First of all we want to send out our thoughts and prayers to those affected by the terrible disasters that have struck the entire nation of Japan. To our Crunchyroll fans, we want to thank you for your patience and understanding regarding the delayed simulcasts and an even bigger thank you to everyone that donated in our effort to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. If you would like to join the CR relief effort, please go HERE now to donate. Thank you.
Last week Japan experienced one of the largest earthquakes recorded history. Not only did this shake the country spawning at least 300 isolated quakes and aftershocks since, but due to the magnitude of the earthquake and its distance to the coastline – around 130 kilometers off the coast of Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture – created a tsunami that engulfed the northeastern seaboard of Japan.
With the earthquake and tsunami already claiming over 2000 lives as of March 14, 2011, it also relentlessly damaged Fukushima’s Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing four cores to catch on fire and in some instances cause explosions. With nuclear instability and its adverse affects on society still fresh in every Japanese mind, this is without a doubt a cause for concern not just domestically but on an international scale as well.
According to Reuters, reactors 1 and 3 are stable, water is being supplied to 2, Radiation at front gate as of 3:30pm on March 15. Levels were recorded at 596.4 micro siverts, which means no harm to humans in the immediate vicinity. On March 16, reactor 4 was said to have caught fire with the roof being cracked. Authorities are taking preventive measures for reactors 5 and 6.
In the ongoing journalistic standard to keep news flowing to the rest of the world, much of the news – although factually true – seems to be bent on instilling an overzealous fear mongering atmosphere to the rest of the world. This is to not downplay the severity and urgency of the situation as well as the devastation that has occurred. Far from it.
This is call to action for those are concerned to not take the news at face value, research the facts and obtain a better understanding of what they are feeding to the public. From there, once we as a world community have become educated, we can then take proactive steps to help those in need and ensure that their lives will get better by every single hour.
Airlines: European Airlines seem to be operating normally out of Narita, hopefully that’s the case for others. Narita and Haneda airports are currently back filling flights out of Japan.
Roads: Save for a handful of roads along the Northeastern side of Japan, most roads are still intact throughout the prefectures affected, however traffic is extremely slow going moving south and west.
Buses: Near the reactor sites, buses are running from the coastline to the Fukushima Airport, and potentially Koriyama to Fukushima and Aizu. Aizu bus is running 4 a day to Niigata (http://bit.ly/hJcXyi). Niigata buses are also running to Kanto and Kansai
Taxis: Are running from Fukushima airport to Nasushiobara. Will cost between 20,000 and 40,000 yen.
Trains: Niigata trains and Shinkansens running. South of Ishikawa in Nasushiobara the Tohoku Shinkansen is running.
On the radioactivity and cause for concern
Reports by CNN and Reuters have clarified that the situation though dire is not as catastrophic as many other sources claim it to be. Though not completely out of the picture, saying that Daiichi being on the brink of a Chernobyl and Three Mile Island situation is a bit over exaggerated. To everyone hundreds of miles outside of the evacuation zone, the amount of radioactivity released is no greater than sitting on an international airline flight. While levels are slightly higher than usual inside the evacuation zone and regions directly around it, people are recommended by authorities to shower after extended periods outside for good measure.
Wind directions: Wind directions for next 3 days in Tohoku:
English(by the hour): http://www.jma.go.jp/en/jikei/313.html
Evacuation zone: Officials have recommended a 50km evacuation zone from power plants, and people who have stayed and are within 30km are asked to stay indoors. These regions include: Namie, Minami-souma, Iitate and Northwestern Iwaki. While relief efforts are in motion, this situation requires more time than anything else.
On the Necessities:
Food: In the main metropolitan areas, food is scarce. People who have remained in Tokyo have started hoarding food out of fear of
Water: While there is running water outside of the 75km zone, it is recommended that people still treat the water. According to authorities, this can easily be done by applying 2-3 droplets of bleach to a GALLON of water, and shaking feverously.
Power: Rolling blackout have begun throughout the country. With growing power needs due to reconstruction and aid to the northern regions, it was recently estimated that these rolling blackouts will continue until the end of April or sooner.
Money: It’s been said that people will be able to take out cash without cards, passbooks or hankos in areas outside the 75km disaster zone.
From the authorities
Twitter: The White House has said it is not advising Americans to leave Tokyo at present.
BBC: The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has said Japan’s response to the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has been in line with its own safety policies. Japan has recommended evacuation up to 20km (12 miles) around the reactors and advised people within 30km (19 miles) of the reactor to remain inside. “Those recommendations parallel the protective actions the United States would suggest should dose limits reach 1 rem to the entire body and 5 rem for the thyroid, an organ particularly susceptible to radiation uptake. The currently reported Japanese radiation measurements are well below these guidelines,”
With these facts in mind though, let’s not put Japan on the backburner and just assume that someone else will take care of the problem. The purpose of dispelling the fear is to not let it cripple us but provide motivation and strength to step up as a world community and help out. Fear of immobilizing and doing what we can only perpetuates the problem.
Victims from similar incidents in Haiti, Chile and New Zealand will all agree that we as a world need to become more globalized and international with our perspective on the value of the human and environmental life. The old NIMBY mentality – Not In My Back Yard – is no longer applicable and every change and shift in the world directly affects us.
