Disney Villain cakes and vampire Mickey Mouse coming to Japan in time for Halloween

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No wonder Mickey doesn’t look any older today than he did 80 years ago.

While there are still about two months to go until you’ll be able to get your hands on any trick-or-treat candy, Japanese cake shop Cozy Corner isn’t waiting anywhere near as long to get into the Halloween spirit. This being a Japanese bakery chain, though, even when things get dark, it’s going to be with a touch of cuteness and whimsy, which in Cozy Corner’s case is taking the form of a new lineup of Disney-themed Halloween sweets.

The flagship of the new line is the Disney Villains set of nine mini cakes, each one a tasty nod to one of the animation studio’s memorable antagonists. Cozy Corner did something similar two years ago, but for 2016 they’ve shuffled the lineup of good-tasting bad guys, which now consists of:

Cinderella’s Maleficent (a chocolate cream and blueberry cream cocoa cream puff)
Snow White’s evil Queen (apple jam and cream tart)
● 101 Dalmatians’ Cruella de Vil (raspberry jam and chocolate cream/condensed milk tart)
The Lion King’s Scar (condensed milk cream and pumpkin roll cake)
Alice in Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts (white chocolate cream and raspberry gelée cocoa tart)
Hercules’ Hades (pumpkin cream and cocoa sponge cake)
The Jungle Book’s Kaa (whipped cream and cocoa roll cake)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s Frollo (chocolate cream and blueberry sponge cake)
The Three Little Pigs’ Big Bad Wolf (orange jam and chocolate cream tart)

The 2,100-yen (US$20) set comes packaged in an eye-catching box featuring its sinister inspirations.

▼ Back row (from left to right): Big Bad Wolf, Hades, Queen
Middle row: Kaa, Cruella de Vil, Frollo
Front row: Queen of Hearts, Maleficent, Scar

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Of course, you can’t do a Disney-themed anything and not include Mickey, who’s the star of Cozy Corner’s Joyjoy Halloween Pumpkin Cake. But in keeping with the Halloween motif, the Disney mascot isn’t just a mouse anymore, but a vampire mouse.

▼ The inclusion of “Joyjoy” in the Disney cake’s name really underscores how little lasting cultural impact Ren and Stimpy has had in Japan.

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Instead of an insatiable desire for the blood of mortals, the 2,000-yen cake is filled with layers of maple cream and diced pumpkin, covered in pumpkin cream, sprinkled with crunchy caramel bits, and finished off with thin plates of chocolate forming Mickey’s face and ears.

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And finally, if you’re looking for something more individually sized, there’s the 350-yen Joyjoy Halloween Pumpkin Pudding, topped with a swirl of whipped cream.

▼ If it’s not scary-looking enough for you, you could always imagine Mickey isn’t raising his arms because he’s playfully cavorting, but because it’s the last step in the summoning ritual he’s performing to call forth dark spirits after offering all this pudding to them.

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The Disney Villain cake set and vampire Mickey cake go on sale September 1, with the pudding joining them a few weeks later on September 16. All three items will be available until October 31.

Related: Cozy Corner location finder
Source: PR Times
Images: PR Times (edited by RocketNews24)

Live-Action K-Drama “The [email protected]” Coming to Amazon in 2017

Amazon has announced that they will be the world-wide exclusive distributors of The [email protected], an original Korean live-action drama based on Bandai Namco’s The [email protected] video games.



The series will debut in early 2017 and will be translated into other languages for international distribution, including Japanese and English. An original storyline, The [email protected] features the multi-national band “Real Girls Project”, which includes singers from Korea, Japan, and Thailand.


In addition to distribution, Amazon will also be directly involved in the production of The [email protected], marking the first time Amazon has helped to produce a live-action Korean series.



AV Watch



Paul Chapman is the host of The Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast and GME! Anime Fun Time.

Top 20 most popular castles in Japan revealed for 2016

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How many of the top 20 most popular Japanese castles (according to TripAdvisor) have you been to?

