Universal Cool Japan 2020 Finally Begins: Attack on Titan, Monster Hunter World & More

23.January.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

This year’s Universal Cool Japan finally opened at Universal Studios Japan on Tuesday, where it is set to run until June 28, bringing together the ‘cool’ aspects of Japan enjoyed by the rest of the world. Four internationally beloved franchises take the spotlight for 2020: Attack on Titan, Monster Hunter World, Detective Conan, and Lupin III.

 

A host of lucky guests were able to experience the attractions before anyone else. Today, we hear their review and comments of the all-new rides, attractions, live shows and restaurants centred around the four big contenders which serve to fully immerse fans in their incredible worlds.

 

Attack on Titan’s first XR ride

The Attack on Titan manga series has celebrated its 10th anniversary last year. For this year’s Universal Cool Japan, the internationally-acclaimed series welcomes its first ever XR ride, as well as its own “Survey Corps Diner.”

Guests wear VR goggles that transport them into a 360° rendering of the world of Attack on Titan, with life-size Titans appearing before their very eyes. Guests ride a roller coaster and fly alongside the Survey Corps. If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to soar up high with ODM maneuver gear, now’s your chance. The Attack on Titan XR Ride offers a thrill like no otherーone so tense you’ll be left wondering whether you will survive.

 

■Guest Comment

“It was so much fun! The visuals are breathtaking and connect superbly to the ride’s movements. I was completely immersed in the visuals; it really felt like I was riding a wagon. Eren and the Survey Corps members were so cool, and even the horses looked realistic. It was amazing!” (Woman, 20/Osaka Prefecture) *Translated from Japanese

The themed restaurant, “Attack on Titan Survey Corps Diner,” is so realistic to a quality you wouldn’t believe, with the Survey Corps members’ weapons and personal belongings left casually around the place. Guests can feel immersed as they listen to the conversations between the characters will chowing down on their meal, take a photo with life-sized versions of Levi and Hange, and more.

 

Detective Conan World’s two new attractions with Shuichi Akai have fans screaming

At Detective Conan World, fans can expect to see the appearance of the hugely popular character Shuichi Akai who is set to star in the upcoming animated film Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet (releasing April 17, 2020). Four rides and attractions can be enjoyed at Detective Conan World, including the manga series’ first-ever story-packed roller coaster named Detective Conan x Hollywood Dream: The Ride.

Guests can also look forward to joining Conan solve cases in Detective Conan: The Escape ~The Scarlet Bullet~, an escape game featuring an original story and a live performance by a real cast. Participants will make use of AR technology and solve the cases within the time limit to escape. Expect appearances from familiar faces too like Rachel Moore, Richard Moore, and others.

In Detective Conan x Hollywood Dream: The Ride, you’ll be placed in the passenger seat with Akai on the wheel who will use some extreme driving techniques to shake off the criminal. Look forward to plenty of thrills in this immersive experience.

 

■Guest Comment

“Not only do you solve cases, there’s also a gaming aspect to the challenges which require the use of the AR terminal. It’s also a team game where you work with others, so I enjoyed it with everyone else. A lot of characters make an appearance too, it was so cool.” (Female, 20/Osaka Prefecture) *Translated from Japanese

There’s also the Detective Conan Mystery Challenge in which guests take a hands-on approach to solve various incidents around the theme park. Harley Hartwell, Kazuha Toyama, and Tomoya’s love rival Momiji Ooka are also present in this game with in the form of a real-life cast.

Fans can also tuck into some mystery-themed food at the Detective Conan Mystery Restaurant which combines food and live entertainment. Fans reacted overwhelmingly to the appearance of Masumi Seraーthe sister of Akai. There’s also appearances from Amuro Tooru and Serena Sebastian too.

 

Lupin the Third: The Live

 

Witness a live cast playing the roles of the popular Lupin III, Daisuke Jigen, Goemon Ishikawa XIII, Fujiko Mine, and Koichi Zenigataーthe latter of which is trying to chase down Lupin. It features live entertainment by real cast members who will perform right before guests. The reaction to this live show has been overwhelming as guests feel like they are running through Delancey Street in New York with Lupin in this interactive story.

