kz and Anna Yano’s new project livetune+ 1st EP to be released on 11th May! Message from Anna Yano to her fans around the world! ♡
04.March.2016 | MUSIC
Music producer kz(livetune) and worldwide attention-grabbing model Anna Yano have come together to form livetune+ in order to release their first EP entitled『Sweet Clapper』, to be released on 11th May!
The worldwide-active pair make the perfect team and their new EP, which includes 7 unique songs, makes the perfect way to introduce Japanese culture to the world!
The EP includes a variety of songs including「Milky Rally, which has already been uploaded on YouTube and the title track ‘Sweet Clapper’.
Since the two announced the start of their project last year, they made an appearance at a variety of events as everyone anticipated the release of their new EP. Gradually, more and more information about the EP is becoming available to the public but we are still waiting for more! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to buy a limited edition CD that will include a bonus track!
The character design of the still ever popular character ‘Omochi Alien’, who features in the flash anime ‘Dondonshi Tv Vol.0 Saito San Wo Shinryaku Shitayo.’ was managed by ‘Fan fan guruvu meiku’ (ファンファングルーヴメイク). Look out for the music video for the opening theme tune ‘Soft Touch’, which features kz and Anna Yano, who have turned into flash characters and star as Omochi Alien’s parents!
As the two have been made into flash characters and will featured in the flash anime, their appearance is not to be missed!
Message from Anna Yano to her fans:
This will be the first CD I have ever produced as part of livetune+ and I want this song to cross the borders and spread worldwide so that everyone has a chance to listen to it. I want to please the feelings of everyone who listens to our new EP ♡ Someday I also want to perform Sweet Clapper live overseas.
・livetune+ / Soft Touch [Official Music Video] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59X4nUI-S9s
Kyoto Aquarium to House 20 Types of Jellyfish With New ‘Jellyfish Wonder’ Area
29.February.2020 | SPOT
Kyoto Aquarium is currently undergoing a large-scale renovation and is set to reopen on April 29, 2020.
When it reopens, visitors will be able to visit the new jellyfish area, called “Kurage Wonder” (Jellyfish Wonder), which will span 350㎡ in width and 40 meters in length. It will house the largest number of different species in western Japanーup to 20ーwith around 5,000 individual jellyfish to see, like the northern sea nettle and pacific sea nettle.
The area begins at 10 individual water tanks where you can see how moon jellyfish change and grow. It then moves onto the 6.5 meter circumference “GURURI” panorama tank which offers a 360° view of 1,500 moon jellyfish.
This tank is entered through an arch, which once you pass through leads you under the tank where your vision is filled with the sight of countless moon jellyfish.
The new “Kyoto Jellyfish Research Lab” has also been built where guests can observe the staff breeding and researching jellyfish on a day-to-day basis. Enjoy hearing how the jellyfish are cared for behind the scenes while chatting together with the staff. Various other activities you can participate in will be introduced in the future too.
Discover the wonderful world of jellyfish at the newly-renovated Kyoto Aquarium.
Address: 35-1 Kankijicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
Reopening: April 29, 2020
Access: 15-minutes on foot west from Kyoto Station’s Central Exit / 7-minutes on foot from Umekōji-Kyōtonishi Station via the JR San’in Main Line
Official Website: https://www.kyoto-aquarium.com/en/
Pokémon Shirts Adds 100 New Designs & Introduces Kid’s Shirts
To celebrate one year since launching, Pokémon Shirts has announced its plans to add 100 new designs based on the Pokémon that appear in Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver. It is also introducing shirts to children, which can be enjoyed as gifts or for dressing up together with parents.
100 New Shirt Designs: Pokémon Gold and Silver
100 new original prints of Pokémon from the Gold and Silver games are being added to the stock, which customers have full customisation over including the collar, under collar, sleeve lining, main body, and pocket. These made-to-order shirts can also be combined with the 151 Pokémon from Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue for even more customisation.
Custom Example (Smoochum)
Custom Example (Totodile & Dratini)
Custom Example (Skiploom & Jumpluff)
Pokémon Shirts is also holding online pre-sales for 20 of the 100 new shirts being introduced. This pre-sale period is running from February 29 to March 2, where it will end at 11:00 (JST) on the final day. Those who purchase one of the shirts during this pre-sale period will receive a buttonhole handkerchief and a code for free shipping on their next order.
