Japanese Sub-Culture 101: Anime Japan Style

Astro BoyThe Japanese animation industry has been around for years but who are the most influential of the animators to date? How has anime blossomed into the industry that it has become present day? Let’s take a more closer look at this intriguing sub-culture.

Starting off the anime industry was advanced by the likes of Mitsuyo Seo and also Masaoka who introduced sound in addition to use of the cell animation. These animators however had to rely on the government of Japan for support as it was really tough to be able to survive in the industry commercially. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” a film production by Walt Disney, was a great inspiration to the animation industry in Japan. The 1970s saw film market in the country drop immensely due to the high and also increased competition that came from television. Osamu Tezuka, one of the most notable anime pioneers, somehow survived this ordeal. He produced such impressive animation works such that he was endorsed with the name ‘comic god’. The “large eyes” kind of style that he used is still key to Japanese anime even to date. One of his greatest production is “Astro Boy” a robot boy who had a heart which was atomic and really wished that he had been born real.

Today, Japanese anime has not only gained popularity in the country alone but also in other mainstream areas such as the West. In actual fact, the anime fame has led to a higher demand that exceeds its own country’s boundaries. Tezuka’s style of producing characters with big and also rounded eyes that exceed realism, is one distinctive characteristic of Japanese anime. There are also other factors that define this animation industry in Japan and also keeps it a step ahead of the others, including the West. This may include such things as, not limiting their animation characters to a certain look or even a particular kind of personality and even better still the way in which the anime artists take on the subject matter. The anime series are those that accommodate any kind of persuasion, sex, and even age unlike the cartoons.

The great plots that are defined by outstanding quality stories, drawings, and also sketches are bound to make you enjoy, love and also appreciate Japanese anime. The anime has also quite a remarkable following, so why not be among the fans?

And to assist in your transformation into a full-fledged fan, why not check out our recommended online anime shops like Anime Room, Right Stuf, and AnimeStuffStore.

2014 Tour de France: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Mark Cavendish

With this year’s Tour de France race underway, it’s been quite a start to say the least with the race commencing in England. For English racing fans, it was devastating news to find out that hometown boy Mark Cavendish was forced to retire so early in the race due to a separated shoulder injury that occurred close to the finish line in stage 1. Now that the race moves across the channel to France, the action will surely be fierce as the riders tackle the mountains for the next 2 weeks.

imagesIn just a few days, on the 12th of July, the race is expected to kick off at Tom Blaine to Gerar d’mer La Naus Elaine in a hill stage to mark the end of the 8th stage. The 9th stage of Tour de France will take place on the 13th of July from Gerar d’mer to Nulhouse and will see a distance of 166 kilometers covered on a hill stage. The tenth stage will follow on the 14th of July starting at Nulhouse to La Planche DES belles Filles. This will be the first mountain stage of the race where a mileage of 161 kilometers will be covered. The cyclists will then take a day off on the 15th of July and are expected to resume racing on 16th July to cover the 11th stage of the race which covers the stretch from Besancon to Oyonax, a distance of 186 kilometers. The twelfth stage of the race will be covered on the 17th of July and will start at Bourgen Bresse to Saint Etienne. The setting of this race will be in a hill stage.

On the 18th of July, the mountain stage from Saint Ettiene to Chamrosse, a distance of 200 kilometers, will be covered, marking the end of the 13th stage. On 19th July, the race will take the cyclists from Grenoble to Risoul a mileage of 177 kilometers in a mountain stage setting. The 15th stage of the race will be covered on the 20th of July in a flat stage setting and will cover the distance from Tallard to Nimes. The cyclists will then be allowed to rest on 21st of July. The 16th stage of the race will take place on the 22nd of July and will open the race to stage 17 and 18 which will take place over a series of three mountain stage settings. This will end in the town of Hautacam. The 19th stage of the race is set to take place on the 25th of July and will run from Maubourguet Pays du Yal d’Adour to Bergeruc. A special individual time trail of 54 kilometers will mark the 20th stage of the race on the 26th of July. This will take place from Bergerac to Perigueux. The final stage of the race will run from Every to Paris on the 27th of July and will crown the winner of this year’s tour.

According to English bookie, bet365, odds are on Chris Froome to repeat as champion of the Tour de France. Others in the running include Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali. To experience all the thrill with rooting for your favorite cyclist, I suggest you give the helpful 365 Bet deposit guide at http://www.bookmaker-info.com/en/ a look-over as you get prepared to for taking your love of sports to an entire new level.

With the summer just kicking off and the Tour de France in high gear, the next few weeks are sure to not be a disappointment for cycling fans the world over.

The Battle of the Sengoku Jidai: Uesugi Kenshin vs. Takeda Shingen


The revered military commander during Japan’s feudal era Uesugi Kenshin was faced with adversity after adversity during his lifespan in what is known as the most tumultuous time in Japanese history. Having moved time after time after time to seek refuge and build up a commanding force, Kenshin’s time to shine came as two Shinano lords named Ogasawara Nagatoki and Murakami Yoshikiyo sought his help to stop Takeda Shingen who was a powerful lord from expanding his territories onto their land. Since Shingen’s advances had brought him very close to Echigo where Kenshin was lord, he agreed to help in order to protect his own land. His entry into this battle was the start of a legendary rivalry which led Shingen and Kenshin to face each other several times on the battlefield with the most serious confrontation taking place in Kawanakajima.

