Yoasobi New Year's Eve performance

Yoasobi Performs “Idol” with Idols

The pop duo’s musical prowess knows no limits as evidenced at Japan’s well-known end of year singing show, Kohaku Uta Gassen.

Kohaku Uta Gassen or “Kohaku” for short is an annual New Year’s Eve television special in Japan. The core segment of the show is a “red versus white” singing battle where red team contestants are majority female artists (or female vocals) while the white team are majority male artists (or male vocals). This year’s segment consisted of some stellar Japanese artists including Perfume, Man With A Mission and Nogizaka46, plus some overseas acts of K-pop fame such as Stray Kids and Le Sserafim. However, Yoasobi stole the show with a climatic performance of “Idol” with special appearance from idol groups also on this year’s Kohaku such as Seventeen, Sakurazaka46, NiziU, Be:first, NewJeans, and even host and former idol, Kanna Hashimoto.

Yoasobi’s “Idol” is the opening theme for the series Oshi no Ko, an anime about a doctor and his patient who were reborn as the twin children of a famous Japanese pop idol. The anime includes powerful commentary about teenage struggles while exploring the dark side of Japan’s entertainment industry. Some of the more poignant lyrics in “Idol” allude to this with “You are a perfect liar, oh, Ms. Genius Idol” and “A career built on fake love.”

In Japan, “Idol” became the fastest song to reach 100 million streams, achieving this within five weeks. Globally, “Idol” debuted at #14 on the Billboard Global 200 and peaked at #7, making it the highest position on the chart ever achieved by a Japanese act.

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giant japanese salamander plush

These Cute Japanese Giant Salamander Plushies Can Help The Environment

Conserve one of Japan’s most precious animals while shopping for plushies? We’re in with this adorable Giant Japanese Salamander plushie.

The plushie represents the species itself, a fully aquatic amphibian endemic to Japan. With a length of up to 5 feet, the Japanese Giant Salamander represents the third-largest salamander species in the world. However, due to the effects of pollution, habitat loss and invasive species, its numbers have dwindled where it is now a designated rare species as per the Special Natural Monument and Treasure of Japan. 

These plushies are being produced by James Beavers, also known as The Gaming Beaver online. Known for his Jurassic Park video game content and general fascination with animals, Beavers has also bridged entertainment and education through his past interviews with actor Jeff Goldblum from the Jurassic Park franchise and famed paleontologist Jim Kirland. Now several years relocated to Japan via talent agency, GeeXPlus, Beavers to push out his unique blend of content with a hint of Japanese flair. In this instance, all plushie proceeds will go towards Sustainable Daisen, a non-profit organization with the goal of protecting and conserving the Japanese Giant Salamanders in the town of Daisen and beyond.

The design of the plushie is meant to be extremely adorable but to also showcase some of the hardships that the salamanders go through. To find out more about Sustainable Daisen’s initiatives, you can check out the shop below:

Get your very own Japanese Giant Salamander Plushie here!

cyberpunk x nonsense clothing collab

Get Your Wallet Ready For the Cyberpunk Edgerunners x Nonsense Collab

Mark space in your wardrobe for some drip with the new Cyberpunk Edgerunners collab with the brand named Nonsense. This collection features a select number of t-shirts, sweatpants and even a reflective balaclava all inspired by the Netflix anime series.

Cyberpunk 2077 is an action RPG released in 2020 with its main character Johnny Silverhand famously played by Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves. The anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners which came out on Netflix in 2022, saw a renewed interest in the franchise as a story set in the same world as the game but featuring a different cast of characters. 

Included in the collection are the Smasher Crewneck with motifs inspired by the Cyberpunk character, Adam Smasher and the Corporate Jacket, a varsity-styled jacket emblazoned with the logos of various in-game companies. Far from just carrying your typical blacks, the collection even has a bright neon yellow Netizen T, a nod towards the paramedic jacket worn by main character David Martinez. Nonsense is a streetwear and loungewear brand designed in Japan by Japanese anime YouTuber, Joey “The Anime Man” Bizinger.

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Frieren anime part 2

Never Fear, Frieren Part 2 is Here

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End fans can rejoice this weekend as part 2 of this critically acclaimed anime is out. The Madhouse-produced anime will air on local Japanese television starting from Friday, January 5th and Netflix watchers can tune in as early as Saturday, January 6th with foreign language subtitles included.

Based on the award-winning manga of the same title by Kanehito Yamada and Tsukasa Abe, the story focuses on Frieren, an elven mage who was once a member of the party who defeated the Demon King and restored harmony to the world. Unlike most action-adventure anime, the series doesn’t focus on the epic adventure saga but instead, on the events that happen after. What Frieren does, how she lives and how she processes the death of her former comrades are all part of the plot as she continues to travel around the world in search of new magic. Both the manga and anime adaptation of Frieren have been lauded for their reflective nature as they uncover themes such as honoring the dead, processing grief and embracing the passage of time.

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