Welcome to Apricotsushi Shops, a new series where I highlight cool Japanese products I’ve found in my travels and the all items I’m currently pining over on my wishlist! Sometimes I’ll focus on a specific theme, and sometimes I’ll share whatever I can’t get off my mind, but one thing’s for sure… You’ll want to hold onto that wallet!
I think I have a Sailor Moon problem. I’m not even watching the new anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, but I can’t stop looking at Sailor Moon merchandise! For someone who grew up with the series, the recent revival is everything amazing you didn’t get when you were a kid (well, if you were a kid like me living in the middle of nowhere, USA). But, not all Sailor Moon merchandise is created equal. Today, I’m going to show you the cream of the crop!
You may have thought my recap posts from my trip to Tokyo last summer were finished… But you are wrong! A whole eight months later and I’ve still got tons of things I’d like to cover, and what better way to get back in the swing of things than with a roundup of photos from my visit to the Ghibli Museum?
Regardless of what you think about Valentine’s Day, any holiday is a great chance to show my appreciation to all the readers of Chic Pixel! So, whether or not you plan on spending the day celebrating with a special someone, here are Chic Pixel I’d like to celebrate all of you with a little giveaway!
One winner will receive everything pictured above, plus a few extra Japanese snacks I found lying around. [Update] I’m also going to throw in one Steam code for Long Live the Queen, a super awesome simulation game! Giveaway is open worldwide and ends February 15th, 9 pm EST. Just follow the instructions in the widget below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Many of the items I’m giving away come from the Betoyo Bento Japanese collectable subscription box, so if you like the idea of getting cute Japanese trinkets in the mail, do check them out! And thanks for your continued support of Chic Pixel!
You may have already caught this year’s live holiday podcast special when it aired on my YouTube channel, but if not, here’s a version to listen to on the go! Join me and Elliot Gay (@ryougasaotome) as we discuss the holidays, being home in the US, and our favorite games and anime of 2014!
The first four minutes of us chatting as we waited for viewers to show up has been cut from the podcast version, but otherwise this is exactly what you’d hear if you watched the stream (which you can still do if you’d like to see our smiling faces). It was a lot of fun doing a live stream for the first time!
I hope you have a wonderful holiday, no matter what you celebrate, and Chic Pixel Plus will return, hopefully better than ever, in 2015!
Opening ♫ – Kimi Janakya Dame Mitai – Masayoshi Ōishi
Closing ♫ – database – Man with a Mission feat. Takuma
A self-indulging celebration, or a critical look at otaku consumption practices? “ME!ME!ME!” is a short animation that debuted on November 21st as part of the Japan Animation Expo, a project between famed anime director Hideaki Anno’s Studio Khara and Dwango that showcases young animators. While two shorts came before it, with one more releasing every week until all 30 have been posted online, “ME!ME!ME!” has undoubtedly been receiving themost attention for its striking visual style, catchy soundtrack, and dark themes.
The buzz surrounding “ME!ME!ME!” is almost certainly justified, but when poking around the internet, I didn’t find much in the way of long-form discussion outside of forum threads about what I found to be very harsh condemnation of the specific style of media consumption exhibited by the protagonist of the video. Instead of focusing on my personal interpretation, however, I thought it would be more interesting to kickstart discussion by using this article to attempt to illustrate just how complex “ME!ME!ME!” is.
“ME!ME!ME!” is very much a music video for “ME!ME!ME! feat. daoko” by TeddyLoid, a DJ and electronica musician notable for his contribution to the Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt anime, a series which shares a number of similarities to the short. Directed by Hibiki Yoshizaki, a member of Studio Khara who has previously worked on the anime Yozakura Quartet and Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, and animated by members of the Little Witch Academia animation team, “ME!ME!ME!” is a real star-studded effort. Megumi Hayashibara and Kouichi Yamadera have provided voices, as well.
Before reading on, I highly suggest watching “ME!ME!ME!,” and if you already have, why not watch it again? At the time of this post I’ve seen it about five times, as I found that it moves so fast that it’s extremely hard to pick up on everything the first or even second time though. Keep in mind that the video features many animated naked women in suggestive poses, along with a couple brief but graphic scenes of gore, making it most definitely not work viewing material. I’m being careful of the number of nude/gory stills I include, but be warned that due to the content of the video and in the interest of opening an informed discussion, it’s not possible for me to omit them entirely. I’ve also included a whopping 45 screenshots, so beware that the rest of the post is quite image heavy!
It’s no secret that the Sailor Moon anime has had a big impact on my life, both as a show that offered female role models to aspire to when I was young and being the impetus for my lifelong love of Japan. Earlier this year, I recorded a podcast dedicated to the franchise, and when VIZ Media announced the series would be coming to Blu-ray this year, I was thrilled. Now that I’ve gotten hold of the Sailor Moon Season 1, Set 1 Limited Edition Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack, I can say being able to watch the series in its entirety uncut is an absolute joy, but unfortunately the experience is marred by subpar video quality.
When I realized I would be in Japan while the latest Studio Ghibli film, When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Maanii), was in theaters, I was thrilled. The last time I saw a Ghibli film in Japan was Ponyo, which was gorgeously animated but ultimately a little disappointing for me, so I wanted to see if Ghibli could outdo some of their more recent mediocre affairs. While When Marnie Was There‘s premise of a young sick girl who goes out to the country and becomes friends with another, rather mysterious, girl didn’t seem all that enticing from a plot synopsis point of view, I went in hopeful that I would be getting another dose of Ghibli’s magic on the big screen, well before the film aired in the rest of the world.