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August 30, 2014

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Japanese man gets $10,000 for being a naked prisoner for a year

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 10th 2008 1:02PM
Naked man!Those Japanese sure can innovate when it comes to TV. A new television show from Japan has a Japanese man sitting naked in a room for a year while being recorded.

He was locked in an apartment with no food, furniture, household goods or entertainment. He was required to write postcards to contests until he won $10,000 in prizes, at which point he was to be released.

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Is that a PVR in your pocket? Oh, it is

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 29th 2007 8:00AM
Sony NW-A910
Normally once I find out a cool new gadget will only be available in Japan I try to close my eyes because I know it will never be mine. But the Sony NW-A910 TV Walkman is just too cool.

The portable device includes a 1seg digital TV tuner for watching and recording Japanese television. It also packs up to 16GB of flash memory, which is enough space to store 16 hours of compressed video. Considering you only get a 2.4 inch display, the video should be crystal clear at that quality. You can also play back videos in most of your popular formats.

There's also an FM tuner in there in case you want to do anything as old fashioned as listening to the radio. The NW-A910 battery should survive about 6 hours of TV viewing or 8.5 hours of recording (with the display turned off). If you turn it into an overpriced MP3 player, you'll get about 36 hours of battery life.

The 16Gb model will set you back about 45,000 Yen (or $390) and will be available in November. There are also 8GB and 4GB varieties selling for 35,000 Yen and 30,000 Yen respectively.

[via New Launches]

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Finally, an anime that doesn't fill my soul with loathing

by Annie Wu, posted Sep 12th 2007 5:42PM
Death NoteAs you may have been able to tell from my last name, I am Asian. Anime was a big part of my childhood, especially when I lived overseas in those early years. I even went through that awkward Sailor Moon phase in third grade. However, by the time the anime craze hit America, I was over it. So while my classmates traded Pokemon cards and donned cat ears, I quietly filled my heart with loathing and silently complained about the newer animes that everyone else seemed to love so much. In my eyes, nothing seemed to deliver.

But just this summer, not only did I manage to tolerate an anime show, I fell in love with it. Enter Death Note, an incredibly engaging anime that just wrapped up its run in Japan three months ago.

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Johnny Depp on Japanese talk show - VIDEO

by Anna Johns, posted Jun 24th 2007 12:26PM
johnny depp; japaneseThe Japanese just do some things better. For instance? Game shows. Japanese television execs understand that people want to see other people perform ridiculous physical challenges for prizes.

Another example? Talk shows. This one in particular. I have no idea what the show is called, but it kind-of reminds me of a Japanese version of Wayne's World because it looks like it's on cable access and is filmed in someone's basement. And Johnny Depp went on it. Apparently for the second time. It's weird because A) Depp doesn't speak the language, B) Depp is the only one sitting while two other guys in suits stand around and interrogate him, and C) well, you just have to watch for yourself but let's just say there are little kids dressed as pirates, singing "It's A Small World." Depp, by the way, is the perfect gentleman and reacts to everything with gratitude.

Video after the jump:

[Via Pop Candy]

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Ricci joins Speed Racer movie - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 13th 2007 2:01PM

speed racerMuch like the new Underdog movie, the Wachowski brothers' bigscreen adaptation of the popular Speed Racer cartoon will not be animated, but considering the Wachowskis were behind the Matrix trilogy, one assumes the new film will be both visually stunning and not especially "heavy" storywise. Of course, it's not as if the original cartoon was all that deep, either, so in many ways this is a good match. If they do it right, it could be the perfect no-brainer, popcorn matinee.

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I want my 24-hour anime

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 9th 2007 8:01AM

flclFirst of all, I have to give a big ol' Minnesota-style "thank ya" to those of you who recommend some great anime for me to check out. A Minnesota-style "thank ya" is like a regular "thank ya" except you say it while keeping a herd of rabid moose away from your snow fort with a hockey stick.

