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Japanese Superheroes Getting Really, Really EffeminateWhether it's the Power Rangers, Ultraman, or Kamen Rider, male Japanese superheroes have one thing in common: they are tough and masculine. These poses aren't.



Blogger BakAnki snapped pictures of the superhero figurines doing poses that are, as he explained, "girly" or "photomodel-ish".



"In all seriousness," explained BakAnki on Figure.Fm, "it's actually harder to do a girly pose and make it look good and natural." For these figures, the joints aren't exactly designed for girly poses, making the execution that much harder.





Japanese Superheroes Getting Really, Really Effeminate Japanese Superheroes Getting Really, Really Effeminate Japanese Superheroes Getting Really, Really Effeminate Japanese Superheroes Getting Really, Really Effeminate Japanese Superheroes Getting Really, Really Effeminate Japanese Superheroes Getting Really, Really Effeminate Japanese Superheroes Getting Really, Really Effeminate

Who said putting Ultraman on the cover of Tiger Beat was easy? It isn't. It's awesome.



Girly Pose with Hero Figure [Figure.fm via DannyChoo]



(Top photo: BakAnki | Figure.fm)





You can contact Brian Ashcraft, the author of this post, at bashcraft@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

Kotaku

Last January saw the release of Katawa Shoujo, a fan-made visual novel based around the idea of dating girls with physical disabilities. When I first heard the concept of the game and then heard it was being made by a group who met on 4chan, I was sure it would be a horribly insensitive, offensive pile of irreverent hate. It was not. It was respectful. It was touching. It was simply the best visual novel I have ever played.



But just because it's a serious take on a touchy subject doesn't mean you can't have a little fun with it.



One of the most enjoyable parts of Katawa Shoujo was the character of Kenji Setou, your incredibly myopic neighbor who is continuously ranting about over-the-top feminist conspiracy theories—making him the personification of the game's much needed comic relief.



But how must the world look to Kenji, the only sane man in an insane world (as Kenji sees himself), with bloodsucking feminists hiding around every corner, out to devour his very soul?



Newgounds user ShadowWhoWalks answers this question with his fan-game Kenjivania: Crippled Tears. In celebration of Katawa Shoujo's one year anniversary, he created what he calls "a love letter" to the game by mixing Katawa Shoujo with Castlevania.



You Got Your Castlevania in my Katawa Shoujo!Kenjivania was made by taking the sprites from Castlevania and changing them to reflect the characters of Katawa Shoujo. The backgrounds, similarly, were assembled from tiles taken from screenshots of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The enemy AI, however, was coded from scratch—though it mirrors that of the original enemies, for the most part. All in all, the game was built over the course of three months.



According to ShadowWhoWalks, polish was his focus on this game. He wanted to make sure the game looked good and played well; so he focused on those points rather than on length. He even added in more than a few secret areas for those who are willing to do a bit of exploring. "It's a lot of effort and time spent for something this short," he pointed out, "and a lot of them go to waste because players give up after their first game over. But for the few people who do get it, it's all worth it."



This is not the first time ShadowWhoWalks has crossed Katawa Shoujo with Castlevania. A year ago, in celebration of Katawa Shoujo's release, he released Katawa Shoujo: Symphony of the Feminists which recreated the opening scene from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in full Kenjivania-style.



But the real question is why mix Katawa Shoujo with Castlevania in the first place? "Because it's unexpected to play a brutal game based on a slow and steady visual novel." ShadowWhoWalks explained. "The result was worth a laugh."



The full Kenjivania: Crippled Tears game can be played at Newgrounds as can Katawa Shoujo: Symphony of the Feminists, along with ShadowWhoWalks' other work. The original Katawa Shoujo can be downloaded free of charge at the Katawa Shoujo homepage.



Kotaku

When Cosplay Makes You Want To DietAjo is a regular at Taiwanese game events, decked in dangerously skimpy garb. She's one of Taiwan's most famous cosplayers. For Ajo, cosplay has been more than a hobby, but a way to strive to drop 40 pounds and look like the idealized characters she adores.



On her Facebook page (via Rocket News), Ajo recently posted a "before/after" photo and talked about how ten years ago, she weighed 70-something kilograms (over 154 pounds). She decided to try her hand at cosplay, and when she looked at her photos, she was shocked.



