LAMP IN TERREN are returned to life in their PV for “Water Lily”

Alternative rockers LAMP IN TERREN have announced that they will be releasing a special live limited single titled “Water Lily” on August 19th, with a digital release to follow on August 24th.  Of note, this single contains the first songs to be written by the band since singer Hiroshi Matsumoto recovered from vocal polyp surgery.

In advance of both release dates, the group have chosen to publish the music video for the release’s lead track “Water Lily” to their label’s Youtube channel.  Directed by Yuuki Wakisaka, this PV is based around the themes of ‘underwater’ and ‘rebirth’, meant to symbolize the band’s return to life since their singer’s return.

Read on below to find not only this music video, but the single’s cover and track list as well.

-’Water Lily’ Track List-

  1. Water Lily
  2. Bourei to Kage

(via natalie)

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Awesome City Club express anxiety in their Lyric Video for “Hachigatsu to Moratori”

Retro-inspired rock band Awesome City Club will be releasing a new digital single titled “Hachigatsu to Moratori” on August 22nd.  This will be the group’s second digital single this year, following the release of “SUNNY GIRL” back in June.

Ahead of the track’s release date, the band have uploaded a lyric video to their label’s Youtube channel.  This video, like the song itself, attempts to convey the anxiety and vague expectations which young adults feel as they are forced to grow up and accept responsibility within society.

Both this lyric video, as well as the one released for “SUNNY GIRL”, can be found below.

(via natalie)

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Newspeak to release their first Mini-Album in October

Following nearly a year of silence, up-and-coming rock band Newspeak have announced that they will be releasing their first mini-album on October 3rd.  Titled “Out Of The Shrinking Habitat”, this release will feature eight new songs from the band, including the pre-released single “Lake“.

Shortly after the record’s release, Newspeak will be embarking on a short release tour which will take them to several livehouses across Japan.

You’ll find the cover and complete track list for “Out Of The Shrinking Habitat” right after the cut.

-’Out Of The Shrinking Habitat’ Track List-

  1. The Shrinking Habitat
  2. 24/7 What For
  3. Wall
  4. Lake
  5. Monetized Love
  6. Soul Spin
  7. Let Down
  8. Wanna Stay

(via indiegrab.jp)

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Tokyo Tower Records store helps avert a wedding proposal disaster when it finds a lost love note

Klutziness can’t foil cupid’s plan, which is saved by clever employees.

If you work in retail and you’re tidying up your store, there are certain things you expect to occasionally find your customers have left behind, like phones, wallets, and handkerchiefs. The situation was a bit more dramatic at a Tokyo Tower Records, though, when the employees found a marriage proposal.

Framed by hearts and written in romantic red ink, the note simply said “Marry me.” However, there was no designated recipient, and so, heart aflutter, the official Twitter account of the Tower Record Diver City branch tweeted:

“We just found a piece of paper saying ‘Marry me’ on the floor of our shop. To the owner of the note, please contact us.

If we don’t hear from you by the end of the day, we’ll assume you want to marry our store staff. We appreciate your feelings, but we’d like to start as friends, and see where the relationship goes.”

Just 30 minutes later, the author of the note, Twitter user @____mttmy, came forward, cringing with embarrassment.

“It’s mine wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
Oh God I’m dying wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.”

“I put it in the glasses case I loaned to my friend, and my friend must have dropped it. Seriously, this is killing me. I want to get married.”

Then, almost immediately, the intended recipient, Twitter user @2OO3__O227__, joined in.

“I’m the one who dropped the paper. Let’s get married…

When @2OO3__O227__ opened the case in order to put on the glasses that were inside, the paper fluttered out, apparently undetected until it was found by the Tower Records staff. Now that they knew who it was really meant for, they turned it over to @2OO3__O227__, who came by the store to pick it up.

Both lovebirds offered sincere yet tongue-in-cheek apologies to Tower Records for getting their hopes up. The store took it all in stride, though, tweeting:

“We were able to return the proposal paper to its owner. We were sad to hear that our staff was not being proposed to, but we’re always happy when our customers’ feeling can reach the people, and artists, that they love.”

Don’t worry, Tower Records Odaiba. We’re sure you’ll find your soul mate someday.

Source: Twitter/@TOWER_Divercity (1, 2) via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@TOWER_Divercity
Top image: Pakutaso

Comiket attendee finds a beautiful handmade anime bag, is surprised to discover its artist

Turns out there really is no limit to how long you can create labors of love for your favorite anime shows, especially if you helped in the Golden age!

