Grace Aimi Signs With Capitol Records and Releases ‘Rainbow’ Music Video
02.June.2021 | MUSIC
Okinawa-born pop singer Grace Aimi dropped the music video for her 5th single Rainbow on Friday. This is only the second time she has appeared in her own music video, the first being her first single Eternal Sunshine. The video is directed by Takuto Shimpo who also directed Official HIGE DANdism’s Pretender and Laughter as well as Awich’s POISON. Shimpo also won Best Video Director at Space Show Music Award 2021.
Rainbow is a mysterious and soulful trap hop beat laced with pop-like R&B. Grace’s enchanting vocals sing about falling in love with a hotel bell boy.
Grace Aimi – Rainbow (Prod. Chaki Zulu) [Official Music Video]
Grace’s PICNIC EP, an R&B and groove fusion which has a bedroom pop vibe, features Rainbow as well as bitter sweet True Feelings in all its bluesy acoustic guitar glory, My Eyes which was featured in Apple Music US’s New in Pop playlist, her debut track Eternal Sunshine which explores the meaning of happiness, and more. Throughout the EP, Grace displays her skill at crafting unforgettable melodies, as well as her soft and delicate but always commanding vocal talent.
PICNIC is Grace’s first record following True Feelings in March to be released after signing to Capitol Records US. She is only the second Japanese person to receive support from the label – the other being Kyu Sakamoto. Her partnership with the label has seen an increase in exposure for her as she continues to be picked up and covered by US media. It’s only a matter of time before the world knows the name Grace Aimi and her vocal and songwriting gift.
Takuto Shimpo (Director, Rainbow Music Video) | Comment
“Rainbow has a cool and classical vibe to it, so I wanted to shoot Grace looking more cool than happy. Considering Grace’s background, I was aiming for something that combined both the east and west. Grace’s performance was nothing less than perfect, so the video turned out wonderfully.” (Translated from Japanese by MMN)
Grace Aimi | Comment
“I’d first like to give a huge thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart! Seriously, thank you so much for all your support! This new music video was shot by the same director who worked on my Eternal Sunshine video last year: Takuto Shimpo, my dear friend. The video is inspired by a famous movie – see if you can guess which one. I decided on the EP title as ‘PICNIC’ because I wanted people who listen to it to feel like they’re sitting in the summer sun having a nice picnic. Have a picnic while listening to this EP and have an amazing time. I want you all to hear even more great songs and works, so I’ll have fun working hard! Thank you for your warm cheers and support.” (Translated from Japanese by MMN)
Hello Kitty Promotes Messages of Protecting the Earth and the SDGs in Short Movie
A section of Deloitte Tohmatsu Group and FC Imabari’s educational book Watashi, Chikyu (Me, Earth) has been turned into a short movie featuring Hello Kitty. Released on YouTube on Wednesday, the video is aimed at elementary school children to educate them on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global initiative to create a sustainable future.
The 9-minute video takes Hello Kitty on a journey through earth’s life from 4.6 billion years ago, animal life on the planet, and the drastic changes that have come about from human activity.
At the end of the video, Hello Kitty has a message for kids: “I wanted to be in this so I can learn about what I can do for our future. I would love for this to get lots of people thinking about what they themselves can do, even if it ends up only being one person.”
#HelloSDGs Special Site: https://www.hellosdgs.com/
YOASOBI x UNIQLO UT T-Shirt Collab Collection Releasing This July
UNIQLO’s UT collection is a line of tees created in collaboration with other brands, anime, shows, and more. On July 2, UNIQLO is teaming up with the Japanese music duo YOASOBI to release an exclusive new collection.
YOASOBI, which is comprised of Ayase and ikura, made their debut in 2020 with their hit song Yoru ni Kakeru. Since then, their music has continued to top charts in JApan.
The collection is a fusion of fashion and music in women’s and kids designs featuring stills taken from seven of the duo’s iconic music videos including Yoru ni Kakeru, Halzion, Tabun, Gunjo, Haruka, Encore, and their new track Sangenshoku.
Women’s Tees | 7 Designs | ¥1,500
Kids Tees | 5 Designs | ¥990
To promote the collaboration, YOASOBI will also hold a free YouTube livestream on July 4 2021 at 6pm (JST). The online event is called “SING YOUR WORLD” and will see them perform live.
