Anime industry reunified at expo, satellite events

| Apr 11, 2014

Anime industry reunified at expo, satellite events

by Roland Kelts

AnimeJapan 2014, the rebranded and reunified annual industry trade show, exceeded organizers’ expectations last month, hosting 110,000 producers, publishers, journalists, cosplayers and public visitors. What a relief. Since 2010, the anime industry’s political divisions meant two separate shows: one in Chiba called the Anime ...

Masuda's mission to take Harajuku art global

| Mar 13, 2014

Masuda's mission to take Harajuku art global

by Roland Kelts

New York is not a city one automatically associates with the Japanese concept of kawaii — lovably, irresistibly, dependably cute. But if Sebastian Masuda, the so-called “king of kawaii,” has his way, the mean streets of “Goodfellas” may one day emanate a candy-colored glow. ...

Anime/manga experts hopeful for year ahead

| Jan 9, 2014

Anime/manga experts hopeful for year ahead

by Roland Kelts

Aside from Hayao Miyazaki’s sudden departure from filmmaking in September, the anime world saw some potentially hopeful developments in 2013. As I reported here, the government’s multibillion-yen Cool Japan Fund was launched last summer, after years of empty promises. Following the lead of Crunchyroll, ...

Will Cool Japan finally heat up in 2014?

Jan 9, 2014

Will Cool Japan finally heat up in 2014?

by Matt Alt

After years of talk, 2013 marked a watershed moment in the government’s Cool Japan campaign. Which begs the question: Is Japan cool? As a robot-obsessed kid growing up in the 1970s and ’80s, I always thought so. But for years, the anime and manga ...

Tao makes the cut in new drama

Jan 9, 2014

Tao makes the cut in new drama

by Jun Hongo

At age 28, actress and model Tao Okamoto is already one of the few women in history — along with actress Farrah Fawcett and Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel character from “Friends” to name a couple — to have a haircut named after her. The Chiba ...

The most viewed culture stories of 2013

Jan 1, 2014

The most viewed culture stories of 2013

Pop culture ruled the roost in popular stories, but also showed its staying power: The most read online story from the JT culture section this year turned out to be a review of a manga drawn by Osamu Tezuka and first published in 1972. ...