Comiket is one of the most hotly anticipated events in the otaku calendar, and it’s not hard to see why. The recent summer chapter of Comiket 2018 featured the usual lineup of gorgeous cosplayers and the top-notch organization that keeps the well-greased wheels of Japan’s number one convention turning smoothly. While both the cosplay and the company stands draw huge crowds, for many the true point of Comiket is the sheer volume of fanmade goods: comics, charms, cosplay items and accessories of your favorite characters are packed into the halls, with some of the most well-known artists selling out in a matter of hours.

Of course, because these goods aren’t official, they’re usually extremely cheap when contrasted with official merchandise. Fans often only charge the cost of the materials for the product, meaning you can score some seriously sweet loot of your favorite franchises without draining your wallet.

Twitter user @KuroShia4 was scanning the shelves of reasonably priced items when he was brought up short by a beautiful canvas tote bag, emblazoned with a pretty picture of rabbit androgyne Nanachi from whistle-while-you-spelunk anime Made in Abyss.

▼ The bag in question, priced at 300 yen (US$2.70) for large bags and 200 yen for medium and small (translation below)

In the tweet, he writes:

“Me: Oh neat, they’re selling tote bags at this Comiket. This one is gorgeous! Who drew the picture?
40-something Comiket pro: Looks like it’s by that one woman who used to work as Osamu Tezuka’s assistant back in the day. She’s 75 or so now.
Me: ?!?!?!?!?!?!”
#SomethingICameAcrossThatMyFollowersMightNotHaveSeen

He added, “By the way, this tote bag was sold by the fan group “Chibi-sensei”. They’ll be selling this cute Nanachi bag at Winter Comiket too, if they get approved!” and told followers to take note that as first-time sellers, they may increase their prices when they next sell at the convention.

Judging by the replies from the thread, an increase in price won’t be much of a problem. Several commenters lamented how low this woman was underselling herself, considering she herself was a vital part of animation history, and begged her to add a zero or two to the asking price. Others took the thread as a chance to post nostalgic screen caps from a documentary on the 28th Comiket back in 1985, where Tezuka himself appeared as a guest.

▼ Tezuka appears in the top left corner

A different theory appeared later through a tweet from @SaikiFumiyoshi:

“Based on her age and the era of Tezuka’s peak activity, I think it’s more likely that this is just someone who was employed by Mushi Production (Tezuka’s animation studio) rather than someone who was his personal animation assistant.

When @KuroShia4 replied “I don’t have proof because it’s just what I heard in person, but it felt like her work had a direct influence from Tezuka…”, @SaikiFumiyoshi wrote:

“It’s gotta be about 50 years or so ago now, but Osamu Tezuka’s Mushi Production had departments for producing both manga and anime. They (especially the anime department) employed many young women, so I was just theorizing that maybe that was the situation with this artist.”

Regardless of the veracity, with so many users clamoring to buy the Nanachi bag (even at a higher price!) and promising to go to Winter Comiket in hopes of procuring one, Chibi-sensei can look forward to a triumphant return to the anime circuit later this year. With a bit of luck the fanmade goods section will be full of even more weird and wonderful treasures that all generations of fans can enjoy!

Source: Twitter/@KuroShia4 via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@KuroShia4

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe enjoys a shaved ice, Twitter buries him in a hashtag avalanche

Japanese netizens react to the PR photo with a variety of “helpful” advice hashtags, as well as some hashtags that aren’t very helpful at all.

Recent years in politics have worn heavy on 57th Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with a series of scandals over land deals and an unflattering drawing in his image spreading through the Internet. Sometimes you just have to take a break from all those political missives and order yourself a treat.

This time, his craving for something cold and creamy was slaked by a heaping pile of the classic summer dessert kakigori (shaved ice), and someone was on hand to snap a photo of him taking a bite.

“I’m eating some shaved ice in my home town. This is what summer is really all about.”

Even Abe’s detractors can enjoy his passion for sweet things, as seen in the amusing tag lines on university baseball games about his love of discount chocolate candy Black Thunder. But no one was expecting the reaction to this innocuous photo…

▼ “#IsYourStomachDoingOkayShinzoAbe
#SummerIsAllAboutShavedIceIsntItShinzoAbe
#DoYouLikeStrawberryFlavorShinzoAbe
#SummerIsReallyHereAgainShinzoAbe
#DoYouLikeShavedIceShinzoAbe
#YouHaveAStunningSmileShinzoAbe”

Hold on a minute, this reply (and many exactly like it) is just hashtags and nothing else! What’s the deal?!

It turns out that Japanese online etiquette differs from Western Twitter in a few key ways. For one thing, hashtags increase the social relevance of a single Tweet way more than in the West – but also, it’s common for hashtags to include entire sentences or paragraphs and become popular trends, as opposed to Western net users who generally prefer something short and snappy. As you can see just in this lone example, the hashtags become more and more mundane and just plain silly. Don’t worry, there’s plenty more where that came from!

