Friday, December 31, 2010

New Buddha Trailer

Let's end this year in style with a look at this awesome new trailer for the upcoming animated film adaption of Osamu Tezuka's Buddha, featuring brand new music from legendary rock band X-Japan.

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The HRP-4 Robot

Check out this new example of Japanese robotics, the HRP-4.

From CNN Go:
Standing in front of previous incarnations, HRP-2 and HRP-3, the 151-centimeter, 39-kilo HRP-4 robot is part of a line of new working humanoids being developed to ease a looming labor shortage in the rapidly greying nation of Japan.

With 34 degrees of freedom in movement, including full arm articulation and simple hand moves including grasping capabilities, HRP-4 could be handy for all kinds of home jobs or factory work. He also seems light on his feet without the battery pack that Honda's Asimo needs to carry.

HRP-4 uses standard parts with a Linux core. It uses AIST's own proprietary control software on an Intel Pentium M CPU.

And here's a video of it in action.

We're getting closer!

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

An Astro Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I was asked by Astro mega-fan Lisa to share this with everyone for Christmas, and I am happy to oblige. It's an illustration by Japanese artist named でんのく (Dennoku?), but an English translation and accompanying poem have also been added. A small version can be seen by clicking the image on the right. You can see it full size here, and it's a large file.

You can check out the artist's website here and see more Christmas cheer on the Astroboy-Online forums.

Happy Holidays!

Continue reading "An Astro Christmas."...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Simpsons Anime Couch Gag

Thought I would share this great classic opening couch gag from The Simpsons, featuring each member of the family as a famous Japanese character. Homer is Ultraman, Marge is Jun from Gatchaman, Lisa is Sailor Moon, Maggie is Pikachu, and of course, Bart is Astro Boy.

This originally aired on December 14, 2003 as part of the show's 15th season. It was a Christmas themed episode too.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Astro Bramble

Customized Astro Boy "Bramble-bot" made by designer Ultraman. See more pictures here.

Bramble-bots are toys designed by artist Ashley Wood, who painted some covers for the Astro Boy movie comic book adaptation from IDW.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Meet DARwIn-OP

Check out this cool little guy. Maybe it's just me, but I think he looks a little familiar.

DARwIn-OP (Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence-Open Platform) is an open source robot, meaning that if you feel like Dr. Tenma, you can fabricate the parts using CAD files and build your own. Or, you can just cut to the chase and buy one already assembled for $12,000.

It's pretty clear from the big saucer-like eyes, the fins on the head, and the thick proportions that Astro Boy must have been an influence. However, this is actually not a Japanese-built robot at all. It was created through partnerships with a number of US universities and Korean robotics company Robotis.

Find out more information, including a video of it in action, here.

I want one.

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Anime Jazz Fights Cancer

From Anime News Network:
Japanese jazz singer Reiko Oshibuchi, who suffers from breast cancer, has released a CD of jazz covers of classic anime songs. Each CD costs 2,800 yen (about US$33), of which 800 yen (US$10) is donated to the Childhood Cancer Association of Japan. The CD includes songs from Gegege no Kitarō, Astro Boy (Mighty Atom), Space Battleship Yamato, and Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.

Oshibuchi first arranged the themes into jazz form for a 2006 concert event titled "Anime Jazz." The following year, Oshibuchi was diagnosed with cancer and underwent a mastectomy. She resumed her live performances in 2008, and the second Anime Jazz event was a success. Oshibuchi had decided to release a CD before her third live performance when she discovered that she had relapsed with cancer in October. She decided to continue singing despite the infirmity.

The CD is on sale in Japan right now. I'm really interested in hearing it!

Continue reading "Anime Jazz Fights Cancer"...