Archive | 4:50 pm


5 Jul

I wrote a post on 15 June about the giant 18-meter (59-feet) tall Gundam robot in Tokyo (Click here to read it.).

But soon it won’t be the only 18-meter tall robot in Japan…in August, construction is set to begin in 神戸 (Kobe, Japan) on an 18-meter tall 「鉄人28号」 (“Iron Man #28“).


The Gundam robot in Tokyo is temporary and will be removed next month (August 2009). But the 「鉄人28号」 (“Iron Man #28“) statue is set to be completed in October 2009…and will remain there permanently.

The reason that this statue will be in 神戸 (Kobe) is because the creator of the 「鉄人28号」 (“Iron Man #28“) manga, Mitsuteru Yokoyama, was born in 神戸 (Kobe) in 1934 and he died in 東京 (Tokyo) in 2004…so this statue is a tribute to him.

The story of 「鉄人28号」 (“Iron Man #28“) is about a Japanese scientist who tries to make a giant robot to help Japan win World War 2. His first twenty-seven attempts weren’t successful…but the 28th one was. But by the time the scientist created the 28th Iron Man robot, Japan had already surrendered and the war was over. So he gave the 18-meter robot to his son, who used it as a crime-fighting robot.

The 「鉄人28号」 (“Iron Man #28“) manga debuted in 1956 and some people say that the American comic book character “Iron Man“, which debuted in 1963 was an uncredited copy of the Japanese character.



5 Jul

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


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?