Yu-Gi-Oh! brings anime battles into real-life with amazing fan-made dueling arena【Video】

The Yu-Gi-Oh! Strongest Imitator System is a major step in making those anime duels come to life.

Although I’ve never played any such card games in my life, I managed to get into the anime Yu-Gi-Oh! by chance and gradually developed an appreciation for its game in particular. However, I could never play it in real life because the anime had set my expectations unrealistically high.

Rather than having wizards and dragons emerge from our cards and start attacking one another, a real game of Yu-Gi-Oh! has little more to offer than a fiberboard table and bottle of orange soda to gaze at in awe while playing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’ve always hoped for the day would come when the duels depicted in the anime would become possible.

And now in this age of augmented and virtual realities, it looks as if that day might be on the horizon. Twitter user and evidently brilliant technician, Reo (@reoasxdtmgt) has come up with one of the best Yu-Gi-Oh! simulators to date called the “Yu-Gi-Oh! Strongest Imitator System.”

The video shows some projectors creating the duel arena on the surface of an ordinary table along with each player’s life points. As each player places their cards visual and audio effects occur seamlessly. If you look really closely at the cards in play, it looks as if the images are moving on them as well.

According to Reo the effects are controlled by the player’s smartphones, which he admits can be difficult at times, but also means you don’t need any fancy gear to run it (granted, a projector is arguably “fancy”).

Reo also says the result seen here came from a year of hard work. It clearly shows, however, and online praise was unanimous.

“That is so cool! I want to duel you!”
“This guy is a genius.”
“This is an OOPArt!”
“If this could work by speech recognition then we’d truly be living in the anime.”
“That was so good I don’t even know what to say.”

Indeed the Yu-Gi-Oh! Strongest Imitator System lives up to its name, but more work needs to be done to truly get humanity into the future promised to us by the anime so long ago. Sadly, I’m too old to start building a deck now, but when they finally do achieve full-sized dragons, I’ll at least have found an e-sport I can get behind.

Source: Twitter/@reoasxdtmgt, Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@reoasxdtmgt

Comiket attendee finds a beautiful handmade anime bag, is surprised to discover its artist

Turns out there really is no limit to how long you can create labors of love for your favorite anime shows, especially if you helped in the Golden age!

Comiket is one of the most hotly anticipated events in the otaku calendar, and it’s not hard to see why. The recent summer chapter of Comiket 2018 featured the usual lineup of gorgeous cosplayers and the top-notch organization that keeps the well-greased wheels of Japan’s number one convention turning smoothly. While both the cosplay and the company stands draw huge crowds, for many the true point of Comiket is the sheer volume of fanmade goods: comics, charms, cosplay items and accessories of your favorite characters are packed into the halls, with some of the most well-known artists selling out in a matter of hours.

Of course, because these goods aren’t official, they’re usually extremely cheap when contrasted with official merchandise. Fans often only charge the cost of the materials for the product, meaning you can score some seriously sweet loot of your favorite franchises without draining your wallet.

Twitter user @KuroShia4 was scanning the shelves of reasonably priced items when he was brought up short by a beautiful canvas tote bag, emblazoned with a pretty picture of rabbit androgyne Nanachi from whistle-while-you-spelunk anime Made in Abyss.

▼ The bag in question, priced at 300 yen (US$2.70) for large bags and 200 yen for medium and small (translation below)

In the tweet, he writes:

“Me: Oh neat, they’re selling tote bags at this Comiket. This one is gorgeous! Who drew the picture?
40-something Comiket pro: Looks like it’s by that one woman who used to work as Osamu Tezuka’s assistant back in the day. She’s 75 or so now.
Me: ?!?!?!?!?!?!”

He added, “By the way, this tote bag was sold by the fan group “Chibi-sensei”. They’ll be selling this cute Nanachi bag at Winter Comiket too, if they get approved!” and told followers to take note that as first-time sellers, they may increase their prices when they next sell at the convention.

Judging by the replies from the thread, an increase in price won’t be much of a problem. Several commenters lamented how low this woman was underselling herself, considering she herself was a vital part of animation history, and begged her to add a zero or two to the asking price. Others took the thread as a chance to post nostalgic screen caps from a documentary on the 28th Comiket back in 1985, where Tezuka himself appeared as a guest.

