Tag Archives: anime

World’s largest Pokemon collection

25 Jan

A 21-year old English woman named Lisa Courtney has recently been entered into the Guiness Book Of World Records for the “World’s Largest Pokemon Collection”.

「ポケモン」 (Pokemon) is a Japanese abbreviation for 「ポケットモンスター」 (Pocket Monster).
It’s a Japanese franchise of characters used in cartoons, movies, comics, games and toys.

Lisa Courtney said that she was severally bullied in school due to a physical handicap and she began collecting Pokemon toys since she was about eight years old to cope with the bullying.

In the thirteen years that she has been collecting, she has acquired over 13,000 Pokemon items…which qualified her for the world record.

Lisa Courtney and her huge Pokemon collection

She has even been to Japan a few times and bought some “only-in-Japan” Pokemon items. She said that she plans to come to Japan for another visit sometime this year.

I think 13,000 toys is too much personally…but it’s her hobby and it helped her feel better from being bullied (which, by the way, is unbelievable that a child would get bullied because of a handicap!).

When she visits Japan this year, she should order the “Kids Pokemon pizza” from Dominos Pizza in Japan.

Voice of 目玉おやじ R.I.P.

23 Jan

I’ve mentioned before that I like the Japanese manga and anime titled 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (“Gegege-no-Kitarou“).

It’s about a group of 妖怪 (ghouls) who help humans.

I have a few of the manga, I watch the anime on TV sometimes, and my family and I went to see both of the live-action movies at the theater.

I also like the artist, 水木しげる (Shigeru Mizuki). His life story is fascinating.
I wrote a bit about him and the 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (“Gegege-no-Kitarou“) on another post.
Click here read it.

Anyways, 田の中勇 (Isamu Tanonaka), the 政友 (“Seiyuu“)…”voice actor”…who did the voice of one of this show’s main characters–「目玉おやじ」 (“Medama-oyaji“) died last Wednesday.
He was 77 years old.

田の中勇 (Isamu Tanonaka), R.I.P.

I wrote a post last September about the death of the artist of another popular Japanese mangaClick here to read it.

Poor Baikinman

18 Nov

When my kids were young, they used to love a popular Japanese cartoon called 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“).

This cartoon is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most characters. A new one is constantly being introduced by the 90-year old artist!
I wrote a post about the world record. Click here to read it.

Anpanman‘s artist, Yanase Takashi, grew up in the city of Kochi, Japan.
Last month, the city decided to honor Mr. Yanase and the characters he created that have become a part of Japanese culture by renaming a street “Yanase Takashi Road” and placing large, stone statues on the street of the cartoon’s six main characters.

Well, late last Sunday, someone destroyed the statue of the cartoon’s main “villain”, 「バイキンマン」 (“Baikinman“).

Baikinman has two antennae on his head. But some cut off one of the statue’s antennae. In Japan, vandalism isn’t very common.

Here’s what the statue used to look like:

And this is what the vandal did to it:

Shin-chan’s creator is missing

19 Sep

Do you know the Japanese cartoon 「クレヨンしんちゃん」 (“Crayon Shin-chan“)?

shin-chan
It was created in 1990 (the year I came to Japan) by 臼井義人 (Yoshito Usui).

It’s about a mischievous kindergarten-age boy named Shinnosuke, nicknamed “Shin-chan”.
Shin-chan and his family and friends live in 埼玉県春日部 (Kasukabe, Saitama, Japan) near Tokyo…which is where 臼井義人 (Yoshito Usui) lives.

Some of the characters in the show are Shin-chan and his friends and classmates in his kindergarten, including the bossy Nene-chan who likes to force the boys to “play house” with her, and the principal of the kindergarten who looks and acts like he used to be a mobster in the Japanese mafia, as well as Shin-chans mother, father, younger sister and their dog.

I found out that 「クレヨンしんちゃん」 (“Crayon Shin-chan“) is shown around the world in many countries, including America…but that it’s usually edited alot due to Shin-chan‘s habit of playfully exposing himself and speaking impolitely.
I heard that many countries even edit out the fact that Shinnosuke often flirts with pretty young women and that his father likes to drink beer.
After all that editing, I wonder what’s left of the cartoon? ;)

I watched the show on TV last night. Did you see it?
It was about the adventure Shin-chan and his father had when they went grocery shopping together and couldn’t find the key to the father’s bicycle when they were ready to go home.
It was pretty funny.

Well, the creator of the 「クレヨンしんちゃん」 (“Crayon Shin-chan“) cartoon, 臼井義人 (Yoshito Usui), told his family that he was going hiking in the mountains in Gunma Prefecture last weekend.
He has been missing since then.
The police have been searching for him since last Monday.
He’s been missing for nearly a week now…but hopefully they can find him safe.

「ダーリンは外国人」の映画

31 Aug

I mentioned in an earlier post that I don’t watch much anime or read many manga. But there are a few I like.
(Click here for my post about it).

If I read manga, it’s to study Japanese and the theme is usually family life (Or monsters. I like monsters).

