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2014 Japanese Calendar Sale at YesAsia

It’s that time of year… 2014 calendars are now available to order from YesAsia, with the likes of AKB48, Gackt and various Anime titles including: My Neighbor Totoro, One Piece, Sword Art Online and Attack on Titan.

YesAsia is offering a 10% off sale with an extra 5% on orders over US$100.

Click on the banner to head on over to check out their stock.

Ghost in the Shell: ARISE

Ghost in the Shell: ARISE

Nowadays it takes something of pretty significant importance for me to post on LoLyfe.com. Today, one of those pretty significant things has happened…

Production I.G surprised fans in January with the announcement of a new Ghost in the Shell project. We were to wait by our persocom’s for further news… Then on Tuesday I saw this via the GITS Channel on YouTube. There isn’t much in the trailer that needs translating but the basics are that this is a prequel. It’s a four part mini-series. The first instalment is to be released on June 22 in Japanese cinemas with a Blu-ray and DVD version following closely behind on July 26. Subsequent episodes will be released after that but no dates (at this point) have been leaked.

The storyline is unavoidably the origin story of the lead protagonist of the series, Motoko Kusanagi. Geek food for this comes in the form of the voice actor that spoke the last line in the original Ghost in the Shell film, where Kusanagi is placed into the cyborg body of a young girl, will be handling the voice tasks for this series.

More news will undoubtedly follow and I will be following with extreme prejudice. Stay tuned…

Utada Hikaru

Evangelion 3.0 Theme: Hikaru Utada “Sakura Nagashi”

Available to pre-order from cdJapan is Hikaru Utada‘s new single in DVD format featuring the end credit theme song “Sakura Nagashi” for Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo.

Number of discs: 1
Label/Distributor: EMI Music Japan
Format: NTSC Format
Region Code: 2 (Japan, Europe, Middle East, and South Africa only)
Subtitles: None

Sakura Nagashi / Hikaru Utada
Hikaru Utada
Tebu-Touch

Gloves That Work With Touchscreen?

This is cool…

Anyone knows that in the winter-time it can be a a real pain in the butt getting your smartphone or portable touchscreen device to work when you have gloves on. Fiddling about with one glove in your mouth, the other under your armpit just so you can send a text?
Fingerless gloves are my solution – but the drawback is cold fingers. Another solution I have seen is a fingerless glove/mitten mash-up – pretty clever. But now there is something new, something that will make all the hassle go away.. it’s a liquid?

A company in Japan called Onsight has released a revolutionary product that by adding a few drops to the fingertips of the glove makes them touchscreen friendly.
The product is called Tebu-Touch (tebu coming from “tebukuro,” the Japanese word for gloves), and Onsight explain that, “Although the liquid may create the sensation that your touch screen has moisture upon it, the liquid will not damage the screen in any way.”

via Japan Today

PockyMens

Pocky Beats iPhone5 in Tweet Record

Pocky Men'sNovember 11th was Pocky & Pretz Day. Didn’t know? Me neither but if I had of known I would certainly have participated.

The task was to enter the Guinness World Records with the most tweets containing the name “Pocky” — the heading it would be seen in the book would be under the “The Brand Name Most Tweeted in 24 Hours” previously held by iPhone5 with 1.08 million tweets on its release day.
Glico’s Pocky chocolate snack beat the record hands down with 1,843,733 tweets.

via Japan Today

Evangelion3

Evangelion 4 Gets Title

Shin Evangelion Gekijō-ban 𝄇 (シン・エヴァンゲリオン劇場版𝄇)The fourth (and final) instalment of the Evangelion Movie franchise seems to have it’s title. Saturday saw the theatrical release of Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (Evangelion Shin Gekijō-ban Q) in Japan and a leaflet that was handed out with the ticket suggested that the last film in the Gainax reboot/redo/rehash of the series would be named: Shin Evangelion Gekijō-ban 𝄇 (シン・エヴァンゲリオン劇場版𝄇). The translation of which won’t make any sense to English speaking viewers as they did not directly translate the film titles in the first place. The first three films sub-texts are taken from the three classical music movements (Jo-Ha-Kyū or Introduction-Exposition-Climax) of traditional Japanese music such as gagaku and Noh. This fourth title has a symbol at the end denoting the repetition after reaching the end of a measure. I have no clue what any of this means and as stated above. it doesn’t really matter as the English film titles have nothing to do with their original counterparts. Still, it’s worth knowing I suppose…

via ANN

Psycho-Pass

Autumn Anime Watchlist

Autumn is upon us and here at the LoLyfe Towers it means an abject abundance of anime awesomeness. The darkness that hangs over the rooftops here for pretty much the whole of the day, lasts until springtime but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all doom and gloom — no — This autumn promises some great anime titles, some unusual, some familiar reworks and some that, well, are better left well alone – but either way, there’s a lot on the way. Below are my own personal highlights which probably won’t hold to the core of anime fans out there but personal taste is what it is…

I’ll come back to this post in November to give my first impressions but until then, sit back and enjoy your autumn delights…

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Big Bang

Yes Asia Weekly Promotion: aRtisT, Big Bang, T-ARA

Big Bang Special Edition - Still Alive (Random Version) + Folded Poster

In case there was any doubt, Big Bang is Still Alive and gracing fans with a special album! A follow-up to their fifth mini-album, Still Alive comes with four tracks from Alive (Fantastic Baby, Bad Boy, Blue, and Love Dust) and five new tracks. The new tracks include Still Alive (the full version of their Alive intro track) and the title song Monster written and composed by G-Dragon.

