Today is Coming of Age Day
in Japan, when everyone who has turned twenty in the past year simultaneously gains the right to smoke, drink, and vote. Wherever you are, why not celebrate with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's (previously)
latest video, furisodeshon
posted by 23
on Jan 13, 2013 -
Mobile Suit Gundam
premiered on April 7th, 1979 in Nagoya, Japan, and with it came the now three-decade-old franchise that launched a thousand plastic model kits.
MAY CONTAIN spoilers for a thirty-year-old beloved cultural touchstone that you've likely never seen or possibly even heard of.
DEFINITELY CONTAINS many, many links to TV Tropes.
Upgrade to 56K already. You're going to need it. [more inside]
posted by DoctorFedora
on Dec 15, 2011 -
What is Pink Lady
? In Japan they are remembered for a string of pop hits in the 70s, but Americans might remember them either from their disco single "Kiss In The Dark
" or from an attempt to sell them to the US market in 1980 via a short-lived NBC variety show Pink Lady & Jeff
) with comedian Jeff Altman.
). The show featured their Japanese hits, UFO
(a bit more rock and roll
), and SOS
along with US hits like Boogie Wonderland
, McArthur Park
and the occasional guest star.
) Also, Roy Orbison
Sadly, the show failed to break out and the two returned to Japan for a series of farewell concerts and retrospectives. Much, much more available at this charmingly retro, utterly exhaustive fan site devoted to them.
Or just read the recaps. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk
on Dec 11, 2011 -
Current TV previously & previously
, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Apr 30, 2011 -
The video game SEGAGAGA
, a Japan-only release for the Dreamcast, is an incredibly odd bit of gaming history. A business sim (of sorts) it tasks the player to lead Sega to victory over its rival the evil DOGMA Corporation (a thinly veiled analog for Sony). Loaded with in-jokes obvious and obscure, it is a love letter to Sega fans, and it was one of the last Dreamcast games made before Sega went third party. After a four-year hiatus, the Segagaga fan translation project
has resumed work on localizing this most unusual game. Intro video
. Edge Magazine interviews the director
. [more inside]
posted by JHarris
on Mar 23, 2011 -
of Japan were live narrators of silent films.
"To many 'silent' cinema fans in Japan, benshi
were a major attraction. It was usually the film that drew people to the theater, but it was often the benshi
which determined which theater a person would attend. Benshi
were huge cultural stars of the time, with benshi
earning as much, if not more, than many actors." [more inside]
posted by Paragon
on Feb 27, 2011 -
"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance.
So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2]
-- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation.
Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix
trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster.
Using a blend of faux documentary footage
and visual metaphor
, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world.
Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions
galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for.
But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix
franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix
, a collection of nine superb anime films
in a wide variety of styles
designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies.
Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics
, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some
of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Feb 14, 2011 -
has uploaded nearly 4000 videos to YouTube. Many of these are trailers for the documentaries they sell, but they have also posted hundreds of full-length videos. Most are for short documentarie, but there are a lot of features too. It's somewhat daunting to explore, but the playlists
are a good place to start, and so are the shows: Features
and Savouring Europe
, a European travelogue series. Here's a few interesting ones: Gastronauts
, about French culinary students working to make astronaut food more palatable, Demon Drummers
, about student Kodo drummers, India's Free Lunch
, about the effects of free school lunches on Indian society, The Twitter Revolution
, about YouTube and Twitter's role in the 2009 Iranian uprising, Europe's Black Hole
, about Transnistria, the breakaway region of Moldova, Small Town Boy
, about a gay male carnival queen in a small town in England, The Vertigo of Lists
, Umberto Eco talks about the ubiquity of lists in modern culture and Monsters from the Id
, about scientists in the science fiction films of the Fifties.
posted by Kattullus
on Aug 24, 2010 -
...Japanese hip hop has become a significant national, cultural, and business genre since the late twentieth century, and this phenomenon has been applied and has succeeded by using almost the same ideology that was historically used by other Japanese industries like automobile manufacturing. The pioneers in the Japanese hip hop industry like Buddha Brand learned their skills in the U.S. and have successfully been influencing the contemporary Japanese music scene. As a result, the imported hip hop has become a ''Japanized'' products. Many hip hop industries in Japan have modified the American hip hop into Japanese ways, and their businesses, like the hip hop dance schools, have succeeded.The Japanese Hip Hop Movement: Its Cultural and Economic Impact [more inside]
posted by y2karl
on Jan 19, 2008 -
is a Japanese homebrew game, with English translation available, for Windows that exhaustively replicates the experience of playing on an MSX home computer
, a machine not sold in the U.S. but was contemporary with the likes of the Commodore 64 and Amiga in other markets. (Fun fact: the "MS" in MSX stands for Microsoft!) Although it looks very much like retro warez, La-Mulana is freeware. It is also notoriously long and difficult, with a character who controls like old-school Castlevania, enemies that will frequently knock you around like a rag doll, puzzles of amazing deviousness, and traps that think nothing of walling up a player without escape, or forever restricting access to certain powerups.
That said, the game does have charm, and is basically a love letter to the MSX hardware. Those who want to see it without beating their hands bloody against the keyboard can watch a guy play through the whole game in 85 installments
, cursing at it all along the way.
posted by JHarris
on Jun 4, 2007 -
Anime Music Videos.
Yet another remixing web subculture
, they're usually a source of amateurishly produced angst. From the competitive perfectionists
, though, come well lipsynched
, action packed
, and occasionally just filthy
stuff for cartoon nerds. Besides the usual metal, ballads, and pop rock, there's some Daft Punk
, and downtempo
accompaniment. Or you can just go to hell
. Wear headphones and no-one will know.
posted by anthill
on May 28, 2007 -
TV in Japan.
A hyper representation of what airs, or has aired on Japanese TV. Ranging from action packed to truly awesome (and from monkeys to ninjas), set your eyes to "dazzled" and brain to "frazzled".
posted by myopicman
on Apr 13, 2007 -