A tale of what’s to come..

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Is it the end of September already? Well, what do you know. This time, I have a halfway decent excuse for the lack of content.

In between watching episodes of ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is magic’ and Gundam, I’ve been doing some thinking about this site and what I want to do with it. Why? Because I’m really not satisfied with where this site is right now. Sure, I have a good readership (I love you guys) and it all looks pretty enough, but the original goal of bringing Anime to new audiences has fallen flat on its face.

The problem I think, is that its incredibly hard to sell anime to new audiences, whilst tip towing through the landmine of controversy that is accociated with the medium.
How are you going to do this then? I hear you ask. Well, I’ve found a rather novel way of navigating that minefield- Bulldoze right through it. In what I think is long overdue, I’m going to use my little soap box to address some of the problems this industry and its communities has, and try to stir up some serious debate about it. In order to reach out to these audiences, I’m going to have to find as many homes for these rants as possible, starting with my currents homes here, UkOtaku, and on Wearearcade.com (whenever they’re done renovating), as well as new homes on Figure.fm and the new Screwattack.com
Lastly, with all these changes, certain features will have to be dropped. That includes News and AMVs. What will stay however is the Reviews. I would say there would be less of them, but I’m not exactly renowned for pushing them out at a quick pace.

So, that’s that. Thanks for sticking by me all this time, and I hope you look forward to all the new content coming very soon!

Satoshi Tajiri- Rumoured dead?

Satoshi Tajiri, creator of the worldwide phenomenon Pokemon, is rumoured to have passed away following the recent tsunami’s that have rocked the island nation of japan. Twitter has been flooded with uncomfirmed reports that Satoshi has passed away, after becoming a victim to the disaster.

Despite this, Maritus News is claiming Tajiri is alive and well after having merely fainted. The story says that he resides in Tokyo, and was not a victim of the flood. That said, it’s very likely the rumor is false, however it’s still no confirmation. No statement has been issued by Tajiri, Gamefreak, or his family as of yet.

Again, I urge everyone to please donate generously to the Red Cross to help provide aid for those caught in the devastation. Every Dollar, Pound, Yen, Euro, or whatever currency you use helps.

Tokyo Earthquake: What you need to know


This morning, our kind friend the Pacific ocean decided that it felt rather uncomfortable in it’s current state, and decided to shift a bit. We can’t really blame the ocean for this- it does have to put up with an awful lot of stuff in it’s life, and does all this without moving an inch.
Unfortunately, this shift for a more comfortable position caused a 8.9 earthquake 25 miles underwater, just 250km away from Japan’s coastline. This caused unbelievable amounts of damage, obliterating most of Japan’s infrastructure.
So, here are my suggestions for those caught in this disaster, or those back at home who have friends and family out there.

For those stuck out there (or live there, I’m not judging): Stay in big open spaces, Most parks are offering food and shelter. A full list of shelters can be found here.
Also, stock up on other food and essentials. Most convenience stores and suchlike have been sold out, but vending machines offer their contents for free during states of emergency. Also, many restaurants are also offering food.

If you need to contact anybody, Bic Camera are offering free mobile phone batteries to people. Just head to your nearest store to stock up.
Also, I believe NHK TV are doing a phone in to contact those stranded somewhere without cellular reception. This could be used both ways too, so if you’re stranded, find a working phone and call in that way to let folks back home know you are okay. Folks at home can tune in to NHK via this link here.

My heart goes out to all those out there caught up in the chaos. I sincerely hope that you get out of this all right. Just remember to keep your chin up, and keep in mind that eventually all this will blow over. ^_^

Special thanks for Danny Choo for the images I pinched, (sorry), and for the advice he’s been giving out via Twiter, @DannyChoo. I tip my hat to you, sir.

Catbus? Pfft. Meet the cat cab.

As the famous movie trope goes, taxi drivers like to deck out the interior of their cabs with all sorts of trinkets, whether it be bobble heads, football memorabilia, or even religous artifacts. One man however, has taken it to a whole new level.

This man is Mr. Hiraga of Wakayama City, who has transformed his otherwise dull cab into a catmobile, covering the entirety of his cab in 888 lucky cats. The decorations started twelve years ago when Mr. Hiraga bought a lucky cat at Kimii-dera temple. Hiraga then thought the single cat looked lonely, so he sought to add more.

If you’re a fan of cats or shrine trinkets, and if you’re ever in Japan, you can take a ride in Hiraga’s cab, by calling him at 090-7965-2135, though speaking Japanese would probably make it a lot easier to get a ride! According to the news report, there were no mentions that he speaks any English.

Please support my new site, UKotaku.org!

Tokyo International Anime fair Cancelled?

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The Tokyo International Anime fair, held in March, may be cancelled, after a industry boycott of 10 publishers in protest to the new bans on any content deemed unfit by the Tokyo government (the chart above gives a graphical display of the boycott). While may be unsuprising for Shintaro Ishihara and his cohorts, who spearheaded the campaign, it will be a big blow for the Japanese government, who wish to quadruple anime and Manga exports by 2020 as part of their ‘cool Japan’ campaign.
The only things that can save the event, if is the law is repealed, or if the publishers stop the boycott and accept defeat- both of which seem very unlikely at this moment in time.

Gigantor statue to be lit up for the holidays

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This month, the Gigantor statue (Or Tetsujin 28-go, as it is better known in the land if the rising sun) situated in Kobe, is being lit up for the holidays. Kobe’s Christmas illuminations are quite famous throughout Japan.
This statue is a reminder of the obstacles the city has overcome again and again.  The statue was erected in fall 2009 to encourage those living in an area hit hard by the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, where many businesses and lives were lost.
That, and the fact that giant robots are awesome.

A few words on the Tokyo Anime/Manga ban

For those who don’t know, Tokyo’s ruling governing body, the LDP, have recently written into a law which will ban any anime or manga that harms Japan’s youth. This will come into effect in July, with voluntary restraints in April. The bill has been widely criticised by the industry, who comment critically on it’s vague description of what is allowed and what isn’t, which could cause widespread panic among producers and publishers.

Even though I abhor the recent ero-ification of Anime and Manga, I think this is a bit too heavy handed. Publishers are getting scared that having a manga set in a highschool will set them foul of the new laws, which isn’t good.
I was hoping the DPJ would reject this in favour of an age rating board of some sort, rather than this ‘banned, not banned’ manner of doing things.
The only thing we can hope for, is that some of the more otaku friendly ministers try to overturn it before the summer season gets rolling, or that the anime and manga industry gets their act together and lobby against this.

At the moment all we can do, is write to our local anime distributors such as FUNimation or Manga Entertainment, and urge them to put pressure on the Japanese industry to do something about this. Otherwise, we will be seeing an extreme lack of titles being released, with the worst case scenario being that the industry collapses entirely, unable to support itself with such heavy restrictions.

What’s your reaction to the new bill? How do you think it will affect the industry? Be sure to leave a comment in the section below.