This version comes with a 36-page photobook, a 56-page brand book, a YG Family Card (first press; only while supplies last), and a folded poster.

Note: This album is available in six different versions. Customers who purchase this product will have one of the available versions selected for them at random. Product content is subject to change without notice.

Jewelry box [DIAMOND EDITION] (ALBUM+DVD+ PHOTOBOOK)(First Press Limited Edition) (Japan Version)

After becoming the first overseas group to score a number one debut single on the Oricon chart, T-ara has released a string of successful singles. Now, the girls are finally releasing their first Japanese album! Jewelry Box features the Japanese version of Korean hits like Roly-Poly, Bo Peep Bo Peep, yayaya, plus two original Japanese-language songs. See how T-ara shines in Japan with Jewelry Box!

This edition comes in a special jewelry box. It includes a 100-page photo book, a postcard with a serial number (one randomly chosen from eight available styles), plus a bonus DVD with T-ara’s X’mas Premium Live.

Teen Top Mini Album Vol. 3 - aRtisT

Teen Top saw a big jump in popularity after Teen Top saw a big jump in popularity after their last mini-album It’s and hit song “Crazy”, which brought them their first no. 1 win on Music Bank. The group follows up quickly with their third mini-album aRtisT which features six tracks including the title song To You.

Tsunami Harley

Tsunami Harely to be preserved at Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee

Tsunami HarleyAt the beginning of this month, a 2004 Harley-Davidson FXSTB Softail Night Train washed up on the shores of Graham Island, British Columbia. What made this remarkable was that it was owned by Ikuo Yokoyama, who lives in Japan. The bike was washed out to sea amidst the tsunami that hit Japan back in March 2011.
Canadian Peter Mark discovered the Harley at low tide more than a year after the disaster, along with some other contents of a cargo container and it made headlines the world over. Now, after Harley-Davidson have offered to repatriate the bike, Yokoyama has politely declined and requested the bike be preserved in the Harley-Davidson Museum in honour of those who lost their lives or have been forever changed by the disaster.
Yokoyama is still trying to piece together his life after the tragic event and is currently in temporary housing in Miyagi Prefecture.

“It is truly amazing that my Harley-Davidson motorcycle was recovered in Canada after drifting for more than a year,” Yokoyama said, “I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation to Peter Mark, the finder of my motorcycle. Due to circumstances caused by the disaster, I have been so far unable to visit him in Canada to convey my gratitude.

“Since the motorcycle was recovered, I have discussed with many people about what to do with it. I would be delighted if it could be preserved in its current condition and exhibited to the many visitors to the Harley-Davidson Museum as a memorial to a tragedy that claimed thousands of lives. I am very grateful to Harley-Davidson for offering me an opportunity to visit the museum, and I would like to do that when things have calmed down. At the same time, I would like to meet Peter, who recovered my motorcycle, to express my gratitude. Finally, I would like to thank all people around the world once again for their wholehearted support of the areas hit by the earthquake and Tsunami. I would like to ask them to help convey messages from the Japanese people about the tragedy of the Great East Japan Earthquake, which was a disaster of historic proportions.”

A truly remarkable sentiment, I think…

Hayward.Gallery

From Me, Belongs to You Only – Lee Bul

From the Korean Culture Centre UK

This summer, Hayward Gallery transforms into Wide Open School. More than 100 international will lead lead workshops, collaborative projects, lectures and seminars on subjects that inspire them. This is a unique opportunity find out how artists think about and question things and to observe their creative processes.

There are no entrance exams or application forms. You just need to use your intelligence and enthusiasm in unusual ways. Tickets and full programme www.wideopenschool.com / 0844 847 9910

Friday 15 June, 7pm

Lee Bul seeks to share a feeling of intimacy and warmth with the audience in this lecture presenting her working processes as well as her major projects. This illustrated lecture takes its title from a line in a love letter sent to Lee Bul. (In Korean with simultaneous English translation).

Supported by the Korean Cultural Centre UK (KCCUK) and the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS) with the kind support of the Korean Ministryof Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST).

Part of:
Wide Open School
11 June – 11 July
Hayward Gallery

Fore more information visit the official website.

