50-year-old otaku murders father who criticized his anime and game hobbies

76-year-old victim fought off first attempt on his life, succumbed to second.

It’s not unusual for parents to clash with their children over how much time or money they spend on their hobbies. Those arguments can be particularly heated if they’re about pastimes that the older generation is ready to write off as frivolous nonsense, such as watching anime or playing video games.

Often these issues resolve themselves either when the parent comes to accept that their child’s life is their own to live, or, alternatively, when the child becomes old enough to move out. Sadly, a family dispute over games and anime came to a much more violent end in Shiga Prefecture.

Since 50-year-old Toshio Ito’s mother passed away in 2016, it had just been him and his 76-year-old father, Kou, living in their home in the town of Otsu. Though Toshio had been acting as his father’s caretaker, the two had a strained relationship. The older Ito instituted a curfew for his son, and also repeatedly criticized him for his love of anime and video games.

Toshio became increasingly dissatisfied with the living arrangement, until the early hours of the morning on February 4. Entering his sleeping father’s bedroom shortly after 3 a.m., Toshio pressed a wet towel and pillow over Kou’s face and attempted to smother him. When he resisted, Toshio changed tactics and grabbed a length of electrical cord that was within arm’s reach and used it to strangle his father.

Toshio’s trial began this week, though since he has already admitted to killing his father, the proceedings are more to determine the extent of his legal culpability and the appropriate punishment. The defense has asked that the extenuating circumstances of the relationship be taken into account, claiming that Kou’s overbearing treatment of his son left Toshio desperate to end their cohabitation, but considering Japan’s customary hard-line stance against violent crime, the request is likely to earn him little, if any, clemency.

Source: Kyoto Shimbun via Otakomu
Top image: Pakutaso

Otaku in Japan left red-faced after Osaka earthquake topples hidden anime porn for parents to see

Rooms jammed full of anime collectibles suddenly turned into X-rated disaster zones after the quake hit.

At 7:58 a.m. on 18 June, residents in Osaka were jolted by the strongest earthquake to hit the region in decades. While people outside had to deal with transport delays and traffic disruptions immediately afterwards, those inside found themselves fixing fallen furniture and broken items around the home.

For Osaka’s otaku geek community, though, the earthquake had other ramifications. As avid collectors of anime merchandise, the quake toppled carefully stored books, figurines and other related goods, creating scenes of disarray which they were quick to share online.

While some otaku dealt with fallen bookshelves that dislodged hundreds of manga titles, others had to carefully put their small parts and accessories back in order.

Figure-loving otaku, on the other hand, were faced with the unsettling sight of headless figurines.

▼ No!! Gokuuuuuu!!!

Some otaku found themselves in more awkward situations when their adult merch became dislodged from the places where they’d been carefully hidden.

▼ This anime body pillow was crushed under a pile of anime porn.

In the words of this Twitter user: “Hey! Because of the earthquake, the erotic fanzines I’d stashed away were exposed to my mum!!!”

This particular tweet struck a chord with otaku around the country, quickly racking up tens of thousands of likes and retweets as other erotic-fanzine-owning geeks vowed to find more secure hiding locations in light of this embarrassing incident.

“Omg this is like my worst nightmare.”
“If this happened at my place my mum would be so mad!”
“You never know when this might happen so you have to be prepared.”
“Maybe you should do what I do and keep it all in a locked box!”
“I don’t know who this was worse for – you or your mum.”

This unexpected turn of events is a cautionary tale for anyone living in an earthquake-prone area. And it’s not something to be taken lightly, either, given that people have been killed by falling piles of erotic magazines before.

Source: Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@seikatsuichibu

One Piece manga creator’s joke about World War II soldier prompts official apology from publisher

Anime/manga legend Eiichro Oda’s joke about fried chicken touches a raw historical nerve.

When you create the best-selling manga franchise of all time, with close to double the sales of your closest rival, you’d think you’ve pretty much earned the clout to say whatever you want. Nevertheless, a message from One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda has prompted an official apology from publisher Shueisha.

On June 4, One Piece Volume 89 went on sale. It’s customary for collected manga volumes to include a brief comment from the author on the inside flap of the cover, usually, a light, breezy message of thanks or a silly anecdotesfrom the creator’s personal life. For Volume 89, Oda went with the following:

Under a drawing of a haggard-looking man wearing an Imperial Japanese Army cap and giving a salute, Oda wrote:

You know how sometimes, when you’re sharing a plate of karaage [fried chicken] with people, there’s that one last piece that gets left on the plate? I’ve decided to give it a name: Sergeant Yokoi.

