Category: Only In Japan

First Gundam, now Giganator invades Japan!

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I’m still squealing in delight that a full life-size Gundam was constructed and displayed in Japan. But today I learned of equal, nay, even greater news. Not satisfied with the epic Gundam construction, around ¥135m was raised to construct a life-size Tetsujin 28-Go!

I’ll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor.

Secretly I am hoping the trend continues and more life-size constructions are planned. I assume I am not alone in hoping Patlabor is one of the titles being considered. How about the famous space battleship Yamato? Totoro? Or even a life-size Lynn Minmay? Maybe push the line a bit and hold a concert by Sharon Apple from Macross Plus!?

Maybe the West could adopt this trend and build a life-size Stay Puft marshmallow man! For now though, enjoy the wonderful photos posted at The Mainichi Daily News website in Japan (article is in English) and at Danny Choo’s excellent blog. You may also visit the official Kobe Project web site.

NOTE: The image in this photo belongs to user cwabs and the whole series can be found on Flickr.
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あれまあ! Giant robot attacks Japan!

Posted in Only In Japan by The Editor | Tags: , , , , , ,

Life size Gundam

You may have seen this on your travels across the Internet already but this is the first I have seen of it and it’s honest to God (as a huge Gundam fan myself) one of the greatest things I have ever seen in my life. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the birth of the global phenomenon that is Gundam, the Japanese government (yes you read that correctly) comissioned a life size RX-78-2 replica standing at a towering 59 feet tall complete with moving head and over 50 lighting spots and a collection of awesome audio and visual effects.

You could sit this next to Michaelangelo’s David, Donatello’s Chellini Madonna and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa I feel it is that important. The sad thing is in 2 months time the whole thing will be dismantled. Head over to this blog and have a look at some awesome photos and a full report on this amazing exhibition. Even better if you can get to Japan or live in Japan, go take a look for yourself! In other news, enjoy this video of a man with a samurai sword slicing a baseball traveling at a million miles an hour in half.

NOTE: The Gundam photo used to create my header was used without permission but can be found here.

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What’s with the strange barcode?

Posted in Only In Japan, Site News by The Editor | Tags: , , , , , , ,

QR Code billboard

If you are clever, or even if you are not clever, you may well have noticed on the sidebar of this website/blog/collection of words lies a strange barcode-esque image.

What is it?

That, dear reader is what is known as a QR Code aka Quick Response Code. It’s actually very simple but incredibly clever. I’ll spare you the technical mumbo jumbo and get straight to the point. A QR Code is an image designed to be read by specific QR Code readers or (and this is the good bit) by your camera-enabled cellphone. The QR Code image itself is an image that is made from letters and numbers. For example, the QR Code on my website, when interpreted by a camera phone or a QR Code reader will display the text on the screen. An appropriately set up device can then transfer the results from the captured QR Code and take you to my website. Novel huh?

You may well have seen QR codes cropping up all over the place. Most notably in magazine advertisements or on billboards and fly posting perhaps. It is becoming quite the hot “in” marketing tool today.

One of my favourite uses of QR I have seen so far is a custom t-shirt with a QR logo on the front. Favoured by cheeky singles it’s assumed said wearer hits the local bars and nightspots using said shirt as a chat-up line to offer a member of the opposite sex their phone number. Cheesy but genius!

QR is still in it’s infancy in terms of how it is captured and used by the end user and for marketing purposes. Using a camera phone to capture QR codes requires the camera to be at the right angle with the correct amount of light exposure on said capture in order for the information to be read correctly. Of course you will also require a device capable of deciphering your images or a dedicated QR code reader alone.

QR however has been a staple part of the daily lives of those in (yes, you guessed it before I even had a chance to type it) countries like Japan, China and South Korea. Heck the Japanese are looking to introduce a QR Code on their new resident cards, aka Juki cards.

I like it, it’s interesting, novel and cutting edge. Prepare yourselves in the west for a tidal wave of QR Code action and prepare to be sick of it this time next year! Feel free to give my QR code a try and maybe try out capturing some QR codes yourself. Either way now you know what that odd looking bar code type image is doing on this site!

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