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My Neighbor Totoro: the novel

Jasper Sharp reviews Tsugiko Kubo’s prose adaptation
Like the film, this novelisation is intricate and intimate in its details, and universal in its storytelling. The writing is simple enough for readers of around seven or eight to enjoy, without any loss to the emotional impact of the girls’ adventures, while fans of the film will also find new details that were previously unelaborated in the movie.

Attack on Titan Music: Linked Horizon

Paul Browne on the bombastic opener for the fan-favourite anime
Based on Hajime Isayama’s manga series, Attack On Titan has inspired TV adverts, a live action adaptation and, more recently, a crossover with Marvel comics that will see the titans battling the likes of Spider-Man and The Avengers on the streets of New York.

Fairy Tail music: Hi-fi Camp

Tom Smith on the hi-fi hijackers
By the time Fairy Tail Part 9 hits the shops here, the J-pop band responsible for its ending theme will be fast approaching their second anniversary – of breaking up! Though, this particular writer can’t help but think Fairy Tail may have had something to do with the band’s demise…

Escape from Vampire Island

Kim Tae-gyun's walking undead in Higanjima
Higanjima eagerly mixes the locked-room combat of Battle Royale with the viral horror of Resident Evil, with just a dash of the old-time religion of The Wicker Man, and presents that most tantalising of locations for the role-playing gamer – a private island of adventure, close to home and yet inhabiting a world of myth and magic.

Fairy Tail Music: Idoling!!!

Tom Smith on the music to part nine
Even without the tie-in with anime, Idoling!!! had had a strong presence on television. After all, the group were created by a bunch of media moguls from Fuji TV. They figured out that by appealing to two of Japan’s more dedicated entertainment fangroups, idol fans and TV junkies, that they could be on to a winner.

Takahata's Style

Andrew Osmond on why the Kaguya director deserves an Oscar
On February 22nd, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, directed by Isao Takahata, will compete at the eighty-seventh Academy Awards. It’s a moment long overdue. Takahta has been called the Ozu of animation; it’s a medium he’s worked in since 1959, making both rarefied artworks and nationally-beloved favourites.

Short Peace

Jasper Sharp on the anthology movie currently touring the UK
There have been three Japanese works nominated in the Academy Awards category for Best Animated Short Film over the past ten years or so: Koji Yamamura’s Mt. Head (2002), Kunio Kato’s The House of Small Cubes (2008) – so far the country’s only winner – and most recently Shuhei Morita’s Possessions (2013). For all that, it remains pretty difficult for most viewers who aren’t regulars on the specialised festival circuit to catch such examples of cutting-edge animation.

Valentine's Day in Japan

Daniel Robson pigs out, Japanese-style
I can’t help but think Japan has Valentine’s Day the right way round. And that’s because – miracle of miracles! – in Japan it’s the girls who have to give the boys chocolate.

Cosplay: Attack on Titan

Eleanor Trace suits up as Mikasa Ackerman from the fan-favourite series
Eleanor Trace suits up as Mikasa Ackerman from the fan-favourite series Attack on Titan

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High School DxD vs RIN

Fairy Tail Collection Three (episodes 49-72)

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Hot-headed fire wizard Natsu and his team of high-powered pals are back! Harnessing the forces of dragon fire, ice, weaponry, and the zodiac, four young wizards from the infamous magical guild Fairy Tail team up. In season two the friends unite with other guilds to take on one of the darkest guilds in the wizarding world!

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