Kid’s Shirts Arrive
To further spread the love of their customisable shirts, Pokémon Shirts is introducing kid’s sizes.
Kid’s shirts arrive in a Pichu box
Kid-size shirts also feature a Pichu tag
The same online pre-sale campaign is running for children’s sizes too.
Adults who grew up playing Pokémon, and kids who are now growing up playing the games can coordinate their own Pokémon outfits together!
©2020 Pokémon. ©1995-2020 Nintendo / Creatures Inc. / GAME FREAK inc.
Pokémon, ポケットモンスター, and ポケモン are registered trademarks of Creatures Inc. and GAME FREAK inc.
Online Pre-sales: February 29, 2020 at 8:00 A.M. (JST) to March 2, 2020 at 11:00 A.M. (JST)
Adults: From ¥10,000 (Before Tax) (Does not include shipping charge / +¥700 for every new customised part)
Children: From ¥8,000 (Before Tax) (Does not include shipping charge / +500 for every new customised part)
Official Website: https://pokemon.originalstitch.com/en/
Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Dashes Past $200 Million in Box Office
It has been revealed that the Sega-published Sonic the Hedgehog movie has broken $200 million in the box office worldwide. The film was distributed by Paramount Pictures.
Sonic the Hedgehog was released worldwide on February 14, 2020. It hit up 4,167 theatres in the US, and in its three-day weekend debut amassed $58 million, breaking Detective Pikachu‘s record ($54.3 million) for the biggest opening weekend for a movie adapted from a video game.
In its second weekend, the film made $26 million and retained its top spot in the box office. After 10 days, it had garnered $107.7 million in the US and $102.2 million elsewhere for a total of $209.9 million.
Sonic the Hedgehog will be released in Japan on March 27, 2020.
©︎2019 PARAMOUNT PICTURES AND SEGA OF AMERICA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Released: February 14, 2020 (Japan: March 27, 2020)
Official Website: https://www.sonicthehedgehogmovie.com/
Doraemon Manga’s 50th Anniversary Celebrated With Kawaii Confections by Tabemas
Character-inspired Japanese confectionery series Tabemas is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Doraemon manga series with two adorable new confections which will release at Lawson convenience stores around Japan on March 3, 2020.
Tabemas Doraemon 2020 Chocolate Flavour – ¥285 (Tax Included)
Tabemas have produced Doraemon confections before to huge popularity amongst fans, and this time around he’s got a new facial expression. There’s also a special “Ganso Doraemon” version.
Tabemas Doraemon 2020 (Ganso Doraemon Ver.) Custard Flavour – ¥285 (Tax Included)
Ganso Doraemon, who was born in the future, is a bright yellow colour with cute ears. Both confections sit plump and adorable, and each have little Doraemon details like the bell, whiskers, and a tail.
The sweets are also made with a dough called “nerikiri” which is used in making traditional Japanese wagashi sweets. Doraemon is chocolate flavoured while Ganso Doraemon is custard flavoured. Perfect for snacks and would look great on an Instagram feed!
Tabemas Doraemon 2020
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Available: At chilled desserts section of Lawson convenience stores across Japan
*Not available at Natural Lawson or Lawson Store 100
*Available while supplies last
*Stock date may differ from branch to branch
*Select stores not participating
Product Page: https://www.bandai.co.jp/candy/tabemas/doraemon3/
Osaka Hirakata Park’s ‘Time Travel Fantasy’ Illumination Event Extended to Spring
29.February.2020 | SPOT
Hirakata Park’s “Hikari no Yuenchi” illumination event, which has been running for the autumn and winter season and is set to finish on March 1, 2020, is being extended into the spring season due to its huge popularity. The spring period will run from March 20 to April 7.
The theme of this year’s Hikari no Yuenchi is “Time Travel Fantasy.” Dazzle your eyes with a bright selection of breathtaking illuminations inside the event’s four areas, such as the lights along Time Travel Fantasy Street where the symbol of the parkーa 10-meter tall treeーstands gloriously, or the Illumination Flower Garden. The blue and purple winter colours of the lights will change into springtime pinks, greens, and yellows.
Illumination Flower Garden
Flowering illuminations will twinkle atop the hill in spring pastel colours like cherry blossom pinks, fresh verdure green, and rape blossom yellows.
The dazzling delights of the winter season will continue into the spring period, like the 24 different night attractions, and the illumination food too like the “shining bubble tea.” We also recommend taking advantage of the “Night Fee,” which sees a special entry price open from 16:00.
