As part of its job recruitment program, McDonalds in Japan have released a (pretty adorable) anime ad. (More character info here though it's all in Japanese.) People are lovin' it - and there's a fandom already.
The term sakuga (作画) refers to a series of well-drawn movements in animation found in both western and Japanese animated shows. [more inside]
"Nisan didn’t mean to fall in love with Nemutan. Their first encounter -- at a comic-book convention that Nisan’s gaming friends dragged him to in Tokyo -- was serendipitous. Nisan was wandering aimlessly around the crowded exhibition hall when he suddenly found himself staring into Nemutan’s bright blue eyes... 'I’ve experienced so many amazing things because of her,' Nisan told me, rubbing Nemutan’s leg warmly. 'She has really changed my life.' Nemutan doesn’t really have a leg. She’s a stuffed pillowcase — a 2-D depiction of a character, Nemu, from an X-rated version of a PC video game called Da Capo." The New York Times' Lisa Katayama on "2-D lovers" in Japan, the latest outgrowth of otaku subculture.
Japanese animation from 1933. A bizarre Max Fleischer-inspired 11-minute cartoon about some critters from traditional Japanese folklore, complete with a soundtrack of traditional Japanese music. [youtubefilter]
Gloomy the Vicious Bear - we had a recent thread about the teddy bear turning 100. Here's a cute pink Japanese variation that retains a frighteningly feral blood lust. Osaka-based illustrator Mori Chack's innocent cartoon style belies the macabre nature. Just in time for the holidays, get your Gloomy Bear stuffed toys, hightops or other goodies before supplies run out! thanks, gmtPlus9.
The Fox Family Channel is going to debut a Hello Kitty cartoon this weekend. Will it be cool in that kitschy girly-pop Sanrio sort of way, or will it just blow major chunks? The only person I know who really really loves Hello Kitty is Leslie, and I'm not even sure she has a tv.