Boy, Japan looooves its mascots. You’ll find them everywhere, from sporting events to corporate ads, city events to supermarket openings. Every city and prefecture boasts its own kawaii characters used to promote their local regions. Some of these Yura-chara have soared to celebrity status and need no introduction: Domo-kun, Kumamon, Hikonyan, Sanomaru, Gunman-chan, and, of course, the self-made Funassyi – to name but a few.
Akemi’s brush with celebrity!
Perhaps rivaling mascots in popularity is the Japanese obsession with ranking things. So it should come as surprise that, every year, the Yuru-Chara Grand Prix rates 200 (out of some 1400 annual entrants) mascots representing local governments and companies across Japan. Looking back on 2017’s list, my Top 13 would have broken down a little differently:
#13. Zokirin (Saitama)
A cross between an elephant and giraffe, I like Zook’s inclusive spirit.
#12. Kiko (Hokkaiko)
The love child of Chicago’s Benny the…
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Check the weather forecast in your area for the Easter weekend as it may call for cloudy periods with a chance of space debris showers –
“According to the European Space Agency‘s Space Debris Office in Darmstadt, Germany, debris from Tiangong-1 will splash down between March 30 and April 2 across the northern hemisphere.”
Do you live in the yellow shaded area pictured above? If so, you may want to consider vacationing in the blue shaded areas for those four days (P.S. I hear Greenland is beautiful this time of year.)
“Clean meat companies claim the process will be more efficient because you’re only growing the bits you need to feed people—no guts or eyeballs or brains.”
Whoa whoa WHOA! The guts, eyeballs and brains are the best…
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Welp (Honestly? I just like saying “Welp!”), I think it’s high time I brought resident film critic Cookie Monster back from extended vacation so he can start catching up on his superhero movie reviews. It’s been over three years since we last heard from our blue-furred Richard Roeper (not to be confused with the real blue-furred Richard Roeper). At first blush, it would appear the last movie he reviewed, Kick-Ass 2, may have done him some lastingdamage [“VERDIKT: If you loved de first movie, you’ll hate dis one. But if you hated de first movie, you probably won’t hate dis one as much.”], but in truth, all the blame lies with Avengers: Age of Ultron. According to Cookie in his farewell letter dated October 29, 2014, sitting through Avengers: Age of Ultron “be like watching somebuddy else play video games for tree and half hours!”. Which…
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These were my favorites …
Doctor Strange: Damnation #3 (of 4)
Cover art by Rod Reis
Cover art by Sana Takeda, Yoshi Yoshitani
Cover art by Sara Pichelli
Star Wars: Poe Dameron #25
Cover art by Phil Noto
The Adventures of Captain Cosmic #1
Cover by Andy W Clift
The Mighty Thor #705
Cover art by Russell Dauterman
Meanwhile, I’ve decided to fully immerse myself back into the word of comic book reading. I read the majority of last week’s new releases and will do the same for this week’s. As in the past, I will drop titles that fail to hold my interest and continue reading the ones that do. And, once I have a few issues under my belt, I’m going to start making recommendations.
With Akemi’s birthday less than a month away, I’ve started perusing various online sites for the perfectly unique birthday gift.
What follows are some of the more – uh – remarkable offerings available for you to order from JapanTrendShop.com:
You too can smell like a sumo wrestler!
His an Hers.
I wasn’t even aware this was a thing.
This gum would have come in so handy these past few months.
I’m not sure…I don’t even…I just don’t know.
Okay. Finally, this is something I can get behind.
For those long-haul flights.
Yep. My pet peeve when I go out for drinks is to get a mug that’s practically all beer and hardly any foam!
How else is your dog going to get his/her exercise?
Who doesn’t like robots? And love to laugh?
Fix your face!
To be saved for later use?
That big Dalek, Baby Groot, Winter Soldier Irish jib crossover is finally here!!!
Yes, today, we hit Toronto Comic Con – or “Geek Festival” as Akemi refers to it.
Like most cons, much of the fun is in checking out the people in costume. Or at least I assume they were in costume.
When in doubt, follow the woman with wings!
I think I successfully convinced Akemi to dress up as a stubby-limbed dinosaur next con.
I consider myself fairly well-versed when it comes to anime and comic books but even so I can usually only identify half of the cosplay characters. For instance, on the left is Tokyo Ghoul’s Kaneki, but I have no idea who’s standing beside him. More often than not, when I draw a blank, it’s a video-game character. Final Fantasy?
Plenty of Black Panther cosplay at this event.
Ran into my buddy, Duane – a…
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Well, well, well. If it isn’t Dark Matter‘s Teku Fonsei, actor Andrew Moodie, incognito.
Well, actually, it IS. And he’s pretty cognito. The beard is for a play he’s doing. The crispy pig ear he’s holding? Not part of the performance art.
Anyway, I was having lunch with Andrew today and thought – I bet Dark Matter fans would love to quiz him about his time on the show, before and beyond. So, if you’ve got questions for Andrew, please post them in this blog’s comments section. I’ll gather them up and send them his way this weekend.
Uh, guys. I think I may be dating a character from Futurama.
Still awaiting word from MGM on The Stargate Initiative. Adam Barnard offers up a neat summation of the recent #DriveToRevive campaign above.
Meanwhile, there was this tweet response from the official Stargate Command twitter:
I say again. Hmmmmmmm.