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Japanese art reference book is all about panty poses, promises to have you drawing undies ASAP

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 08:00 PM PST

Panties and socks also part of the deal that's made the book Amazon's number-one best-seller in its category.

Japan is a country that loves to draw. With an robust animation and video game industry, the skills of professional-class illustrators are always in demand, and growing up in that environment means that the nation also has a huge population of student and amateur enthusiast artists, especially now that they can share their work online via social media.

Another thing that Japan loves is panties. So budding illustrators who already own, for instance, a book that teaches them how to draw a cop flipping over another cop will be happy to know that soon they'll be able to buy an entire reference book for how to draw pantie shots and poses.

Preorders have begun for the Specialized Pantie Pose Collection-We Love Panties, So We Want to Draw Them ASAP, a new illustrator's reference from Tokyo-based publisher Genkosha. And yes, it's already leaped to number one on Amazon Japan's sales chart for the art reference category.

▼ Helping readers with their hard, lengthy studies of perspective and anatomy.

It bears repeating that this isn't just a bound collection of smutty photos (though, if so inclined, purchasers can easily use it in that manner). The 207-page tome contains a plethora of pantie poses featuring different styles of underwear, to help up-and-coming artists avoid pigeonholing their output into just one style of lower lingerie.

▼ While it's not one of the standard myths about Japanese high schools, we should mention anyway that classrooms in Japan generally don't have steel poles running through them.

▼ Aqua-and-white striped panties are naturally included, given their prominence in anime…

▼ …as are sock-inclusive poses, because Japanese fetishists are pretty unabashed.

If this is indeed the sort of book you've been waiting for (for artistic improvement purposes, of course), preorders can be placed here with Amazon Japan, which is selling Specialized Pantie Pose Collection-We Love Panties, so We Want to Draw them ASAP for 2,700 yen (US$25), with shipping scheduled for April 7.

Source: Otakomu
Featured image: Twitter/@lewographix
Top, insert images: Amazon Japan/サイトウ零央

Should saying thanks at a Japanese convenience store go without saying?

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 07:00 PM PST

Manners maketh the man. Unless he’s at a convenience store, according to some Japanese social media users as debate over manners erupts.

As the saying goes, being polite doesn’t cost a thing. Except, it does. It uses up some of our ever so valuable seconds, seconds that could be spent doing much more worthwhile things. Personally, I always say thank you but more out of habit than a genuine feeling of gratitude, so that more than once I’ve found myself thanking the automated check-outs at the supermarket. Similarly, I always say thank you to convenience store staff in Japan when I pop in for my daily essentials. But, according to more than a few Japanese social media users, I and my fellow gratitude-expressing kin just look ridiculous, or creepy.

▼ A typical convenience store customer engaging in a ceremonial bow to express his gratitude for the shop clerk heating his bento in the microwave.

There are plenty arguing that people saying at least a single word to show their appreciation should be common sense, whether it be arigatou gozaimasu (equivalent to thank you very much), arigatou (thank you), doumo (thanks, or ta), or the horribly grating to English-speakers’ ears, sankyuu. A surprisingly large number argued the opposite though, including some convenience store staff.

“I always say thanks, but I often overhear people behind me saying things like, ‘Aren’t they embarrassed?’, or ‘What an idiot!'”
“There are so many rude people! I get so annoyed!”
“What exactly are you supposed to be thankful for?”
“There’s no difference between them and vending machines, what do they care if you mumble something or not.”
“As a clerk, it’s really creepy when people start thanking you.”
“I don’t say anything, only weird people do, right?”
“Arigatou gozaimasu is a bit much, but you should at least say arigatou.”
“I bet all the people who don’t say anything have never worked a job like that.”

A survey conducted by a student part-time job-finder site MyNavi found that only 21.8% of respondents said thanks every time, while 24.1% never said anything at all. In an earlier survey by the same company, thirty convenience store clerks were asked how being thanked made them feel and the answer was a unanimous “happy”, so maybe some of those who joined in the debate on the not-saying-anything side will rethink their stance…or take a leaf out of the foreigners in Japan handbook.