One of the manga I like is called 「ダーリンは外国人」 (“My Darling Is A Foreigner“).

「ダーリンは外国人」

「ダーリンは外国人」

The writer of this manga is 小栗左多里 (Saori Oguri) and the stories are about actual events in her international marriage in Japan with an American named Tony Laszlo.

Well, the manga is being made into a live-action movie with a Japanese actress named 井上真央 (Mao Inoue) playing the part of 小栗左多里 (Saori Oguri) and a foreign actor named Jonathan Sherr playing Tony Laszlo.

darling-movie

Japanese words in English

2 Aug

Often words or expressions from one language become part of another language. And sometimes the meaning of the word gets changed.

In Japan, alot of words of foreign origin are used in the Japanese language. Many are used quite differently in Japanese than they are in their country of origin.
For example, パン (pan) is Japanese for bread. It came from the Portuguese word “pão“, which means “bread”. And 「カステラ」 (Kasutera) is the Japanese word for a type of cake that was introduced from Portugal called “Castella“.

There are many others. From English, Japan uses words like 「アイスクリーム」 (ice cream) and バスケットボール (basketball)*.
*(Foreign sports usually keep their original name in Japanese. An exception is 「野球」 (“Yakyuu“) for “baseball”. (lit. “field globe (ball)), which isn’t called by it’s English name because it was introduced to Japan during WW2 when America was considered an enemy.)

Some words are shortened. Such as テレビ (Terebi) for “television”. And some words have morphed into something unrecognizable to English-speakers, such as 「スキンシップ」 (skinship) for “bonding”.

But it works the other way too.
America (and other countries as well, I’m sure) have adopted Japanese words into the English language. Some have retained their original meaning. But others are used with totally different meanings than the “real” Japanese meaning.
And many “Japanese words” in English are pronounced so differently that a Japanese person wouldn’t recognize it.
For example,
★ 「アニメ」 (anime: Japanese animation)
★ 「マンガ」 (manga: Japanese comics)
★ 「オタク」 (otaku: is used as “fanatic” overseas, but “a Trekkie” is closer to the Japanese meaning)
★ 「カラオケ」 (karaoke)
★ 「さようなら」 (sayonara: farewell (not used in Japan in cases when you’ll be seeing the person again before long))
★ 「台風」 (taifuu: in English, the pronunciation morphed to “typhoon”)
★ 「きもの」 (kimono)
★ 「寿司」 (sushi: isn’t “raw fish” (that’s sashimi). Sushi is vinegared-rice with a topping (such as sashimi))
★ 「(お)酒」 ((O)-saké)
★ 「すき焼き」 (sukiyaki)
★ 「相撲」 (sumo: Japan’s national sport)
★ 「芸者」 (Geisha: aren’t prostitutes)
★ 「歌舞伎」 (Kabuki)

A promo poster for a Kabuki show

A promo poster for a Kabuki show


★ 「班長」 (hanchou: morphed into the English “(Head) honcho“)
★ 「津波」 (tsunami)
★ 「人力車」 (jin-riki-sha: morphed into the English “Rick-shaw“)

I’m sure there are more. This is all that I could think of off the top of my head.
Do you know some other instances of Japanese words being popularly used in English (or another language)?

Anpanman in the Guinness Book

28 Jul

There’s a very popular children’s cartoon character in Japan called 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“).

anpanman

2009 has been a big year for 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) and for his artist Takashi Yanase.

This year, Takashi Yanase turned 90 years old, he’s been a professional artist for 60 years, the 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) comic started 40 years ago, and the 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) television series started 20 years ago. (Click here to see an earlier post I wrote about this).
And now, 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“) is in the Guinness Book Of World Records for having the “Most Characters In A Single Animated Series“.

「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“) has over 2000 characters, but the Guinness Book only recognized 1768 characters…which still sets the record as the most characters.

Here are some of the main ones:

anpanman-fullMy kids grew up watching 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“). It’s a wonderful cartoon for kids!

Have you ever watched 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“)? I like 「バイキンマン」 (Baikinman), 「ホラーマン」 (Horror-man), and 「だいこんやくしゃ」 (Daikonyakusha) best.

Click here to see my post about the 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) Exhibit we went to last Spring.

Smallest Gundam

24 Jul

In Tokyo right now, until the end of August, is the biggest Gundam robot ever made.
I wrote a post about it (Click here to see it).

Well, from 2009年8月31日(月) ~ 2009年11月30日(月) (Monday, August 31 – Monday, November 30 (2009)), 日清カップ・ヌードル (Nissin Cup Noodles) will give away the smallest Gundam figures ever made.

gundam-noodle-big

Just like the giant 18 meter tall Gundam robot in お台場 (Odaiba, Tokyo), these figures that come in the top of the noodle package are in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Gundam‘s debut.