Starship Troopers: Invasion

CGI Starship Troopers: Invasion – Japanese Trailer

Starship Troopers: Invasion

From Director Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed, Appleseed EX Machina), comes the surprisingly cool looking Starship Troopers: Invasion — A CG epic based on Robert Heinlein‘s book and continuing ten years on from Paul Verhoeven’s ’97 effort (and thankfully, ignoring all subsequent sequels).

Trailer below:
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FAB-7

And Now Fan Bing Bing for Iron Man 3?

Fan BingbingThe rumour mill is at work again with yet another Chinese name being added to the running for the next instalment of the Marvel Studios(read Disney)/DMG Entertainment co-production of Iron Man 3.
Earlier this year, Fan Bingbing (pictured) was touted as saying that she wanted to make the move towards Hollywood. This could be her opportunity as the list of Marvel Comics films are gaining strength with every release. With the draw that Downey Jr. and co brought in for Avengers, then you can expect that the third of the Iron Man films could easily do similar business. With this in mind, Bing Bing’s management would surely be champing at the bit to get her on board.

Nothing is written in stone as yet, but with other names such as Andy Lau, Yao Chen and Liu Ye in the mix, it looks like the producers have a keen eye for the talent that is to be involved.

MotorwayBlurb

Trailer for Soi Cheang’s Motorway

Motorway
Johnnie To‘s never ending stream of production awesomeness hits again with the driving action film Motorway from Accident Director, Soi Chang. Starring Shawn Yue, Anthony Wong, Guo Xiaodong, Barbie Hsu and Josie Ho.

A driver for an elite undercover police squad called The Stealth Riders, comes up against underworld racers and cons on the run. His task is to bring down the legendary getaway driver who hasn’t been heard of for fifteen years.

The film is released in Hong Kong cinemas on the 21st of June, so it’ll be a few months before it surfaces on Blu-ray. In the meantime, check out the trailer:
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Throne of Blood

Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood + ScreenTalk with Yukio Ninagawa

Throne of Blood

Barbican Film is showing the magnificent Akira Kurosawa adaptation of Macbeth in June. Hosted Japanese film specialist Tony Rayns with a ScreenTalk by Yukio Ninagawa.

Kurosawa’s 1957 epic stands tall among his films and is one of my own personal favourites. Starring Toshirō Mifune, Isuzu Yamada and Takashi Shimura, Throne of Blood (Kumonosu-jō) sees the Bard’s tale of spooky apparitions and unbridled guilt transferred to medieval Japan where the famous tale of treachery and murder are expertly etched into celluloid to tickle our tastebuds.

Throne of Blood (Kumonosu jo) (12A) + Screentalk with Yukio Ninagawa
2pm
2 June 2012
Cinema 1

Standard – £11.50 online / £12.50 on the door
Barbican Members – £9.50 online / £10.50 on the door
Concessions £10.50

from Barbican

Punished2

Review: Punished (2011)

PunishedI have just gotten around to watching Punished, the Johnnie To produced kidnap thriller starring Anthony Wong, Richie Jen and Maggie Cheung.

A top notch cast show their chops with this gritty tale of a kidnap and ransom gone wrong. Wong shows that he is still box office draw with a great performance as a real estate developer Wong Ho Chiu, whose wayward daughter is kidnapped for a hefty HKD$50 Million pay off. Chiu entrusts his loyal bodyguard Yiu Kai Chor (Richie Jen) to track down and take out each of the perpetrators involved in the botched kidnapping but he has to live with his decisions as Yiu keeps him appraised every step of the way.
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switch-poster

Andy Lau – Switch – Official International Trailer

Switch

Switch, the latest Andy Lau effort takes from James Bond and Ethan Hunt and by the looks of the trailer, it’s going to be a fantastic action romp.

Directed by Jay Sun and also starring Zhang Jingchu, Lin Chi-ling and Tong Dawei. Not much more information to offer as it’s just had the trailer premier at Cannes, which you can see in full HD below.
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ChinatownKid

Review: Chinatown Kid (1977)

Set first in Hong Kong and then in San Francisco Chinatown, this Shaw Brothers classic pits studio favourite Alexander Fu Sheng against the Venom Mob.

Fu Sheng plays Tan Tung, an illegal immigrant to Hong Kong where is tries to find work to help his Grandfather. His unlucky streak starts after he saves a young girl from a prostitution ring and ends up fighting the local gangs. The gang leader frames him on a drugs charge and he has to flee Hong Kong for San Francisco. Here his luck carries on as he ends up fighting the local gangs again.

One of the better contemporary films to come out of Shaw Brothers Studios. Although the seventies look to the film has its moments. There’s a great scene where Tan Tung gazes longingly at a digital watch in a jeweller’s window, which is to become a theme through the movie . where if you own a digital watch then you’ve somehow ‘made it’.
The comedy still holds up to a certain extent and the fight scenes are of a typically good standard, although they are quite bloody and violent depending on which version of the film you watch. The added gun play (unusual for a Shaw Brothers film) adds to the Americanisation of the film but doesn’t detract from it’s genre roots.
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