"In the pictures, my favorite characters had turned all fat," she wrote. "The look of the character collapsed completely."



Ajo decided that she wanted to start dieting. It wasn't an easy round, and there were times she rebounded. But, she was able to motivate herself using cosplay, trying to lose weight so she could wear the skimpy outfits her favorite characters donned. Over ten years, she lost 44 pounds (20 kg).



Often, video game and cartoon characters aren't exactly depictions of real people. They are either idealized or fantasy. Ajo dropped weight by skipping sugar, carbs and fat, drinking lots of water, and exercising so that she could be that idealized character in real life.



Video game characters don't just exist in digital playgrounds. Cosplay is a realm where fans can bring them to life. To do just that, this Taiwanese cosplayer was motivated to make lifestyle changes—changes that she says have made her happy.



At the end of her Facebook post, Ajo wrote in English, "Trust Me, You Can Make it!" Maybe. And for those dieting, Ajo's story might be inspiring. For those happy with their body image, it might not be. The caveat is whether or not the look of many characters were ever realistic in the first place.



When Cosplay Makes You Want To Diet



Ajo's costumes and cosplay photos do cover a range of characters. For more, check here.



(不用懷疑照片真的都是我XD) [阿兆のCosplay同人專頁 via ETtoday via ロケットニュース]







You can contact Brian Ashcraft, the author of this post, at bashcraft@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

Kotaku

Joysound Dive Turns Your PS3 into a 90,000 Song Karaoke MachineThere are more than a few Karaoke video games out there, from Karaoke Revolution to SingStar to Lips. Each of these games come with dozens of songs per disk—and some allow for more songs to be purchased as DLC. But Joysound Dive goes a step beyond these and quite literally takes the Japanese Karaoke experience right to your living room with 90,000 songs for you to sing at your pleasure.




Good — 90,000 Songs for Pennies a Day


Instead of forcing you to buy individually each song you want to sing, Joysound Dive goes for the "all-you-can-play" model. The game itself is free on the PlayStation Network, but to actually start singing you have to buy a ticket. These tickets range from 300 yen ($3.30) for 24 hours of play to 1000 yen ($11) for a month of play. As long as you have purchased a ticket, you can choose any of the 90,000 songs and sing to your heart's content.



Joysound Dive Turns Your PS3 into a 90,000 Song Karaoke MachineMoreover, this price is far cheaper than going out to rent your own Karaoke room in Japan (which can easily cost over 1000 yen for an hour or two of singing—far more with food and drink included). But even if you prefer that social setting, Joysound Dive is still the perfect tool for practicing your favorite songs so you can show off your singing skills on a night out with your friends.



Good — The Extras


There isn't a lot of "game" to Joysound Dive. For the most part, it simply turns your PS3 into a Joysound karaoke machine like the thousands that exist in karaoke clubs across Japan. That said, it does have a few game-like features. The first is that you can enable a vocal line bar like the ones in everything from Karaoke Revolution to Rock Band. It doesn't actively score you on how well you're doing, but it does give you some visual feedback when you are trying to learn a song.



Joysound Dive Turns Your PS3 into a 90,000 Song Karaoke MachineThe other game-like feature is Challenge Mode that pits you against the rest of Japan in a massive versus battle to see who is the best singer in Japan. In this mode, you pick one of the 100 most popular songs on Joysound Dive; and as you sing, you are taunted by the names and scores of the best singers of that song. Should you break the top three, your username will be added to that list in Challenge Mode for all the world to see.



Mixed — An Oddly Balanced Collection


As expected, the vast majority of the music in Joysound Dive is Japanese, and so very nearly every J-Pop, J-Rock, and Enka hit from the past half a century is included. The anime collection is great as well and has theme songs from many older and obscure anime—not to mention many of the insert songs that pop up in only a single episode here or there.



Joysound Dive Turns Your PS3 into a 90,000 Song Karaoke MachineThe English song collection, on the other hand, is very hit or miss because it is filled only with English songs that have been popular in Japan. And while many American and British artists become popular in both the West and Japan, many more do not. So even if a song is a mainstream radio hit in the West, there is no guarantee it will be on Joysound Dive.



I've previously shown you some of the video game music in Joysound Dive. However, it is actually somewhat lacking in that department compared to the karaoke machines at the karaoke clubs I frequent. There were no songs from Metal Gear, Katamari, or the Sonic Adventure series. There wasn't even a version of "Eyes on Me"—the first time I have ever seen it absent at karaoke.



