Japan has some really innovative TV shows that aim to bring viewers out into the world, like Somewhere Street, which drops a camera crew with a steadicam in random cities around the world and starts walking, talking to the various people they encounter, allowing us, the viewers, to vicariously travel there through our TVs. Another fun show I like is Sekai Neko Aruki (“World Cats Walking”) in which famed animal photographer Mitsuaki Iwagou — known on the Internet as “the guy who was taking video of cats, and a kitten came over and climbed onto his head” — travels around the world and takes the most picturesque high-definition video of cats he finds, following them around to document their daily lives. In the latest episode, he travels to the beautiful village of Restoke in Crotia, filming several cats as they roam through the beautiful alleyways in search of a quiet place to sun themselves. Watching the episode, I was floored by Japan’s great peace and prosperity, that they are actually able to spare time to think about cats living on the other side of the globe. If you want to see Iwagou-sensei’s work, we’ve got his official cat photobook on the site.
2016 is winding down, and it’s a good time to look back at what kind of year it was in Japan. Here are some of the buzzwords that had people’s attention this year.
• MyNumber. Japan’s version of the Social Security Number in the U.S. went live this year, causing predictable confusion.
• Seichu junrei. Meaning “to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land,” this refers to visiting locations seen in anime. Big winners this year were the rural town from Your Name and the Girls und Panzer location, which both saw a huge influx of visitors.
• Smap kaisan. The popular five-member boy band is finally disbanding about a career dating back approximately to the Edo Period. (Actually to 1988.)
• Becky. The popular half-Japanese “talent” got caught stepping out with a married musician, causing an explosion of fan ire.
• Ganbare Kumamoto, or “hang in there, Kumamoto.” A 7.0 magnitude earthquake killed 50 and damaged one Japan’s oldest castles.
• Aruki sumaho or using a smartphone while walking. It seems that 42 people died this way in 2015, the latest number complete figures are available for. This will surely rise in post-Pokemon Go era.
• Trump gensho (Trump phenomenon), a general term about the rise of Mr. Trump.
• Nihon shine. Meaning “die Japan,” this came from a blog post made by a frustrated anonymous parent who couldn’t secure a daycare slot for his child.
• Piko Taro, the Pen Pineapple Apple Pen song guy.
Great news! We got the new anime magazines for the new month in already and posted them for you to browse now. From the gorgeous free posters of Megami Magazine to the steamy Dengeki Moeoh, there’s plenty of great magazines for fans!