So I’m like, ‘Sergeant Yokoi is still in the field! Somebody, end the war!’

Little kids who don’t know who I’m talking about, look him up.

It is with much embarrassment that I start Volume 89!

If Oda’s assumption that not everyone knows who “Sergeant [Shoichi] Yokoi” is applies to you, he was a Japanese infantryman who fought on Guam during World War II. However, when the U.S. military wrested control of Guam away from Japan in 1944, Yokoi avoided capture and went into hiding in the island’s jungle interior, where he remained until 1972, despite Japan surrendering, and the war ending, in 1945.

▼ Yokoi

The then 57-year-old Yokoi was eventually discovered by two locals, who subdued him after he attacked them. Upon his return to Japan, he said “It is with much embarrassment that I return,” which seems to be what Oda is referencing by saying “It is with much embarrassment that I start Volume 89!”

Yokoi (who was actually only the third-to-last Imperial Japanese soldier to surrender) passed away in 1997, at the age of 82, from a heart attack. Like many prominent figures from Japan’s militaristic past, opinions towards Yokoi can be sharply divided, with those who embrace Japan’s ostensibly pacifist modern political policies seeing him as a symbol of an ill-advised past, and others treating him as a folk hero for his determination and loyal patriotism. There’s even a Yokoi Shoichi Memorial Museum in his home prefecture of Aichi, with a reproduction of the cave in which he spent his past-war decades on Guam, and which also maintains a simple English website to promote itself to foreign visitors.

Given the complex and controversial feelings associated with Yokoi, the editors of Weekly Shonen Jump, the Shueisha manga anthology in which One Piece is serialized, decided an apology was in order for Oda’s Volume 89 comments. On June 14, a message was placed on the official Weekly Shonen Jump website, reading:

“In the author’s comment section of One Piece Volume 89, which went on sale June 4, there was an inconsiderate message. The editors, together with the author, regret our actions, In the future, we will take greater care in such matters.”

▼ Volume 89’s front cover

Shueisha has not said that it will be recalling the books, though it seems likely that Oda’s comment will be removed in any potential reprintings of the volume.

Source: Sponichi Annex via Otakomu via Anime News Network/Jennifer Sherman
Top image ©SoraNews24
Insert image: Wikipedia/Unmaokur

Anthropomorphized menstrual cycle is Japan’s newest comic book star

Seiri-chan is a heartwarmingly absurd manga for the modern period.

Like a lot of manga, Ken Koyama’s Seiri-chan is named after its protagonist. However, even longtime fans of anime/manga may be struggling to remember another franchise with a character named Seiri in it.

That’s because Seiri isn’t a traditional Japanese name. Instead, it’s the word for “period” or “menstrual cycle.”

Yes, Seiri-chan is the latest, and arguably most unexpected, entry in Japan’s ever-lengthening list of anthropomorphized characters, following colleagues drawing inspiration from mushrooms and Japanese swords. Rather than trying to render the liquid state of monthly lady flow, Koyama draws Seiri-chan as a pink, vaguely heart-shaped entity with full red lips and a white cross for a nose.

While Seiri-chan can be seen punching a woman in the midsection on the back cover of the first collected volume, she’s generally presented as a more benign figure in the manga. Each chapter has Seiri-chan spending time with different women during her once-a-month visit, often as they’re experiencing some sort of personal crisis or emotional dilemma. For example, in the scene below, Seiri-chan makes her long-awaited appearance in front of a woman named Kaori, who recently slept with a married coworker with no contraceptives being used. “Men who don’t use a condom are the worst,” Seiri-chan declares, while giving Kaori a reassuring hug.

“I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t shown up today,” says Kaori, relieved that the night of passion hasn’t resulted in an unwanted pregnancy.

In a later chapter, Seiri-chan gives a pep talk to convenience store clerk Riho, who’s always had an inferiority complex about her less-than-glamorous looks and thus is unwilling to believe the handsome man who confessed his love to her is serious about wanting a relationship.

Seiri-chan also takes time to console Momoko, a cafe waitress and aspiring novelist who’s been sent into a spiral of depression after discovering that her coworker Ippei, who she had a secret crush on, has started dating the beautiful half-Japanese Chloe, yet another of her coworkers.

