Attack on Titan Playing Cards Win Big at the Ani-Monozukuri Awards 2022
02.October.2022 | ANIME&GAME
At the 5th annual Kyoto Ani-Monozukuri Awards 2022, a collection of Attack on Titan playing cards made in traditional Japanese style took the Gold Prize in the Craft Design category. In Japanese, monozukuri means ‘to make something by hand.’
The Kyoto Ani-Monozukuri Awards aims to revitalize business between the anime industry and local companies and organizations. It honors outstanding collaborative products, inviting those with a creative streak to try their luck at designing something uniquely anime-inspired. This year’s awards show saw 157 total entries, with one winning the grand prize, seven winning both gold and silver, and six winning bronze.
Charaditional Toys was launched this year, and the company aims to create items for adults who love anime characters. The Gold Award was granted to the company after judges were inspired by the traditional Japanese craftsmanship and high quality shown in the final product. Made by Oishi Tengudo, a company founded in Kyoto in 1800, the cards were made using classic methods. These 48 original playing cards are like nothing fans of Attack on Titan have seen before.
A second project is scheduled for release in winter 2022, so stay tuned!
©諫山創・講談社／「進撃の巨人」The Final Season製作委員会
Attack on Titan x Original Playing Cards
Price: Wooden Box Version ¥3,800 / Framed Version ¥18,000 (Both Excluding tax)
Keyakizaka Lights, a Tokyo Winter Tradition, to be Held Again in 2022
02.October.2022 | SPOT
From November 11 until December 25, 2022, Roppongi Hills Christmas will cover Tokyo in glittering lights once again. The Keyakizaka Lights, one of Tokyo’s most popular winter attractions, will also take place in 2022, with the 400-meter-long Keyakizaka street covered in over 800,000 blue and white LED lights.
For the first time in three years, the Mohri Garden will be covered in lights as well. The annual Christmas market will invite guests to experience an authentic German Christmas, and Christmas cakes and gourmet food unique to Roppongi Hills will be for sale.
The Roppongi Hills Christmas event utilizes LED lights and has done so since the first event was held in 2003. Clean power will be used again this year, and the lights will be switched on from 5 PM until 11 PM each night.
Roppongi Hills Keyakizaka Lights
Running: November 10 – December 25, 2022 *Daily from 5:00 – 11:00 PM
*Lights may begin at a different time on November 10 only.
Location: Roppongi Keyakizaka Street
Official Site: https://www.roppongihills.com
Japan’s Largest Fireworks Show Opens with 800 Drones and 45,000 Fireworks
01.October.2022 | SPOT
To promote the 2025 Osaka Expo, hundreds of drones and thousands of fireworks lit up the sky at the planned site for the event. SKYMAGIC LIVE PTE. LTD., known for creating original shows using drones, put on the show on Yumeshima, a man-made island in Osaka’s Konohana Ward on September 25, 2022. The event was the first large-scale outdoor drone show in the Kansai region, with 800 LED-equipped drones flying through the night sky.
Nearly 15,000 visitors were in attendance at this spectacular event. The event aims to promote a hopeful future in which Japan thrives after the impact of the pandemic, and also aims to promote the upcoming Expo to people around the world. 45,000 fireworks were set off, marking one of the largest fireworks displays in Japan. Launched to rid the area of bad luck, guests will likely never forget the unique display of futuristic technology and traditional fireworks.
As the fireworks show began, countless drones took off one after another into the sky. As many would expect, Myak Myak, the official character of the Osaka/Kansai Expo, appeared above the crowd, standing 135 meters tall and 80 meters wide. A countdown to the Expo appeared after, with the Let’s Go Expo 2025 logo shining in the sky, made entirely by synchronized drones.
Archived live footage of the event is also available.
Ryota Shirahama, chairman of the event’s organizing committee, made a comment regarding the impressive event. “Japan’s resurgence is about to begin,” he said. “The world has been looking down, and we want it to look up. We want people to look towards the future–that’s the goal of this project. Yes, there was a pandemic. But like the phoenix seen during the drone show, we can start over. I hope that those who saw the show will be inspired to take a new step forward.”