▼ Tezuka appears in the top left corner

A different theory appeared later through a tweet from @SaikiFumiyoshi:

“Based on her age and the era of Tezuka’s peak activity, I think it’s more likely that this is just someone who was employed by Mushi Production (Tezuka’s animation studio) rather than someone who was his personal animation assistant.

When @KuroShia4 replied “I don’t have proof because it’s just what I heard in person, but it felt like her work had a direct influence from Tezuka…”, @SaikiFumiyoshi wrote:

“It’s gotta be about 50 years or so ago now, but Osamu Tezuka’s Mushi Production had departments for producing both manga and anime. They (especially the anime department) employed many young women, so I was just theorizing that maybe that was the situation with this artist.”

Regardless of the veracity, with so many users clamoring to buy the Nanachi bag (even at a higher price!) and promising to go to Winter Comiket in hopes of procuring one, Chibi-sensei can look forward to a triumphant return to the anime circuit later this year. With a bit of luck the fanmade goods section will be full of even more weird and wonderful treasures that all generations of fans can enjoy!

Source: Twitter/@KuroShia4 via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@KuroShia4

Swiss otaku says he’s moving to Japan after customs officials confiscate his 66-pound manga haul

Laments the officer handling his case has “no tolerance whatsoever” for hentai and loli dojinshi.

Melonpan, Switzerland’s famous, and most perverted, otaku has been going through a rough patch for the past few months. In April, he lost his job with Swiss bank UBS after his employer found out about his penchant for pornographic anime and manga. A month later, he landed a job with delivery service DHL, but once again, his taste in media turned out to be too much for the company to stomach, and he was fired on his first day.

Still, Melonpan had enough financial resources to take a trip to Japan this summer, apparently coinciding with Comiket, the country’s largest gathering of independently produced dojinshi manga. He apparently also had enough room in his budget to purchase roughly 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of dojinshi, which for many otaku would be a dream come true…but it’s turned into a nightmare for Melonpan.

Trying to lug all that manga back in his suitcase, coupled with his other belongings, would almost certainly have put Melonpan over his airline’s baggage weight limit. So instead, he decided to mail his purchases back to Switzerland. After returning to his home country, he received a notice that his parcel had arrived, but that it had also been seized by Swiss customs officials.

Melonpan’s above tweet reads:

“On my recent trip to Japan, I mailed 30 kilograms of dojinshi (mostly loli), but today customs told me they’ve confiscated it and I must come in soon to explain myself. Everyone, please pray once again that the customs officials will be able to understand the wonderfulness of Japanese art! I’m tired of being in the slammer.”

The last sentence is a little confusing, as Melonpan hasn’t been taken into custody for the parcel, and it’s unclear whether he actually wants to refer to some previous incarceration or is simply misusing the Japanese expression in his tweet. Regardless, the next day, August 16, he tweeted again, lamenting the uphill battle of convincing the government that dojinshi of the loli category (which depicts young, often pre-teen girls in provocative poses and situations) is benign.

“The situation isn’t looking good. It’s like the female official handling my case has no tolerance whatsoever for hentai culture, and is even stricter about loli stuff. Is this as far as my hentai gentlemanliness will take me? I’m scared.”

He followed this up with a bold proclamation…

“Time to move to Japan.”

…and then, in a rarity for the unabashed fan of lascivious Japanese comics, an English tweet.

Considering the abject despair shown in Melonpan’s tweets, it’s hard to say if he’s sincere in his professed emigration ambitions, or simply struggling to find a way to cope with the possibility that he may never get his hands on all that dojinshi he bought. Should he make the move, he might also be surprised to learn that even in Japan, where people are generally content to mind their own business regarding other people’s hobbies, there are limits to how accepting society, and employers, are towards wearing your otaku lecherousness on your sleeve, though relocating would, at the very least, free him from having to deal with the customs department after his shopping excursions.

Source: Twitter/@MeidocafeR via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@MeidocafeR

Awesome fan-made stop-motion video using Gundam models is a Gundam fan’s dream come true 【Videos】

The scene is an exact reenactment of the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime, complete with CG special effects.

Gundam: one of Japan’s most iconic creations. The giant fighting robot that first emerged in an anime from 1979 has inspired dozens of series and hundreds of model kits, and even life-sized statues have been erected in their honor. Such a magnanimous franchise deserves great tributes, and what better way for a fan to express their love than to use actual Gundam models in a stop-motion video?