TripAdvisor has revealed its top 20 best Japanese castles for 2016 based on commentary from domestic travellers – can you guess which castle is number one?

▼ Do you know what castle this is?

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The answer is…Himeji Castle, meaning last year’s number three spot has taken the gold medal this year. Situated in Hyogo Prefecture, Himeji Castle comprises of 83 buildings and is also known as the “White Heron Castle” as its bright white exterior is said to resemble a heron taking flight. Himeji Castle was one of Japan’s first UNESCO world heritage sites in 1993. Restoration work was recently carried out on the castle and it was reopened on March 27, 2015.

Here are some comments from those who visited Himeji Castle:

“No matter how many times I visit, it takes my breath away, it’s a beautiful, gorgeous castle.”
“Naturally this is a national treasure, the expansiveness of white is overwhelming.”

▼ Castle number 2: Matsumoto Castle


Maintaining second place for the second year running is Matsumoto Castle in Nagano Prefecture, which is surrounded by a large moat and stunning mountain ranges. In contrast to Himeji Castle, which is built on a hill, Matsumoto Castle was built on flat land in the late sixteenth century. Matsumoto Castle is also known as the “Crow Castle” thanks to its black color. The castle’s keep still has its original wooden interiors and outside stonework.

Here are some comments from those who visited Matsumoto Castle:

“Out of the 100 famous Japanese castles, I’ve seen about 80; this castle looks just like a postcard with its mountainous backdrop.”
“You can see the castle’s reflection in the moat water, giving you a different perspective other than looking just at the castle.”

▼ Castle number 3: Kumamoto Castle


Last year’s number one has come in at number three this year: Kumamoto Castle in Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu. Kumamoto Castle is another hilltop castle, originally built in 1467 and reconstructed in 1960. This castle unfortunately suffered moderate damage from the large Kumamoto earthquake earlier this year.

Here is what one person said about their visit to Kumamoto Castle:

“I’ve been to many castles, but there are very few that are better than this.”

▼ Castle number 4: Inuyama Castle (behind the castle’s mascot Wanmaru-kun)


Rising two spots from last year into number four is Inuyama Castle in Aichi Prefecture. Inuyama Castle is also perched on top of a hill and overlooks Kiso River, which serves as the border between Aichi and Gifu prefectures. Inuyama Castle is one of only 12 surviving castles that were built before the Edo period. Inuyama literally means “dog mountain”, which made the castle’s choice of mascot that little bit easier.

Here are some comments from those who visited Inuyama Castle:

“Compared to other castles, this hasn’t been modernized; it’s a small but nice castle.”
“I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it is also different for different countries, but this is a beautiful castle that gives the feeling of simplicity and security.”

▼ Castle number 5: Nijo Castle


Rounding off the top 5 is Nijo Castle in Kyoto. Nijo Castle is on a huge block of flat land spanning 275,000 square meters. This castle is one of the seventeen “historic monuments of ancient Kyoto” chosen by UNESCO as a heritage site. Nijo Castle was constructed upon the orders of shogunate Tokugawa Ieyasu and completed in 1626.

Here are some comments from those who visited Nijo Castle:

“This castle influenced history.”
“The interior is amazing, I could feel that this castle had a different purpose to all of the other castles I’ve seen.”

The top 20 list of the best castles in Japan according to TripAdvisor is presented below:

1. Himeji Castle (Hyogo)
2. Matsumoto Castle (Nagano)
3. Kumamoto Castle (Kumamoto)
4. Inuyama Castle (Aichi)
5. Nijo Castle (Kyoto)
6. Matsuyama Castle (Ehime)
7. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle (Okayama)
8. Matsue Castle (Shimane)
9. Hikone Castle (Shiga)
10. Nakagusuku Castle Ruins (Okinawa)
11. Katsuren Castle Ruins (Okinawa)
12. Takeda Castle Ruins (Hyogo)
13. Nakijin Castle Remains (Okinawa)
14. Shuri Castle (Okinawa)
15. Kochi Castle (Kochi)
16. Azuchi Castle Ruins (Shiga)
17. Osaka Castle (Osaka)
18. Zakimi Castle Ruins (Okinawa)
19. Maruoka Castle (Fukui)
20. Tsuruga Castle (Fukushima)

▼ Number 14: Shuri Castle (Okinawa)


I was surprised that five out of the top twenty are located in Okinawa, which makes it a bit more enticing as a next holiday destination. You can compare this year’s top 20 ranking with previous years (2012 and 2013).