Final Thoughts


In the end, Joysound Dive really does bring the karaoke club experience into your home. You'll find plenty to sing whether you speak Japanese or not. But while 90,000 songs is a lot of music, Joysound Dive feels like the kind of machine you would find in the cheapest of karaoke clubs—one with many songs you know and many more that are conspicuously absent. That said, if you live in Japan and love karaoke, Joysound Dive is easily worth the meager price of admission.



Joysound Dive was released on November 23, 2011 for the PlayStation 3 in Japan. It is region locked and there are no plans for an international release.



Kotaku

I Was Not Expecting the Third Ace Attorney Musical to be a Time Travel StoryAce Attorney 3: Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth is the third official Ace Attorney musical performed by the all female Takarazuka Revue. When I reviewed the first musical last year, I said it was a better telling of the story than the source material. When I reviewed the second musical, I lauded it for being a darker take on the Phoenix Wright characters. But neither of the previous two musicals—neither their good points nor flaws—could have prepared me for the complete insanity that is Ace Attorney 3: Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth.




Good — Not the Story I Was Expecting


Despite being the third musical in the Ace Attorney series, Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth is actually a "mid-quel" and is set just before the start of the second musical. After the events of the first musical, Edgeworth has been wandering the world for several years, trying to find a new reason for practicing law. As he boards a flight to visit his hometown in California, he runs into I Was Not Expecting the Third Ace Attorney Musical to be a Time Travel Storyhopeless loser and wannabe ladies' man Larry Butz. But after both fall asleep on the plane, they wake up to discover the year is no longer 2013, but 1987. Soon Edgeworth finds himself caught up in a murder investigation and must take the reigns of the case to insure justice is done, even if that means defeating his own father in a court of law.



Needless to say, this isn't exactly the story I was expecting going in, as it is based on no case from any of the games, nor is actual, physical time travel ever an element in Ace Attorney. Despite this, the series has tampered enough with supernatural elements before (namely ghosts and possession) that the story of Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth doesn't seem out of place.



Good — A Deeper Look at Edgeworth


I Was Not Expecting the Third Ace Attorney Musical to be a Time Travel StoryWhat is most interesting about this story, however, is not the time travel nor the case; it is how the whole situation affects Edgeworth—especially when it comes to how he interacts with his father. While the father he knew was moral to a fault (a fact that led him to his untimely death) the Gregory Edgeworth he meets during his time travel is more like the defense attorney version of Manfred Von Karma—willing to falsify evidence in order to get a favorable verdict. This, of course, stuns Miles to his core. Much of the plot is spent with him trying to deal with his father issues—to separate the man he knew and idolized from the reality he's encountering. Overcoming this dilemma, combined with his drive to uncover the truth behind the murder mystery, transforms him into the stable character we see in the second musical.



Good — Callback City


Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth is brimming with callbacks to the games. The maid cafe from the third game is present in 1987—owned and operated by an always lascivious Wendy Oldbag—and it is Larry who is forced to get a part-time job there. A young Winston Payne (with a full head of hair) is the star of the prosecutor's office. And in the climax of the trial, Edgeworth trades in his "modern day" outfit for the suit he wore back at the time of his prosecutorial debut. It's fanservice (not the sexual kind) at its finest.



I Was Not Expecting the Third Ace Attorney Musical to be a Time Travel Story



Mixed — More Dance, Shorter Songs


Compared to the other two Ace Attorney musicals, Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth is overflowing with dance. While this makes sense, it being a musical after all, it can be more than a little off-putting when the whole plot is put on hold for five minutes of interpretive dance.



The score, on the other hand, features numerous returning songs and more than a few new ones. However, most are far shorter in length than the songs in the other two musicals and tend to end right as they get going. That said, though, the singing—especially from Miles (Yumi Hiro)—is much better than in the previous musicals, and she proves here that she can really hold her own musically as the lead player.



Bad — Doesn't Hold Up Well to Scrutiny


While the characters are handled well, a lot of the setting and plot doesn't make much sense when you start to think about it. Why, in 1987 California, does everyone look like a 1940's cabaret guest? How do Larry and Edgeworth have usable money? Does Edgeworth carry inordinate amounts of 25-year-old, different-looking cash with him at all times? How did they get to the past (and get back for that matter)? And all these questions are just the tip of the iceberg we can look at without delving deeply into spoiler-filled waters.



