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“Attack on Titan” Invades Movie Theaters: An Interview with Director Higuchi Shinji

International manga smash Attack on Titan is now a live-action film that offers moviegoers a blend of traditional Japanese physical special effects and digital technology. The leader of this huge project, director Higuchi Shinji, reveals how he and his team went about transforming the world of the manga into live-action cinema.

The Expanding Cosplay UniverseInui Tatsumi

Halloween-themed “cosplay” events have become quite trendy in Japan these past few years. Last year on the night of Halloween, young costumed revelers took over the famous scramble intersection in Tokyo’s Shibuya district to celebrate the occasion, attracting all sorts of media coverage. This is an example of how cosplay has recently broken away from the confines of otaku culture and rapidly bec…

Film Festival Follow-up: Looking Back at TIFF 2014James Hadfield

Those who didn’t breeze straight past on their way to work may have paused to marvel at the billboards festooning the walls of Roppongi Station this fall. With their stark monochromes and striking, Sano Kenjirō–designed logo, the adverts for this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival were certainly the most handsome in recent memory. But the tone was a bit off. “Oh, to see the day that Tokyo s…

Godzilla’s Analog Mayhem and the Japanese Special Effects TraditionHikawa Ryūsuke

The 1954 film Godzilla, with its brilliant combination of miniature sets and costumed actors, gave birth to a whole new genre, called tokusatsu (literally “special filming”). This distinctive style, pioneered by Tsuburaya Eiji, went on to become hugely influential in Japan and overseas, leading to many other memorable creations, including the TV show Ultraman. Hikawa Ryūsuke looks at the birth and development of this genre.

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