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Mar 28 2015

Random Japan

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Pikachu puts on a suit, hopes hiring managers will choose him as a business formal plushie

Casey Baseel

Despite his cherubic good looks and smooth, unlined face, Pikachu isn’t as young as he used to be. The first Pokémon video game was released in Japan in 1996, and considering that the franchise’s most famous pocket monster was ready to go into battle right away, theoretically he must have already been a few years old by that time.

What we’re saying is, Pikachu isn’t a kid anymore. It’s time he entered the workforce and became an economically self-sufficient member of society, which is just what he’s poised to do in his new, suit-wearing plushie form.

While Japan, like most western countries, celebrates the solar new year in January, spring is really considered to be the start of most people’s annual lifestyle cycles. It’s when the school year begins, and also when the vast majority of Japanese companies have their new employees start working.

STATS

85

Percentage of respondents to a newspaper survey who say they support Sapporo’s bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics

50

Number of purse snatchings carried out by a pair of 21-year-old scooter-riding bandits, according to Chiba police

52

Percentage of mobile phone shops that provide “insufficient explanations” to customers who purchase smartphones, according to the National Police Agency

GAME ON!

   Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe said he believes funds earmarked for disaster reconstruction in Tohoku would be better used to help pay for the 2020 Olympics. Which is weird, because last year Masuzoe went on record as saying the reconstruction budget should be used for disaster recovery and that the “cost of hosting the Olympics can be covered from elsewhere.”

   Officials at JR East said they’ll introduce double-decker “green car” carriages on the Chūō and Ōme Lines in time for the Tokyo Games.

   Bottom Story of the Week: “Mystery Person Who Sent Hina Dolls to U.S. President Kennedy Identified” (via Mainichi Japan)

 The Fruit Knife The Crisis Manger

   No Job

  Bonsai

  Goes Boom

Aichi Police

  Stomp On The Brakes

Five anime better than their manga and novel source material, according to fans



By Casey Baseel

TOKYO –

Only a small fraction of the huge quantity of anime that Japan produces starts off as animation, with the rest being adapted from preexisting works such as serialized comics or novels. But because making anime is so much more capital and labor-intensive than drawing a manga or writing a book, oftentimes fans prefer the original, lamenting that the creator’s genius is watered down when he has to relinquish control to the many disparate interests that make up an anime production committee.

But the jump to animation isn’t always seen as a step down in quality. A recent poll asked fans which anime they thought had surpassed their source material, and here are the top five responses.