Enjoy the cool spring breeze and gorgeous Japanese illuminations at Hirakata Park this March.
Hirakata Park Hikari no Yuenchi
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 7, 2020
Address: 1-1 Hirakatakoencho, Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture
Illumination Times: 17:30-20:30
Official Website (English): http://www.hirakatapark.co.jp/en/
Event Page (Japanese): http://www.hirakatapark.co.jp/illumination/
Who-ya Extended Release Psycho-Pass 3: First Inspector Opening Theme ‘Synthetic Sympathy’ Music Video
Who-ya Extended is a creative unit centred around 20-year-old vocalist Who-ya who, despite having little information made public, made their name known with the release of their debut track Q-vism which serves as the opening theme for the TV anime series Psycho-Pass 3.
Who-ya Extended’s new song Synthetic Sympathy, which will feature as the opening theme for the upcoming film Psycho-Pass 3: First Inspector, will be released digitally on March 9, 2020. For fans who can’t wait that long, they can check out the new music video that was just released for it on Thursday.
The music video expresses the chaotic lyrics of Synthetic Sympathy, the theme of which is also conveyed in Psycho-Pass.
©Psycho-Pass Production Committee
Enjoy Japanese Shabu-Shabu Solo With Yamawarau’s New Spring Menu Dish
28.February.2020 | FOOD
Yamawarau is a chain of restaurants serving shabu-shabu, a style of Japanese hot pot, which uses carefully-selected domestic meat and seasonal vegetables for its dishes. This spring, the restaurant is releasing a new seasonal-exclusive dish on March 9, 2020.
Yamawarau offers an environment where customers can enjoy shabu-shabu alone or in groups. Their round tables make it comfortable for either of these situations. The restaurant welcome both Japanese and foreign guests who flock to try their famous shabu-shabu dishes.
Spring Herb Sakura Shrimp & Yonezawa Pork Broth Shabu – ¥1,700 (Before Tax)
The new seasonal dish, available this spring only, is called the “Spring Herb Sakura Shrimp & Yonezawa Pork Broth Shabu.” The exquisite broth is a tasty combination of light soy sauce and kombu dashi. This herb-fragrant broth is packed with sakura shrimp, which is desiccated to intensify the smell and flavour. Added veggies include a mix of fresh greens, including arugula, watercress, and oregano. The bowl also contains spring herbs, spring onions and cabbage in season, and more.
The pork loin used is in fact a brand of pork, known as “Yonezawa Buta Ichiban Sodachi,” which has an exquisitely refreshing flavour. The soft pork loin goes perfectly with the sakura shrimp and spring vegetables.
Enjoy a classic shabu-shabu meal in Japan this spring at any branch of Yamawarau, including Omotesando, Ginza, and Nagoya LACHIC.
Spring Herb Sakura Shrimp & Yonezawa Pork Broth Shabu (Available Spring 2020 Only)
Running: March 9, 2020 – April 26, 2020
Served at: Yamawarau
Yamawarau (Omotesando Branch): 2F, 4-9-4 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Yamawarau (Ginza Branch): 3-8-4 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Yamawarau (Nagoya LACHIC): LACHIC 8F, 3-6-1 Sakae, Naka-Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Official Website: http://yama-warau.jp/
SHISHI-IWA HOUSE in Nagano Prefecture Makes Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “2020 It List”
28.February.2020 | SPOT
SHISHI-IWA HOUSE, a “boutique resort” located in Karuizawa, Nagano, has made it into the “2020 It List” of American travel magazine Travel + Leisure.
Travel + Leisure is a New York-based travel magazine. “The Best New Hotels in the World (The It List)” shines a light on hotels around the world that have newly-opened or have been renovated that year.
The “2020 It List” has placed 72 establishments around the world in its ranking. Ten of these are located in Asia, with two being in Japan: SHISHI-IWA HOUSE and Aman Kyoto.
SHISHI-IWA HOUSE opened in February 2019. Described as a boutique resort, this hotel was built by internationally-acclaimed Japanese architect Shigeru Ban who won the 34th Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2014ーthe most prestigious award in modern architecture. The unique hideaway blends together nature and architecture, and is built in such a way as to strengthen the bonds between people.