 

■Guest Comment

“I was amazed to have been able to see such an amazing show right in front of me. Lupin and the gang came from above, below, left, and right. There were too many good moments. I didn’t have enough eyes! <laughs>” (Female, 20/Hyogo Prefecture)

Last year’s Lupin III restaurant, Ristorante Amore, has received an upgrade for 2020. Experience being served by Lupin himself, with his gentle approach and know-how when it comes to getting with the ladies, and Goemon Ishikawa XIII, who is aloof and has terrible romance skills. They are serving up authentic Italian cuisine.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne XR WALK

The Monster Hunter video game franchise is loved the world over, and is appearing once more at Universal Cool Japan after two years. Use interactive VR technology and go hunting in the world of Iceborne, the hit expansion to Monster Hunter World, in an experience so immersive you’ll forget about the real world.

 

©Hajime Isayama・Kodansha / “Attack on Titan” Production Committee

©2020 Gosho Aoyama / Detective Conan Production Committee

© CRAP All rights reserved.

©Monkey Punch / TMS・NTV

©CAPCOM CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

書・SISYU

TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

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    13.September.2020 | ANIME&GAME / MOVIE / SPOT

    The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has announced that its inaugural temporary exhibition will be a retrospective honouring the internationally beloved and celebrated Academy Award-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. It will open on April 30, 2021.

    Photo by Joshua White JWPictures/©Academy Museum Foundation

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    Still Image, ‘Spirited Away’ (2001), Hayao Miyazaki © 2001 Studio Ghibli・NDDTM

    The lineup will showcase over 300 objects include original imageboards, character designs, storyboards, layouts, backgrounds, posters, and cels, all from the archives of Studio Ghibli. Fans of Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki’s works can look forward to seeing their favourite films celebrated such as My Neighbor Totoro (1988) and the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away (2001).

     

    Hayao Miyazaki Exhibition – What to Expect

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    Journey through the iconic “Tree Tunnel” conceived by Hayao Miyazaki for the film My Neighbor Totoro just like 4-year-old Mei does when chasing the mini Totoro.

     

    Creating Characters


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    Creating Characters will introduce Hayao Miyazaki’s many protagonists from such celebrated works as My Neighbor TotoroPrincess Mononoke, and more. This will include original character design illustrations as well as pieces never before exhibited outside of Japan.

     

    Making Of


    Imageboard, ‘Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’ (1984), Hayao Miyazaki © 1984 Studio Ghibli・H

    The Making Of section will illustrate Miyazaki’s early career and the founding of Studio Ghibli together with the deceased Isao Takahata, as well as the process of producing an animated feature film such as Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984). Early works showcased will include, but are not limited to, the television anime series Heidi, Girl of the Alps (1974) which Isao Takahata was also involved in as an animator, and The Castle of Cagliostro (1979).

     

    Creating Worlds


    Background Image, ‘Spirited Away’ (2001), Hayao Miyazaki © 2001 Studio Ghibli・NDDTM

    Creating Worlds will capture the contrast between beautiful, natural environments and industrial settings, a theme that Miyazaki often explores in his movies. This will include a look at original storyboards from Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986), as well as concept sketches and background images that offer a peek into the imagination of Miyazaki. It will also look at the famous bath house of Spirited Away, the underwater world of Ponyo (2008), and themes of ‘flying’ as seen in Porco Rosso (1992) and The Wind Rises (2013).

     

    Sky View Installation

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    Transformations

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    Magical Forest

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    Photo of Hayao Miyazaki by Nicolas Guerin

     

    Toshio Suziki, Studio Ghibli Producer & Co-Founder | Comment

    “It is an immense honor that Hayao Miyazaki is the inaugural temporary exhibition at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Miyazaki’s genius is his power of remembering what he sees. He opens drawers in his head to pull out these visual memories to create characters, landscapes and structures that are busting with originality. It is our hope that visitors will be able to experience the entire scope of Hayao Miyazaki’s creative process through this exhibition. I am deeply grateful to all those who have been instrumental in presenting this exhibition.”

     

    Bill Kramer, Academy Director | Comment

    “We could not be more excited to launch our new institution with the most comprehensive presentation of Hayao’s Miyazaki’s work to date. Honoring the masterful career of this international artist is a fitting way to open our doors, signifying the global scope of the Academy Museum.”

     

    Jessica Niebel, Academy Museum Exhibitions Curator | Comment

    “Hayao Miyazaki has a singular ability to capture how we perceive life, with all its ambiguities and complexities. It has been a privilege to collaborate with Studio Ghibli in creating an exhibition that will appeal to the most avid Miyazaki fan and those not yet familiar with his work.”

