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TokyoScope NEWS: Laser Disc Anime Jellyfish Godzilla Store Makeup
A round up of recent Japanese pop culture headlines and ephemera
Anime: Gaming: The Taito LD Game Collection
Old-timey arcade hounds surely remember the likes of Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace, which used colorful hand-drawn animation stored on LaserDiscs -- rather than computer graphics -- to get kids to cough up every quarter they could get their grubby little mitts on.
During the 1980s, Japan had its own homegrown selection of LD-powered animated video games, and three of them from the Taito company are suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, set for re-release on the Nintendo Switch this December.
Taito LD Game Collection will present three-titles-in one with sweet freshly remastered film footage: Time Gal, Ninja Hayate, and Space Battleship Yamato.
Time Gal and Ninja Hayate featured original animation by Japan’s famed Toei Studios and are steeped in ‘80s era anime aesthetic. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s some action-packed highlights from Time Gal…
Space Battleship Yamato was based on the hit SF anime and manga series (shown in the USA as Star Blazers) and featured a mix of all-new animation and footage from the then-current film Final Yamato. While Time Gal and Ninja Hayate were exported to American arcades, Yamato was NOT (except in my dreams) and is the deep cut here that fans have been dying to play for ages.
Taito LD Game Collection for Nintendo Switch goes on sale 12/14 priced at 9,680 yen, with a special edition that comes with a Blu-ray packed with extras for 19,580 yen. Start saving those quarters now! You’ll need ‘em!
Fashion: Beauty: “Jellyfish Makeup” Trends in Japan
The Japanese beauty media is declaring "Jellyfish Makeup" to be the big new trend for summer 2023.
According to Oricon News, "it is a style that expresses the freshness of a jellyfish in the water by emphasizing the sense of moisture that is overflowing with transparency and luster." So now you know…
There's always gotta be a style leader, and this time it is influencer Emu (@karaage_usb111), who is credited with pioneering the look last year after being struck by a bolt of inspiration when beholding a tank full of jellyfish at the aquarium. Since then, her Jellyfish Makeup tutorials have been viewed over 4 million times, and the JP media is now pegging it as a major trend.
Want to try out Jellyfish Makeup for yourself? Here's a handy tutorial plus all the many products you need to invest in!
Fashion: Music: Yoshiki Announces New Fashion Brand "MAISON YOSHIKI PARIS" At Paris Press Conference
Yoshiki of X-Japan, one of Japan's most famous musicians, announced the creation of his new fashion brand, "MAISON YOSHIKI PARIS," in Paris (where else) on July 4, 2023. Yoshiki plans to consolidate all of his existing fashion projects under this new label. His previous projects include YOSHIKIMONO, a kimono fashion brand launched in 2010, which often showcased as a highlight runway show during Tokyo Fashion Week. Yoshiki's friend, Kuki de Salvertes, a legendary fashion industry insider known as "the man who discovered Raf Simons," has been appointed as the development director of the new brand. During the press conference, Yoshiki also described the first collection, hinting at the future direction of MAISON YOSHIKI PARIS, as "a feminine yet genderless collection with a very contemporary and edgy style that also incorporates the rock and roll elements that have always been important to me."
Kaiju: Movies: Icons: Toho Expands into North America’s Japanese Pop Culture Scene with Godzilla and Anime E-Commerce Launches
It isn’t easy being a Godzilla fan living outside of Japan. Trust me, I know! For decades, real deal kaiju freaks have had to bend over backwards, or pay hefty fees, to get their hands on limited-edition figures or rare goods inspired by their favorite monsters from the Toho Studios stable aimed squarely at the Japanese market.
Amazingly, all that is finally set to change. According to Variety, Toho International is set to launch not one, but two new, e-commerce platforms that cater to the expanding community of North American enthusiasts of Japanese pop culture. One of these platforms will be dedicated to Godzilla, while the other, called iiZO, will provide a diverse selection of merchandise for anime fans, offering authentic Japanese products.
Says Variety: The Godzilla platform will include a mix of items from the Japanese Godzilla Store as well as international exclusives. The product selection will offer kaiju fans a more high-end, tailored e-commerce experience than they’ve had previously in the U.S., with items such as limited-edition collaborations, original licensed products, and exclusive colorways of existing fan-favorites.
As for anime, Toho currently has massive hits like Jujutsu Kaisen and SPY x FAMILY on their roster, and as big a merch monster as Godzilla is, it looks like the sky is the limit when it comes to Japanese cartoons:
The global anime market is projected to surpass $50 billion by 2030 and merchandising as a critical component driving the content market’s success. Some 28% of the sector’s revenue is estimated to have come from merchandizing in 2022 and there is huge demand for product innovation.
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