Let’s Go Expo 2025 Countdown 3 ~Yumeshima Fireworks~
VTuber Shibuya HAL Releases Music Video for The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting Ending Theme
VTuber Shibuya HAL has released the music video for Kaerimichi no Iro, the ending theme for the anime series The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting. The final episode of the series aired on September 22, 2022. This is Shibuya HAL’s first single to be used for an anime tie-in!
The music video is incredibly peaceful, with the visuals drenched by the orange glow of a setting sun. It features a new illustration of the VTuber by Tsukiya, the original author of The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting. Fans will recognize live-action street scenes from Shibuya, and an incredible amount of detail in this new release!
Music Video: https://youtu.be/ZvOqFiiIPCI
The anime series The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting has become incredibly popular with audiences around the world, and all 12 episodes are currently available to stream. Be sure to check out the manga series in Comic ELMO!
Kaerimichi no Iro
Release Date: August 31, 2022
Rina Sawayama’s New Album Debuts at #3 on UK Charts, a First for a Japanese Artist
Born in Niigata and living in London, international singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama released her second album Hold The Girl on September 16. Incredibly, the album debuted at #3 on the UK Albums Chart, marking a record achievement for the artist.
This is the first time in history that a Japanese artist has reached #3 on the UK Album Chart. Sawayama expressed her joy on social media, thanking anyone who bought or streamed her music in the past.
Hold The Girl also hit #1 in weekly analog record sales in the UK, and reached #1 in the alternative genre on both iTunes and Apple Music in Japan.
Sawayama has also announced that she will hold her first solo Japan tour in January 2023, stopping in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka.
Hold The Girl
On Sale Now
Official Site: https://www.universal-music.co.jp/rina-sawayama
Idol Group Cho Tokimeki Sendenbu to Perform Ending Theme for Shadowverse Flame Anime Series
On November 9, 2022, idol group Cho Tokimeki Sendenbu will release their new single STAR, which will be used as the ending theme for the anime series Shadowverse Flame. The second series to be inspired by Cygame’s card-battling game Shadowverse, Shadowverse Flame follows Light Tenryu, a Shadowverse newbie, as he and his friends fight card battles and level up. Produced by ZEXCS and directed by Keiichiro Kawaguchi, the series began broadcasting Saturdays at 10:00 AM this April.
The ending theme, STAR, is a cheery song meant to encourage listeners to chase after their dreams. On October 22, the idol group Cho Tokimeki Sendenbu will hold its largest solo concert ever at Makuhari Messe.
In a surprise video posted on Cho Tokimeki Sendenbu’s social media, the girls announced that they would perform the ending song. All of the members seem overjoyed to be performing a song for an anime series, something they’ve never done before. Aki Suda is so happy, she starts crying tears of joy.
STAR is available to stream now, and fans will be able to purchase a limited-edition disc version at the mu-mo shop. This special release will include the STAR music video, the making of the song, and live footage from the group’s concert held in May 2022.
Release Date: November 9, 2022
Official Site: https://toki-sen.com/contents/552332?tag=all
BE:FIRST Starts Nationwide Tour Featuring 29 Shows in 17 Cities, Announces Additional Dates
BE:FIRST, the 7-member boy band created from winners of SKY-HI’s 6-month “THE FIRST” audition, has continued to rise the ranks in the Japanese pop music world. The group has just started its first nationwide tour, ‘BE:FIRST 1st One Man Tour “BE:1” 2022-2023,’ which will see the boys perform 29 shows in 17 cities. The tour began in Hiroshima on September 23.
The group released its first album, BE:1, on August 31, and it immediately reached the top slot on the Billboard Japan Overall Albums Chart. At the first stop on the tour, the boys performed plenty of tracks from the album, including Bye-Good-Bye which has been streamed over 100 million times. They also sang the album’s leading track Scream and Message, their first love song. As BE:FIRST’s popularity soars, the group announced two additional shows to take place in Tokyo and Osaka. Keep an eye on what they do next!