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Panasonic announces new Japanese PVRs

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 2nd 2007 8:30AM
Panasonic PVRs
Panasonic is having a PVR party. Okay, I'm done with the alliteration now, I promise. The big P is launching five new high definition personal video recorders in Japan. The lowest-end models will sport 250GB hard drives, while the priciest of the bunch will have 1TB of storage.

They've all got DVD burners, and two models also include retro-style VHS recorders. Can you even still buy blank VHS tapes?

Each recorder has HDMI output, S-video and composite inputs, and some have ethernet jacks for downloading program data. The VHS models include one TV tuner each, while the non-VHS models have dual tuners. They're launching in Japan in the next two months for ¥80k to ¥200k ($669 to $1,688) and be available in the US sometime around the fifth of Neveruary.

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Japanese women love SpongeBob

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 28th 2007 4:01PM

SpongebobSpongeBob SquarePants is hugely popular in the United States with little children and immature adults like myself, but nobody thought he would make much of a splash in Japan.

It turns out those people were wrong, because SpongeBob is watched by 1.9 million households every day in Japan, which is even more impressive when you take into consideration that the series is only shown occasionally on network TV and that many households don't have cable or satellite, where SpongeBob SquarePants is shown on a more regular basis.

Also, it's not little kids who love SpongeBob the most, it's young women. This wasn't an accident, though: SpongeBob was introduced to Japan as a trendy, hip, underground kinda thing, something to be found on clothes and handbags and spread around by word of mouth. Apparently, it's been working.

[via The Beat]

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DVD collects early anime work

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 15th 2007 7:01PM

japan flagI love animation, but I have to admit my knowledge of anime is rather limited. There's a lot of anime I enjoy and admire, but what I've seen doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of this popular animation style.

If you love anime, or you just want to start at the very beginning of this art form, Digital Meme is releasing a DVD titled "Classic Japanese Anime." Don't expect stuff like AstroBoy, Speed Racer or Gigantor in this set. Instead, think silent animation from the '20s and '30s. Some of the works contained in this DVD set were originally shown in theaters with a separate audio track played on a gramophone record. If your interest in anime goes far beyond casual admiration, this is something worth spending $110.00 on. Also, every one of the fifty-five cartoons is subtitled, so there's none of that gaudy American dubbing to ruin it.

The set releases on April 30.

[via Cartoon Brew]

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No cars in Speed Racer movie?

by Adam Finley, posted Dec 13th 2006 9:03AM

speed racerIn an interview with Empire Online, producer Joel Silver said very little about the upcoming live-action Speed Racer movie from the Wachowski brothers (The Matrix), other than it's going to look really cool. Of course, he's producing the movie, so what else is he going to say, that it'll be a lot of flash and no substance? Silver also said they might not even use cars, which I would assume means they won't use any real cars, and do some kind of fancy CGI effects instead, which I think actually makes sense for this kind of movie.

Silver also had this to say in the interview, regarding the Wachowskis: "They said they'd never work again the Matrix sequels." If you can figure out what the hell that sentence is supposed to mean, you're a better person than I am. I'm trying to figure out why Joel Silver speaks like Yoda.

[via TV Filter]

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The Japanese "Mac and PC" ads

by Annie Wu, posted Nov 17th 2006 3:02PM
Mac and PCIf you have ever watched the Mac ads featuring John Hodgman and Justin Long and wondered what their Japanese counterparts must look like (and I'm sure everyone has), look no further! Yes yes, the Japanese have their own versions of the ads, starring members of sketch comedy group The Rahmens (I don't really know who they are, but I've read that they're like Japanese comedy's answer to Wes Anderson... whatever that means). The ads are pretty much the same as the American ones, but, y'know, in Japanese and with different actors. I like the original ads better, but, I must admit, the Japanese PC works some pretty sweet hip movements when he's rocking out to his iPod. Look out, Hodgman.