  • Universal Studios Japan Announces Halloween 2020 Event

    07.September.2020 | SPOT

    Halloween at Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is set to begin on September 18, 2020 when guests will see each area around the park transformed into Halloween mode with decorations, a spooky soundtrack, and more. Popular characters at USJ will also be dressed up in their Halloween outfits ready to greet guests.

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    EXILE NAOTO | Comment

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    Kenjiro Yamashita | Comment

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    Halloween food and merchandise

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  • Yoshiki Collaborates With Attack on Titan in New WONDA Coffee Commercial

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    Yoshiki becomes a Survey Corps member in the new commercial

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    Check out the commercial below.

     

    WONDA x Attack on Yoshiki Coffee Cans

    Limited edition cans of the Morning Shot coffee will also be sold, featuring Attack on Titan designs. Each can also has a QR code which when scanned will take you to a website to enter the serial code written on the can to win one of the Yoshiki designs as pictured below.

  • Universal Studios Japan to Release Snoopy, Elmo and Other Cute Character Face Masks

    06.August.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

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    Photos provided by Universal Studios Japan.
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    04.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

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    Doraemon Kid’s Set | ¥1,200 (Tax Included)


    Doraemon’s Pass Loop Cake | ¥800 (Tax Included)

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    Doraemon Frozen | ¥900 (Tax Included)

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    T-Shirts (Navy/White) | Folder Set | Mug
    Sold At: Space Fantasy Station

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    Follow Doraemon on an exciting journey on the STAND BY ME Doraemon 2 XR Ride!

     

    ©Fujiko Pro/2020 STAND BY ME Doraemon 2 Film Partners

  • Universal Studio Japan’s New ‘Stand By Me Doraemon 2’ XR Ride Opens in August

    08.July.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

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  • Universal Studios Japan’s ‘We are One’ Summer Festival Begins This July

    02.July.2020 | ANIME&GAME / MOVIE / SPOT

    Universal Studios Japan (USJ) reopened on June 19, 2020 after temporary closure as a result of COVID-19. The park is now running with strict measures in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, including practicing the 2m social distancing rule, making it mandatory to wear face masks, and so on. The park has posted a full video demonstration of the rules on their official website.

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    The peak moment of the parade will be when confetti rains down on guests in huge quantities. Flags can also be bought for the parade for the first time in this year. Performers and the park characters will be able to entertain guests at a distance while still connecting with them through the fun performances. A special “social distance” performance created in cooperation with the Osaka Prefectural Board of Education will also be part of the parade. This year’s parade plans to have guests dancing and smiling even more than previous years to lift some of that stress away and give them the fight and energy to continue into tomorrow.

     

    Universal Summer Parade: We Are One

    Put your hands into the air as the sun beats down and the floats arrive to a lively rhythm. ‘We are One’ is the catchphrase, so get your boogie on and explode with excitement together with the entertainers and park characters for a heated summer parade!

     

    Running: July 23, 2020 – August 27, 2020

    Location: Parade Route

    Time: One per day from 11:00am (approx 40 mins) 

    Buy yourself a parade flag for ¥500 and wave it around to the beat of the festival!

     

    Cool yourself off with some summer merch

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    Feel the Japanese festivities with the Universal Market

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    Left: Super Hot! Turkey Leg ¥1,000 / Centre: Peach Jelly Soda: ¥650 / Right: Frappe Sundae ~Strawberry & Blue Hawaii~ ¥750

    Since guest safety is the number one priority this summer, the park will not be holding its famous splash performance where guests are soaked with water by water shooters.

     

    Additionally, the parade will also not stop in any of the usual designated places and will instead keep on moving, meaning the parade can be enjoyed from anywhere along the parade route. Guests will be able to keep plenty of distance from others as they watch the parade.

     

    The park also released a statement on its ‘enhanced sanitation in park operations’ on its official website so you can find out more about what USJ is doing to tackle the COVID-19 spread.

     

    If you’re in Osaka this year, you can still enjoy summer at Universal Studios Japan with all the necessary precautions in place.