The Gundam figures

The Gundam figures

Only 1000 of this red and white figure will be made (making this one the most valuable):

Only 1000 of this figure will be available

Only 1000 of this figure will be available

デスノート

5 Jul

Do you know the Japanese manga (comic) titled 「デスノート」 (“Death Note“)?

deathnote

It’s about a bored 死神 (Death God), which could be called a Japanese equivalent to the Grim Reaper, who purposely leaves his Death Note(book)* in the human world in hopes that a human will pick it up and use it.

(*「ノート」 (“Note“), by the way, is the common word in Japan for “notebook”. So the English title of 「デスノート」 (“Death Note“) should be “Death Notebook” to be technically correct.)

A Japanese high school boy who believes that the world is too full of criminals and generally bad people is the one who finds the 「デスノート」 (“Death Note“) left by the 死神 (Death God).

It looks like an ordinary notebook until he opens the cover and sees the notebook’s “rules”. The rules basically state that if someone writes the name of a specific person in the book that that person will die soon after their name is written.

At first the boy is skeptical that the 「デスノート」 (“Death Note“) is real until the 死神 (Death God) appears in his room.

After being convinced that the book is real, the boy decides that he will use to “clean” the world of criminals.

Slowly the 死神 (Death God) reveals more facts to the boy…such as:
- no human can see or hear the 死神 (Death God) unless they touch the 「デスノート」 (“Death Note“),
- when a 「デスノート」 (“Death Note“) is found by a human, it belongs to that human and the 死神 (Death God) can’t get it back until either the human dies or every page in the book are filled, and
- when a 死神 (Death Gods) looks at a human, he can see their name and how many days are left in their lifespan.

I saw both the first 「デスノート」 (“Death Note“) movie and the sequel when they aired on television here.

A scene from the "Death Note" movie.

A scene from the "Death Note" movie.

After seeing the movies, it made me interested in reading the manga.

A criminal is tricked into touching the "Death Note"...which causes him to be able to see and hear the "Death God"---which is scarier than the police to him.

A criminal is tricked into touching the "Death Note"...which causes him to be able to see and hear the "Death God"---which is scarier than the police to him.

Of course I saw the movie and read the manga in Japan, so they were in Japanese…but I heard that 「デスノート」 (“Death Note“) has become popular overseas in English.

Have you seen the 「デスノート」 (“Death Note“) manga or movies?
Do you like them?

On the news today…

19 Jun

A few things that were on the TV news today…

  • A woman in Belgium is suing the tattoo artist who put 56 stars on her face.She claims that she requested that he ink only three stars on her face, and then she fell asleep while he was tattooing her…and when she woke up, she discovered that the entire left-side of her face was covered in stars.

    56stars

    The tattoo artist, who is completely covered in tattoos and piercings himself, claims that she requested a tattoo of exactly 56 stars on her face and that’s what she got.

    tattooist

    The tattoo artist

    It’s hard to be sure who’s lying…but, personally, I think I believe the tattooist. Even though he looks bizarre…why would he jeopardize his livelihood and give his customer a tattoo over 18 times the size that they requested?
    And could a person sleep who their face is being tattooed?

  • 田鍋友時 (Tomoji Tanabe) died today at the age of 113.He was the world’s oldest man. (Now the world’s oldest man is an Englishman named Henry Allingham. Mr. Allingham is also 113 years old…but he just turned 113 a couple of weeks ago—田鍋友時 (Tomoji Tanabe) would have turned 114 this September, had he lived.)
  • The longest continuously-running manga ever, 「こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所」 (“This Is The Police Box In Front Of Kameari-Park in Katsushika-ward (Tokyo))”, will be made into a live-action TV series.
    「こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所」

    「こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所」

    It already has a popular anime series. I like to watch the anime (TV cartoon)…so I’m planning to check out the live-action TV series when it starts airing this August (on Saturdays).

    The main character, 「勘吉両津」 (Kankichi Ryoutsu), will be played by 「香取慎吾」 (Katori Shingo) of the J-pop band SMAP.

    "Shingo" as "Kankichi Ryotsu"

    "Shingo" as "Kankichi Ryotsu"

    The story 「こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所」 (“This Is The Police Box In Front Of Kameari-Park in Katsushika-ward (Tokyo))” is about a team of police officers in a small town in Tokyo…the main character is Kankichi Ryoutsu. He’s very strong and can run extremely fast…even though he always wears 「下駄」 (Japanese traditional wooden sandals).

    But he prefers to try get-rich-quick schemes rather than police work.

    There are also many other characters in the series…for example, a motorcycle cop named Honda who’s extremely timid and nervous–until he gets on his Kawasaki motorcycle (his brother-in-law is named Kawasaki and rides a Honda motorcycle!).

    If you go to the town in Tokyo that this manga is based, you can see the police box that the characters are stationed at. (If you ask the real policemen at this police-box where Kankichi Ryoutsu is, they’ll often say that “he’s out on patrol”!).

    Also, at either exit of the 亀有駅 (Kameari Train Station), there is a statue of Kankichi Ryoutsu.

    I took a photo of each one:
    kankichi-1

    kankichi-2

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