The resort accommodation has two floors, and a unique structure which makes it look curved. It has ten individual rooms and three terraces. All the rooms enjoy a breathtaking view of the gardens which enjoy gorgeous scenery all year around. It’s home to over 250 trees, including cherry blossoms, maples, and evergreens. You can also see Mount Asuma from all rooms.
Planning a trip to Nagano? Why not book to stay at this little hideaway?
Address: 2147-646 Nagakura, Karuizawa, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano
Official Website (English): http://www.shishiiwahouse.jp/index_en.html
Blade of the Immortal -Immortal- Anime Promotional Visual Revealed For Television Broadcast
28.February.2020 | ANIME&GAME
Blade of the Immortal is an internationally-celebrated manga series written and illustrated by Hiroaki Samura. It has sold over 5.8 million copies and has spawned anime series as well as a live-action adaptation.
Blade of the Immortal -Immortal- is the latest adaptation of the series, and is currently airing on Amazon Prime Video. It has been announced that the series is heading to television in Japan and will premiere on TOKYO MX and MBS on April 7, 2020. A new logo was unveiled in promotion of its release.
©️Hiroaki Samura・Kodansha / “Blade of the Immortal -Immortal-” Production Committee
Blade of the Immortal -Immortal- (Television Broadcast)
Broadcast Date: April 7, 2020 (TOKYO MX – 1:35 A.M. / MBS – 3:30 A.M.)
*Broadcast time and date subject to change
Blade of the Immortal -Immortal- (Digital Broadcast)
Initial Broadcast: October 10, 2019 on Amazon Prime Video
Official Website: https://mugen-immortal.com/
Japan Coronavirus: Tokyo Disneyland® and DisneySea® To Close Temporarily Until March 15
28.February.2020 | SPOT
Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea will be temporarily closed until March 15 to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus. Japan’s Coronavirus Countermeasures Taskforce has advised that there is a high risk of spreading the infection at large-scale sports and culture events and facilities where large numbers of people travel from across the country and congregate in one area. As many facilities and events in Tokyo are being restricted, postponed and even cancelled over the next two weeks, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea announced that both parks will close temporarily from February 29 – March 15, 2020.
The parks plan to reopen on March 16, 2020, however this will be decided following consultation with concerned administrative agencies and will be announced on their official website. If you have already purchased tickets which are valid during the parks’ closing dates, please refer to the links below.
Tokyo Disney Resort Official Website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html
Tokyo Disney Resort Online Tickets and Reservations: https://reserve.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/top/?language=en
Tokyo Station’s White Day Fair Loaded With Loving Gifts and Souvenirs
Tokyo Station’s two shopping centresーGRANSTA, which is inside the ticket gates, and GRANSTA Marunouchi, which is outside themーare holding a White Day Fair which started the day after Valentine’s Day and will run until March 14, 2020.
In Japan, Valentine’s Day usually sees girls and women giving chocolate to guys and men, which can be for both friendship or love. On White Day, the opposite happens, where guys and men are expected to repay the favour. GRANSTA and GRANSTA Marunouchi have the perfect assortment of gifts and accessories that are sure to please any girls this White Day.
Tasty treats to return the favour
These visually-appealing picks are perfect for expressing your thanks to friends and coworkers.
Tokyo Station Exclusive: Mini Pigeon & Heart Biscuits – ¥880 @ Fairycake Fair (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: From February 15, 2020
These cute tiny tins from Fairycake Fair are packed with crunchy and milky pigeon and heart biscuits and mini lemon yoghurt-flavoured meringues. They’re a brand new product from the confectionery shop.
Tokyo Station Exclusive: Strawberry Pie Burger – ¥864 @ Kyobashi Senbikiya (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: February 20, 2020 – March 14, 2020 (*30 served per day)
Adorably cut into love hearts, these pies are lovingly filled with cream, which has a subtle eggy flavour, and cream cheese
White Day Selection – ¥3,672 (Contains 9) @ Pierre Marcolini (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: From March 1, 2020 while supplies last
An assortment of chocolates from popular chocolate brand Pierre Marcolini, named after the famous Belgian chocolatier, which is sure to make anyone happy. It includes a new chocolate called the “Gradation Cool.”
Impress with these little gems
Here’s a selection of gifts other than sweets that are great for those seeking something unique that no one else will buy.
Truffle Salt – ¥1,296 – @ DEAN & DELUCA (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: Now on sale
This blended salt is a mix of summer truffle and natural sea salt. The absolute perfect gift for someone who loves cooking.