Sometimes, though, instead of being quietly supportive, Seiri-chan is psychotically violent, like when she punches this man in the face while shouting “Menstrual Punch!” before injecting him with a drug that causes him to have periods as well.

Through written and illustrated by a man, Seiri-chan has quickly built up a sizable female fanbase, including our own female Japanese-language reporter Anji. “Koyama’s a guy, so how does he understand women’s feelings so well?” said Anji after reading through the volume. “Whether I’m laughing or crying, I can always identify with the women Seiri-chan visits.”

With its outlandish premise and episodic nature, Seiri-chan seems like it’d be a perfect fit in the world of late-night short anime programming, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see an adaptation in the near future. Who knows, maybe the franchise will become a big enough hit that we’ll see a brand-new batch of anime-themed menstrual pads go on sale in Japan.

Photos ©SoraNews24

Pet rabbit celebrates Japan’s World Cup victory by humping Pokémon’s Charmander【Video】

Sudden exuberance following soccer win draws praise for vigor and speed.

With the FIFA World Cup currently taking place, we’re all once again reminded of the incredible power that sports have to bring excitement and joy into the hearts of athletes and spectators alike. Sometimes, seeing the team you’re cheering for achieve victory on the playing field can be enough to have you shouting to the heavens, dancing in the streets, or feeling kinship with people hailing from all the way on the other side of the planet.

But have you ever felt so happy that you’ve just had to hump a Pokémon?

As time expired and the Japanese soccer team secured a historic victory over Colombia on Tuesday night, Twitter user @milk_white53 was at home in front of his TV. Watching the game with him was his pet rabbit, but as the Samurai Blue basked in the afterglow of their triumph, @milk_white53’s bunny decided to make his very own pink film, choosing original starter Pokémon Charmander as his co-star.

“In his excitement over Japan’s victory, my rabbit has begun violating Charmander,” @milk_white53 tweeted, calmly describing a situation made even more bizarre by the only audio accompaniment to the coupling being the muffled sound of the television sportscasters.

Mixed in with multiple comments expressing admiration for the rabbit’s vigor and speed were those saying “My pet has done the same thing.” While some commenters may have been broadly speaking about animals mounting inanimate objects, at least one other Twitter user has a pet rabbit who’s been inordinately affectionate to his Pokémon plushie.

▼ Based on the Pocket Monster’s name, however, we’d imagine Slowpoke prefers more leisurely paced lovemaking.

Coming on the heels of last month’s instance of a lusty dog trying to get it on with an Idolmaster huggy pillow cover, animal-owning otaku might want to consider keeping their seductively soft anime merch out of their pets’ reach. As for @milk_white53, he may want to consider washing that Charmander, unless he’s expecting Japan’s soccer team to go deep into the World Cup this time, in which case perhaps he’d be better off waiting until after his rabbit is done with all of its potential victory celebrations.

Source: Twitter/@ milk_white53 via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@ milk_white53

Beautiful new Levistone from Ghibli’s Laputa anime going on sale soon, so order yours ASAP【Video】

Recreation of magical pendant from Hayao Miyazaki classic couples with elegantly detailed music box.

As the premier supplier of memorabilia based on the films of Studio Ghibli, Donguri Kyowakoku always has a catalog full of things that anime fans would love to own. Still, the chain really outdid itself when it created a replica of the Levistone from Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky Laputa.

Unfortunately, Donguri Kyowakoku did a little too good a job recreating the magical pendant worn by heroine Sheeta, and demand was so high they sold out almost immediately. A restock came much later, but now there’s something even better: an updated version that’s even more faithful to the artifact’s onscreen appearance in the first-ever animated work produced under the Studio Ghibli name.

The new version is officially called the Castle in the Sky Laputa Shining Levistone–Guidance of Light, in contrast to the older model, which bore the subtitle “Power of Light.” The new Levistone’s color was formulated to more closely match the lovingly hand-painted animation cels of the movie, and it lights up randomly in one of two patterns when you say the ancient word of power, balse (barusu, if you’re going by the Japanese pronunciation). The stone also glows softly if you speak the lengthy incantation “rite ratobarita urusu ariarosu baru netorimu,” as taught to Sheeta by her grandmother.

▼ The Levistone can be worn as a necklace or used as a decorative bag/mobile phone strap.

In addition, Donguri Kyowakoku is releasing a companion piece in the form of Laputa’s iconic robot. The 11-centimeter (4.3-inch) tall figurine doubles as a music box which plays an instrumental version of the film’s theme song, “Kimi ni Nosete” as the robot’s eyes and crest light up.

