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Three New Pop Culture Tourist Spots in Tokyo (360˚ Panorama)Somese Naoto (Photographer)

Tourists from around the world are flocking to Tokyo. Along with the city’s established tourist sites are many pop culture destinations. Here we take a 360° panoramic look at three spots that have captivated many foreign visitors.

Children of Sailor Moon: The Evolution of Magical Girls in Japanese AnimeSugawa Akiko

Made popular the world over by the manga and anime series Sailor Moon, the “magical girl” genre is one of the staples of Japanese popular culture. Media scholar Sugawa Akiko explores the development of the mahō shōjo, from her beginnings as a Western-style witch to her flowering as an icon of feminine power, against the backdrop of gender norms and expectations.

How Can Anime Build on its Past Success?Sakurai Takamasa

“Anime” has become a common term worldwide among the younger generation raised on Japanese animation and these fans have come to expect a lot from anime produced in Japan. This article looks at the challenges ahead for the anime industry as it seeks to meet those expectations.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s J-Pop “Kawaii” in Paris

Pop singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has already hit it big in Japan, but now she’s aiming to build her fanbase overseas. Here we interview a Japanese reporter living in Paris to find out how Kyary’s brand of kawaiii is viewed in France.

If It’s Not “Kawaii,” How Can It Be Smart?

A key question faces Japan’s mobile phone industry: When will young women make the switch to smartphones? This demographic has driven mobile phone development for a decade or so, and young women’s tastes have inspired only-in-Japan innovations that have given conventional handsets uniquely convenient—and cute!—functions found nowhere else.

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