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Production I.G. to Helm Original Anime Based on the Infamous ‘Kabukicho’

August 13, 2018 5:00pm
by Jacob Parker-Dalton

Production I.G., the studio behind numerous anime such as Psycho-Pass, Haikyuu!, and a number of other titles, have announced a new, original anime project titled Shinjuku-ku Kabukicho. The original project has been in development since 2014, As the title suggests, the story will take place in the Kabukicho area of Shinjuku-ward, which is known for its vibrant nightlife as well as for it’s more unsavory elements. If you played any of the Yakuza games, then it is Kabukicho upon which Kamurocho is based, which should help you understand what kind of place it is if you haven’t had the opportunity to visit it yet.

Using this setting, the original anime series will tell the story of a “bizarre murder case,” and from the looks of the Sherlock Holmes-esque character in the key visual released alongside the announcement, it seems that the characters will be trying to solve that case: 

Other than the above key visual, we don’t have much more information as to the story or characters, but what we do know is that a lot of the key staff positions have already been filled - suggesting that it may air sooner than we think. Directing the series is Ai Yoshimura (Cheer Boys, Dance With Devils), handling the series composition is Kishimoto Taku (91 Days, Usagi Drop), and penning the character designs will be Yabaki Toshiyuki (Persona 5, Joker Game)

Production I.G. has had a good history with producing original anime, with Psycho-Pass being a keen critical favorite to this day. Combine this with the already interesting setting of Kabukicho, and it’s safe to say that I’m keen to see how this project will turn out.


BTS Management Apologizes Over Hiroshima Bombing T-Shirt

November 14, 2018 12:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

It's been an interesting past week for Japanese fans of Koren boy group BTS following the surfacing of images showcasing a member of the group donning imagery of the Atomic Bomb dropping on the city of Hiroshima, Japan at the end of World War II. It was because of these images that we saw news break that BTS appearance on TV Asahi's "Music Station" would be dropped, with the announcement made right before their dome tour in Japan was set to begin. The topic was relatively silent on BTS' front, but today we saw the release of an official apology and response from their agency Big Hit Entertainment. 

Within the official apology, Big Hit Entertainment states that they “had no intention of causing distress or pain” to victims and families of those affected by the Hiroshima bombing and that they would be reaching out to the appropriate organizations “in order to explain and apologize for the hurt caused by these issues.” 

While much blame can be placed on the member of the group donning the shirt, it can also be said that just as much blame can be put on the stylist who suggested that they wear the shirt in the first place. Within the entertainment industry, and especially when you reach the level of a group like BTS, it's not uncommon for talents to have little-to-no control over what they wear, with a special advisor selecting their daily wardrobe. In response to this, Big Hit Entertainment shared that the team “did not do appropriate research” before again apologizing.

Much like the rest of the world, the Korean Pop craze has been sweeping Japan, with BTS currently sitting atop the throne. It's because of this that a sound level of knowledge is especially important, and also why the news came as such a shock to fans in Japan. The news has also sparked much political discussion across the internet, especially amongst much of North Asia. 

While BTS still has a total of eight shows to go on their Japan "Love Yourself" tour, including their final Tokyo show tonight, it'll be interesting to see how everything transpires. Fans flocked to the streets of Shin Okubo, Japan's own "Korea Town" earlier today hoping for a rare chance to spot any of the group members, essentially shutting down the entire train station for an entire hour. 

We'll be sure to keep you up to date as further information reveals itself over the next few weeks.

Source: The Japan Times, The Guardian


Moe Shop 'Nightlife' Announced For DANCERUSH STARDOM

November 13, 2018 3:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

While Moe Shop has been producing music that'll leave you wanting to dance for years now, there's never really been a platform outside of their occasional club performance to move around to their rhythmically infectious sounds -- until now. Announced today via DANCERUSH STARDOM's official Twitter account, the France-born producer is set to have their latest original "Nightlife" released as a playable song in the game as of November 14 from 10:00 am in Japan. 

It's an announcement that has been met with much surprise and excitement from fans of both Moe Shop and DANCERUSH STARDOM as a whole, and it's definitely something I'm excited to see in action. I'm yet to hear the song myself, but I'm curious to see just how one of Moe Shop's signature French Electro sounds maps itself out, especially when taking the playstyle of DANCERUSH STARDOM into account. The update won't just be limited to Japan either, with DANCERUSH STARDOM cabinets being found in Round1 locations across North America.