▼ The robot’s video preview

Making the figure even more special is that when you place the Levistone in the tray at its base, you’ll hear the same sound as when the robot awoke after its centuries-long slumber in the anime.

The Shining Levistone–Guidance of Light is priced at 2,600 yen (US$24) and goes on sale June 22, while the 4,800-yen robot music box becomes available for purchase on July 20. Whether you decide to order them separately or as part of a large-scale splurge bundle along with your 30th-anniversary Totoro cel reproduction and Seiko wristwatch is up to you, but considering how quickly the Levistones sold out last time, you might want to jump on the new version sooner rather than later.

Related: Donguri Kyowakoku official website, Donguri Kyowakoku online shop
Sources: 1up Joho Kyoku, PR Times
Top image: YouTube/どんぐり共和国そらのうえ店
Insert images: PR Times, YouTube/どんぐり共和国そらのうえ店

Popular anime declares “Boys can be princesses too,” prompts apology from Japanese resort hotel

Pretty Cure encourages boys who feel like it to wear dresses and be princesses, hotel apologizes for not being progressive enough.

As Japan’s most popular currently airing magical girl anime series, Pretty Cure is generally pretty formulaic in its storytelling. Villains appear, and the protagonists change from their ordinary schoolgirl personas into their brightly costumed, superpowered alter egos, with the power of friendship often being the deciding factor in saving the day.

But PreCure (as the series is known to fans) is also willing to deal with social issues, and in recent years the series, which is primarily marketed to young girls, has been challenging ideas about gender roles and identity. The concept that girls can be heroes has always been one of the show’s core themes, and the franchise also seems OK with women loving other women in a romantic sense.

However, the latest episode of Huggto! PreCure (the newest arc of the franchise) takes time to espouse the belief that boys, too, shouldn’t be constricted by traditional gender roles. One of Huggto! PreCure’s supporting cast members is Henri Wakamiya, a blond-haired half-Japanese, half-French boy who’s sometimes depicted wearing a dress, as in this preview for Huggto! PreCure’s 19th episode, which aired last Sunday.

Not everyone is supportive of Henri’s fashion choices, though. His classmate Masato, for example, berates him for “looking like a girl,” eventually prompting Henri to fire back with “So what? I’m dressed the way I want to dress. Putting restrictions on your own heart is a waste of time…and of a life.”

However, during the course of episode 19, Henri winds up getting captured by a monster, while still wearing his dress. When the PreCure girls come to save him, he laments “Wait, doesn’t this mean I’m like the princess in this situation?”

To which Hana Nono, a.k.a. Cure Yell, responds:

“That’s OK! Boys can be princesses too!”

Nono’s words were powerful enough that they’ve prompted an apology from the lakeside Ike no Taira Hotel in Shirakaba, Nagano Prefecture. For the last few years, the hotel has been offering a PreCure-themed hotel room, aimed at families traveling with young kids who are fans of the anime. The hotel also has a Kamen Rider-themed room, decorated with artwork from the popular live-action martial arts franchise, and in one of its commercials, the hotel proudly touts “For girls, Huggto! Pretty Cure, and for boys, Kamen Rider Build!”

However, on June 12, two days after Pretty Cure declared that “boys can be princesses too,” the Ike no Taira Hotel issued an apology through the official Twitter account of its mascot character, Pota.

“Recently, we have received complaints that the statements made in a TV commercial for our character-themed rooms has made some people uncomfortable. We regret offending our customers, and deeply apologize.”

While the tweet doesn’t mention PreCure specifically, the timing makes it difficult to see the hotel’s message as referring to anything other than its tie-up with the magical girl anime. In a follow-up tweet, the hotel also said it will be taking the ad out of circulation, and will bear in mind the feedback it received in designing future advertisements.

Online reactions have been mixed, with some applauding the move and others saying it’s an overreaction to baseless complaints, as the hotel doesn’t seem to have had any policy barring families with boys from staying in the PreCure room. Still, the hotel wants to make doubly sure that people know it supports young boys who find Pretty Cure’s sparkling aesthetics (and the merchandise that comes with a stay in the room) alluring.

Meanwhile, the hotel is mum about all the legal trouble Kamen Rider has been getting into lately.

Source: Twitter/@ikenotaira via Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/プリキュア公式YouTubeチャンネル