Source: Yahoo! News Japan/J Cast News via jin115
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso

Crazy-huge triple-decker wagyu hamburger steak will draw you to Akihabara even if you hate anime

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 05:00 PM PST

Why eat nine Quarter Pounders when you can eat this instead?

Our Japanese-language reporter Seiji knows a thing or two about dreaming impossible dreams. He's had both his romantic and musical hopes dashed again and again, but still, his heart burns with the passion to rise to new challenges.

If Seiji spots a shooting star, he wants to chase it. If Seiji comes to an ocean, he wants to cross it. And if Seiji sees a stack of three gigantic hamburger steaks, he wants to eat them all.

There will be no further mentions of stars or oceans in this article.

Like any good anime fan, Seiji often finds himself in or near Akihabara, Tokyo's mecca of otaku culture. But his most recent trip to the neighborhood wasn't prompted by a desire to purchase anime merch with which to fill his home, but to eat at restaurant Gyusha and fill his stomach with beef.

Hamburger steaks in Japan are often made from a mix of ground pork and ground beef, in order to keep costs down. Gyusha's three-patty lunch special, though, is all-beef, and made entirely from wagyu.

▼ It's also crowned with a fried egg, because putting a cherry on top would just be silly.

The only side order included in this beefy lunch set is steamed white rice, but since there's literally a full kilogram (2.2 pounds) of sizzling meat on the hot plate the waiter brings you, you can't really blame Gyusha for not tossing in a chef's salad.

Devoid of female companionship as he may have been, sitting in the restaurant, with this mountain of beef in front of him Seiji couldn't help but feel that this was one of the high marks of manly decadence and adventure in his life so far. Taking up his fork, he stabbed the utensil into the pile and came away with a mouthful of meat, dripping with mouth-watering juiciness.

Seiji took a bite, and was thrilled to discover that Gyusha's mammoth meal delivers on both quality and quantity. With his heart racing with excitement, he took bite after bite, alternating between the three dipping sauces the set comes with to keep from having any one single flavor overload his taste buds.

▼ Seiji opted for Japanese onion, garlic, and Italian tomato sauces, but salty green pepper and black pepper sauces are also available.

Before he knew it, Seiji had polished off the entire plate, a feat which left him happy and full.

If there's one drawback to Gyusha's amazing triple-decker hamburger steak lunch, it's that at 4,800 yen (US$44), it's not exactly cheap. However, that price is entirely reasonable for a full kilo of wagyu. Even better, Gyusha allows multiple diners to share the set, so you can always enlist a friend to help you with the enviable carnivorous task. And even if you're a solo diner, Gyusha also offers more compact hamburger steaks, starting at 200 grams (7 ounces) for just 990 yen.

But before you go by yourself, could you give Seiji a call and see if he'd like to go with you?

Restaurant information
Gyusha / 牛舎
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Soto Kanda, 6-5-9
Open 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m. (may close early is restaurant runs out of meat)
Closed Sundays

Photos ©SoraNews24

Anime artist? Skip drawing a character’s makeup by using your own real-life cosmetics【Video】

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 09:30 AM PST

Awesomely clever idea provides gorgeously lifelike results, before-and-after video shows.

Coloring anime-style on-paper illustrations can be a tricky thing. Like just about all cartoons in the modern era, Japanese animation is digitally colored, and before that artists used cel paint, which is outside the budget/skill set of most hobbyists. Manga, being a largely black-and-white medium, also doesn't always give many hints for enthusiast artists.

Nonetheless, Japanese Twitter user @Huku_0328 managed to apply coloring to the face of the character she drew that manages to somehow look incredibly natural, yet also mysteriously unlike what you'll see from ordinary colored pencils, markers, or paints.

Starting with the uncolored version on the left, @Huku_0328 managed to add an extremely lifelike blush to the characters cheeks. There's a similarly uncanny effect to the color of her eyeshadow, eyelashes, and eyebrows, and the color of her lips might have you thinking the character is wearing actual lipstick…which makes sense because that's exactly what she's doing.

