Seiko to release new Ghibli watches, including limited-edition 30th anniversary Totoro watches

Fans of Kiki’s Delivery Service will also want to check these out.

It’s a great time to be a Ghibli fan right now. With the Ghibli amusement park in the works, an adorable Totoro cafe opened in Thailand, and Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki out of retirement, fans have numerous things to look forward to from their favorite animated film studio.

Plus, even with tons of great Ghibli merchandise already available, new Ghibli products are always becoming available. Adult fans of My Neighor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service may especially like the newest line of casual watches from Seiko which feature adorable motifs from these classic animated movies.

This collection of eight watches is from Seiko’s brand for everyday wear, Alba, and are designed to be affordable, stylish watches that fans of Ghibli can wear at any age. Each of the face designs are subtle yet adorable, while the straps and casings of the watches are sleek and chic. They’re designed with women in mind, but of course any Ghibli fan can appreciate their mature homage to these beloved films.

The watches’ faces come in four different designs for each movie, totalling eight unique varieties, and the leather straps come in seven different colors, so hopefully anyone can find a style that they like.

But the faces are not the only Ghibli-specific features: the back of the straps and the stainless steel watch case are also engraved with Totoro and Kiki motifs. Fans can appreciate the quiet nods to the films on every corner of these new watches.

In addition to the eight styles above, two limited-edition My Neighbor Totoro watches are going to be released exclusively to celebrate the movie’s thirtieth anniversary. The face’s design comes in ivory and black, and features a small Totoro peeking over a flower garden and holding a four-leaf clover.

These watches are limited to just 1,000 units in each style and come with a serial number on the back of the case ranging from 0001 to 1000, which verify their authenticity. They’ll also have the words “30th Anniversary” engraved on the back and will come in a cute “30th Anniversary” box, so these are guaranteed to become super collector’s items.

Each of the regular edition watches will be priced at 9,000 yen (US$81.64) and will be on sale from July 7, while the limited edition Totoro watches will retail for 15,000 yen starting from August 4. The company are being coy about where you can get these, making them real collector’s items, and while there’s no word yet of overseas or online sales, visitors to Japan may want to look out for them at Ghibli merchandise shop Donguri Kyowakoku or any store where Seiko watches are sold as soon as they can.

Looking for more Ghibli goods? Totoro collectors will love the limited-edition handmade reproduction cels of the film, which are now available for preorder, and fans of Kiki’s Delivery Service might also like Donguri Kyowakoku’s new line of Kiki perfumes. If you’re a Ghibli fan, it’s almost guaranteed that there’s a product out there for you!

Source, Images: PR Times

Top April Fools’ Day prank news stories from Japan

Our roundup of the country’s craziest April Fool’s Day products and services we actually wish were real.

April Fools’ Day has become a day when fake news floods the Internet, with people everywhere playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes online. Here in Japan, where even the craziest ideas can actually be real, it can be hard not to fall for an Internet prank, especially when big-name companies join in the fun and games with tantalising announcements on their official sites.

So now that April’s Day has come and gone, let’s take a look at some of the best prank news that spread around the country here on 1 April. From awesome-looking products to unusual services, we’re actually sad that some of these creative ideas aren’t actually real!

1. See-through Coca-Cola

When it comes to an obvious prank that hardly anyone would fall for, you can’t go past Coca-Cola Japan’s tweet advertising invisible coke. Using plenty of emojis and incredulous exclamation marks, the tweet includes a hashtag for the “never-before experienced transparent Coke“, along with the following message:

“The delicious flavour of Coca-Cola, now with a bottle and liquid that’s totally transparent!! Doesn’t it look as light as air? 100 people will win the transparent Coke. To enter, follow us and retweet this tweet by 11:59 p.m. on 1 April. #OnlyPeopleWithClearHeartsCanViewThis #April Fools’”

With more than 15,000 retweets, we can only assume that people either loved the idea of this and wanted to share it with their followers or they seriously thought they were in with a chance to defy logic by drinking invisible Coke from an invisible bottle.

2. Grand Seiko Ninja Model

Seiko surprised us all with an incredibly cool watch and equally cool video and website dedicated to their April Fools’ Day prank. They had our attention immediately with the tagline, “Ninja of the world, the wait is over“, and then had us drooling over their shuriken throwing-star shaped timepiece.

Add to that a special illustration for the ninja watch by Metal Gear artist Yoji Shinkawa, and we’re left crying tears that this timepiece isn’t actually going into production.

3. Excalibur McFlurry

McDonald’s went all out with their crazy ideas this year, introducing us to several “new” products. The Excalibur McFlurry was one of them, with a spoon in the shape of the legendary sword that only “Brave chosen rulers” would be able to extract from the dessert. Just in case people thought it might be a real product, they added in the ridiculous price point of 9,999 yen (US$94.05).

4. McShake

A play on the word “shake”, which is pronounced differently in Japanese to mean either “salmon” (鮭 / シャケ) or “shake”, as in the abbreviation of “milkshake” (シェイク). This tweet, which reads “It’s not a shake! It’s a salmon!” serves to introduce the salmon slice as a new item on the morning menu. As a staple of traditional Japanese breakfasts, this salmon, with a side of rice and miso soup, would actually be a pretty great option to have at McDonald’s!

