Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2 Pokémon Feature Films to Open on Same Day in July

Two feature-length Pokémon anime films will open in Japan on July 16 instead of the usual one feature-length film with an anime short. According to the Nikkan Sports newspaper, this is the first time that two feature-length Japanese animated films from the same franchise have opened on the same day. In addition to the previously announced Gekijōban Pocket Monster Best Wishes! Victini to Kuroki Eiyū Zekrom, there will also be a second feature called Gekijōban Pocket Monster Best Wishes! Victini to Shiroki Eiyū Reshiram. The same theaters will show both films, one after another.

In the story of the two films, the protagonist Satoshi (Ash in English) and his Pokémon creature Pikachu take part in a battle held during the harvest festival in Aintoōku, and they encounter the mysterious Pokémon Victini. The two films will also feature two different legendary Pokémon — the black hero Zekrom appears before people who seek the pure "ideal," while the white hero Reshiram appears before people who seek the pure "truth." Not incidentally, these two are pivotal Pokémon in the latest games in the franchise, Pokémon Black and White. They also appeared as miniature floats at last year's 84th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Pokémon anime feature films have often opened in theaters with an anime short, similar to how American Pixar films have often opened in theaters with an animated short. However, the two Pokémon films that will open in July are both feature-length. The last time that Japanese theaters opened two features from the same franchise on the same day was in 2009, when the live-action franchise Ju-on (The Grudge) marked its 10th anniversary with Ju-on: Shiroi Rōjo and Ju-on: Kuroi Shōjo.

Source http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/0003-89-25/2-pokemon-feature-films-to-open-on-same-day-in-july

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Japanese fans praise coach for Asian Cup win

Japanese football fans praised Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni on Sunday after he guided Japan to a record fourth Asian Cup title with a 1-0 win over Australia in Doha.

"Victory for Zaccheroni Japan," read the headline in the Nikkan Sports newspaper. Thousands of fans celebrated the win in the streets of Tokyo's Shibuya entertainment district after Tadanari Lee's volley in the 109th minute gave the Blue Samurai the win.

Fans chanted "Nippon! Nippon!" after the match ended at about 2:30 a.m. local time on Sunday.

The mass circulation Asahi Shimbun ran a four-page special edition with a banner headline that read "Japan, the champions of Asia."

The 57-year-old Zaccheroni, who took over from Takeshi Okada after the World Cup, won praise from both Japanese fans and media for his ability to get the most out of his young players.

He used 21 of the 23 players on his squad. Against Australia, he moved hard-working Cesena fullback Yuto Nagatomo into midfield and the player responded by supplying the cross for Lee to volley home the winner.

"Zaccheroni quickly grasped a feeling for his players and that was obvious by the performance of the team in Doha," said office worker Makoto Inoue, who stayed up late to watch the match.

Japan Football Association president Junji Ogura told Japanese media in Doha that he was pleased with the decision to hire Zaccheroni.

"I feel we have chosen a great coach and the players have complete confidence in him," Ogura said.

Zaccheroni surprised many in Japan when he chose Lee, a 25-year-old ethnic Korean who made his debut in the team's opening match against Jordan and scored his first international goal in the final.

"At times, we found ourselves in difficulties, in numerical disadvantage," said Zaccheroni. "But this team has always found the necessary resources to win the match."

The former AC Milan and Juventus coach was chosen by the JFA after an exhaustive search that dragged on for months. He signed a two-year deal with an option of two more years, despite a lack of experience abroad and at international level.

Source http://www.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/2011-01-30-2010700206_x.htm

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ichihashi’s stated celibacy while on the lam possibly exaggerated

Garnering a fair bit of attention in recent days has been the book written by Tatsuya Ichihashi, the accused murderer of Briton Lindsay Hawker. Naturally, Nikkan Gendai (Jan. 28) felt it necessary to verify his claims about his sex life while on the run.

In March of 2007, police arrived at Ichihashi’s apartment in Chiba Prefecture to investigate the disappearance of the 22-year-old Hawker. Ichihashi bolted from the scene and officers discovered Hawker buried in sand inside a bathtub on his balcony. The suspect was captured in November 2009.

Released last week by publisher Gentosha, “Records of What Happened During the Two Years and Seven Months Before Being Arrested” tells stories of his stops in 23 prefectures (including Tokyo), his partaking in ohenro, or the touring of the 88 temples in Shikoku, and his stay on a remote island in Okinawa.

There are also details on his sexual activities, or lack thereof.

In July 2007, four months into his escape, the 32-year-old ventured into a fuzoku (red-light) area of Okinawa. “A few ladies were standing outside the doors of various place,” he writers. “One was in her 30s. She offered me services for 5,000 yen. But after recalling what I had done, I couldn’t answer her.”

He also worked at a construction company in Osaka for a year and three months. “While I told colleagues that I’d go out on weekends to buy hookers,” he continues, “I was actually saving my money for plastic surgery, so nothing happened. When I thought about Lindsay-san, I got scared.”

Nikkan Gendai is skeptical that such recollections have led to a feeling of deep remorse. A former colleague and roommate at the construction company’s dormitory offers further speculation. “Ichihashi used to go out a lot on Sundays,” says the source. “Some people witnessed him walking around the Tobita Shinchi area (the largest largest brothel district in Kansai). He had cash, and I noticed half of condoms in a 12-pack box were gone.”

Certified clinical psychologist Yo Yahata says that in the days immediately after one begins his runaway, a tremendous amount of pressure is exerted. “But with time and money building up,” the psychologist adds, “one starts to have the appetite and a sex drive will return.”

The article also cites Ichihashi’s sushi dinner with a boss, trip to a movie theater, and date with a woman in Koza, Okinawa as further evidence that his stated contrition is probably overdone. (A.T.)

Source http://www.tokyoreporter.com/2011/01/31/ichihashis-stated-celibacy-while-on-the-lam-possibly-exaggerated/