YouTube user Rihito Ue, an amateur filmmaker, put countless hours into reenacting scenes from the original Gundam anime using his own Gunpla Models in his fantastic fan-films, “One Shot Gunpla: The StopMotion Works”.

This incredible play-by-play rendition of a major scene from the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime is almost the perfect homage to the iconic franchise. While the model Gundams fight and shoot guns at each other, actual audio from the anime describes what is happening. In fact, the video includes shots from the anime, which is playing on a television in the background, while the models are shown replicating those scenes.

Ue has also made sure to include the explosions and laser weapons that are essential to any standard Gundam battle, in the form of CG special effects, which are slightly corny, but awesome nonetheless.

The video was shot using various methods to get the look that Ue wanted. While the battles between the models were made using stop-motion filming, the actual scenery of the house was taken with one shot. Mirrors were also used to give a more dynamic representation of what was happening around the room, which gives the filmography a kind of seamless feel.

▼ Ue has a “Making of” video that shows exactly how the film was created.

The first video is a little rough around the edges, but there are two sequels, and each one is better than the last. The quality of these films is surprisingly high for an amateur stop-motion video, and the overall storytelling is awesome, so Gundam fans will love these faithful reenactments.

Ue also has video tributes to classic Japanese monster films, like Gamera and Moguera, which are shot in the same style. Even if you’re not familiar with those characters, the reenactments are still enormously entertaining to watch, so hop over to his channel to check out what he’s got!

If you’re looking for something from a different franchise, Pokémon Go has been the subject of an outstanding (albeit gruesome) tribute, and a fan film of Dragonball Z has proven to be better even than Hollywood renditions. You’ll definitely want to check them out!

Source: YouTube/Rihito Ue via Japaaan Magazine
Images: YouTube/Rihito Ue

Dragon Ball’s Lord Beerus shows up at mortal’s house, lowly humans beware!【Cat cosplay】

If there’s one lesson that the Dragon Ball anime has taught us in recent years, it’s that you should never cross a God of Destruction (without cup noodles).

Lord Beerus: Universe 7’s God of Destruction, who has the power to eliminate planets with a single sneeze….when he’s not taking a decades-long snooze.

First appearing as the main antagonist in the 2013 film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Beerus subsequently became a supporting character in the Dragon Ball Super anime. He’s one of the few beings for whom even prince-of-all-Saiyans Vegeta has shown visible fear in response to his seemingly limitless destructive capabilities. Thankfully, whenever his temper is flaring, he can usually be appeased by whatever delectable peace offering Bulma and the others can conjure up.

▼ Happy God of Destruction

It appears that last week Beerus was in such a good mood that he even decided to grace us lowly mortals with his divine presence. Twitter user @sun_ikuto shared a picture of him sporting a delicate expression that suggests he was either experiencing the aftereffects of a luxurious but raw deep-tissue massage OR contemplating which order to blow up Earth’s continents in (the latter being statistically more likely):

“Dude, Beerus-sama is at my Chinese friend’s house!”

Other net users promptly posted side-by-side comparisons of Beerus with his animated form, and delighted in leaving comments such as the following:

“Please take care not to make him angry or else the Earth is doomed!”

“Also, be careful that he doesn’t sneeze. I will be sure to send over some cup noodles, so please don’t let him destroy the Earth.”

“[English] ‘The cat’…have some respect. That’s Lord Beerus.”

“I LOLed when I saw this. Those clothes are handmade, right? It’s the real Beerus-sama. The time of animal cosplay has come (LOL).”

“Meanwhile I’ve got Karin-sama [Korin] at my place:”

▼ Karin/Korin, as seen in the Dragon Ball anime

We should mention that Beerus’ design is supposedly modeled after Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama’s own pet Cornish Rex cat, just as a former pet served as the inspiration for Korin as well. But shhh! Don’t tell Lord Beerus if you value your own existence–we highly doubt that he would be pleased hearing that he’s anything remotely similar to a lowly house cat.

Source: Twitter/@sun_ikuto
Featured image: Twitter/@Golem_13

Anime voice actress is selling her used miniskirt…for US$690!

But she’s not interested in keeping the skirt or the money.