©藍にいな ©ラビットマシーン ©すばこ舎・山中琴美・村山辰徳・細矢祐輔 ©南條沙歩 ©しなの ©牧野惇
UT x YOASOBI
Release Date: July 2, 2021 (Japan) / August 2021 (Overseas)
UT x YOASOBI “SING YOUR WORLD” Live Stream
Date: July 4, 2021
Time: 18:00 (JST)
Watch Here: https://www.youtube.com/c/Ayase0404
Krispy Kreme Releases Summer Edition Doughnuts For a Limited Time Only
21.June.2021 | FOOD
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Japan is releasing two new doughnuts themed popular seals in the aquarium and a floating ring from June 23 until July 22.
Watermelon Slim Ring
Seal Custard is a seal motif donut. The surface of the fluffy dough coated with white chocolate and filled with custard cream using Hokkaido milk and vanilla beans. The charm point is a mouth drawn with milky and rich white chocolate on the face drawn with bitter chocolate. The charm point is a mouth drawn with a bitter chocolate on a face coated with milky and rich white chocolate.
Watermelon Slim Ring is a ring donut coated with white chocolate motif a large floating ring with a red pattern drawn with a juicy watermelon glaze. The colorful contrast of red and white gives you a summer-like breeze and sweetness.
Why don’t you try the adorable donuts that are perfect for the summer?
Seal Custard /Watermelon Slim Ring
Running: June 23, 2021- July 22, 2021
Available: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Japan
Harajuku’s New Snoopy Themed Cafe ‘PEANUTS Cafe SUNNY SIDE Kitchen’ to Open This Summer
The Snoopy-themed PEANUTS Cafe chain of cafes is set to open the all-new PEANUTS Cafe SUNNY SIDE Kitchen branch inside WITH HARAJUKU in Harajuku, Tokyo, this July, where it will serve an all-new, gorgeous healthy food menu.
The Peanuts franchise has been active in its marketing efforts in Japan this year, promoting messages of love and friendship, themes that are threaded through the globally-celebrated Peanuts comic strip.
PEANUTS Cafe SUNNY SIDE Kitchen keeps with those important themes, serving up a menu of healthy light food as well as sustainable products.
Their food line-up includes no-fry doughnuts, granola made with organic ingredients, open sandwiches stuffed with fresh vegetables, and more. The cafe also has its own collection of merchandise with kitchenware to promote healthy eating as well as environmentally-friendly and sustainable items.
If you’re staying in Tokyo and frequenting Harajuku but have had your fill of the district’s famous crepes, why not let Snoopy cook you up some healthy grub?
(C) 2021 Peanuts Worldwide LLC
PEANUTS Cafe SUNNY SIDE Kitchen
Location: WITH HARAJUKU
Grand Opening: Late July 2021
Official Website: http://www.peanutscafe.jp/
Rurouni Kenshin Hanko Stamp Collection Features Manga Designs
Japanese hanko stamp shop HANKOS released a new collection of hanko with designs of characters from the manga series Rurouni Kenshin on June 8, 2021. These order-made hanko stamps, which are used in place of signatures in Japan, let you pick your favourite character to be engraved along with your name or a word written in Japanese.
There are 31 designs to pick from and include familiar faces from the manga series, including the legendary assassin Himura Kenshin, kendo instructor Kamiya Kaoru, Kenshin’s best friend Sagara Sanosuke, and more.
Pick from three different fonts, such as a more classic hanko font or a cutesy design.
You can have your name, pen name, handle name, or a message engraved on your hanko such as “OK” or “Thank You.”
Each stamp comes with a case too in a box featuring Kenshin and his friends.
Rurouni Kenshin Hanko Collection
Released: June 8, 2021
Buy on Rakuten (Japan): https://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/hankos/rurounikensin/
Buy on Yahoo (Japan): https://shopping.geocities.jp/hankos/rurounikensin/
Tokyo Revengers Anime’s Takemichi Hanagaki and Mikey Figures by BANPRESTO Revealed
21.June.2021 | ANIME&GAME
BANPRESTO are set two release two new realistic figures of Takemichi Hanagaki and Mikey from the anime series Tokyo Revengers in July and August respectively at game centres in Japan.