  • Attack on Titan Season 4 Trailer Reveals Final Battle and Film Officially Announced

    01.June.2020 | ANIME&GAME

    The first trailer for the highly-anticipated season four of Attack on Titan is finally here along with a new key visual. With the animation efforts moved to MAPPA, the new staff have also been revealed including Yuichiro Hayashi as the final season’s director.

     

    The following five statements were released from staff alongside the new trailer, including from Attack on Titan author Hajime Isayama, the final season director Yuichiro Hayashi, the season one director and seasons 2-3 chief director Tetsurō Araki, MAPPA’s CEO Manabu Otsuka, and WIT STUDIO’s CEO George Wada. All comments translated from Japanese by MMN.

     

     

    Hajime Isayama (Author, Writer and Illustrator, Attack on Titan)

    “With this, the entirety of Attack on Titan has been adapted into anime. For that, I give my heartfelt thanks to all of the readers who have supported the series up to now. The manga has been serialised more than 10 years, so we’ve been together for quite some time now. To director [Tetsurō] Araki, WIT STUDIO, everyone in the Storyboard Corps, and everybody else, I would like to thank you for giving me so many happy memories—so many I could die! I would like to continue making more amazing memories together with director [Yuichiro] Hayashi and everyone at MAPPA for the continuation of the Attack on Titan anime!”

     

    Yuichiro Hayashi (Director, Attack on Titan: The Final Season)

    “I have been given the responsibility of director for the final season. My heart has been pounding since we’re in the middle of a battle in the anime, and because this is such a huge series. We’ve kindly received full cooperation from everyone at WIT as well as director [Tetsurō] Araki. They have set everything up for us up this point. The quality of the series up to now is thanks to them. The staff have poured blood and sweat into their work. We will continue that as much as possible, and put our utmost best into what we do. So please look forward to the final season of Attack on Titan!!”

     

    Tetsurō Araki (Director, Attack on Titan Season 1 / Chief Director, Attack on Titan Seasons 2-3)

    “Our beloved anime series Attack on Titan will continue with an incredible battle formation formed of MAPPA and director Yuichiro Hayashi. We’ve been mutually exchanging information with them and holding meetings for quite a long time now. I’m positive they will piece this out, no doubt about it. We are also really looking forward to seeing the continuation of Eren and everybody else’s journey!”

     

    Manabu Otsuka (CEO, MAPPA)

    “Attack on Titan is a series loved by countless fans. It will continue with a great studio, and a team of outstanding creators. I feel motivated at the fact that the studio will be part of the series’s final season. I look forward to us freely forging the final battle.”

     

    George Wada (CEO, WIT STUDIO)

    “The final season of Attack on Titan has finally been announced!! It has taken a long time for us to prepare for this, but first and foremost, I’m extremely happy that we have arrived at this point. We laid the foundations for the greatest manga ever, and the greatest team ever will be adapting the final season. I have nothing but high hopes. To all of you out there, please look forward to it!!”

    The final chapter of Attack on Titan is nearly upon us. It seems only yesterday that the first season aired and took the world by storm.

    In the lead up to the final season, a movie entitled Attack on Titan: Chronicle has also been announced. Releasing on July 17, 2020, it will cover everything in the first three seasons of the anime series.

     

    Attack on Titan: Chronicle Trailer

     

    Attack on Titan: The Final Season Trailer

     

    ©諫山創・講談社/「進撃の巨人」The Final Season製作委員会

    ©諫山創・講談社/「進撃の巨人」製作委員会

  • Attack on Titan At-Home Puzzle Game Has You Surveying Ancient Ruins

    12.May.2020 | ANIME&GAME

    NAZO x NAZO Gekidan, a company in Japan that creates and produces interactive, real-life puzzle solving games, has made a new limited-time Attack on Titan themed game to be played from the comfort of your own home.

    The Story

    There is yet another mystery on our hands at the ancient ruins of Joypolis. We, the Survey Corps, have discovered new material from the relics we brought back that unravel the history surrounding those ancient ruins. You must put your heads together with your comrades with Eren, Armin, Mikasa, Hange, and Levi, and solve the mystery of the ruins!

    Tickets for the game are available via NAZO x NAZO Gekidan’s official website, and participants get a free folder as pictured aboveーa must grab collector’s item for fans of Attack on Titan. The game can be played on smartphones, and has both easy and challenging sections to it.