Japan is a pretty awesome place to shop for second-hand fashion items. A large percentage of Japanese people aim to look their best when they go out in public, and so they take good care of their clothes, meaning that articles of clothing remain in near-new condition even after extended use. For example, the owner of the denim skirt pictured above says she’s had it for many years, but it’s still totally wearable, with some charming fade that could easily pass for an intentional from-the-factory weathered look.

At the same time, there’s a bit of a stigma about used clothing in Japan, which helps to keep prices down. However, this particular skirt isn’t a bargain-hunting find, since it’s priced at 77,000 yen (US$690). You might expect that price to be the result of a prestigious brand name on the label, but the seller doesn’t even mention the manufacturer. It does, however, make a point of trumpeting who the previous owner was: anime voice actress Ryoko Shiraishi.

Shiraishi, whose roles include Boruto’s Chocho and ReLIFE’s Sumire, says she’s selling this particular skirt, which was one of her favorites, because of its short length, which doesn’t mesh with her current taste for more conservative attire. Nevertheless, before being offered for sale, the skirt spent many days slung around the Nara native’s hips, and though she opened the bidding for it at just one yen on Yahoo! Auctions, her fanbase has pushed the price up to 77,000 yen, the highest bid as of this writing.

There are a pair of additional factors encouraging bidders to toss their hat in the ring for the skirt. First, as you can see beneath the left pocket, Shiraishi has signed the fabric, making it not just a skirt, but an autograph too. Also, the voice actress isn’t planning to pocket the proceeds, nor use them to go out and acquire other denim apparel. Instead, the money from the sale will be donated to charity (Shiraishi hasn’t specified whether it will be given as disaster relief to victims of this summer’s flooding and earthquakes in Japan, like with the special-edition momiji manju-flavor Kit Kats, or to some other cause).

If you’re a Shiraishi fan, generous philanthropist, or just a fashion fan in the market for a one-of-a-kind skirt, the auction page can be found here.

Source: Yahoo! Auctions via Otakomu
Images: Yahoo! Auctions

Tokyo company offers foot massages from cute VR anime girls, but given by real-life men【Photos】

Completely embracing that virtual reality and actual reality are two different things.

While Tora no Ana is much appreciated as a retailer for independently produced dojinshi manga, the company has also branched out into other branches of otaku wellness. It’s started an otaku dating service, for example, and now it’s looking to provide something not only for anime fans with lonely hearts, but those with sore feet too.

Within the year, Tora no Ana plans to open a virtual reality relaxation center in the Akihabara neighborhood, Tokyo’s otaku mecca. Customers slip on a VR headset which transports them into a simulated space where a cute anime girl is waiting to rub the tension out of their muscles. Meanwhile, back in the world of reality, a licensed massage therapist is on hand to actually perform the treatment.

During the massage, which eventually works its way up to the customer’s shoulders, the anime girl will ask questions, with the customer selecting responses using a handheld controller, making the whole thing bit like a romance simulator video game. A recent demonstration of the system featured Yui Hanasaka, from popular anime series One Room, but VR Relaxation, as the service is called, also has two original characters, created by illustrator Rouka.

As you can see, VR Relaxation’s design sheets include what kind of lingerie one character wears, which suggests there’s supposed to be at least a little sexy excitement mixed in with the relaxation, as does the blushing, pantie-flashing promotional poster artwork. The company also boasts that on successive visits, new conversation topics and story elements will present themselves.

But take a look at the photos from the recent demonstration Tora no Ana held in Akihabara this week, and see if you can spot a discrepancy between the fantasy and reality of the service.

Yep, that’s a male masseuse administering the foot rubs, which means that while the customer is seeing a cute anime girl giving him a massage, it’s actually a dude with his hand all over those otaku feet. And though it might seem like this is simply a result of Tora no Ana only being able to book a male masseur for the three-day demo, another piece of official promotional artwork is totally upfront about the possibility that you’ll actually be getting a massage from a man.

▼ And possibly a pretty hairy one.

Under ordinary circumstances, there’s nothing weird about getting a massage from a man, and likewise, there are plenty of people in the world who enjoy being touched by a guy. Still, it’s a bit of an odd choice for VR Relaxation to go so heavily towards girliness for its virtual attendants, even billing the service as “a dream come true with your 2-D wife,” but then do the complete opposite with the human factor, especially when there’s no shortage of female massage therapists in Japan.

Sources: Tora no Ana, Panora via Jin
Images: Tora no Ana