In this battle which was fought in 1561, Kenshin used an ingenious military technique where the troops in the frontline would change positions with those in the back to allow treatment of the wounded as well as to rest those who were on the front line. This proved to be highly effective and Shingen was almost defeated as a result. However, Kenshin was unable to defeat Takeda and his army retreated where many drowned in a river which was nearby while others were cut down by Shingen.

The battle which has been studied by scholars has shown no clear winners as each lord suffered serious loses with Kenshin loosing 3000 men and Shingen 4000 men as well as two of his closest generals who included his youngest brother Takeda Nobushige and Yamamoto Kansuke who was a close advisor. Though the two leaders were rivals, they exchanged gifts with the most popular being when Shingen presented to Kenshin a sword which he greatly valued. On the death of Takeda Shingen, Kenshin is said to have wept loudly at the death of a worthy adversary. On his deathbed, Shingen praised Kenshin as an honorable warrior and bid his son to rely on Kenshin’s help when faced with the need.

The two warring sides became allies after 3 long hard fought years. Another incident between the two was when merchants hoarded salt which was an important commodity as it was used to store food and refused to deliver it to Shingen’s territories. Kenshin who could have cut off the lifeline of Shingen at that time but refused to do so as it was dishonorable and ordered his merchants to deliver salt to Shingen’s domains at the price in which they were being sold in Echigo. He made a statement saying that battles in sengoku Japan were to be won with spears and swords and not with salt and rice.

In 1551, Kenshin was called upon by Uesugi Norimasa to provide refuge to him as he fled the expansion of the Hojo clan in Kanto. He provided refuge for Norimasa but was not in a position to attack the Hojo at the time. In 1559, he paid homage to Shogun in the Kyoto region and used this time to visit historical and religious sites that abounded in the region. This heightened his reputation as a cultured leader. He then returned home and a move against the Hojo was successful except that he was not able to capture Odawara Castle.

Uesugi Kenshin died in the winter of 1577-1578 after a seizure. The cause of death is not clear as some sources claim he was assassinated by a ninja while others say that heavy drinking as well as stomach cancer may have caused his death. In his life though Kenshin loved battles, he also worked hard to increase the economic strength of Echigo. He introduced incentives designed to increase trade and gave merchants special privileges to entice them to do business in his region during the sengoku period.

Must Have iPhone Cases Exposed!

Puregear iPhone 5 Case

When it comes to iPhone cases, you surely have an extensive selection to choose from. Below I’ve listed some of the more intriguing of the bunch that are must haves for the special person in your life who has an iPhone.

First of we have the cases from Puregear. The Puregear PX 360 and PX 260 are heavy duty iPhone cases designed to give protection to the one’s smartphone. They are useful as they are made of a rugged design at the edges. This helps give the phone an excellent grip when making phone calls and typing. The casing helps to provide protection against damage in case of accidental falls. The cases also come with a multi-purpose utility tool that can be used as a ruler, bottle opener or as a case stand. The Puregear iPhone 5 cases also come accompanied with a water-resistant bag which although not entirely waterproof, is useful when exposed to damp weather conditions. The Puregear PX 360 and PX 260 also come with a screen protector to protect the screen against scratches and high impact resistance as well as a cleaning cloth for the case.

Another useful iPhone case is the Otterbox Defender iPhone case. This case is designed in such a way that interactive user controls such as volume controls, camera functions and touch screen are easily accessible. The case is made of a rugged design and has a slim casing which is water resistant and thus safeguards the phone from weather conditions such as drizzle. It is also a useful case for people who love traveling as it contains a holster and clip which are used to carry the phone along through crowds of people while still protecting it from scratches. The Otterbox case also comes with a patented screen protection membrane which improves user interaction greatly. The case is also designed in such a way that it does not prevent the proximity sensors of the phone from working.

The Trident Aegis iPhone case is made of silicone with a rugged design to give the phone an excellent grip. Its design helps to protect the phone from damage in case of a fall and it meets military standards for vibrations and drops. It comes with a screen protector and a dual layer design that contain built in filters as well as covers for the buttons and ports.

The Mophie Juice Pack Pro is another highly important iPhone case. The case comes with an inbuilt 2500mAh battery that keeps your phone powered more than the usual time. It also includes four separate layers of protection that cushion the iPhone from damage in case of drops and shocks as well as dirt and rain. It also comes with a belt clip and its rubberized cover gives an excellent grip.

The Griffin Survivor iPhone 5 case is made of shatter resistant polycarbonate to insure from damage against drops. It also comes with an inbuilt screen protector keeping the phone safe from sand, dirt and rain.

Lastly we have the artificial food iPhone 4 cases from Fake Food Japan. What I personally like from their selection is this particular plastic food iPhone 4 case. What are your thoughts? Definitely let me know in the comments section.

The iPhone is an impressive device which is valued by owners who want to protect it from traditional wear and tear. To do this an iPhone case is required. The best cases are those that provide as much functionality as possible while providing the best protection to the phone.