As shown in the above video, after doing the illustration's linework and coloring in the characters clothes, irises, and the gem clipped to her bangs, @Huku_0328 put down her conventional art supplies and grabbed her makeup kit.

Utilizing a selection of brushes and other applicators, @Huku_0328 bypassed having to simulate the colors of cosmetics by simply painting the paper with the same products she uses on her own face.

"I'd always wanted to try drawing a character using cosmetics," @Huku_0328 tweeted. "I just did the face like that, but it was a lot of fun."

Online, commenters were quick to shower her with praise for her ingenuity and the beautiful results of her unorthodox technique. The fact that this means @Huku_0328 isn't only a talented illustrator, but a pretty skilled makeup artist too wasn't lost on one admirer, who said "It's be interesting to see you try doing this kind of anime-like makeup on your face," but as of yet, @Huku_0328 seems happy enough to let us gaze upon her character's face instead.

Source: Twitter/@Huku_0328
Featured image: Twitter/@Huku_0328
Insert images: Twitter/@Huku_0328

Brand-new line of Sailor Moon bikinis appears, has anime fans in Japan looking forward to summer

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 07:00 AM PST

Mysteriously, two Sailor Senshi are being left out of the real-life beach party.

We've seen the iconic sailor suit-inspired costumes of anime Sailor Moon serve as the motif for a line of lingerie. We've also seen Japan's love of the sailor suit result in sailor suit-style swimsuits. So perhaps it was inevitable that we would one day see Sailor Moon bikinis, and now that day has come.

Next month, the latest pop-up shop collaboration between Sailor Moon and swanky Tokyo department store Isetan opens, and for fashion shoppers who're already planning ahead for beach season, an entire line of Sailor Moon swimwear will be on offer.

The core Inner Senshi of Sailors Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus are of course represented, with each suit making use of the respective character's paired image colors. The bottoms feature pleated trim evocative of their outfits' schoolgirl-like combat skirts.

If your fandom really kicked into high gear after the first arc of the anime, you'll be happy to know that there are also bikinis saluting Sailors Chibi Moon, Uranus, and Neptune. For some reason, though, Sailors Saturn and Pluto don’t have their own bikinis, which is strange considering that while Pluto the celestial body has been downgraded to dwarf planet status since Sailor Moon's initial broadcast, Sailor Pluto remains a full-fledged Sailor Senshi.

In addition to beachwear, the pop-up store will also have various blouses, pants, and skirts that make use of subtle Sailor Moon design cues. More overt references to the series, though, can be found in the line of earrings modeled after various transformation items, weaponry, and other important items from Sailor Moon's extensive lore.

▼ Star Power Sticks and Sailor Guardian symbols

In particular, the varied regalia of Sailor Moon herself provides plenty of source material for designers to work with.

▼ Legendary Silver Crystal, Moon Stick, Cutie Moon Rod, and Cosmic Heart Compact

The Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Bikinis are priced at 19,000 yen (US$170) each. The earrings hover around a similar per-pair price point, thought the designers are yet to reveal what materials they are made from.

Isetan's Sailor Moon pop-up store opens on March 14.

Related: Isetan website
Source: Sailor Moon official website via Anime News Network/Lynzee Loveridge
Images: Sailor Moon official website

Cosplaying go-kart driver strikes bicyclist in hit-and-run collision in Akihabara

Posted: 26 Feb 2018 05:00 AM PST

Police track down, arrest Taiwanese national. Mario presumed innocent.

If you're a fan of video games, driving, or quirkiness in general, a fun thing to do while you're in Tokyo is to rent a go-kart, dress up like a Nintendo character, and go cruising around the streets of the capital with a group of friends in a real-life recreation of the beloved Mario Kart franchise. However, things got a little too close to the source material last Friday night.

At roughly 6:20 p.m., a 19-year-old Japanese male (legally still a minor under Japanese law), was riding his bike across an intersection in Tokyo's Soto Kanda neighborhood, the address which corresponds with otaku mecca Akihabara. Before he made it to the other side, though, he was struck by a go-kart that was making a left turn through the crosswalk. The driver of the kart is described as "doing cosplay of a video game character" at the time of the collision.