Final Thoughts


Despite the large amount of belief that needed to be suspended, I enjoyed Ace Attorney 3: Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth. In fact I enjoyed it more than either of the other musicals. It was a fun character piece that cared more about having interesting personal dilemmas than wasting time on the hows and whys of the situation.



In the years since the second musical, Tomu Ranju and several other cast members of the original musical have moved on to other Takarazuka groups. Nonetheless, Yumi Hiro as Edgeworth really held her own and excellently portrayed his complex and enjoyable character. So even though another Phoenix Wright-focused musical seems unlikely, that doesn't really seem too sad. Because, after all, with two Ace Attorney Investigations games to draw inspiration from, there's still plenty of the Miles Edgeworth story left to tell in musical form.



Ace Attorney 3: Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth was performed by the Takarazuka Revue Cosmos Troupe and ended its run in Tokyo this past Monday.



Kotaku





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Wondering what Fumito Ueda is up to these days? Even after leaving Sony, Ueda has apparently continued to work on the eagerly awaited The Last Guardian, which is years in development. Sony promised the game still lives. Promised!



Ueda recently surfaced in an official Sony video. But he isn't talking about The Last Guardian. Oh, no. He's playing When Vikings Attack! with a Sony exec, a game localizer, and the guy who designed Gravity Daze. The clip is unabashed PR for the game and filmed like a Japanese variety show.



In it, Ueda sometimes wears a viking helmet and says things like, "Ah, crap" or "I practiced for this in secret, but I didn't really win by that much."



Oh. Um. The Last Guardian? Where the hell is that game? Why is he playing this? Get back to work and stop goofing off!



バイキングぽいぽい!! 対戦プレイ動画 [PlayStationJP@YouTube]







You can contact Brian Ashcraft, the author of this post, at bashcraft@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

Kotaku





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Wowzers! Space Pirate Captain Harlock is getting a movie, and hot dog, it looks great.



The sci-fi space pirate series debuted first as a manga in 1977. According to Oricon, the upcoming CG flick is due out this fall.



Space Pirate Captain Harlock [MarkBartle@YouTube]







You can contact Brian Ashcraft, the author of this post, at bashcraft@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.
Kotaku

Report: Sony Will Indeed Announce The Next PlayStation On February 20Mere hours ago, Sony took the hype train straight out of the station with their tease of a big announcement coming on February 20. It seemed likely that the event, which will be live-streamed, would be a reveal of the next PlayStation console, code-named Orbis.



The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that "people familiar with the matter" have told them that the next PlayStation will indeed debut at the event. They go on to say that the PlayStation 4 (or whatever it winds up being called) will be released later this year, in time for the holidays.



We've reached out to Sony about the WSJ's story, and will update if we hear back. In the meantime, read up on the latest we've learned about the new console.



Sony to Unveil PS3 Successor [Wall Street Journal]


Kotaku





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GoD Factory: Wingmen is, according to developers nine dots, "a competitive multiplayer game in which the goal for your team is to destroy the enemy carrier while protecting your own."



I know, these space games are making a very welcome comeback, but look at those colours. You'll be able to design and build your own ships, and interestingly, after this game is done, the team want to make another in the same universe, only this time a singleplayer adventure with campaign and story.



Oh, and also get it running on the Oculus Rift headset.



GoD Factory [Official Site]


Kotaku

Thirsty Call of Duty Fans Have Made Their Own Range Of Perk-a-ColaPerk-a-Cola—soda that grants you a much-needed perk—is a life-saver in zombie rounds of Call of Duty multiplayer. It's also not a real drink, so a pair of fans set about changing that.



Redditor Kjkemme and their zombie-handed sister have recreated all the sodas found in the game, right down to the nutrition labels.



Call of Duty Perk-a-Colas [Reddit]





Thirsty Call of Duty Fans Have Made Their Own Range Of Perk-a-Cola Thirsty Call of Duty Fans Have Made Their Own Range Of Perk-a-Cola Thirsty Call of Duty Fans Have Made Their Own Range Of Perk-a-Cola Thirsty Call of Duty Fans Have Made Their Own Range Of Perk-a-Cola
...

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