5. Half Burger from McDonald’s

Our final McDonald’s prank came in the form of the new “half-sized burger“, which offers customers less instead of more. Given that burger sizes here are generally smaller than their overseas counterparts, we might have been duped by this one if it weren’t for its bizarre appearance.

6. Pizza Hut Pigeon Delivery

The strangely cute “Pizza Hato” campaign is based around a delightful play on words, with “hatto” being the Japanese word for “hut” (in its katakana form) and “hato” meaning “pigeon”. What better way to combine the two incredibly similar words than with a Pizza Hut pigeon delivery service?

▼ Now we’re hankering for a pizza delivered by pigeon courier.

This “industry first” was said to use 10,000 pigeons with 100 hours of training under their wings, flying at a maximum speed of 157 kilometres (97.5 miles) per hour to deliver your pizza anywhere in Japan. The new pigeon service avoids traffic jams to allow faster deliveries, while also reducing CO2 emissions normally used by delivery drivers on the roads. Online members would also be covered by the Pizza Hato Care Plus option, with a delivery driver being dispatched with your order in the event that your pigeon runs into trouble somewhere.

7. Okonomiyaki/Ramen/Tempura Kit Kat

According to the above tweet, Nestlé Japan announced they would be introducing a new takoyaki-flavoured variety to their bakeable Kit Kat range, but the package in the image is emblazoned with the words “sushi flavour“, alongside an image of takoyaki octopus balls. To add to the confusion, it says “fresh sea urchin added” on the left, “Kit Kat Tempura” at the top, and then “Kit Kat Ramen” at the bottom, with “4/1 Halloween” in there as well.  We’re guessing they wanted to make it clear that they were messing with us, but now we’re just left wondering what these strange combinations would taste like on our tastebuds…

So there you have it – our top picks of the best April Fools’ Day news pranks from Japan. Did you fall for any fake news on 1 April? If not, you might just be the type of prankster who’ll enjoy reading stories about Japan’s new breeding visas for foreigners or Nara’s adopt-a-deer initiative. Feel free to share and fool your friends!

Sources: PR Times ( 1, 2)
Featured image: Twitter/@KitKatJapan
Insert images: PR Times ( 1, 2)

【ボケ合戦】エイプリルフールで企業や役所がカマした “ぶっ飛んだ” ウソ5選 「富士山増築プロジェクトスタート」など

今年もついにやって来た! 年に一度ウソをついていい日「エイプリルフール」。近年は、さまざまな企業や団体がウソ……というかボケを発表するのが恒例となっていて、ダマされるどころか楽しみにしている人も多いだろう。


【エイプリルフールで企業や役所がカマした “ぶっ飛んだ” ウソ5選】

1. 500円で旦那をトランクに保管できるサービス開始


「捨てたくても捨てられないモノをスッキリ収納する次世代型だんな保管サービス “trunk” が、だらしない旦那を荷物と一緒に500円で預けられるようになりました。預けたアイテムと同じように、旦那もスマホアプリで遠隔管理。いまどこで何をしてるか、消息が分かるから、余計な心配も一切無し!」

500円って……安っ! いや、そういう問題じゃねえわ!!

2. あのSEIKOから「ツナ缶ウォッチ」発売

有名時計メーカーSEIKOまで、エイプリルフールのボケ合戦に参戦しているぞ。なんと時計本体にツナ缶を搭載したダイバーズウォッチが、セイコーウオッチのスポーツウオッチブランド「セイコー プロスペックス」より販売開始されるそうだ。これでダイビング中でもツナ缶を食べられる……っておい! 


3. エクスペディアの井戸型移動システム


4. ジェットスターが「自宅まで飛行機を呼べる」新サービス


5. 富士山増築プロジェクト

カタいイメージのあるお役所が、とんでもないことを言っている! 山梨県富士吉田市が、富士山の増築計画を進めているそうだ。標高世界一を目指して資金を募っており、特設サイトまで設けられているぞ。それを見ると……


──でっかく来ましたな! さらに!! 富士山が世界一のエベレストを抜けなかった場合は、かなり “荒ぶったこと” をするそうだ。





Suchmos, Seiho, never young beach, and More to Pay Tribute to Petrolz on New Album

On March 22, “WHERE, WHO, WHAT IS PETROLZ?”, a tribute album for the band Petrolz, will be released. The album will see the likes of Suchmos, Seiho, never young beach, Lucky Tapes, and ORIGINAL LOVE covering Petrolz’s songs.

“WHERE, WHO, WHAT IS PETROLZ?” will come in a limited edition and a regular edition. The limited edition will be released in an of 5,000. It will include a 108-page photobook shot by Matsumoto Naoya, chronicling the band from 2009 til now.

Check out more information on the album below!

Limited Edition

Regular Edition

1. シェイプ / LEO今井+呂布 (Shape / LEO Imai+Ryohu)
2. Profile / LUCKY TAPES
3. 新預感 / 林宥嘉 (YOGA LIN) / (Xin Yugan / Yoga Lin)
6. Touch Me / Seiho
7. On Your Side / Yogee New Waves
8. 雨 / Suchmos (Ame / Suchmos)
9. ホロウェイ / SOIL & “PIMP” SESSIONS (Holloway / SOIL & “PIMP” SESSIONS)
11. Side by Side / never young beach
12. 誰? / 呂布 (Dare? / Ryohu)