Articles by Brian Ashcraft

japan

Japan's Fighting Robots Are The Future Of Sumo

Tiny battle robots facing off in a small ring, knocking the crap out of each other. The future of sumo is now. Since 1990, this yearly robot sumo competition has been held in Japan. The Japan Times, where I am a columnist, reports that starting in 2014, international teams have been invited to battle. Via YouTuber Robert McGregor, here is a robot sumo supercut from over the years. Incredible. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Anime

Ride A Dragon Ball Flying Nimbus, See Things In 3D

Indoor amusement park J-World Tokyo is rolling out a new Dragon Ball themed “virtual roller coaster” called “Zenkai Flying Nimbus.” As Famitsu notes, the Flying Nimbus attraction holds two riders. It doesn’t move, but it lets riders experience the thrill of flying through the air Dragon Ball style by projecting 3D images on a screen. It also shoots wind and mist to really sell the idea of movement. Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Berserk

Berserk Manga Is Taking A Break. Again. 

Manga artist Kentaro Miura is best known for two things: his Berserk manga and taking breaks from said Berserk manga. Earlier this year, Miura returned from hiatus in March. This break begin last September. That was after Berserk had returned that June from yet another hiatus. Recently, it was announced that Berserk will go on hiatus yet again, with the latest break ending this winter. Advertisement As frequent as Miura’s breaks are, he’s still no match for Hunter X Hunter creator Yoshihiro Togashi, aka “The King of Hiatus.” Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Summer Lesson Gets Inevitable Porn Adaptation

[Image: TMA] Namco Bandai’s VR game Summer Lesson already got an erotic game clone, but now it has been turned into a VR porn parody called Private Lesson. This was bound to happen. Who knew it would take so long? Note: This article contains content some readers might find objectionable. Virtual Schoolgirl Demo Now Goes International In Summer Lesson, there’s studying, singing, and head shaking. Lots of head shaking. Read more The original game Summer Lesson: Hikari Miyamoto was released in October 2016 on the PS4, and here we are in, well, summer 2017.  Advertisement Starring Rena Aoi, this VR-only experience (link NSFW) is 46 minutes long. As the flick’s cover art explains, 16 minutes of that is “dramatic parts,” while the remaining 30 minutes is other stuff. Like in Summer Lesson, viewers get to interact in VR. But this being a Japanese adult movie, some parts of it are censored. [Image: TMA] Private Lesson was released on June 20 in Japan. Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Spider-Man Cosplayers Fill Airplane 

Budget carrier Jetstar unveiled a Spider-Man themed plane in Japan and filled it with Spider-Man cosplayers. This is part of Jetstar’s summer campaign, which is tied to the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming. The Spider-Man plane isn’t so amazing, but look at all these friendly neighborhood cosplayers on this motherfucking plane taking off from Tokyo bound for Osaka. Folks applied to ride the Spider-Man plane’s maiden flight, with one of the stipulations being that they had to be in Spider-Man costumes. Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

kotaku soundtrack

Track: Time After Time | Artist: Chet Baker | Album: Time After Time (Belgium, 1964)

culture smash

Korean Slang For PlayStation, Xbox, And Nintendo Fans 

[Photoshop: Luke Plunkett | Kotaku] A few years ago, Kotaku introduced online nicknames for Japanese fans of the three gaming platforms. Now, let’s take a look at monikers given to Korean fans of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Via tipster Sang, here areinternet nicknames for gaming’s three corporate platform holders. Keep in mind, these are online nicknames and are most likely to be found in gaming forums’ comments. Sony Naenyun Station (내년스테이션): Literally, “Next Year Station.” The reason for this is that in South Korea many of the announcements are for the following year, hence the deprecating “Next Year Station” nickname. Recently, the term seems less common. Plbba (플빠): A portmanteau of “PlayStation” and “bba,” which is short for “bbasoonyi” (obsessive fan) or “bbadori” (brainless dude). This is used for rabid PlayStation fans. Similarily, “Ekbba” is a combination of “Xbox” and “bbasoonyi” or “bbadori.” Xbox Bbak One (빡원): “Bbak” is slang for something that ticks you off, and “One” refers to “Xbox One.” The reason why “Bbak One” is sometimes used online in Korea is that the console has fewer exclusives than the PS4 and fewer localized games in South Korea. Advertisement READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