I think I’ve been to about seven of this year’s top 20 best castles. How many of this year’s top 20 best castles have you been to?

Source: NariNari, TripAdvisor.jp, Wikipedia (1234, 5)
Featured image: ©RocketNews24
Images: Wikipedia/663highland (1, 2, 3), Wanmaru-kun Inuyama City Official Character Homepage, Wikipedia/Chino

Milan Records Teases Official Vinyl Repress of “Symphonic Suite Akira”

Los Angeles-based record label Milan Records, best known for releasing vinyl editions of highly lauded scores from major Hollywood films has teased on Twitter that it will release the Symphonic Suite Akira edition of the feature film’s lauded soundtrack. First released in 1988, with original copies hitting the high three figures, the Symphonic Suite edition mixes dialogue from the film with key moments in the original score, which many fans, including those at Milan Records prefer over the original score,

More details will be announced in the future, and the release will not be a limited run, according to the label there will be plenty of copies for everyone interested to buy. It looks like 2016 will be a good year for anime vinyl collectors with this and Perfect Blue’s soundtrack vinyl release via Tiger Lab. Any readers collect anime OSTs/scores on vinyl?


via The Vinyl Factory

Humberto Saabedra is the Owner of AnimeNews.biz and a part-time recording engineer. He can also be found musing on things at @AnimeNewsdotbiz

Words they don’t teach you in Japanese class: How to say “straw man” in Japanese

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Could a straw man survive the attack of even a single sumo wrestler?

When trying to learn a foreign language, I’m actually a pretty big proponent of classroom instruction. Sure, you could try to pick up everything organically, like you did with your first language when you were a baby, but putting a bit more effort and structure into the learning process generally tends to yield faster, better results when you’ve got a more mature mind.

That said, the drawback to taking a foreign language class is that, by necessity, the subject material covered is what has the greatest chance of being used by any given student. As a result, formal courses often skip over phrases that, while not the most broadly applicable, can still be extremely useful in a specific set of circumstances. For example. how do you say “straw man” in Japanese?

Actually, the phrase is a combination of two pretty simple pieces of Japanese vocabulary, one of which you most definitely already know. Let’s start with the marginally more difficult of the two halves, though: hitori.

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Hitori (which is usually written with less fancy characters as 一人) literally means “one person.” By association, though, it also means “alone” or “by oneself,” so it makes sense that it’d show up in an expression used to describe someone attacking a stance that no one is actually taking.

Speaking of attacking, we still need something to evoke the unilateral onslaught in an imaginary and one-sided debate, and what better way to do that than by borrowing the name of Japan’s most aggressive indigenous sport…

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So put those two halves together, soften the “S” in “sumo” into a Z, and you get hitorizumou, literally “one-man sumo,” which paints a pretty clear picture of someone fighting adversaries that don’t actually exist.


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Turned into a verb-phrase, hitorizumou becomes hitorizumou wo toru. As is always the case with the Japanese language, you can make it sound gentler or harsher depending on the grammar you sprinkle around it. A politely-voiced “Hitorizumou wo toranaide kudasai” can come off of as soft as “Don’t go tilting at windmills,” where as a spat-out “Hitorizumou wo toru n ja ne yo!” lands closer to “Enough with the straw man bullshit.”

In either case, though, if someone calls you out on doing some one-man sumo, and you realize he’s got a point, a sumimasen (“I’m sorry”) might be in order.

Top image: Gatag
Insert images: RocketNews24, Wikipedia/Eckhard Pecher

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