Keep an eye on our Instagram account tomorrow as we'll undoubtedly be making our way over to the arcade to give the song a try. Until then, be sure to check out DANCERUSH STARDOM's official website.


Here's Our First Look at the Upcoming 'Monster Hunter' Live-Action Film

November 13, 2018 2:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

While there's still a lot of debate online about why we actually need a live-action adaptation of Capcom's top-selling Monster Hunter video game franchise, let alone one from Resident Evil film director Paul W. S. Anderson, there's seemingly nothing stopping the progress of the movie. This was especially showcased following the reveal of a slew of on-set images from staff and stars of the film, with some of the most visual coming from lead actress Milla Jovovich. 

Showcased in the images shared by Jovovich, we can see that we're already undergoing a stark "reimagining" of the Monster Hunter universe, where I'm sure we'll be seeing plenty of military "big gun" action in place of more traditional Monster Hunter weaponry. Though, let me be corrected, there was an image shared on Milla Jovovich's Instagram that would suggest we'll be seeing somewhat of an appearance from the "Slinger" from the most recent Monster Hunter World.

While there's still a bit of time standing between us and the upcoming Monster Hunter live-action film, which isn't set to release until 2020, it'll be interesting to see how this all progresses, to say the least. We'll keep you updated when further information is revealed. 

Source: Siliconera


Kingdom Hearts III Receives New 'Winnie the Pooh' Trailer

November 13, 2018 1:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

Square Enix has been going completely in on the trailers for Kingdom Hearts III lately, and the latest "Winnie the Pooh Trailer" only further adds to that ever-growing list of previews. Shared via the Kingdom Hearts YouTube channel over the weekend, the latest footage plays out to the tune of Hikaru Utada's emotional "Don't Think Twice", dashing through a number of different worlds with a message of friendship. 

With the sheer amount of trailers showcased ahead of the January 25 release of Kingdom Hearts III, it's honestly surprising that they can pack so much unseen content into them, yet here we are. I wrote in my last piece about the "Tangled Trailer", and probably again in the "Big Hero 6" trailer that I wouldn't be surprised if trailers slowed down ahead of the launch trailer, but maybe I was completely wrong. I'm as optimistic and excited as ever about Kingdom Hearts III, and I can't wait to finally get my hands on it when the game finally releases.

If you're interested in checking out even more of the happenings in the world of Kingdom Hearts III, be sure to check out our full archives, here.


KMNZ LITA Releases Tofubeats 'Suisei' Cover W/ YACA

November 13, 2018 12:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

We've given a fair share of coverage to Virtual YouTuber rap-duo KMNZ in the past, and not without good reason -- we're so in love with their styling in fact that we enlisted them for our upcoming OTAQUEST LIVE show in Osaka. From their breakthrough debut single "Virtual Reality"  produced by Snail's House to their most recent works, they've got an incredible foundation that positions them as some of the most interesting music-focused Virtual YouTubers right now. Only adding to this then, is KMNZ LITA's cover of tofubeats' legendary "Suisei feat,Onomatope Daijin":

Easily one of the most iconic songs in tofubeats' catalog, "Suisei feat,Onomatope Daijin" regularly remains on repeat in my own playlists to this day. With KMNZ LITA's cover, the Virtual YouTuber calls on the talents of Virtual Alligator (?) YACA to lend his flow in place of Onomatope Daijin, creating an atmosphere worthy of the KMNZ catalog, while also paying respect to both tofubeats and Onomatope Daijin. While the KMNZ LITA cover of the song does stick to its roots, you may also be familiar with DAOKO's 2015 sampling of the song with her own take on "Suisei". 

Fittingly available to stream via KMNZ LITA's official YouTube channel, we're excited to see where the duo proceeds next, and especially can't wait to see even more originals from them. Be sure to catch KMNZ perform live at OTAQUEST LIVE in Osaka next month on December 19, with further information available via the event's official website.


