The Otaku Culture

The rising popularity of anime and manga has given birth to a fervent devotion to the media formats: the otaku (オタク – which is Japanese slang for an obsessive person, or geek). Covered within are different aspects of the otaku culture, from figures and toys to odd promotional items and cosplay.

Yuri Plisetsky Nendoroid unveiled

Yuri Plisetsky Nendoroid

Yuri Plisetsky in Nendoroid format from Good Smile Company!

The Ice Tiger of Russia from ice skating anime Yuri!!! on Ice now comes as a miniature-format figure. Joining Yuri Katsuki and Victor Nikiforov is Yuri Plisetsky as part of the Good Smile Company’s Nendoroid line.

Yuri (or Yurio as he’s affectionately called to differentiate from the other Yuri) is dolled up in his silver outfit he wears during his Agape performance. Also included are three interchangeable facial expressions (agape, sour and shocked), katsudon piroshky, and a pair of cat ears from he obtained during scene at the Rostelecom Cup.

These final images of Yurio were posted on Good Smile’s Kahotan blog. Yuri Plisetsky, when purchased through the Good Smile Company web site, will ship with a special rubber strap. He goes on sale Tuesday, July 25th, 2017.

Yuri Plisetsky Nendoroid Yuri Plisetsky Nendoroid

Source: Good Smile Company


Yuri Katsuki Nendoroid announced for pre-order

Yuri Katsuki Nendoroid

Yuri Katsuki is about to leap into our hearts with a triple lutz

It’s time to lace up your skates and hit the ice with the star of YURI!!! on Ice with Yuri Katsuki! He’s the latest in Good Smile Company’s line of collectible Nendoroid mini figures.

Yuri wears the black with silver trimmed outfit from his Eros performance, choreographed by his coach, Victor Nikiforov. This costume was also worn by Victor before on the ice.

Each Nendoroid comes with accessories and are interchangeable with other Nendoroid figures. Included are three different facial expressions: his seductive face from his Eros recital, a happy expression, and one of embarrassment. Yuri also comes with two hair styles — one that’s slicked back and the other tousled. Even he can’t stay away from his favourite food: a bowl of steaming hot katsudon (pork cutlet with egg over rice), complete with tiny chopsticks.

Plus, there’s a bonus — a small rubber charm featuring the likeness of Yuri, but only if purchased through Good Smile Company’s online shop.

Yuri Katsuki Nendoroid Yuri Katsuki Nendoroid

Pre-orders for this adorable representation of Yuri Katsuki close on March 16th, 2017 and is expected to ship later in July. Suggested retail price is ¥4,167 JPY (or about $48.91 CAD).

Source: Good Smile Company

Anime stars as Tokyo 2020 ambassadors

Even though the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are three years away, get ready to see more the sporting event’s ambassadors as they showcase the host city’s facilities and attractions. These ambassadors might look familiar — they’re popular anime characters!

The cast of characters include:

  • Sailor Moon from Sailor Moon
  • Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece
  • Naruto Uzumaki from Naruto: Shippuden
  • Goku from Dragon Ball
  • Asahina Mirai and Izayoi Riko from Pretty Cure
  • Astro Boy from Astro Boy
  • Shinnosuke Nohara from Crayon Shin-chan
  • Jibanyan from Yo-kai Watch

Merchandise featuring these animated heroes is already available online through the Tokyo 2020 Official Online Shop in the form of hats and t-shirts.

Tokyo 2020 Official Ambassadors


Posted by Olympic Channel on Thursday, January 19, 2017

Source: Olympic Channel

Custom Dragon Ball Z figure lamps available on Etsy

Piccolo and Goku lamp

Piccolo and Goku have the power… to light up a room!

Light up your room with some help from Dragon Ball Z! Etsy store LitUpInteriorDesign repurposes items into functional lamps including bottles, household art items and anime figures.

Each lamp is hand-made using recycled wood, black paint, a light bulb, and a centrepiece item, in this case the Dragon Ball Z characters are positioned in such a way that the lamp appears as a well-coordinated attack.

