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If you fly into Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, pretty soon you will be greeted by a life size Gundam as you land; the footage here is from the Odaiba Gundam, also life size, which has been up and running all summer. The amazing videos are put together by DarwinFish, who has some great gear and a wonderful grasp of time lapse photography techniques. To see more of his work be sure to hit his You Tube portal, and thanks for the heads up on this one go to Crunchyroll.

I will find out the name of this band in a format that Amazon or Apple understands, because I need to buy their music! While researching, it looks like N’ Shukugawa Boys has the highest probability of being correct. I stumbled across this while looking for something else entirely (the internet is wonderful that way) and got hooked 30 seconds into the first song. Somewhere between pop and rock, or maybe punk and visual kei, I do like their style.

The first video is a mashup of various songs by $ALOVERS in the middle of their new track Hot Hot Hot. I would have much preferred to have one of the song itself, because it sounds really good, but the decision on how to make things available is up to the band and the record label. The next track is the latest from Maximum The Hormone, a Heavy Metal/Power Pop/Ballad tune, almost schizophrenic in its style. Of course, it might also be a mash up of multiple songs from their latest release, but edited together much better, and then how would I be able to tell? The final track this time is HEY-SMITH’s Dancing Is Illegal, a great little alt rock anthem that seems to be lodged somewhere between power pop and punk rock.

If you were wondering, it really does appear that the poliece are raiding dance clubs all over Japan, hauling the patrons off to jail and making them pee in cups, including in Osaka and Tokyo. There is quite the controversy about it, and that is far from the only recording protesting the situation.

Thanks for the heads up on these tunes to J-Rock Explosion, if you like quality rock out of Japan that is a site worth checking on a regular basis.

The original 47 Ronin were a group of Samurai who’s feudal lord was forced to commit suicide; they spent two years plotting to kill the court functionary who ordered his death, and then had to commit suicide themselves for the murder. It is a true story that happened in the early 1700s in Japan, and has been made into a movie half a dozen times already, with numerous TV shows, Operas, and stage presentations, including Kabbuki and Bunraku renderings. As far as I know this is the first time a Hollywood version has been made of the 47 Ronin, but the sheer number of famous Japanese actors who have signed up to take part bodes well for the core story’s being presented properly. Plus, this version has dragons! While not a tale I would have associated with Christmas, I will be seeing in on the big screen come December.

Yesterday I mentioned that the JAPAN FILM FESTIVAL of San Francisco was going to be running Library Wars on Friday, but they have a number of other amazing films you will also want to see on the big screen if you can make the festival (note: it started several days ago, so a time machine would be useful. But it also runs for at least another week).

They have a large selection of Anime films, but if I had to pick just one to attend it would be the US premiere of Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, a reboot of the classic Evangelion mecha masterpiece. This is the third of four films in the new series, and things are not looking good for Earth or humanity at this point in the war. My live action pick is Space Battleship Yamato, a classic story previously done as an Anime. The groundbreaking original ushered in science fiction anime, and this live action adaptation looks pretty amazing. I like the fact that they kept to the original ship design and costuming while bringing modern special effects to the mix. There are a bunch of other great films, anime and live action both, if you are going to be in town during the event be sure to check it out.