Project Anime asks the right questions

| Jul 18, 2015

Project Anime asks the right questions

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More than 90,000 attended the 24th annual Anime Expo (AX), North America’s largest Japanese pop culture convention, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 2 to 5. The four-day event featured a concert by idol group Momoiro Clover Z, who were joined ...

Can #socialmedia boost music sales in Japan?

| Jun 20, 2015

Can #socialmedia boost music sales in Japan?

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Last week, Line Corp.’s, the operators of Japan’s most popular messaging app, launched an in-app music streaming service called Line Music. Japan is the second-largest music market in the world after the United States, but its consumers have so far been global outliers, clinging ...

Anime oasis of the Midwest flourishes

| May 16, 2015

Anime oasis of the Midwest flourishes

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The 18th annual Anime Central (ACen), North America’s third largest anime convention, is underway this weekend in Rosemont, near Chicago. Last year’s event drew a record 29,000 unique attendees, tallying 81,000 in total over its three full days. Organizers expect to breach those figures ...

At last, Japan gets it

| Apr 18, 2015

At last, Japan gets it

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The Japanese entertainment industry is finally growing up, says Shin Unozawa, and he should know. Unozawa joined Bandai Entertainment back in 1981, and serves as chair of the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA), co-hosts of the Tokyo Game Show. Now he is CEO of ...

AnimeJapan 2015 sees the big picture

| Mar 27, 2015

AnimeJapan 2015 sees the big picture

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For most in Japan, April marks the start of the new working year. But for the anime and manga industries, it all begins in March. Last weekend, the second annual AnimeJapan trade fair overtook Tokyo Big Sight, with more than 120,000 total attendees (a ...

'The Anime Encyclopedia' goes full digital

| Feb 27, 2015

'The Anime Encyclopedia' goes full digital

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“The Anime Encyclopedia, 3rd Revised Edition: A Century of Japanese Animation” will be released March 3. Editions 1 and 2, published in 2001 and 2006 respectively, have long proved invaluable to English-speaking scholars, fans and writers, serving as reliably exhaustive and often highly entertaining ...

New markets may save Japan's manga exports

| Sep 26, 2014

New markets may save Japan's manga exports

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The North American manga business took a beating last decade. After peaking around 2005-06, the lethal storm of oversaturated shelves, a collapsing U.S. financial industry and the bankruptcy of major American bookstore chain, Borders, left publishers and distributors in a panic. Downsizing, restructuring and ...

Haruki Murakami's Cool Japan

| Aug 22, 2014

Haruki Murakami's Cool Japan

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I was in New York last week to host a launch event for the English translation of Haruki Murakami’s latest novel, “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.” My good friend and Murakami translator Ted Goossen, professor at York University in Toronto, joined ...