Tag Archives: anime

New Ghibli movie

18 Aug

Do you know the Japanese animation studio 「スタジオジブリ」 (Ghibli Studios)?

It is the movie studio of master animator 宮崎駿 (Hayao Miyazaki).

This is the studio that released classic Japanese cartoon movies such as 「崖の上のポニョ」 (Ponyo On The Cliff), 「となりのトトロ」 (My Neighbor Totoro), 「もののけ姫」 (Princess Mononoke), 「千と千尋の神隠し」 (Spirited Away), and 「ハウルの動く城」 (Howl’s Moving Castle).

「千と千尋の神隠し」 ("Spirited Away")

Well, 「スタジオジブリ」 (Ghibli Studios) has released a new movie in Japan last month.
It’s called 「借りぐらしのアリエッティ」 (“Arietti The Borrower“).

「借りぐらしのアリエッティ」 ("Arietti The Borrower")

The movie is based on the children’s story “The Borrowers” about a family of tiny people that live in a house of a “normal sized” family…and they “borrow” small things from the house, such as a wrist watch to use as a clock. And they’re discovered by the boy that lives in the house.

The original story took place in England, I believe. But the Ghibli movie version takes place in Tokyo.

Here’s a trailer for 「借りぐらしのアリエッティ」 (“Arietti The Borrower“):

Have you ever watched a 「スタジオジブリ」 (Ghibli Studios) movie?
Which one is your favorite?

ドラえもん

5 Apr

Do you know 「ドラえもん」 (“Doraemon“)?

He’s the namesake of a great long-running Japanese anime / manga created by the late artist Fujiko F. Fujio.

In this story, an elementary school age boy named Nobi Nobita is lazy and always tries to get out of work and study.
One day, a blue robot cat with no ears appears in his room (through his dresser drawer) and tells Nobita that he’s there to help him not ruin his future.

The robot cat’s name is Doraemon. He got his name because of his love for the Japanese bean-filled snack どら焼き (“dorayaki“).

Doraemon enjoying dorayaki

Doraemon tells Nobita that he was sent from 22nd century by Nobita’s great-great-great grandson because the family is struggling with many financial hardships that are all due to Nobita’s laziness.

Nobita asks who his future wife will be, expecting the answer to be his cute neighbor Shizuka whom he has a crush on…but is shocked when Doraemon tells him he will marry the neighbor bully’s chubby younger sister Jaiko.

Doraemon also explains that he used to be a yellow robot cat with ears (just like his sister Dorami)…but a rat chewed his ears off and Doraemon cried about it.
His tears washed his yellow paint off.
That’s why he’s blue and has no ears…and it’s also why he has a paralyzing fear of rats.

Doraemon was yellow and had ears...until a mouse bit them off.

In the story’s adventures, Nobita always has a problem which is often the result of his laziness, such as an upcoming exam at school that he didn’t study for, or the local bully Gian and his rich, spoiled sidekick Suneo beating him up.

After which, Doraemon always gives Nobita some sound advice that would help him…but Nobita always wants a quick, easy solution to his dilemma.
So Doraemon will reluctantly lend Nobita one of the countless gadgets from the future that he carries in the pouch on his stomach.

Doraemon’s most famous gadgets include the 「どこでもドア」 (“Go Anywhere Door”) which can magically transport the user to any chosen location, 「タケコプター」 (“Bamboo Helicopter”) which lets the wearer fly, and the “Small Light” that shrinks whatever the light shines on.

There’s always a moral to the story when Nobita learns that laziness and lying don’t pay.

Doraemon and friends (Gian, Shizuka, Nobita and Suneo)

In Japan, you can find Doraemon‘s likeness on all kinds of things such as toys, neckties, blankets, lunchboxes, dorayaki snacks, etc.

Even the guitar company ESP has a “Doraemon guitar” and “Doraemon guitar picks”.

ESP "Doraemon" guitar

ESP "Doraemon" guitar picks

In 2008, Doraemon was made the “Japanese Cartoon Ambassador” to promote Japanese anime and manga around the world.

Doraemon (with Nobi Nobita) becoming Japan's Cartoon Ambassador in a ceremony with Japan's Foreign Minister in 2008.

Anyways, on 2011 September 3 the “Fujiko F. Fujio Museum” will open in 川崎 (Kawasaki, Japan) south of Tokyo.

This museum will feature the artwork by this artist who created  “Doraemon” and another staple of Japanese pop-culture: 「オバケのQ太郎」 (“Q-Taro the Ghost“).

「オバケのQ太郎」 ("Q-Taro the Ghost")

Have you ever watched a “Doraemon” anime or read the manga? How about 「オバケのQ太郎」 (“Q-Taro the Ghost“)?

Happy birthday 水木しげるさん!

8 Mar

Today is the 88th birthday of 水木しげる (Shigeru Mizuki).

Mr. Shigeru Mizuki
(born 1922 March 8)

He is an anime artist that I like.

His most famous work is the 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (“Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou“) anime series.

This series is about a group of 妖怪 (ghouls) led by Kitaro who protect humans from other, less-kind ghouls who want to hurt them.

It’s a fun series.

And Mr. Shigeru Mizuki, the artist, is a person with an interesting life story.

When he was a child he enjoyed drawing and listening to an old neighbor lady’s ghost stories.

And when he was a young man, both he and his brother were drafted by the Japanese Army to fight in World War 2.
The army sent him to help defend their base in New Guinea.

While he was there, he lost his left arm (the arm he used to draw his art with) in the Allied bombings.
Unbelievably, he taught himself to draw using his other hand.

While he was in the base hospital recovering from his injuries, he met and became close to some of the local tribes-people.
The chief of the tribe offered him some land and a position in their tribe if he married the chief’s daughter.
He decided that the offer sounded good and told an officer in the army that he wanted to stay on the island after being discharged.
The army officer told he that he could stay there…but he should first return to Japan to say goodbye to his parents. He decided to follow that advice.

But upon returning to Japan, he decided that he couldn’t go back to New Guinea because his parents were ill and had no one else to care for them since Mr. Mizuki’s brother was convicted of war crimes by the Allies and executed.
So he stayed in Japan and cared for his parents…and he became a popular anime artist.

I wrote another post about 水木しげる (Shigeru Mizuki) and the 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (“Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou“) animeclick here.

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.

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