“PPAP” Singer Now Doing Layton's Mystery Journey Puzzles

[Image: Level-5] The Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen guy is doing puzzles to mark the upcoming release of Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaire’s Conspiracy. This particular one seems kind of tricky! Can you figure it out? The iOS and Android versions of Layton’s Mystery Journey will be released worldwide on July 20. It will hit the 3DS this fall. Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Terra Battle 2 Coming From Final Fantasy's Creator

Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of Final Fantasy and founder of game studio Mistwalker, announced that he’s currently working on another Terra Battle role-playing game. It’s called Terra Battle 2. Sakaguchi discusses the sequel in the upcoming issue of Famitsu, which won’t be officially published until later this week. Reportedly, Sakaguchi said that he’s created a larger “Terra World” brand, enabling different entries in the series to co-exist as individual titles like in Final Fantasy. According to Hachima, Terra Battle 2 is slated for a 2017 release on PC, iOS, and Android. The game is free-to-play with in-game purchases. No word yet on an international release. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Kiki's Delivery Service Grows Up, Eats Instant Ramen

Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service stars a 13-year-old witch named Kiki. She’s now been reimagined as a 17-year-old high school student in a new instant ramen spot. For Nissin’s “Hungry Day” campaign, the noodle maker roped in manga artist Eisaku Kubonouchi to design older versions of Kiki and her pal Tombo. The commercial’s theme is 青春 (seishun) or “youth,” and in it, Kiki confesses her romantic feelings to Tombo. Kiki’s Delivery Service was originally a novel by Eiko Kadono, but this short anime clip does seem to draw from the Ghibli retelling. (Just check out how it depicts Kiki’s cat, Jiji!) Tombo, however, looks different: hip and handsome, and not very Ghibliesque. I always thought he turned out differently when he grew up. Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Anime

The Giant Peeing Statue Isn't An Attack On Titan Character

You’d be forgiven if you thought this statue depicted a Titan from Attack on Titan. Even Yuuki Kaji, who voices Eren Yeager in the original anime, can see the similarity. Can you? Kaji (above) recently spotted the statue on the way to an event in Finland, posing for a photo and even doing a Survey Corps salute. Advertisement As Atlas Obscura explains, this artwork was created by Finnish artist Tommi Toija and first shown in 2014. It’s been reminding folks of Attack on Titan for years. The urinating, however, isn’t something you’d see a Titan do. Biting people’s heads off? Yes. Tinkling? No. Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

japan

Japanese Airport Cosplays As Nintendo Advertisement

Travellers arriving at Kansai International Airport in Osaka will soon be greeted by Nintendo characters plastered all over the place. Starting June 23, Nintendo is setting up what it’s calling the “Nintendo Check In” at the airpot’s Terminal 1 with Switch, 3DS, and smart device titles. The airport is also slipping on some huge Nintendo banners and decking out elevators in Super Mario characters. All this makes jet lag less awful! Nintendo is a good look for Japanese airports. Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Anime

Attack On Titan's Third Season Airing In 2018

[Image: Funimation] The wait between Attack on Titan’s first season and its second one was around four years. Thankfully, the wait for season three won’t be that long. Season three will begin airing next year. Below is the official teaser for season three. The teaser is only 15 seconds, but at least it’s something. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

IO Interactive Goes Independent And Keeps Hitman Franchise

[Image: IO Interactive] This past May, Square Enix announced it was parting ways with IO Interactive. Today, that studio says it’s now officially independent and will keep the rights to the Hitman series. Below is a statement from IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak: In its 19 years of history, Io-Interactive has brought you original and exciting entertainment; from Mini Ninjas and Freedom Fighters to gaming’s most notorious criminals Kane & Lynch and of course our beloved Agent 47. With our latest game, we have not only transformed Hitman, but also moved our entire studio into the AAA digital era. Our live product has disrupted the video game business and has received recognition and praise from press, community and our fans. There are many tales of hope, dreams, hardship and joy within these walls. We have never strived for the expected or predictable. Instead, we are always in pursuit for what feels original and real. Our passion and determination has never been greater and so that is why we have decided it is not the time to stop as we have many more exciting and original tales to tell. Therefore I am proud to announce today that IOI is now officially…