'Detective Pikachu' Gets the Trailer We've All Been Waiting For, Releases May 10, 2019

November 12, 2018 4:00pm
by Mike Tamburelli

While Detective Pikachu might be adorable and fun as a 3DS Pokémon spinoff game, what we've all truly been waiting for is any new information on the live-action Hollywood adaptation announced last year with Ryan Reynolds lending his voice to everyone's favorite Electric-type Pocket Monster! Well, I'm happy to share that the wait is finally over and that you can peep Detective Pikachu and his Pokémon friends in full, gorgeous 3DCG. Check it out below, followed by Warner Brother's official synopsis!

The first-ever live-action Pokémon movie, “POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” stars Ryan Reynolds as the titular character in the first-ever live-action movie based on the iconic face of the global Pokémon brand—one of the world’s most popular, multi-generation entertainment properties and most successful media franchises of all time.Fans everywhere can now experience Pikachu on the big screen as never before, as a talking detective Pikachu, a Pokémon like no other. The film also showcases a wide array of beloved Pokémon characters, each with its own unique abilities and personality.

The story begins when ace private eye Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.

“POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” also stars Justice Smith (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”) as Tim; Kathryn Newton (“Lady Bird,” TV’s “Big Little Lies”) as Lucy, a junior reporter following her first big story; and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (“Godzilla,” “The Last Samurai”) as Lt. Yoshida.

Directed by Rob Letterman (“Goosebumps,” “Monsters Vs. Aliens”), the “POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” creative filmmaking team includes two-time Oscar nominated director of photography John Mathieson (“The Phantom of the Opera,” “Gladiator”), production designer Nigel Phelps (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Lies”) and Oscar-winning editor Mark Sanger (“Gravity”). Visual effects are by Moving Picture Company (“Wonder Woman”) and Framestore (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”).

Launched in 1996 to overwhelming response, the Pokémon brand is a global sensation that now encompasses a robust video gaming fandom with over 300 million units sold worldwide; the Pokémon Trading Card Game available in 11 languages with more than 23.6 billion cards shipped; an animated television series in its 21st season that is available in more than 160 countries; and over 20 animated films; as well as books, manga comics, music, toys, merchandise, and apps, including the wildly popular Pokémon GO, that has been downloaded over 850 million times and is enjoyed across the globe by fans of all ages.

“POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” is set for release on Friday, May 10, 2019.

The film will be distributed outside of Japan and China by Warner Bros. Pictures, in Japan by Toho Company, Ltd. and by Legendary East in China.

This looks... really good. I didn't really know what to expect when it came to blending the CG Pokémon with the real environments and human actors, but it just works so well here. All that fur though -- I mean, I KNEW that Pokémon were technically animalistic, furry creatures, but seeing it even on Jigglypuff? There's definitely something to be said about adaptations of popular animated/game-related properties, but this film might just be on to something.

Wile the movie is currently slated for a May 10, 2019 release in North America, fans of the Pokémon franchise will have ample time to play through both Detective Pikachu on Nintendo 3DS, as well as the upcoming Pokémon: Let's Go! titles on Nintendo Switch. While we're sure there's going to be a whole lot more to uncover about the upcoming film, we've definitely got a glimmer of hope that they might just hit it out of the park with this one, again thrusting the franchise into the spotlight.

Those interested in checking out even more on the upcoming Detective Pikachu live-action film, be sure to check out the film's official website.


Kizuna AI Releases Avec Avec Produced Single 'over the reality'

November 12, 2018 3:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

Released earlier this week, Kizuna AI began streaming the fourth single from her ongoing several-week project, "over the reality", which calls on netlabel frequent Avec Avec to bring his hyper-bubbly sounds to a whole new audience. 

These last four weeks have proven incredibly interesting for the net-music scene, and the trend isn't looking to slow down any time soon -- especially not if Kizuna AI has anything to say about it. Calling on a steadily-growing roster of talent, one that now has seen NOR, Yunomi, and most recently Avec Avec enlisted, we're witnessing a number of sides to Kizuna AI that I honestly could have never seen coming.

From the futurecore sounds of NOR's "Hello,Morning" to the bubbly sounds of "over the reality", it's exciting to see that Kizuna AI is giving these talents a largescale platform to showcase their sounds, while also giving them the freedom to accurately represent themselves. Avec Avec is a name that everyone deserves to know, and whether it's for their solo work or their work with musician Seiho on Sugar's Campaign, you definitely should find yourselves accustomed to them soon.

Those interested in checking out even more from the ongoing Kizuna AI musical project, be sure to check out our archives for even more information, here.