Dashi Stock – ¥1,080 @ Kayanoya (GRANSTA Marunouchi Floor B1F) / Available: Now on sale
An assortment of Kayanoya’s popular “Kayanoya Dashi” and their flavour-packed “Kiwami Dashi.” A great pick for those who want to return the favour with something out of the ordinary.
uka nail oil 13:00 – ¥3,300 @ FruitGATHERING (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: Now on sale
Scented with refreshing mint and lemon and keeps your nails and skin nice and moist.
ecoffee cup-WILLIAM MORRIS – ¥2,310 Each @ Neue (GRANSTA Marunouchi Floor B1F) / Available: Now on sale
These beautifully stylish, textile-design cups are reusable, so you can take your coffee with you wherever and whenever.
Address: 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo (JR Tokyo Station Floor B1F-1F / Inside Ticket Gates)
Opening Hours: 8:00-22:00 (Until 21:00 on Sundays and the final day of consecutive public holidays)
*Opening hours differ from store to store
*GRANSTA’s new area is open 9:00-22:00 (Until 21:00 on Sundays and the final day of consecutive public holidays)
Address: 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo (JR Tokyo Station Floor B1F / Outside Ticket Gates)
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 (Until 21:00 on Sundays and the final day of consecutive public holidays)
*Opening hours differ from store to store
Mairunovich Manga Gets Live-Action Adaptation Starring Hinako Sakurai and Fuju Kamio
28.February.2020 | ANIME&GAME
Shojo manga magazine Margaret, which is published by Shueisha and known as the “bible” for young girls, is teaming up with online streaming service Hulu to adapt the magazine’s romance and drama series into dramas. The collaboration is called “Margaret Love Stories.”
The news that three series have been green-lit for live-action adaptations already has fans excited. This includes Zakuri Sato’s Mairunovich (serialised 2010-2014) which has sold over 3.2 million copies over 12 volumes, Ayumi Komura’s Kami-sama no Ekohiiki (2017-2018), and Miyoshi Tōmori’s A Devil and Her Love Song (2007-2011).
The first of these series to be adapted will be Mairunovich, which will be released digitally in autumn this year. The live-action will star Hinako Sakurai and Fuju Kamio as the main characters.
Hinako Sakurai will play the part of Kinoshita Mairu, a high school girl who blames her unpopularity on how ugly she finds herself. She is bullied by her classmates for the style of her hair, which they liken to a “Poison Mushroom,” and because of her thick glasses. Feeling unconfident with herself, like all doors have been shut, she meets her saviour who will help her transform into a cute girl and rush headlong into life, love, and positivity.
Fuju Kamio is playing the part of Mairu’s saviourーthe most handsome boy in school, Kumada Tenyu, who will help to transform her into a beautiful girl that will make every student in the school do a double take. Though this good-looking boy has a sharp tongue, he has a kind heart. Kamio is set to take on the role of this hero, whom all the girls can’t resist.
The story focuses on these two characters in the series’s first-ever live-action adaptation. It’s a story about the height of youth, the feeling of falling in love, and the fear of trusting yourself to another.
Speaking about her role as Mairu, Hinako Sakurai said: “I went and read the manga when it was decided I would play the role of Kinoshita Mairu. Because of Mairu’s very plain looks, she’s left out at school. They bully her and call her a poison mushroom. But she experiences numerous forms of love, and she gradually becomes a gleaming young girl, which was wonderful to see. What does it mean to fall in love with someone? She gets hurt, but strives for love. I found myself naturally cheering her on. I’ll be sure to work hard so that she becomes a heroine loved by all who watch the show!”
Fuju Kamio also spoke of his role as Tenyu, saying: “[He’s] the most handsome guy in school. He’s a hard person to figure out, and a high school student a little different from the rest due to his confidence when it comes to makeup. I’ve never really thought about makeup much in my life up to now, but I’ll give it earnest consideration for the role. I hope I can convey the relationship between him and Mairu honestly, as well as how he provides help to her, and the concealed kindness in his heart.”
©︎Zakuri Sato / Shueisha
Shueisha Margaret x Hulu – “Margaret Love Stories”
1st Series: “Mairunovich” – Hulu Original
Release Date: Autumn 2020 on Hulu (8 Episodes)
Official Website: https://www.hulu.jp/static/mairunovich/