January 26, January 27, 2023 – Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo
January 31, February 1, 2023 – Osaka-Jo Hall, Osaka
BE:FIRST Nationwide Tour / Additional Shows
Special Tour Website: https://befirst.tokyo/tour/be1/
Popular YouTuber Shou Takeyaki Sings The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting’s Opening Theme
The music video for Mirai no Hero Tachi e, the opening theme song for the anime series The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting, has been released on Sho Takeyaki’s YouTube channel. The track was the first anime song performed by the popular YouTuber, who has amassed over 2 million followers.
The music video was directed by Nora Inu, known for also directing Nanawo Akari’s music videos. The video is a retrospective of Sho Takeyaki’s journey to adulthood, interspersed with old photos. Fans won’t want to miss it!
Comment from Shou Takeyaki
“My name is Shou Takeyaki, and I performed the theme song for The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting.
The lyrics of this song relate to the anime series so well–I thought it was a perfect fit when I heard about it. I still remember when I finally saw the track overlap with the anime opening footage. That’s when it felt real.
It’s a great song and was created with some incredibly talented musicians, so I hope you’ll listen when you get a chance!”
The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting manga series has sold over 1 million copies, and the anime series is now available to stream. Be sure to check out the manga on Comic ELMO.
Mirai no Hero Tachi e
Release Date: August 17, 2022
Enako and P Maru-Sama Collaborate on Onimai: I’m Now Your Sister! Anime Opening Theme
The popular manga series Onimai: I’m Now Your Sister!, currently serialized in Monthly Comic Rex, will be adapted into an anime series in 2023. Nekotofu’s series has sold over 500,000 copies since 2019.
The comedy follows Mahiro Oyama, an otaku living with his younger sister Mihari, a scientist. One day, he wakes up in the body of a young girl as a result of Mihari’s experiments. Learning to live as a middle school girl, the series is full of hilarity and nonsense and is sure to adapt well to the small screen. The manga series ranked fifth in Da Vinci’s Next Manga Award 2018 in the web manga category and ranked ninth in the Web Manga Overall Election 2019. It also ranked third in AnimeJapan’s Manga We Want to See Animated Ranking in 2020.
Multi-genre entertainer P Maru-sama and cosplayer Enako are teaming up to perform the anime’s theme song Identeitei Meltdown. Enako has been featured on 70 magazine covers and won the 2022 Cover Girl Award, while P Maru-sama has received an incredible 1.9 billion video views on his YouTube channel.
Marika Kono, Kaori Ishihara, Hisako Kanemoto, and Minami Tsuda–the four main voice actresses–will sing the ending theme, Himegoto, under the group name Onimai Sisters.
The opening and ending theme CDs will be released simultaneously on February 15, 2023. Will you be watching the series next year?
Comment from Enako
“I’ll be working with P Maru-sama to create the opening theme for the anime series Onimai: I’m Now Your Sister!
Identeitei Meltdown is an absolutely adorable and speedy duet, and I hope that this peppy track makes people super excited for the series!
Be sure to watch Onimai along with me!”
Comment from P Maru-sama
“I’m so thankful to be asked to participate in the Onimai opening theme!
This song is super cute and super energetic, and I’m so happy I could sing with Enako herself! I’m looking forward to watching the anime! Hooray!!!”
Release Date: February 15, 2023
Official Anime Site: https://onimai.jp
MATZ, NIJISANJI EN and SURAN Perform at ULTRA JAPAN 2022
Popular artist and producer MATZ has worked on songs for a number of popular artists, including BE:FIRST, NIJISANJI EN, SKY-HI, Kizuna Ai, and more. His major debut single, STAY feat. SURAN, was released this summer and reached the top spot on the iTunes Dance Single Chart. When the set list for ULTRA JAPAN 2022, a popular dance festival held for the first time in three years following the pandemic, was released on social media, fans immediately noticed that MATZ would be performing with NIJISANJI EN–a pairing many people never expected to see in real life.
