Tomorrow is the Miss Universe 2012 compeition. This year Japan will be represented by Miss Ayako Hara. Behind the cut, I've collected pictures of Ayako from the preliminaries, in her national costume, with other delegates and official pictures from promoters and the MU site. Since the national costumes are a casual watcher favorite, I once again added the customs of other Asian delegates. As well as the opinion of Ines Ligron. She was the national director for Japan's own Miss Universe Japan until she later left.
Miss Universe will take place on December 19th, 2012 at 8pm ET, from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. And one of the finalist judges is the popular chef Masaharu Morimoto (Iron Chef, Iron Chef America). With 88 other girls to compete against, how will Japan do?
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source: MU Youtube, Other National Costumes, MISSOLOGY forums, Other Contestant's National Costumes, Ines' Blog
Well this took forever to do lol.
Imagine a music landscape dominated by just one individual—an all-powerful Svengali who, for more than 45 years, has held a virtual monopoly on male pop groups, producing a world-record-holding 289 No. 1 hits, 35 chart-topping acts, and, in the past decade alone, 8,419 concerts. He rarely appears in media, and yet his power over the press has left them kowtowing to his demands for decades. His reclusive character is revered and feared in equal parts by an entire Japanese music industry. Welcome to the world of Johnny Kitagawa.
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The Daily Beast / Newsweek
Valhalla Entertainment, the American production company headed by Gale Anne Hurd, announced on Tuesday that it is developing a live-action feature film adaptation of the giant robot anime Gaiking with Toei Animation and All Nippon Entertainment Works (ANEW). Hurd previously produced The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Aliens, Armageddon, and The Incredible Hulk. Valhalla's other projects include The Walking Dead television series for AMC and the Horizon pilot for Universal Cable Productions and the USA Network.
Valhalla describes the story of the anime:
Gaiking follows a young man who is recruited to serve as the lead pilot for the Super Robot Gaiking. When Earth is threatened by an alien race intent on taking over the planet, he emerges as the only one who can pilot the massive robot. Together with his fellow co-pilots he must fight off the alien force in order to save mankind.
Toei has been planning CG film adaptations of Gaiking and another anime, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, since at least 2010. It produced a CG pilot of Gaiking with Jules Urbach, the developer of the Light Stage technology used in Avatar and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and unveiled the pilot at the Tokyo International Anime Fair 2010. Urbach licensed the rights not only to Gaiking, but also "multiple characters" from Shogun Warriors, the American super robot brand from the 1970s.
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Their most recent video game in the series, Final Fantasy XIII-2, was released in December 2011 in Japan, and in January 2012 in North America. Another sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, titled Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, is in the works. 2013's combined 4th/5th issue of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine is revealing Lightning's new design on Saturday. Lightning will return as the main character for the third game, though her sister Serah held that position in the second game.
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Sony will reveal more details of Final Fantasy and Metal Gear series' 25th anniversary projects on Wednesday.
The original Final Fantasy was released on December 18, 1987 by Square Soft on the Nintendo Entertainment System, also known as the Nintendo Family Computer or Famicom in Japan. The game sold 500,000 copies in total. Final Fantasy III (1990) was the first in the series to sell over a million, and Final Fantasy V (1992) sold over two million.
Final Fantasy VII (1997) far outsold VI, with the 3D CG game selling an estimated 99 million copies worldwide. Final Fantasy VIII (1999) and Final Fantasy IX (2000) also used the 3D CG techniques of VII, and Final Fantasy IX sold around 2.79 million in Japan alone, with 5.30 copies sold worldwide. Final Fantasy X (2001), the first game in the series for the Playstation 2, sold at least 6.6 million copies worldwide.
Square went on to prooducing an American/Japanese CG movie, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, which cost the company US$137 million to make. It ended up as a box office bomb, and Square recorded a loss of 13.9 billion yen (about US$165,674,100). Square Soft then went on to merge with Enix, and the company is now known as Square Enix.
As previously reported, “Yokomichi Yonosuke” is based on a novel by award-winning author Yoshida Shuichi ("Parade", "Akunin"). The movie is directed by Okita Shuichi ("Kitsutsuki to Ame") and stars actor Kora Kengo as the title character and actress Yoshitaka Yuriko as his girlfriend, Yosano Shoko.
The story is set during the 1980s, following the life of a good-natured college student named Yokomichi Yonosuke who has come to Tokyo from Nagasaki. Other cast members include Ikematsu Sosuke, Ito Ayumi and Ayano Gou.
ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION has provided the movie's theme song entitled "Ima wo Ikite".
The Japanese maid café chain MaiDreamin announced on Friday that it will open a branch in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles next year. An opening date is planned no earlier than Summer 2013. Branches are also being considered in New York City and Boston.
The restaurant will hold auditions for employees out of the Los Angeles area.
Previous attempts at a maid café in North America include Detroit's Chou Anime Café, which opened in June but closed its doors in September when it failed to achieve a steady stream of customers. Chou Anime Café was briefly the only operating maid café in the United States, after California's Royal/T Maid Café closed its doors in August. Similar past attempts included Far Out Toys in San Jose, California and the iMaid Café in Scarborough, Ontario, The iMaid Café opened in 2006 and closed in 2007 due to unpaid back rent.
MaiDreamin has 11 locations in Japan with a Thai branch planned to open in Bangkok in February.
On December 18th, 5-member rock band SPYAIR held their first live concert at the Nippon Budokan.
This became SPYAIR’s last stage with the 5 members, since the band’s DJ, ENZEL☆ left the group with this live concert. They performed a total of 21 songs including their latest single “WENDY~It’s You~” (released on November 21st), and attracted an audience of 10,000.
On the stage, ENZEL☆ shouted, “I am so proud that I was able to stand on this stage with these members. Thank you to all of you!” It’s said that ENZEL☆ will set off on a journey after this, so the fellow members gave him a backpack as a gift.
There is also happy news. It was announced on SPYAIR’s official site that their first single for 2013 titled “Sakura Mitsutsuki” is set for release on March 13th! It has already been chosen as the opening theme song for TV Tokyo’s ongoing anime “Gintama” for the month of January. The single will be released in two versions; [CD+DVD], and [CD Only]. They will reveal more details on the single later on, so stay tuned!
On December 18th, actor Mukai Osamu (30) responded to an interview and denied that he’s in a relationship with actress Kuninaka Ryoko (33).
Mukai, who was asked about the relationship rumor, stressed that Kuninaka is just one of his co-stars: “It’s a completely false story. It said that we dined at a teppanyaki restaurant, but there were other staff members.” Regarding the reason why he didn’t respond when the rumor broke out, he explained, “I didn’t think it was necessary to say something every time something was written about me.”
Mukai and Kuninaka co-starred in the Fuji TV drama ‘Hungry!‘, which broadcast from January to March of this year. On the December 13th issue of ‘Josei Seven‘, it was reported that the two were seen eating lunch together at a restaurant in Shichirigahama, Kanagawa then shopping together at an IKEA store in Yokohama.