that time of year again, when Paris heats up, the tourists arrive and occupy the cafes along the Seine and the Parc des Expositions de Villepinte swells with anime and J culture fans from all over France and beyond. Yup, Team Anime Limited hitched their wagon and went to Paris for Japan Expo and what a weekend it was!
Japan Expo is a unique and wild weekend - as one of the biggest anime, gaming and J Culture events in Europe, it is incredibly popular and filled to the gunwales with booths, events, cosplay and food. This year was no different - a feast for the eyes (seriously, the booths are incredible) and an astonishing array of cosplay, we went once more into the breach. So, what did I see on our Japan Expo adventures this year? A whole lot of stuff!
Booths and Events
The biggest impact on your eyes when you first enter the exhibition hall is definitely the booths. They are huge, intricate and featuring some of the best artwork associated with whatever show, game or manga the company is promoting. The biggest impact comes from the gaming section of the expo - where an immersive, comfortable experience is the go to for companies like Nintendo and Bandai Namco Entertainment and boy did they deliver this year. Nintendo occupied a huge expanse of the expo centre with various sections promoting different games and adapting the design and experience for the game. The big promotion was for Super Mario Maker - an enormous booth with a giant screen allowing participants to play the game to an audience.
By Meghan Ellis.
One man eats Japan. That’s the basic premise of Michael Booth’s book (and, now, anime series) Sushi & Beyond. In fact, it’s called British Family Eats Japan in translation; as far as travel/cookery literature goes, there are few better places to visit if you’re a veteran foodie with a knack for writing. Booth’s three-month, sprawling adventure through the country’s major food hubs is a revelatory experience for both himself and readers, and the resulting series of vignettes is well worth the ride. Continue Reading
Following on from our news on Tuesday, we have another exciting announcement to share with you. We have licensed the series Castle Town Dandelion (also known as Jōkamachi no Dandelion) for the United Kingdom.
The Sakurada family lives normally in the middle of town, but they actually are royalty that rules over the kingdom. Furthermore, they all have special powers!Of the three boys and six girls born into such a family, the next ruler of the kingdom was to be elected by a national election. As a means to decide, multiple cameras were set up all over town, trying to televise their every move, the siblings do their best to dodge the cameras, look enthusiastic about the election, or just generally helping each other out.
Somehow, the family is still friendly to each other... but who will win out in the election!?
The slapstick comedy created by the Sakurada family begins!
"There aren't many anime where princesses with superpowers every move are being watched by citizens who will ultimately decide which one will be a monarch, so this was definitely a title that caught my eye" says Andrew Partridge, President of Anime Limited. "Another element of the show (from a behind-the-scenes perspective) that should get people excited is the fact that Noriaki Akitaya (director of the Bakuman series) is at the helm."
We are also happy to confirm that we have partnered with Viewster.com to simulcast the series to the UK and Ireland. (Start date to be announced.) It will also be released on home video for the UK (TBC 2016).
For those wanting to a preview of the series, you can watch a Japanese promotional video below.
We'll be sure to keep you posted with more updates about this as they become available.
By Andrew Osmond.
Ikebukuro, the Tokyo district that’s the setting for Durarara!!, will strike bemused Brit tourists as a cross between London’s West End and a funfair, a cornucopia of neon lights, bars, restaurants, department stores, amusement arcades, cinemas, karaoke chains, manga joints and stone owls. But it will not strike most tourists as an obvious home for headless bike riders, serial killers, teenage gangs and Hulk-sized brawls, as Durarara!! shows it to be. The most daunting thing for most visitors is the challenge of finding the way out of Ikebukuro station where Mikado, the boy from the boonies, arrives in Durarara!!’s first episode. It’s a monster of a station, as this amateur video shows, one of the busiest in the world.
So why turn Ikebukuro into a place of dark thrills and adventure? It’s not wholly baseless; Ikebukuro is the real-world home of a yakuza syndicate, called the Kyokuto-kai. Violence, while very rare, can happen. This writer has visited Ikebukuro umpteen times and always felt completely safe… but this newspaper writer wasn’t so lucky. Tokyo citizens with long memories recall a terrible double murder in 1999, though it wasn’t yakuza-related; it happened in broad daylight in front of Ikebukuro’s Tokyu Hands department store and the oversized underground entrance to the Sunshine City mall. A landmark, the same location is used as a backdrop in Durarara!! – for example in the first series, when a pivotal showdown is resolved by the spectacular use of mobile phones.
Before Durarara!!, Ikebukuro’s dangerous reputation was puffed up by a Japanese book series, Ikebukuro West Gate Park (aka IGWP) by Ira Ishida, in which a group of youths get involved in crime and murder. The books were adapted as a live-action TV serial in 2000, a year after the Tokyu Hands killing. The director was Yukihiko Tsutsumi, who later directed the live-action film versions of 20th Century Boys. Continue Reading