When MATZ began his DJ set, the venue immediately burst into an excited frenzy, with guests obsessed with his song selection. SURAN appeared as a surprise guest–the South Korean artist collaborated with the producer on his debut single. Finally, NIJISANJI EN appeared, as MATZ played a special medley of NIJISANJI EN songs mashed up with high-tempo dance music, including two songs produced by MATZ himself. The performance blended sound with images of NIJISANJI EN members projected on huge screens, and many are predicting more crossovers with popular VTubers in the future. What will MATZ come up with next?
Release Date: July 27, 2022
Streaming Links: https://umj.lnk.to/matzstaysuran
New Planetarium Project in Oita Prefecture Highlights Sushi, Not Stars
30.September.2022 | SPOT
In Saiki City, located in the southernmost part of Oita Prefecture, visitors will find a unique project. For a limited time, guests can enjoy a sushi-netarium, where sushi–not stars–will be featured in the sky. Saiki City, where the event takes place, is a treasure trove of seafood thanks to the Bungo Channel and boasts the largest catch in Oita Prefecture. It’s also known as Oita’s premier sushi destination, with more than 350 varieties of ocean delicacies to enjoy each year. Saiki Sushi, made from fresh local fish, is known for its firm texture and for having just the right amount of fat. To promote this tasty dish throughout Japan, the interactive sushi-netarium promotion was created!
A Planetarium Experience Featuring Soothing Music and a Sky Filled with Sushi
The sushi-netarium is said to have a relaxing effect comparable to that of Beppu Onsen, the most famous tourist attraction in Oita. Those taking part will be able to see not only a sky filled with sushi, but a sushi meteor shower and the Gari Borealis. As you watch, it might become impossible not to crave sushi! Visitors will be able to take part in this special viewing at certain locations in Beppu City and at Oita Airport from September 22 until November 30. In a public announcement, the city invited guests to eat plenty of tasty local food and soak in the Beppu Onsen before enjoying the sushi-netarium to wrap up a wonderful day.
The Beautiful ‘Sushi Projector’
Check out these impressive projectors made exclusively for the sushi-netarium! These original sushi projectors in the shape of Saiki sushi are the only five such projectors in the world and come in the shapes of tuna, yellowtail, octopus, egg, and shrimp.
Come enjoy this strange sushi-centric activity in the south of Japan! Participating facilities are listed on the website below.
Saiki City presents Sushi-netarium
Running: September 22 – November 30, 2022
Venue: Accommodations in Beppu City, Footbath Space at Oita Airport
Target Space: Accommodations listed below, Oita Airport Footbath Space
teamLab Forest Fukuoka’s Interactive Digital Art Installation Gets Autumn Theme
Starting September 23, teamLab Forest Fukuoka will be transformed for the autumn season! The interactive digital art installation will feature animals made entirely of fall foliage, and guests can enjoy red and orange leaves fluttering through the one-of-a-kind 3D world.
teamLab’s prolific works are known for changing with the seasons. This autumn version of the popular exhibition will only be on display for a limited time, and visitors can use their
smartphones in the Catching and Collecting Forest to catch and collect the animals on display! The forest and ocean scenery will change as you explore, and starting on September 23, the trees will begin to show off beautiful autumn colors.
In the Forest of Movement, guests can enter the ‘Shifting Valley, Living Creatures of Flowers, Symbiotic Lives’ exhibit, where creatures made of autumn flowers exist in a three-dimensional space. The space is meant to make guests think about the cycle of death and rebirth, as flowers blossom and die each and every year.
The ‘Soft Terrain and Granular Topography’ will display tons of colorful grains raining down on visitors, while the ‘Flutter of Butterflies, Ephemeral Life’ will change the usual butterflies to have autumn colors as they fly around guests. This is a kind of autumn scenery you can’t see anywhere else, so be sure to come to Fukuoka during this beautiful season!
teamLab Forest Fukuoka – SBI Securities Co., Ltd.
Venue: BOSS E・ZO FUKUOKA 5F (Next to Fukuoka PayPay Dome)
Address: 2 Chome-2-6 Jigyohama, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Official Site: https://www.teamlab.art/jp/e/forest/