First saw this on Slashdot and thought I’d share the story here: a Japanese resort is now catering to men with Virtual girlfriends from the game Love Plus (a trailer of the game is above). Love Plus is a simulation game that lets you develop a “relationship’ with a virtual anime girlfriend, and apparently it has been a hit for its maker Konami. One guy even “married” his Love Plus girlfriend.
One recent sweltering summer’s day, a tour bus from Tokyo pulled up at a sun-kissed beach at Atami, a Pacific coast resort southwest of the metropolis, and disgorged more than a dozen excited, iPhone-clutching young men.
The determined youngsters, paying scant attention to the bikini-clad girls frolicking on the sand, instead headed straight for a bronze statue that depicts Kanichi and Omiya, a couple from an old love story set in Atami.
The focus of the men’s attention — and of their smartphone cameras — was a tiny black and white square, a two-dimensional barcode that, thanks to “augmented reality” (AR) software, brought to life the object of their desire.
“Look, it’s like I’m in a snapshot with her,” said Shu Watanabe, 23, as he showed off his iPhone display, featuring himself next to the image of a doe-eyed cartoon character named Rinko, a smiling high school girl.
Atami has outfitted some romantic locations where virtual girlfriends can appear (via AR software), dressed in casual summer wear. Local souvenir shops sell “Love Plus” themed items. Apparently, the resort town has seen its business decline, and catering to these guys with a virtual girlfriend has helped the local economy.
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Mmm, ramen. How does it manage to hit that oh-so-perfect spot with the perfect blend of salt, greasy, MSG and carbs? Now it can hit those mistakes and spelling errors on paper with these mini ramen erasers ($6.52) from Japan, which are an almost perfect replica of your favorite instant noodle bowls.
Poketo’s back to school collection for Target is finally in stores and it looks like it’s already selling out! If you’re nowhere near a Target location, you can always check out their colorful array of handbags and tote bags online. We’re especially fond of this black and white Swirl tote ($29.99) which looks perfect for lugging schoolbooks to and fro campus, or even as a carry-on for weekend trips.
If I hadn’t been hosting the Q&A for the L.A. theatrical opening of The People I’ve Slept With on Friday night, then I definitely would have been at Kollaboration Acoustic 4.
Luckily, there’s YouTube and fan-uploaded videos of the show, for those of us who couldn’t make it! Dawen, who has performed with Macy Gray and covered songs by Maxwell, won the night’s competition (and a cool $1,000) with an original song called “Shoes.” Congrats to Dawen and to all the performers!
Thanks to HypnoticAsia for the video!
Pick up the first volume, Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life ($7.19) which will launch you into a hilarious and manga-esque adventure of a not-so-bright guy who must battle a series of ex-boyfriends in order to date his true love. Oh, and there are plenty of kitschy video game references and awesome art to grab your attention, too!
And afterward, watch the movie that was inspired from the comic – read more about that on 8Asians!
Everyone’s got a pair of aviator glasses, but how many of them can wear them on their fingers? Stand out in the crowd with this this sterling silver aviator ring ($64.00) by one of our favorite jewelry design companies, Harbinger Co. Each ring is made to order but if the aviator style isn’t your thing, you can always go for their other options!
You know how your Chinese parents were like, “Carnegie Mellon? What is Mellon? GO TO UC DAVIS. CHEAPER AND MORE FAMOUS.” (What? Just my parents? Alright, then.)
Well, don’t expect that mindset to go away any time soon: according to a list compiled by the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Harvard and UC Berkeley were ranked as the two best colleges in the world. The factor used to determine “the best” in this Chinese study? The number of staff or alumni to receive Nobel Prizes or Fields Medals, among other factors. “Our view is – since we have really outstanding humanities here – that if there was a way of including humanities into the ranking, that our relative ranking might even have risen,” said the UC Berkeley chancellor. To which the Chinese respond: “HUMANITIES? HA HA HA THE CHINESE LAUGH AT YOUR HUMANITIES. DO YOU KNOW WHAT WE CALL THAT SHIT? ELECTIVES.”
(Flickr photo credit: Charlie Nguyen)
Archie Panjabi won the Emmy for best supporting actress on Sunday night for her role as Kalinda Sharma on the show The Good Wife. She was born in West London to Sikh parents. This is the first Emmy win for Panjabi, who has also had roles in Bend it Like Beckham, and The Constant Gardener. Panjabi appeared genuinely shocked at her win. She had tough competition including fellow actress Christine Baranski also from The Good Wife. She also thanked Angelina Jolie during her acceptance speech, her costar in A Mighty Heart. The Good Wife was one of my favorite primetime dramas last season and it’s good to see Panjabi recognized for her work on the show. Congratulations Ms. Panjabi!
In this video filmed and edited by The Mighty Fifty, The Bangerz, a DJ collective, perform “Robot Remains” in collaboration with San Jose Taiko at the SubZERO Festival. I first saw this on Angry Asian Man, and thought I should share it here for a number of reasons. First, I think it is a brilliant mix of old and new, Asian and American. Taiko and Turntablism – that’s quite a creative, out-of-the-box combination! Second, it also highlights turntablism, which was heavily influenced by Asian-Americans such as DJ Qbert. I had heard about group DJ performances but had never seen one myself. A third reason is that my nephew, a member of the Bangerz, is in it. I met a lot of the Bangerz years ago when they were in high school, and it is wonderful how to see how they evolved. “Robot Remains” was created in collaboration with the Jabbawockeez dance crew, who have worked with the Bangerz for a long time. The song was released this month and is available on iTunes.
Ten years ago, in 2000 — when the Internet was “ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US”, YouTube was just the gleam in a douchebag’s eye and watching videos consisted of downloading weird file names for seven minutes, a little video called Tokyo Breakfast hit the Internet: touted as a pilot for a Japanese television show, a presumably Japanese family drops the N word in a parody of American culture, to the horror and/or delight and/or hysterics of college students with Internet access everywhere (okay, me.)
After years of debate as to whether this pilot was Japanese or Chinese (the newscasters are speaking in Mandarin!) thanks to the invention of Wikipedia several years later, we can finally put the issue at rest: Tokyo Breakfast is American, a short film by Filmmaker-turned-music video director Tom Kuntz as “a parody of the Japanese perception of day-to-day doings of an American family, with an emphasis on the skewed emulation of a perceived black culture.” And chances are, you’ve definitely seen some very recent work of his: he directed Old Spice’s The Man Your Man Can Smell Like campaign. NIGGA GONE FISHIN, indeed.
On August 29th, there will be a special concert in Anaheim, CA that will give the audience members, in real-time or on webcast, an inside look on what musicians think about when they write a song. Featuring Connie Lim, Sue Jin Kim, Giana Nguyen, David “Applesauce” Tran, Kristine Sa, and Tony T Nguyen, these artists make up the concert that is known as the Tony T Sessions. It is created by one of the most truly talented and genuine musicians I have had the fortune of knowing, Tony T Nguyen. You can visit here to get more information about the event as well as to purchase your tickets.
What are the Tony T Sessions? Who is Tony T Nguyen? All will be revealed in this special interview with the man himself. An honest, real, and beautiful musician, find out how music came to play such an important role in Tony T Nguyen’s life.