Five takeaways on how anime is still dominating headlines during the pandemic.

  • Gundam has taken over Yokohama. An 18-meter life-size moving statue based on the giant robot featured in the science fiction animation series was unveiled in the city last month, prior to the Dec. 19 opening of the Gundam Factory Yokohama complex. Visitors will be able to climb to observation decks from to have close-up views of the anime icon, reports Kyodo.
  • “Demon Slayer” has sunk Titanic.” The hit anime movie, which has already surpassed blockbusters such as “Your Name.” and “Harry Potter,” has become the second-highest grossing movie of all time in Japan. The first? Studio Ghibli’s Oscar-winning “Spirited Away.”
A life-size moving statue of Gundam is shown to the media Monday at Yamashita Pier in Yokohama. | KYODO
A life-size moving statue of Gundam is shown to the media Monday at Yamashita Pier in Yokohama. | KYODO
  • As people go to theaters in droves, some are wondering: Is “Demon Slayer too violent for kids? Kaori Shoji writes about how some kids are having issues sleeping once they see the gore-filled flick. Yaiko Watanabe, a professor of psychology at Hosei University, told Yahoo Japan that “in spite of the fact that ‘Demon Slayer’ has a PG12 rating … the violent nature of the story and visuals may lead to adverse effects on preschool children.”
  • If you need something more wholesome for your children, you can always fall back on “Doraemon” — and many families are. More than 5 million comic books and other publications featuring the robotic cat were printed in the last 12 months, Shogakukan Inc. said. Despite the comics being 50 years old, they feel timeless to young readers.
  • If you see some Totoro out in the wild, you’re not alone. Fans of Studio Ghibli’s classic movie are heading to a Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, to snap photos of a cave that resembles the film’s furry protagonist. “I hope people also appreciate the beauty of the Tomari coast as interest in the Totoro rock grows,” said Hiroshi Suzuki, the 63-year-old director of Rokkasho Village Museum.