The figures are detailed recreations of the two characters which look like they’ve jumped straight out of the anime. Everything from the facial expressions to the poses, winkles in their uniforms, and hair have been crafted with careful consideration. BANPRESTO describes the figures as being the same size “as the characters’ heads” from the anime series, so they sound pretty tall, and will make fine additions to any figure collection.
BANPRESTO is also releasing a collection of nine large-sized Tokyo Revengers towels over the next three weeks. The towels are 82cm x 50cm, so can be used for decoration as well as after you get done out the bath or shower.
Finally, the new line-up includes a series of plush toys too featuring chibi versions of the characters – perfect for hanging on your bag. All of these items are rolling out at game centres across Japan.
World’s First Cardboard Razor Released in Japan by BARBER SAKOTA x Kai
Kai Corporation and BARBER SAKOTA have teamed up to release the ‘world’s first’ cardboard razor. The first 100 people to purchase a BARBER SAKOTA t-shirt or cap at Tsutaya Books Daikanyama in Shibuya between June 15 and July 2 will receive a free one.
Kai Corporation is no stranger to manufacturing grooming products, but this speciality razor comes for those people who want a product that really lets them enjoy the satisfaction of their grooming routine.
The razor was also developed in line with the SDGs, resulting in a more sustainable product that opts for paper instead of plastic. The stylish designs come in various colours with street-style typography that reads ‘KAI.’
Kami Kamisori™ (Paper Razor)
Japanese Product Name: 紙カミソリ™
Available: June 15, 2021 – July 2, 2021
Where: BARBER SAKOTA Pop-Up Shop @ Tsutaya Books Daikanyama
Address: 17-5 Sarugakucho, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 9:00-20:00
Conditions: First 100 people to buy a BARBER SAKOTA t-shirt or cap
Official Website: www.kamikamisori.com
My Hero Academia Wind Orchestra Concert Announced in Tokyo
After a successful run back in August 2019, the My Hero Academia themed wind orchestra concert is set to return this year with a brand new show at Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre’s Concert Hall on July 17.
Yuki Hayashi (Composer)
Daiki Yamashita (Izuku Midoriya)
Nobuhiko Okamoto (Katsuki Bakugo)
My Hero Academia is an ongoing manga series by Kōhei Horikoshi’s serialised in Weekly Shonen Jump. It’s set in a world where 80% of people have special powers known as “Quirks.” In the story, people with Quirks aspire to become heroes to protect people and the society they live in. The fifth season of the series’ anime adaptation began airing in February, and a new anime film, My Hero Academia The Movie: World Heroes’ Mission, is slated for release this year.
The performance will see orchestral renditions of tracks by Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra that have been carefully selected from My Hero Academia‘s OST, which was originally composed by Yuki Hayashi. This will include popular songs instantly-recognisable to fans such as You Say Run and Watashi ga Kita!!. Hayashi himself will be present at the concert to talk about the songs, and there will even be a talk with Deku and Bakugo’s voice actors Daiki Yamashita and Nobuhiko Okamoto.
My Hero Academia Wind Orchestra Concert 2021
Date: July 17, 2021
Times: Doors 13:00 / Start 14:00
Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre Concert Hall
Ticket Release Date: July 3, 2021
Buy Tickets: http://heroaca-concert.jp
Dress Like EarthBound’s Ness With New Era’s Hat Collection
New Era has announced its first collaboration with the Mother video game series, also known as EarthBound outside Japan. Two hats, one inspired by Ness’s hat from Mother 2, and a ‘SMAAAASH!!’ version, will be released at the Mother no Hiroba pop-up shop at Shibuya PARCO as well as at participating TOCHIBI stores in Japan on July 1.
NEW ERA® 9FIFTY™ SMAAAASH!!/Ness – ¥7,700 Each (Tax Included)
Both hats feature New Era’s iconic 59FIFTY® model, which was first released in 1954, and feature the 9FIFTY™ snapback adjuster. One is coloured red and blue with a white top, just like Ness, and the other is full black with the word ‘SMAAAASH!!’ on the front.
