Monthly Archives: November 2013

Sailor Moon Manga Complete Remastered Edition Released Today!

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The first and second volumes of the complete digitally remastered edition of Sailor Moon manga were released today! All the covers feature new artwork drawn by Naoko Takeuchi. These new editions come in A5 size, which is bigger than any of the previous collected editions, and all the inner art has been digitally remastered for enhanced print quality.

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Japan Word of the Day #12 – Shichimencho (Turkey)

Happy Thanksgiving Day! Are you enjoying turkey dinner today?

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Today’s Word is: Shichimencho (七面鳥)

Shicimencho means turkey. “Shichi” means seven, “men” means face, and “cho” means bird. Thus, its literal translation would be “seven-faced bird.” Why? The exact origin is not certain, but common belief is that it’s called shichimencho because a turkey changes its skin color from red, blue, to violet, depending on the season, giving the illusion it has multiple different faces.

Turkey is not a common dish in Japan. It doesn’t naturally grow in wild, and Japanese houses usually don’t have big enough ovens to cook a whole turkey, so there isn’t enough demand to worth stocking turkeys in stores. On Christmas Eve, it’s common to eat roasted or fried chicken in Japan instead of turkey (thanks to KFC Japan’s marketing strategy).

Have a great holiday!

Image source: Yun Free Photo

Evangelion Electric Car Charging Stations to be Installed in Town of Hakone

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Panasonic has announced its upcoming release of electric car and plug-in hybrid car charging station, ELSEEV, for January 2014. A couple of functioning stations have been already installed in town of Hakone, and since Hakone is where Evangelion is set (as Tokyo 3), it gets to have Evangelion-themed charging stations!

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Japan Word of the Day #11 – Sakura (Edo-period stealth marketing)

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Today’s Word is: Sakura (サクラ)

Sakura, as many of you already know, means cherry blossoms in Japanese, for most cases. However, there is an alternative meaning to the word in certain context.

In Edo period (1603-1867), sakura used to refer to a group of people who get free admissions to shows in exchange of promising to give enthusiastic shout (to encourage audience) and loud applauses. In present days, sakura means a shill, or a stooge. It refers to any hired actors who pretend to be genuine customers unrelated to the vendors and visibly compliment products in front of people. Another word for sakura is “yarase (ヤラセ),” which could also be used for actors on TV shows who pretend to be the voice of general public (but actually just reading scripts).

It is basically same as the modern day undercover marketing or stealth marketing. Merchants use the same techniques from long time ago!

word-of-the-day-stealth-marketing-sakura-rinkya-japan2 There could be several sakura viewers in theater audience.

 

Image source: Japan Life Design Systems

Limited 300 pcs, Gecco x Mamegyorai Exclusive Silent Hill 3 Robbie the Rabbit Souvenir ver Statue!

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If you’ve ever played Silent Hill 3, you know the horror of this seemingly innocent creature. Three types of Silent Hill 3 Robbie the Rabbit Statues have been announced from figure manufacturers Gecco and Mamegyorai. Two of them, “Robbie the Rabbit Souvenir ver.” and “Robbie the Rabbit Blue ver.” are going to be limited edition, and only 300 and 1000 pieces will be made, respectively!

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Japan Word of the Day #10 – Ice Candy

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Today’s Word is: Aisu Kyandī (アイスキャンディ)

Aisu kyandī is one of many wasei eigo (Japanese-made English) terms. In actual English, it’s “ice pop” or “Popsicle,” but in Japan, they call it ice candy (pronounced aisu kyandī).

Ice candy was first introduced to Japan in Taisho era (1912-1926). It was easier and cheaper to make ice candy than to make ice cream, making it a popular summer staple for children in Japan. Some ice candies have bars that are imprinted with either “atari (bingo)” or “hazure (miss).” If you get atari, you get to have another one for free.

Image source: Shiro Usagi

Japan Word of the Day #9 – Kabe Sakuru/Wall Circle (Doujinshi Term)

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Comic Market is the biggest doujinshi convention in Japan. If you are planning to go to one, this would be a good word to know.

Today’s Word is: Kabe Sākuru (壁サークル)

In doujinshi term, each single booth that sells doujinshi or doujin merchandises at an event is called a sākuru (サークル), based on English word “circle.”

At the venue, circles are allocated in such a way so to give the smoothest access to visitors. Comic Market gets more than 500,000 visitors each time, so the arrangement of proper circles at appropriate locations is crucial to creating smooth traffic. Naturally, the most popular circles get locations where visitors can form long lines without blocking the flow of traffic. Where are those locations exactly?

Well, the answer is right up against the wall of the convention hall.
During the event, the roller shutter gates around the building are opened up so visitors can form lines outside the building, not blocking any of the traffic inside the building. Thus, circles that get wall locations are usually the most popular circles of all, and therefore calledkabe sākuru (wall circle)”. It’s a pretty good indication of a circle’s high status when you get this location.

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Above picture is a line waiting to buy doujinshi from a single wall circle.

Also, some wall circles are located against the walls but not along the roller shutter gates. These circles get visitors to form lines of fans inside the building, but they still get more space than circles that get island locations, which are clusters of circles that are arranged in the middle of the hall with limited space. These circles are called “shima circle (島サークル).” Generally, circles that get island locations are not as popular as wall circles (exceptions exist of course).

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This is a section of the floor map from one of the previous Comic Markets. Red line shows wall circles, and the blue line shows island circles.

As you can imagine, it is a gigantic event, so make sure to plan a route before you go to Comic Market! The next Comic Market will be held on December 29-31, 2013.

 

Image sources: Otakunikki, Shimasakuru, Comic Market