Of course, there’s not just Goku and his friends; there’s also a lamp featuring Sailor Moon with the bulb placed over the sailor soldier like her namesake lunar satellite.

However, these awesome and fully functional lights don’t come cheap as they range between $140 and $167 CAD ($99 – $125 USD) in price. But they do ship internationally!

Sources: Comic Book Resources, Etsy

Miku Expo 2016 to tour seven cities across North America

Hatsune Miku, the virtual turquoise-pigtail singer from Japan, will be performing in concert as part of Miku Expo which will travel through Canada, the United States and Mexico in 2016.

Miku, a sixteen year-old computer-generated vocal synthesizer created by Crypton Future Media, has generated a massive following not only in her native Japan, but around the world. While she is not “human”, a creative graphical setup allows Miku to be projected in a 3D environment to sing and interact with the crowd wherever she goes. Miku has stood on stage with Lady Gaga and Pharrell Williams and even guest-starred on television with David Letterman!

  • Seattle, WA at the WaMu Theater on Saturday, April 23rd, 2016
  • San Francisco, CA at The Warfield on Saturday, April 30th, 2016
  • Los Angeles, CA at the Microsoft Theater on Friday, May 6th, 2016
  • Dallas, TX at The Bomb Factory on Saturday, May 14th, 2016
  • Toronto, ON at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts on Friday, May 20th, 2016
  • New York City, NY at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday, May 28th, 2016
  • Mexico City, DF at the El Plaza Condesa on Saturday, June 4th, 2016

Tickets can be purchased in advance online through the Miku Expo web site.

Naruto Ramune

Naruto Ramune!

Naruto Ramune!

The wide-world of anime-related merchandise just wouldn’t be complete without Ramune. Over the years, the alien-looking glass bottles have been decorated with labels from Pokémon and One Piece. Last spring, Viz Media added Naruto-themed bottles to that list.

Though Viz Media posted a list of retailers that sold the drink in North America to their Facebook, the Canadian locations were limited to one vendor, JFC International (Canada) Inc., the company handling the distribution in both Vancouver and Toronto.

I lucked out as the Konbiniya Japanese Centre on Robson Street had started stocking them. I grabbed an armful as each bottle bore a different design. There’s Naruto battling Sasuke, Naruto with rasengan, a partial Team Seven with Naruto, Sakura and Kakashi, and group shot of Naruto and his fellow ninjas. Aside from the colourful labels there’s nothing different about the pop inside which still has the classic bubble gum flavour.

Ramune bottles with Naruto labels

Same flavour, different bottle.

For those unfamiliar with Ramune, it’s a Japanese carbonated soft drink sold little glass bottles that are sealed by a glass marble. A plastic plunger is attached to allow the marble to be pushed in so the contents can be consumed. To allow the liquid to flow, the bottle’s neck is pinched so that the marble can rest, sort of resembling the face of an alien when viewed from a specific angle. There are a variety of flavours, but bubble gum is the most common.

New FLOW song for Naruto musical

FLOW talks to fans at Anime Central in 2011.

FLOW talks to fans at Anime Central in 2011.

Japanese rock band FLOW announced through their Facebook page that a new song called “Hikari Oikakete” has been recorded for the upcoming Live Spectacle Naruto musical.

The song itself will be released on March 21st, 2015 when the musical opens in Tokyo, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore as well as being available for purchase through iTunes.

A number of FLOW’s songs have been used as opening themes for the Naruto anime, including “GO!!!”, “Re:member”, and “Sign”.

Live Spectacle Naruto is a live retelling of the first 27 books of the Naruto manga series through music, dance and action sequences.

Source: Facebook

Sleeping Chespin plush

Sleeping Chespin

Someone’s tuckered after a long day of battling other Pokémon.

Earlier this year, Pokémon Center stores in Japan offered a new plush for sale — the three Pokémon X‘s and Y‘s starters – Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie, in an adorable sleeping pose. As Chespin is my favourite starter, I just couldn’t say no to him.

