I remember visiting the original Legoland in Denmark as a kid, back in the days where there was only one Legoland, and it was quite the treat. On April 1, Legoland Japan is opening in Nagoya, and as you’d expect, there are quite a few Japan-centric constructed models. Via Spoon & Tamago, and this Sankei News article.
99+1 Japan is a beautiful new guide produced by the Japan National Tourism Organization that takes the form of a website and book (which is also available as a downloadable PDF). The focus here is on art, design, and architecture, and from the browsing I did on the website, the choices are, well, quite choice. I know that my buddy Said Karlsson participated in this, with some of his wonderful photography adorning a few entries. Here’s also a Spoon & Tamago post with more details.
“Konomachi: This Town,” an illustrated piece by Erica Ward.
I was thinking this morning — Saturday morning, to be exact — how I missed the event nature of Saturday morning cartoons when I was a kid. Sure, it’s awesome to have everything on demand now — I never watch anything that airs live these days, unless it’s something that’s newsworthy or event-like (like when I watched the Oscars recently) — but there was something special and exciting about waking up on Saturday mornings and getting to watch a bunch of cartoons, at a time when you didn’t have 24-hour cartoon networks, or even much airing at any other time (I think after school cartoons started being a thing more in the late 80s and 90s). So I’ve decided to create my own Saturday morning cartoon block — the “Saturday Morning Cartoon Cavalcade” — in which I’ll rotate 4-5 shows that I’ll watch as a block on Saturday mornings. I’m not including any anime, because those shows tend to be more adult-oriented and not really the kind of thing I want to watch first thing in the morning — and besides, anime was never part of the Saturday morning cartoon experience for me. My launch lineup is going to be comprised of the following series: Samurai Jack, Star Wars Rebels, Tangled (which debuts later this month, but the TV movie that aired last week was great), Trollhunters, and The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show. Join me!
Looking at the lineup for the Spring 2017 season of anime, I gotta say there’s nothing much that seems to be for me — even less than the winding down Winter 2017 season (the only series that really grabbed me this season was Onihei).
Of all the regular series debuting, the only ones I’m interested in watching are GranBlue Fantasy The Animation, which I though was starting during the Winter season, but they just released the first 2 episodes, with the series proper starting next month, and Atom: The Beginning, a prequel series to Astroboy. I am very happy to see that on the OVA front we’re getting a sequel to the Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt — the first series was really fantastic, with super slick animation, and a jazz-heavy soundtrack. On the movie front, there’s of course Masaaki Yuasa’s Yoru wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome and Yoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta, as well as the Blame movie, and maybe also Biohazard: Vendetta.
Very happy to see my buddy Ian Lynam, along with Renna Okubo, launch Corinthians, “a Tokyo art & design curatorial practice.” I expect great things from these two.
The “gacha” mechanic — a staple of popular mobile games in Japan — is getting more attention in the West these days, in part because of the release of Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Heroes, and here’s another blog post on Gamasutra to help you wrap your head around how it all works.
The latest edition of my old “On: Design” column in the Japan Times is made up of a rather nice selection of paper-related goods.
The Big Books series of giant fold-out books for kids by Mao Fujimoto looks fantastic. More details in this Spoon & Tamago post, where they can also be purchased.
The latest episode of Toco Toco TV brings the series back to the world of games, this time focusing on game creator Katsura Hashino, best known for his work on the Persona series. There’s a lot of great examples of how Tokyo helped form the world you experience in Persona 5, as well as a little peek at his next game.