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Speed Racer hits theaters in 2008

by Adam Finley, posted Nov 12th 2006 2:02PM

speed racerSpeed Racer only lasted one year? That's what IMDb seems to indicate. The Japanese import is so much a part of popular culture I assumed it had lasted longer than that. Regardless, the popular cartoon was around before my time, so I know very little about it, save for little bits of information I've picked up here and there. If you're older than myself, however, or you fell in love with the show while watching it in reruns, you may have already heard that a live-action film versions of the cartoon is in the works. Larry and Andy Wachowski, the brothers behind the Matrix movies, will write and direct the project, which is slated for a 2008 release. The brothers apparently have big plans for the racing sequences, and given the ever-duplicated special effects of the Matrix trilogy, I'm more than a little curious to see what they have up their sleeves. I'm a little bummed out that it's live-action rather than animation, but The Matrix was essentially a live-action cartoon in many ways, so maybe this could work.

[via Toon Zone]

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Make way for Yam Roll -- VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 19th 2006 2:43PM
yam rollAccording to Amid over at the excellent Cartoon Brew, the new Canadian cartoon The Very Good Adventures of Yam Roll in Happy Kingdom will be coming to Cartoon Network this fall. If you've never heard of Yam Roll, join the club, because I hadn't heard of it until recently, either. I did find what appears to be the original episode on YouTube, which I've placed after the jump. From what I can gather, the series focuses on Yam Roll, an anthropomorphic bit of Japanese food who lives in Happy Kingdom, a silly world located not too far from Japan. Yam Roll drives a taxi and fights to save his true love Minamiko, who doesn't even know he exists. His world is populated with freaks and weird monsters, and his adventures are narrated by a boisterous Japanese man. I'm not sure how Yam Roll would play in the US, but I did find myself laughing several times at the outlandish weirdness of this cartoon, which really isn't comparable to anything I've seen before. Take a look:

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The Daily Show: September 12, 2006

by Annie Wu, posted Sep 13th 2006 11:10AM
The Daily Show"Pleading The Fifth": Of course, it wouldn't have been the anniversary of an American tragedy without the president weighing in. "The attacks were meant to bring us to our knees, and they did, but not in the way the terrorists intended." Ha. He can't say that and expect us not to snicker! The Metaphorical Mapquest bit was beautiful. Being a Daily Show writer must be fantastic... How would you feel if you were paid to hang out with Jon Stewart all day, coming up with stuff like the World's Biggest Ball of Hope or the Jihad Junction? C'mon. It doesn't get much better than that. The Bush/Little Richard Geico commercial was absolutely hysterical. Maybe I found it amusing because I loathe those TV spots (well, not the one with Charo... Charo can do no wrong). Good line from the segment: "Say what you will about this presidency, but after that speech... it's fifteen minutes shorter."

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That's not a HDTV. No, this is an HDTV!

by Richard Keller, posted Jul 29th 2006 11:02AM

I'm sure this will fit in your 2 bedroom apartmentYou're sitting there in your recliner, ice cold soda in one hand, and the remote for your brand new 55-inch plasma flat screen HDTV (with built-in surround sound) in the other. As you flip through all the channels of sports programming you purchased from DirectTV, and watch in fascination as the sweat just drips off of Randy Johnson's huge face, you say to yourself 'Gosh, I must have the biggest HDTV ever made!'.

Wrong. With the fast pace of technology today (however, not fast enough to produce flying cars) your 55-inch HDTV is, what they would call in the automotive world, mid-size. You want to see a big HDTV, you go to Japan's Tokyo Racetrack to watch the 218 by 37 feet flat screen, which can show three races at the same time. Now the largest HDTV in the world it will display everything in the standard 1080 high-def resolution.

Interested in dumping you 'so yesterday' 55-inch HDTV for the mother of all HDTV's? Well, if you can shell out $28 million it's all yours. So, start saving now.

[Story courtesy of our sister site Luxist]

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