Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn: U.C. 0096

Filed under: Tacos — S. @ 1:26 pm

Harutoshi Fukui (Samurai Commando) has been busy working on his new light novel series, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, in Japan for the past few years — the 7th volume just came out at the end of December. Taking place between the events of Char’s Counterattack and F91, we follow young colony student Banagher Links as he gets dragged into a developing conflict with the Neo Zeon — known as “The Sleeved” and led by Char look-a-like Full Frontal — after meeting a young noble girl named Audrey Burne. The RX-0 Unicorn Gundam uses psychoframe technology — see Zeta series — and any regular follower of a Gundam series knows how quickly events go from bad to worse when a new Gundam is constructed.

Recently it was announced that Sunrise will be animating the series for the coming Fall/Winter 2009 season. According to animeanime.jp, Sunrise is planning to release the series simultaneously worldwide.  It is unknown how Sunrise and its parent company, Bandai, currently plans to make this happen. Previously, the company attempted to launch SD Gundam Force which resulted in a dub-only release on TV and DVD in the U.S. while the Japanese version was slightly delayed for futher animation updates.

Clog show denied in Hong Kong over Feng Shui

Filed under: Tacos — S. @ 11:07 pm

My old college business professors would be using this story as a case study in cultural relations.

HONG KONG, China (AFP) – One of Hong Kong’s tallest skyscrapers has declined to hold a Dutch charity exhibition of clogs because of worries the clunky footwear will bring bad luck, a report said.

The Cheung Kong Center refused to host the show, which was organised by the Dutch consulate, because of feng shui, a diplomat told the Sunday Morning Post.

The tower’s management said the wooden footwear show would cause bad luck, because the Cantonese word for shoes — hai — sounds similar to a sigh of exasperation, the English-language paper said.

“Cheung Kong Center rejected the exhibition because of the Chinese meaning of wooden shoes. I don’t understand. It is difficult to explain as I don’t know how to say shoes in Chinese,” an unnamed member of staff at the consulate told the paper.

The exhibition, part of an effort to promote Dutch culture, which will raise money for Chinese children, is now being held at another tower in Hong Kong, the paper said.

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese system, used to enhance positive energy and good luck.

The system is still very influential in superstitious Hong Kong, and highly-paid feng shui consultants are often employed to advise on the location and design of new buildings, as well as give individuals advice on how to improve their luck.

By the way, Yahoo!… when adding keywords to a story’s URL you may want to think about the order. The story is “hongkongnetherlandsexhibitionoffbeat” which means it’s “hong kong, netherlands, exhibition, off beat”, yet reads very easily “hong kong netherland sexhibition off beat.” Goodnight, everybody!

Chanbara Beauty: vorteX the Movie trailer

Filed under: Tacos — S. @ 12:54 am

Following up on the original announcement & teaser trailer and then the press event & cast change comes another tidbit for the Onechanbara the Movie sequel film: a full trailer! Twitch has posted the new full trailer for Chanbara Beauty: vorteX the Movie which will be on DVD in Japan on July 3rd. A larger version of DVD cover can be found here.

Chanbara Beauty: vorteX the Movie Press Event

Filed under: Tacos — S. @ 3:10 pm

Onechanbara the Movie‘s sequel, Chanbara Beauty: vorteX the Movie, is already due out on DVD in Japan this July 3rd after filming during the cold month of December 2008. While the turnaround since filming & announcement may be surprising — unless you have seen how low budget most Japanese films run — the bigger surprise is that the first movie’s entire cast has been replaced.

Old Cast (Onechanbara the Movie)
Eri Otoguro (actress & occasional model) — Aya
Chise Nakamura (actress, seiyuu, & J-Idol) — Saki
Manami Hashimoto (actress & J-Idol) — Reiko

New Cast (Chanbara Beauty: vorteX the Movie)
Yuu Tejima (J-Idol) — Aya
Kumi Imura (actress) — Saki
Akari Ozawa (actress) — Reiko

Geneon Universal recently held a press event to show off their new cast and the DVD cover of their upcoming movie. Additional photos of Kumi Imura at the event can be found through her Talent Agency HoriPro. A better look at the cover can be found below. (more…)

Miss Philippines-Earth Pageant

Filed under: Tacos — S. @ 1:26 am

What happens when you combine beautiful women from the Philippines and an eco-friendly cause? The 2009 Miss Philippines-Earth Pageant! To help celebrate Earth Day, the pageant drove its contestants around in electric vehicles to promote their Earth-friendly message.

A convoy of electric vehicles bearing candidates for this year’s Miss Philippines-Earth beauty pageant drove around Manila to encourage people to find ways for alternative sources of energy to reduce pollution as the Philippines join the rest of the world marking Earth Day.

Electric mass transit vehicles are slowly being introduced into Manila’s streets as an alternative to the heavily smoke-emitting “Jeepneys” or modified jeeps which rely solely on diesel fuels.

Japan Pays Foreign Workers to Go Home

Filed under: Tacos — S. @ 8:03 pm

The New York Times has an article about Japan’s attempt to get blue-collar Latin American workers to leave Japan permanently. Highlights can be found below. (more…)

Jackie Chan: No Fear. No Stuntman. No Freedom?

Filed under: Tacos — S. @ 12:16 am

A controversy is brewing around famous action star Jackie Chan.

Action star Jackie Chan’s comments wondering whether Chinese people “need to be controlled” have drawn sharp rebuke in his native Hong Kong and in Taiwan .

Chan told a business forum in the southern Chinese province of Hainan that a free society may not be beneficial for China ‘s authoritarian mainland.

“I’m not sure if it’s good to have freedom or not,” Chan said Saturday. “I’m gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we’re not being controlled, we’ll just do what we want.”

He went on to say that freedoms in Hong Kong and Taiwan made those societies “chaotic.”

Chan’s comments drew applause from a predominantly Chinese audience of business leaders, but did not sit well with lawmakers in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

It’s an odd take from a man who has benefited from living & working in Hong Kong and the United States where Jackie Chan is able to enjoy perks like freedom and democracy. Whether these comments were made to appease the attending audience of pro-China businessmen or not, he will have a lot to explain next time the world press can ask questions.

Black Ox is a Skater

Filed under: Tacos — S. @ 12:09 am

What happens when you combine Black Ox from Tetsujin 28, a skateboard, and excellent stop motion work? Watch and enjoy!

Shape Boxing Wii de Enjoy! Diet commercials

Filed under: Tacos — S. @ 10:04 pm

Rocket Company’s Shape Boxing Wii de Enjoy! Diet came out in Japan last Oct. 30th to little fanfare for the Nintendo Wii. The company seems determined to change this — seriously guys, six months later? — with a new TV ad campaign featuring a cute Japanese girl who boxes her way into our hearts. OK, I can live with this. The company has posted several versions of the commercial (downloadable in WMV format) and the Making of video for those of us who can’t get enough of this cute girl boxing, stripping, and enjoying a beer. I love Japan!

By the way, the cutie has also made her way over to Rocket Company’s Open Study commercials for their Open Study Nintendo DS game series. Cute in glasses confirmed!

Tales of Vesperia animated film announced

Filed under: Tacos — S. @ 9:42 pm

Production I.G. (Ghost in the Shell, IGPX)  and Namco Bandai Games have teamed up to turn the hit Tales of  series into an animated feature film titled Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike based on 2008’s Vesperia game. Kanta Kamei (Tales of Legendia, Kill Bill Vol. 1) will direct. Japanese gamer website 4Gamer.net has posted some character concept art if you’d like to get a preview of the Tales of Vesperia game characters coming to animated life.