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He Was a 'Big Tree' to Manga Artists Worldwide
He Was a 'Big Tree' to
Manga Artists Worldwide

He Was a 'Big Tree' to Manga Artists Worldwide

Akira Toriyama, creator of 'Dragon Ball' comic series, other popular manga and anime, dies at 68

(Newser) - Akira Toriyama, the creator of the bestselling Dragon Ball and other popular manga and anime that influenced Japanese comics, has died, his studio said Friday. He was 68. Toriyama died March 1 of a blood clot in his brain, Bird Studio said in a statement. "He was working enthusiastically...

Man Behind Horrific Anime Studio Arson Sentenced to Death

Shinji Aoba's attack left 36 dead

(Newser) - A Japanese court sentenced a man to death after finding him guilty of murder and other crimes Thursday for carrying out a shocking arson attack on an anime studio in Kyoto, Japan, that killed 36 people, the AP reports. The Kyoto District Court said it found the defendant, Shinji Aoba,...

There's Growing 'Fictosexual' Movement in Japan

Adherents say the practice is empowering and liberating

(Newser) - In 2008, Akihiko Kondo spiraled into a deep depression after being bullied at work and rebuffed by several women. That is when he discovered Miku, a blue-haired, software-based “virtual pop star.” He soon fell in love, according to New York Times reporters Ben Dooley and Hisako Ueno, who...

19 Bodies Found Piled on Top of Each Other at Anime Studio

Only 6 of 74 people escaped Kyoto building uninjured

(Newser) - The man accused of setting fire to an anime studio in Japan, killing at least 33 people in one of the country's deadliest postwar mass murders, has been identified as Shinji Aoba. The 41-year-old man is being treated for burns in a hospital and police have so far been...

Alleged Japan Arsonist: 'They Ripped Me Off'
Alleged Japan Arsonist:
'They Ripped Me Off'
the rundown

Alleged Japan Arsonist: 'They Ripped Me Off'

Witness overhears his complaint to police as death toll rises to 33

(Newser) - It's "too appalling even for words," says Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He was referring to the alleged arson at an anime studio in Kyoto that has taken the lives of at least 33 people so far. More than 30 others were injured, some critically. Here is...

20 Feared Dead in Suspected Arson at Animation Studio
Dozens Killed in Arson
at Animation Studio

Dozens Killed in Arson at Animation Studio

Kyoto suspect shouted 'Drop dead!'

(Newser) - At least 26 people were killed and dozens more injured in a suspected arson attack at one of Japan's most famous anime studios Thursday morning. Police say a man "threw a liquid and set fire to it" in the attack at the Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio building,...

Senate Candidate Sends Voters to Anime Porn Site

Sharron Angle blames her opponent

(Newser) - If you want to learn more about Joe Heck, a congressman and Senate candidate from Nevada, don't go to All you'll find there is a lot of very graphic anime pornography. Still, that's where Sharron Angle, Heck's opponent for the GOP Senate nomination, directed...

Japan Finally Bans Child Porn Possession

But law won't cover anime, manga depictions of abuse

(Newser) - After many years as the only major industrialized country where the possession of child pornography was still legal, Japan has finally taken steps to ban it. The upper house of the country's parliament has passed a bill that will punish people found with explicit images of children with up...

The Wind Rises Is a Beautiful, Difficult Finale for Miyazaki

Film is typically lyrical, atypically realistic, and a little controversial

(Newser) - What might be Hayao Miyazaki's last film makes its US debut this weekend, and naturally critics are in love with it. The beloved filmmaker announced his retirement after The Wind Rises debuted at the Venice Film Festival last year. Since then the movie—a biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, who...

Hologram Selling Out Concerts in Japan

Music meets science fiction in the form of Hatsune Miku

(Newser) - We have met the future and it is a tinny-voiced giant green hologram performing at sold-out concerts in Japan. Crypton Future Media has launched a pop tour of holographic singing sensation Hatsune Miku, backed by a band of real human beings, notes the Los Angeles Times. The pig-tailed child-vamp is...

Korean Man Marries Pillow
 Korean Man Marries Pillow 
a gem from wednesday

Korean Man Marries Pillow

Groom keeps company with anime character accessory, buys it meals

(Newser) - A South Korean man’s dream came true recently when he married a body pillow bearing an illustration of an anime character. Lee Jin-gyu, 28, fell for a dakimakura, or body pillow, printed with an image of Fate Testarossa, a character in a popular cartoon series, the UK Metro reports....

Why I Hate Living in Japan
 Why I Hate Living in Japan 

Why I Hate Living in Japan

Everything's got meat in it, for one—bad news for vegetarian

(Newser) - Many years of life in Japan have thoroughly soured American expatriate Tim Rogers on the country, despite his long personal history of “tolerating the hell out of some world cultures.” Herewith, some reasons:
  • Animé sucks. Used to be fine, but now “it’s inbred trailer-trash in entertainment

UK 14-Year-Old a Star in Japan
 UK 14-Year-Old a Star in Japan 

UK 14-Year-Old a Star in Japan

YouTube sensation Beckii Cruel, 14, releases debut album

(Newser) - Dressing in costumes, dancing around her bedroom to Japanese pop songs, and posting the videos on YouTube has made 14-year-old Rebecca Flint a bona fide star in Japan. The British teen, known online as Beckii Cruel, imitates the dancing style and looks of an anime character; in Japan she's performed...

Happy 35th Birthday, Hello Kitty
 Happy 35th 
 Hello Kitty 
watch your mouth

Happy 35th Birthday, Hello Kitty

Fashionable events surround style icon's big day

(Newser) - She can't blow out the candles, but Hello Kitty turns 35 today. Launched by the Japanese greeting card firm Sanrio in 1974, the mute, mysterious feline made her US debut in 1976 and is now an international style icon. "Who doesn't love Kitty?" fashion entrepreneur Kimora Lee Simmons asks....

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