Get hyped for AnimeJapan 2024
Mark your calendars for one of the biggest anime events of the year. From March 23-24, AnimeJapan is opening its doors to die-hard otaku and casual anime fans alike to celebrate the medium of Japanese animation. The theme is “A New Era of Animation,” so we’re sure there will be lots of exciting announcements. Here’s a look at what we know so far.
AnimeJapan 2024 Lineups
The lineups for the three main stages have been revealed. Each one will have various anime studios providing engaging talks about your favorite shows as well as performances by artists. Some of the names highlighted include stage shows by Oshi no Ko, Re:Zero, My Hero Academia, Blue Lock and Demon Slayer. Aside from performances, there will also be a section for exhibitors where the likes of Toho Animation, Square Enix and Warner Bros. Japan LLC will provide fans with an opportunity to interact more deeply with their favorite shows and even purchase exclusive merchandise.
Cosplay is, of course, another big draw of AnimeJapan. There’s also a product works gallery, which gives fans the chance to peek behind the scenes of an anime production. This year, the Aquarion series is showing the process from scenario and storyboarding to how the anime makes it to your television screens.
AnimeJapan takes place at Tokyo Big Sight. Admission ticket prices start at ¥2,300 with and without the option of participating in the lottery for a stage ticket. Same-day tickets are priced at ¥2,600.
Shonen Jump Leaks End In An Arrest
Two Tokyo-based company workers were arrested on suspicion of violating copyright laws on Sunday in Kumamoto. According to the Kumamoto Prefectural Police, the pair conspired to publish a new chapter of a manga from the popular Weekly Shonen Jump anthology before its official release in March 2023. They are also accused of photographing and copying the latest chapter of the same manga on January 31 of this year.
It is said that the two in question are foreign nationals who run the company Japan Deal World LLC based in Kita ward, Tokyo. They were allegedly able to commit the crime by obtaining early copies of the magazine at an undisclosed store in Tokyo, before its release date. Investigators believe that others could be involved and are now conducting a detailed investigation. The accused are, at the time of writing, denying the charges from March last year. They have, however, reportedly admitted to the more recent charge.
On February 5, Shueisha, the publisher of the manga anthology, issued a statement, saying that this kind of crime “deprives readers who are eagerly awaiting the release date of the magazine of the enjoyment they can usually come to expect from the publication.” It added that “the authors are also very upset about the situation.” Shueisha plans to continue to take proactive measures to protect its authors and readers, so its magazine can be enjoyed in an appropriate manner.
Enjoy Craft Beers and Crane Games at This Swanky New GiGO Arcade
Nothing says Japanese hospitality better than the thought of being able to enjoy video games with craft beers at this brand new GiGO arcade. Located at Cocono Susikino in Sapporo, this first of its kind GiGO will be offering a carefully curated menu of drinks and snacks, including craft beer brewed directly in Hokkaido itself.
Craft Beer and Games Galore
Don’t come expecting your run-of-the-mill Kirin beers that you can get from just about any convenience store. This GiGO arcade has Obihiro Beer on the menu, a type of craft beer made by a local brewery called Sogo Brewing. There are also batches from Hokkaido Brewing, including its Fruits Brewing Line and Otaru Lager. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a true GiGO experience without taiyaki. Customers can try the gaming arcade’s very own limited edition taiyaki featuring collaborations with famous game and anime characters. This is the first time for GiGO to bring its warm and fluffy fish pancakes to Hokkaido in a collaboration with characters from the Dozle group.
To complete the experience, the space has also thoughtfully included side tables with drink slots, officially called “GiGO Slot.” These allow you to practice full arcade etiquette by placing your refreshments to the side while you button mash your way to victory. We’ll call this gaming omotenashi.
Find out more about GiGO Cocono Susukino here.
Arcade Location and Hours
Address: Hokkaido, Sapporo-shi, Chuo-ku, Minami 4 Nishi 4 1-1
This AI Anime Girl Wants to Give You the News
Get your daily dose of Japan news from a Chat GPT-powered anime girl. In the latest, slightly dystopian update, Japanese news site Livedoor News has just announced that their latest addition to their newscasting team isn’t a person at all but yet another AI anime girl.
Livedoor News 24, the platform’s 24-hour news distribution service, has been implementing AI technology such as ChatGPT since September 2023 with the launch of “Hayami,” its first AI newscaster. From February 6, “Ai Horie” will be joining her AI sister as another commentator. To fairly divide the workload among the AI girls, the program will now be sectioned into three parts and continue to be broadcast 24 hours a day.
Livedoor News Founder’s AI Daughter
The company has written an extensive backstory for Ai, calling her the “AI daughter” of Takafumi Horie, nicknamed “Horiemon,” who is the executive advisor for Livedoor News. He founded Livedoor, which began as an internet service provider. Ai has apparently lived for more than 10,000 years and has a penchant for history and the teachings of her father. Rather than merely providing news to users, Ai will be able to respond to user comments and possesses a full range of expressive emotions to make her segment much more life-like.
Based on Ai’s popularity, other features may be in the pipeline, including providing her news and commentary in languages other than Japanese. The company also plans to expand the team by recruiting producers and engineers to support the continued growth of Ai Horie and the wider Livedoor News 24 platform.
You can catch Ai Horie together with Hayami over on the Livedoor News 24 YouTube channel, where they stream news from Japan and around the world.