As one of two regular contributors to Topless Robot with a particular affinity for Japanese manga and anime, it might surprise some of you to know that, until last week, I had never - gasp! - visited the motherland. Yessir, I hadn't yet made the pilgrimage to Glorious Nippon!
And so, armed with a passport and a few thousand Yen, my girlfriend and I took the plunge and braved the twelve-hour international flight to the land of manga, robots, video games, and other things that make my nerd heart melt.
The dead of winter might not necessarily be the most optimal time to visit a northern continent, especially considering the fact that I live in Los Angeles where our concept of "cold" is anything below 70. Still, there are a lot of cool things you can only do in Japan in the winter, so here's 15 things to do, see, and check out in Japan!More >>
Who were those stylish, square-masked individuals? Perhaps one of many things you missed over the weekend, some of which have been slapped together into this one big-ass post for your enjoyment.
This week's items compiled with the assist of SlyDante777, including tips from himself and Citrus_King, rkwsuperstar, Patch999, James.k.Polk, troi, Anyone00, Dr.Gonzo82, Gallen_Dugall, clone_boy99, aidan.jeans.More >>
If you're in the Dallas area tomorrow, a group of TR regulars are planning to meet up around midday at the Sci-Fi Expo in Irvine. Email eventmeetupdfw-at-gmail.com if you're interested in attending. I can't make it, myself - got my father-in-law's belated memorial to attend.
Here are a few items still on my desktop before we call it a week:
-If James T. Kirk were a woman, wouldn't she just stay home and fondle herself?
-It's a zombie schoolgirl arcade game that turns into a dance game! It is, of course, Japanese.
-Crime dog McGruff really let himself go.
-Ye Olde Facebook, from 1902.
-Goat Simulator: The Game. Most likely not going to be made for real, but would you not play the shit out of it?
-Sweded feature-length Robocop, with some unique scene interpretations.
-The best 10 minutes of all three Bayformers movies - the transformations.
-Speaking of which, a trailer for Transformers Universe Online. Looks to be using Prime designs.
-Gary Oldman will probably be in the next Star Wars. You may remember he was to play General Grievous originally but declined because of union strikes.
-Live-action Patlabor trailer.
Some of these tips are from SlyDante777, Gallen_Dugall and Anyone00
Well, it's not entirely fair to judge, as Pony fan "Galaxyart" doesn't go beyond creating an opening montage. Not to mention his is a labor of pure love, while Hasbro's is a "We want to sell a new line of dolls, so you'd better make this work somehow" mandate.
I don't collect dolls (of this type, at least - the rest is up for debate), but I suspect characters in this anime style would sell juts as well. You tell me if you'd buy.More >>
Hayao Miyazaki's (supposedly) final film, The Wind Rises, should be available for you to see very soon. Such an occasion would typically invite yet another fawning retrospective, or ten, on the man's body of work, and for good reason. There's no arguing that Miyazaki is a master of his craft, a cinematic storyteller among the best that have ever been. And Ghibli, his animation studio, has revolutionized the animation industry and consistently set the bar for the rest of the world.
However... sometimes.... the good men and women at Studio Ghibli can get a bit TOO MUCH praise and adoration.
Hey, don't forget where you are, right now. That's right - the Internet. The playground of the devil's advocate. So roll your sleeves up for the inconceivable - a list that pays tribute to Miyazaki by enumerating some supposedly classic Ghibli films that are actually really over-rated misfires with AWFUL morals.More >>
There was the Superbowl.
There were commercials.
It's easy to imagine you might have missed anything else that happened. So here are the highlights of the open-thread reader submissions. This week's tipsters include James.k.Polk, Anyone00, SlyDante777, Gallen_Dugall, scarfdemon, Citrus_King, skrag2112More >>
While you wait on the inevitable live-action movie, and its probably more-inevitable U.S. remake (sure to have a new title like Giant Problems!), check out Subaru Japan's bold visual claim that their car is the perfect vehicle for outmaneuvering angry, smooth-breasted, naked colossi.
That is certainly a feature I would enjoy in my next vehicle of choice.More >>
Miyazaki-based toys are hard to come by domestically, which may be a good thing as it his spared me a Spirited Away shelf o' junk that would surely have manifested otherwise. And you probably won't see many merchandising tie-ins for The Wind Rises, given the controversy over whether or not it spiritually whitewashes its central character and his development of Japanese warplanes. But if you wanted some kind of collectible to celebrate his celluloid swan song, here you go: a resin toy of Miyazaki himself.
It's not cheap - this 6-inch resin figurine will run you $95. But is a limited edition of only 300, and the proceeds are going to earthquake relief. If you felt like donating anyway, you might as well get a cool toy at the same time.
As of this writing, it's still available - but a wind of collector interest is likely to spirit it away very quickly. So...um...don't be left HOWLing without this emotionally MOVING statue in your CASTLE...or something.
If you weren't glued to your computer all week, here are some of the stories you missed from the open thread. Submissions this week came from Anyone00, SlyDante777, Timely-Tardis-Lego, NOT.DrAbraxas, Gallen_Dugall, troi, skrag2112, Rx79immigrant84, rkwsuperstar, James.k.Polk.More >>
It's a glasses holder, a picture frame and a way to give cute specs to your favorite anime character, if that's your thing. Not that it has to stop at anime, but anime girl faces are provided. In typical Japanese literalist fashion, this item is called "Funny Trick." Or, depending on how you interpret Japanese, "Fannie Trick." You decide which works for you.
Now, I'm presuming that if you need a glasses holder, that removing them and putting them on a frame would make any image within said frame beside the point, as your glasses have to be removed from your eyes, and now you can't see your fetish in focus. In other words, you're going to want to buy multiples.
How long do you think it'll be before we get picture frames with pony ears or unicorn horns?