I didn’t purchase Chespin (or Harimaron, as he’s known in Japan) through a Pokémon Center location, but instead through Yahoo! Auctions Japan for ¥2,500 JPY, not including shipping. It seemed reasonable and didn’t include the hassle of trying to register and then seeing if they would ship overseas.

This delightful grass-type Pokémon is about 58 cm, or 22.8 inches, in height and comes very relaxed, with one paw sewn to his stomach in a sleeping pose. The mouth is stitched open in such a way that his tongue appears to protrude slightly. Don’t expect Chespin to sit up, unless he’s propped against something more sturdy; he’s been designed so that he lies down as the tail bends back so he can rest comfortably. The plush is well crafted, has no loose ends with solid and uniform stitching.

Sleeping Chespin's side Sleeping Chespin back
Chespin's left paw Chespin Pokémon Center tag

Actors for Orochimaru, Jiraiya and Kabuto named in Naruto musical

Kabuto, Orochimaru and Jiraiya in Live Spectacle Naruto

Kabuto, Orochimaru and Jiraiya in as they appear in Live Spectacle Naruto.

The cast list for the upcoming Live Spectacle Naruto has been updated to include that of Orochimaru, Jiraiya and Kabuto. Yuumi Hiro will play Orochimaru, Yoshiaki Umegaki as Jiraiya and Kimura Tatsunari as Kabuto.

Live Spectacle Naruto is a live retelling of the first 27 books of the Naruto manga series through music, dance and action sequences.

A roll-call of the characters making appearances onstage includes:

  • Naruto Uzumaki: Matsuoka Koudai
  • Sasuke Uchiha: Ryoji Sato
  • Sakura Haruno: Yui Ito
  • Gaara: Kenta Suga
  • Kakashi Hatake: Kimizawa Yuki
  • Third Hokage: Kazuhiro Hirakawa
  • Iruka Umino: Ichinose Hidekazu
  • Zabuza Momochi: Asahi Uchida
  • Haku: Miho Imamura
  • Ino Yamanaka: Iha Anju
  • Shikamaru Nara: Hattori Tsubasaki
  • Choji Akimichi: Kato Ryo
  • Kiba Inuzuka: Iiyama Yuta
  • Shino Aburame: Shinichiro Ueda
  • Hinata Hyuga: Shahi Takahashi
  • Orochimaru: Yuumi Hiro
  • Jiraiya: Yoshiaki Umegaki
  • Kabuto Yakushi: Kimura Tatsunari

Live Spectacle Naruto tickets starts on March 21st, 2015 and runs through April 5th, 2015. Tickets went on sale for purchase today at Lawson convenience stores, e+ and Pia.

Orochimaru in Live Spectacle Naruto Kabuto in Live Spectacle Naruto Jiraiya  in Live Spectacle Naruto

Source: Natalie

Attack on Titan and Evangelion attractions at Universal Studios Japan

Ever wanted to get your picture taken before being devoured by a titan? Or want to experience an angel attack first hand? Universal Studios Japan in Osaka has unveiled a number of new exhibits as part of Universal Cool Japan based on the Attack on Titan and Evangelion animated series.

The Attack on Titan The Real attraction includes statues of Eren and the female titan locked in battle, a massive titan head with mouth open where visitors can pose in the creature’s hands while park staff dressed in Survey Corps gear take photos, and food for sale in the form of rationed bread, soup and potatoes. Also making an appearance are the most realistic representations of Levi, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert as clonoids, brought to life using the most advanced technology available.

Evangelion The Real is a 4D is a sensory immersive performance designed to recreate the Eva units fighting off an angel with moving seats, wind, mist, and smells. After the battle, snacks can be purchased, including an angel curry bun, angel core dessert and a drink complete with the Spear of Longinus.

Of course, souvenirs are available for purchase including Eren’s key necklace, replica 3D manoeuvre gear bracelets, and hair clips modelled after an Eva pilot’s interface headset.

Additional attractions include Biohazard The Escape and Monster Hunter The Real. Universal Cool Japan runs January 23rd through May 10th, 2015.

Sources: Crunchyroll, Universal Studios Japan

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