     

    ©Hajime Isayama・Kodansha / “Attack on Titan” Production Committee

  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Shirts and Ties Releasing This Spring

    18.April.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FASHION

    Japanese business apparel brand SMARTBIZ is teaming up with the action-RPG Monster Hunter World: Iceborne to release an original series of shirts and neckties.

    Neckties: 12 Designs

    Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Neckties – ¥1,900 Each (Before Tax)

    The collection of 12 ties to have you looking smart with their striped designs. Each features various motifs from the game such as monsters from the Monster Hunter bestiary, like Velkhana and Zinogre, as well as the weapon icon, and more, all of which are woven into nonchalant designs perfect for smart and business settings. The ties can also be washed in the washing machineーperfect for those hunters out there looking to clean up after a long day of hunting.

     

    Shirts: 4 Designs

    Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Shirts – ¥3,990 Each (Before Tax)

    The shirts are made from comfortable and stretchy knit fabric which make them great for wearing for long periods of time.

    Monster Hunter symbols are hidden inside the collars and cuff so you can still feel like a Hunter in a professional setting while looking the part. The shirts also don’t lose their shape so easily, so you don’t have to iron them after washing. But you do need to put them in a washing net before placing into the washing machine.

     

    ©CAPCOM CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Breaks 5 Million Sales Worldwide

    17.March.2020 | ANIME&GAME

    The Iceborne expansion for Capcom’s Monster Hunter World, which is available on the PlayStation®4 and Xbox One, and PC, has shipped over 5 million copies worldwide, both disc and download sales combined.

    Monster Hunter is a fantasy action RPG video game series that pits players against monsters in large open fields. The first game launched back in 2004 and established a completely new kind of co-op play style which allowed players to fight great beasts online with their friends. The series as a whole has sold over 62 million copies worldwide (as of March 13, 2020).

     

    Monster Hunter World launched last year for PlayStation®4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows. Thanks to its continuous updates since release, free weapons and equipment useful for clearing stories, and more, the game has built up a dedicated playerbase resulting int he game having shipped over 15 million copies worldwide (as of January 2, 2020).

     

    The Iceborne expansion dropped on consoles in September 2019 and on PC in January this year. It takes place after the events of World and continues the story. Players can discover new monsters as well as come across familiar favourites. The expansion received high praise from online reviewers upon its release, helping Monster Hunter to win three awards at the PlayStation® Awards 2019, including the PlayStation™ Network Award.

     

    Monster Hunter Riders was revealed at the end of January this year and released in Japan on February 19, 2020 for iOS and Android devices as a free-to-play title. It has garnered over 3 million downloads so far.

     

    A Hollywood live-action film for Monster Hunter will be released in the US on September 4, 2020.

  • Detective Conan Face Masks, Lipstick & Hand Cream Release in Collaboration With ALFACE+

    07.March.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FASHION

    Skincare brand ALFACE+ is teaming up with Detective Conan (Case Closed) to release a line of cosmetic products on April 1, 2020.

    Face Mask Conan & Haibara “Diamond Moisture” (Moisture) –  ¥300 for 1 / ¥1,500 for Box of 5 (Tax not included in both prices)

    This is the second face mask collaboration with ALFACE+. Four masks are available: the Conan and Haibara “Diamond Moisture (Moisture),” the Shinichi and Ran “Tropical Love (Firm Skin),” the Heiji and Kazuha “Botanical Amulet (Brightening Skin),” and the Bourbon and Vermouth “Golden Black (Clearing).”

    Shinichi & Ran “Tropical Love” (Firm Skin) –  ¥300 for 1 / ¥1,500 for Box of 5 (Tax not included in both prices)

    The Shinichi & Ran and Heiji & Kazuha face masks have cute marks of the characters on the cheeks. The Conan & Haibara face mask is black coloured while the Bourbon & Vermouth mask is black from the charcoal in it to represent the Black Organisation. All boxes of 5 face masks are coupled randomly with one of 8 possible stickers.

    Hand Cream (Conan Model) – ¥580 (Before Tax)

    Lipstick (Conan Model) – ¥580 (Before Tax)

    The hand creams and lipsticks have simple and stylish designs with references to each respective character. All the items in this series aren’t just for showーthey are high quality and work as you would expect from a skincare brand.

     

    Keep your face, hands and lips moisturised with the new Detective Conan cosmetic series by ALFACE+.

     

    ©Gosho Aoyama / Shogakukan・Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation・TMS 1996

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