▼ Will we see borderline vehicular manslaughter added as DLC to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?

While Mario Kart falls into the racing genre, those who have played the game know that bumping, pushing, and otherwise incapacitating other vehicles on the road is A-OK within the game. Perhaps the driver was operating under the same logic, as after he hit the bicyclist, he sped off, mimicking the game's racers who don't bother to slow down after taking out an opponent. No word on whether he also gave the stricken cyclist a Luigi-class death stare before leaving the scene.

However, his escape was only temporary, as officers from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police's nearby Manseibashi Precinct eventually identified the kart's driver as a 35-year-old tourist from Taiwan, who has subsequently been placed under arrest for the hit-and-run and has admitted to the charges. Oddly enough, the driver gave his name as "Pilot," which further suggests that maybe he shouldn't be at the controls of land-based transportation.

Source: Livedoor News/Sankei News via Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/Nintendo

Hit ’90s shojo anime classic Marmalade Boy live-action movie trailer, release date revealed

Posted: 25 Feb 2018 09:00 PM PST

The trailer finally gives us a glimpse of the supporting cast as well as that famous nurse’s office kiss scene

Last summer, longtime fans of the 1990s manga and anime classic Marmalade Boy were in for a treat when it was announced that the beloved high school romance would finally be turned into a live-action movieMarmalade Boy is a timeless shojo manga which is sure to pull on the heartstrings of any readers who are looking to be swept up in a wave of nostalgia for high school days of crushes, angst, and convoluted love triangles (squares? or is pentagons perhaps more appropriate?).

▼ Theatrical version poster featuring love interests Miki and Yu

The story graced the pages of Ribon Magazine from 1992-1995 and was subsequently turned into a hit anime series which aired from 1994-1995, so most original fans are now around 40 years old and likely have families of their own. Series creator Wataru Yoshizumi began penning a sequel in 2013, titled Marmalade Boy Little, which is currently being serialized in Cocohana Magazine and was most likely responsible for the renewed interest in the series, including production of the live-action film.

▼ All eight volumes of the original Japanese Marmalade Boy manga plus the first volume of the English edition on the left and the fifth volume of Marmalade Boy Little on the right. Yes, this writer happens to be a longtime fan!

The live-action adaptation stars Hinako Sakurai as protagonist Miki Koishikawa and current Japanese heartthrob Ryo Yoshizawa as her sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter “marmalade boy” step-brother/love-interest (yes, that will make sense if you watch it) Yu Matsuura. A recently unveiled trailer also reveals the pair’s slightly-crazy but fun-loving, spouse-swapping parents (who you never know whether to love or to hate), along with the other major characters introduced after the trailer below. Musical group GReeeeN‘s new single “Koi” (“Romantic Love”) serves as the movie’s theme song and can also be heard throughout the trailer.

Miki’s childhood friend and first love, Ginta Suo, is portrayed by Taiki Sato, a member of wildly popular J-Pop dance groups EXILE and FANTASTICS:

Miki’s best friend with some love troubles of her own, Meiko Akizuki, is portrayed by Mio Yuki:

Yu’s former girlfriend and Miki’s love rival, Arimi Suzuki, is portrayed by Nina Endo (perhaps thankfully, her anime-specific blue hair has been toned down for the live-action film):

(SPOILER ahead!)

Finally, the trailer assures us that yes, the film will include the famous nurse’s office kiss scene. In this scene, Miki is knocked out by a basketball in gym class and wakes up to hear that Yu is checking in on her. Thinking that he is going to make fun of her as always, she pretends to be asleep, only to receive the surprise of her life instead.

▼ Where it all began: The first opening sequence of the TV anime series with its impossibly catchy, ’90s pop song

Marmalade Boy is slated to hit Japanese theaters on April 27th. Be sure to get your fill of the original manga or anime before then!

Source: YouTube/ワーナー ブラザース 公式チャンネル
Top image: YouTube/ワーナー ブラザース 公式チャンネル
Images: Warner Brothers Japan, SoraNews24, YouTube/ワーナー ブラザース 公式チャンネル