▼ A still-growing collection of bizarre hashtags

While a lot of the early replies were saccharine-sweet advice such as “#EatItSlowlyShinzoAbe“, “#MakeSureNotToGetABrainFreezeShinzoAbe” and “#DoYouNeedASecondHelpingShinzoAbe“, soon it crept into the realm of tongue-in-cheek parody – “#IfYouAren’tHappyWeAren’tHappyShinzoAbe“, for instance, or “#ArentYouGladToHaveSuchKindCitizensWhoWorryAboutYourHealthShinzoAbe“.

One cheeky commenter left a hashtag referring to the 2017 land buying controversy, where Moritomo Gakuen (a school with ties to Abe and his wife, Akie) was able to purchase a valuable piece of land at a high discount. “#DontThinkYouCanHideYourSyrupLikeYouHidTheMoritomoDocumentsShinzoAbe” was followed by a reply from someone imploring “#DontWorryAboutTheMoritomoScandalPleaseJustRelaxShinzoAbe“.

Onlookers were divided as to whether the comforting hashtags were serious or not:

“I loved the comment that asked their own prime minister if he had enough pocket change, haha!”
“What a kind world we live in.”
“[When you read them out] it sounds like a rap song!”
“Everyone really is being too nice to him.”
“#EatYourFillShinzoAbe”

If the prime minister gets re-elected, the Internet will have to wait with bated breath so see what delicious icy food he’ll be caught with next year. Maybe this cute frosty bear? Scratch that, actually… With all he has on his plate recently, he’s going to need a literal cold one.

Source: Twitter/@ShinzoAbe via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@ShinzoAbe

Swiss otaku says he’s moving to Japan after customs officials confiscate his 66-pound manga haul

Laments the officer handling his case has “no tolerance whatsoever” for hentai and loli dojinshi.

Melonpan, Switzerland’s famous, and most perverted, otaku has been going through a rough patch for the past few months. In April, he lost his job with Swiss bank UBS after his employer found out about his penchant for pornographic anime and manga. A month later, he landed a job with delivery service DHL, but once again, his taste in media turned out to be too much for the company to stomach, and he was fired on his first day.

Still, Melonpan had enough financial resources to take a trip to Japan this summer, apparently coinciding with Comiket, the country’s largest gathering of independently produced dojinshi manga. He apparently also had enough room in his budget to purchase roughly 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of dojinshi, which for many otaku would be a dream come true…but it’s turned into a nightmare for Melonpan.

Trying to lug all that manga back in his suitcase, coupled with his other belongings, would almost certainly have put Melonpan over his airline’s baggage weight limit. So instead, he decided to mail his purchases back to Switzerland. After returning to his home country, he received a notice that his parcel had arrived, but that it had also been seized by Swiss customs officials.

Melonpan’s above tweet reads:

“On my recent trip to Japan, I mailed 30 kilograms of dojinshi (mostly loli), but today customs told me they’ve confiscated it and I must come in soon to explain myself. Everyone, please pray once again that the customs officials will be able to understand the wonderfulness of Japanese art! I’m tired of being in the slammer.”

The last sentence is a little confusing, as Melonpan hasn’t been taken into custody for the parcel, and it’s unclear whether he actually wants to refer to some previous incarceration or is simply misusing the Japanese expression in his tweet. Regardless, the next day, August 16, he tweeted again, lamenting the uphill battle of convincing the government that dojinshi of the loli category (which depicts young, often pre-teen girls in provocative poses and situations) is benign.

“The situation isn’t looking good. It’s like the female official handling my case has no tolerance whatsoever for hentai culture, and is even stricter about loli stuff. Is this as far as my hentai gentlemanliness will take me? I’m scared.”

He followed this up with a bold proclamation…

“Time to move to Japan.”

…and then, in a rarity for the unabashed fan of lascivious Japanese comics, an English tweet.

Considering the abject despair shown in Melonpan’s tweets, it’s hard to say if he’s sincere in his professed emigration ambitions, or simply struggling to find a way to cope with the possibility that he may never get his hands on all that dojinshi he bought. Should he make the move, he might also be surprised to learn that even in Japan, where people are generally content to mind their own business regarding other people’s hobbies, there are limits to how accepting society, and employers, are towards wearing your otaku lecherousness on your sleeve, though relocating would, at the very least, free him from having to deal with the customs department after his shopping excursions.

Source: Twitter/@MeidocafeR via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@MeidocafeR