The Mother no Hiroba pop-up shop will be open at Hobo Nichijo on the 8th floor of Shibuya PARCO in Tokyo from July 1 to 11. EarthBound fans can get their hands on a range of related merchandise.
©SHIGESATO ITOI / Nintendo ©HOBONICHI
MOTHER x New Era Collection
Released Date: July 1, 2021
Product Details: https://www.1101.com/n/s/mother2_newera_pre
MOTHER no Hiroba Pop-Up Shop
Running: July 1, 2021 – July 11, 2021
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
Location: Hobo Nichijo (Shibuya PARCO Floor 8F)
Address: 15-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo
Painfully Kawaii Sanrio Figures Feature the Characters Sleeping Peacefully
20.June.2021 | FASHION
Takara Tomy Arts is rolling out a new sleepy collection of Sanrio character figures at capsule toy machines in Japan this month.
The adorably dozing collection
Tuxedosam & Hello Kitty
The line-up includes Hello Kitty, Kerokerokeroppi, Pochacco, Badtz-Maru, and Tuxedosam with their heads leaning to the right, perhaps exhausted from being cute all day long. This is the first line-up in a series of these figures. And if you line more than one up together, it looks like they’re sleeping on each others’ shoulders.
©2021 SANRIO CO.,LTD. APPROVAL NO. S620286
Sanrio Character Sleeping Figures
Japanese Product Name: 肩ズンFig. サンリオキャラクターズ
Release Date: Mid June 2021
Price: ¥300 Per Turn (Tax Included)
Characters: Hello Kitty, Kerokerokeroppi, Pochacco, Badtz-Maru, and Tuxedosam
Available: Capsule toy machines in Japan
Product Details: https://www.takaratomy-arts.co.jp/specials/gachafig
Takara Tomy Arts Official Website: https://www.takaratomy-arts.co.jp/
VTuber Hanabasami Kyo Models For 42’s Autumn 2021 Collection
In promotion of the 2021 Autumn collection by unisex apparel brand 42, Virtual YouTuber Hanabasami Kyo has been chosen to model for the line-up.
Drop Shoulder Chester Coat
Triple Layered Foodie
RIB HALF ZIP SWEATSHIRT
Inline Wide Pants
The virtual and real worlds combine in Hanabasami Kyo’s lookbook for the collection which she looks super stylish in. All the items she is wearing are available to purchase, but some of the most popular ones have already sold out, so be sure to check the collection out ASAP.
As part of her collaboration with 42, a music video for the song paradøx (Kameria’s “fallaciøus” remix) was also released featuring Hanabasami Kyo on vocal. The track is remixed by Camellia and captures the aesthetic of the clothing collection.
paradøx (Camellia’s “fallaciøus” remix) – Hanabasami Kyo
42 (FORTYTWO) x Hanabasami Kyo
Official Website: https://42fortytwo.shop/
Access the Touken Ranbu -ONLINE- Exhibition Online This Summer
20.June.2021 | ANIME&GAME
The Touken Ranbu -Honmaruhaku- 2020 exhibition was originally set to take place in seven cities across Japan from January 2020 to March 2021. Dedicated to the PC browser and mobile game Touken Ranbu -ONLINE-, the event was only able to take place in Tokyo in January 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19, forcing all other dates to be cancelled.
Fans who were looking forward to the exhibition will be excited to hear that it has returned in an all-new online experience. The exhibition opened on the Japanese event app MiloQ+ on Wednesday and is now running until the end of July.
Touken Ranbu -Honmaruhaku- exhibition main visual
Map of the online venue
One of the exhibits
Real swords on display
Outfits, artwork, and commentary
5th anniversary area
Exhibits not to be missed
Mikazuki Munechika interactive image
One must-see area is a hallway lined with illustrations of 81 swordsmen. If you click on the image at the online exhibition, you’ll get more details about that character.
Toaru Honmaru map
Toaru Honmaru interactive images
Another exhibit not to be missed is a 1/100 scale diorama of Toaru Honmaru from the game. There are 49 interactive locations across the map which offer lots of interesting details.
Read through 314 different haiku poems, which are about Honmaru, in full CG.
Though the exhibition is taking place online, the venue itself is a real location in Aichi. The venue was prepared like an in-person exhibition and turned into a virtual experienc, so visitors can access it whenever they like.