I hope that this piece has moved you to take action and make a difference through whatever means you can. For more information about how you can help, please go to www.usaid.gov or place a donation on the Crunchyrolll site here.
On Friday, March 11, 2011 at 05:46 UTC, Japan was hit with a devastating earthquake reaching a magnitude of 8.9 on the richter scale - one of the largest in recorded history. Not only did the Japanese have to withstand the earthquake and the aftershocks but it was followed by a tsunami immediately afterward and the Fukushima nuclear power plant’s instability which is still posing radiation risk to those around the plant. Desperate measures are currently underway as they scramble to cool the reactors to get things back under control. Despite this natural disaster of extreme degree, the Japanese people are resilient with much hope. As they are looking for survivors in the rumble, we are filled with encouraging stories that teach us to never give up.
Imagine being a Japanese exchange student studying in America when you hear that an earthquake just hit near your hometown with a magnitude of 8.9. In our age of technology, one would quickly go to the internet in hope of contacting one’s family but after three days of no word, you can become discouraged and expect the worst. But, imagine hearing that your family made a video that’s on youtube just to tell you that your home withstood the tsunami and everyone is okay. This is exactly what happened to Akiko Kosaka who is currently a student at the University of California at Riverside. Thanks to the internet, she was able to see a video of her sister telling her that their family is safe and sound as she saw the video where her family’s house was the only one standing.
Another story that touches us is finding someone amongst the piles of debris. The Japanese Defense Force is currently trying to find as many survivors as possible. Amid the silent corpses, one soldier heard a faint cry that didn’t get his attention until the cry became quite persistent. A four-month old baby cried for her life when she was swept away from her parents’ arms during the tsunami. The parents didn’t think their daughter made it but a miracle happened since the little girl survived the tsunami and was found by a Japanese Defense Force soldier and eventually reunited with her parents. Even at only 4 months old, she refused to give up.
More and more of these stories continue to come up as people are beginning to cope with the aftermath of this whole devastation. There are tweets from Japan that have been circling around the internet that show the hearts of the Japanese and how caring they are to one another especially in these times of despair. There are stories of people helping strangers in any way they can to be stronger and survive together as a country. The character of the Japanese people has really shone in the midst of this natural disaster and is definitely something we should all strive to be.
Originally presented as the “non existent youth” reform, the roots of this bill were originally intended to restrict the depiction of underage characters in anime and manga. In its new form, Bill 156 seeks to expand the scope of obscene material to include not only child pornography, but also marriages that the Tokyo government deems illegal, which include marriage between relatives and people of the same sex. This will affect media that are aimed towards a younger audience, which would mean that manga, anime, and video games will come under the scrutiny of Bill 156 while live action media and novels will be untouched by the new regulations. Any series that are produced beyond these regulations will have to be labeled for “adults only”, thus limiting what the youth of Japan can watch.
While the intention of the bill was to protect the well being of the youth in Japan by limiting the amount of harmful material they are exposed to, it appears that it could have an adverse effect on the anime and manga industry as a whole. Many of those who are in the industry consider this new law as counterproductive since it will severely limit the kind of stories that can be distributed to a nationwide, and more importantly, global market. In protest to the new bill the Big 10 manga publishers in Japan, led by Kadokawa, have decided to boycott the upcoming Tokyo International Animation Fair until a new decision can be made. Prime Minister Naoto Kan has stated on his blog that he hopes both sides can come to an understanding, or else the Animation Fair may be in danger of cancellation.
As one can see, things seem to be rather rocky between the government who want to keep the airways clear of indecency against the creativity of anime and manga authors all around the country. Should this new law become enforced, then it will definitely change anime and manga as we know it.
On the one hand, the potential stifling of creativity is a growing concern for the very artists involved in the anime and manga industry. Anime and manga have had a reputation for pushing the medium further than most people would dare to push cartoons in this day and age. The reason why fans became attracted to anime in the first place was because it offered something much more different and exciting than the same old kiddy cartoons we were exposed to before. To Japan, animation and comics are not solely for children, but rather anyone who enjoys a good story. The most prevalent fear that looms amongst those in the industry is that this new bill will stifle their creativity, strictly dictating what is fit for production and what is obscene. Marketing will also become much more limited as a result, which could ultimately make or break the future of the industry.
On the other hand, the heavier scrutiny on content may allow more quality series to shine through and perhaps lead to an overall bump in quality series that come overseas. To those who have paid attention there has been a lack of creativity and a gratuitous amount of fanservice in the recent releases of this season’s anime. With the new restrictions in regards to youth programming, artists and writers would be more inclined to focus on story, character development, and overall production instead of relying on cheap sex jokes and moe to pull the series through. The artists would also have to expand beyond their otaku pandering and reach a wider audience, thus coming up with stories with more widespread appeal. Considering too that this only applies to youth programming, it could very well be that nothing will really happen to the more controversial series aside from being regulated to the adult entertainment category.
With any luck this will all be resolved before late March arrives, as the fate of the Tokyo Anime Fair will hang in the balance. All we overseas fans can do for now is sit back and see what happens.
A handsome, clever prince of the Holy Britannian Empire, Lelouch appears at first to embody the archetypal Western hero of mythology. Our idealized perception of him as a classic mythological hero is further cemented when he receives “Geass” from C.C., the immortal goddess figure in Code Geass. Lelouch is forced to play the hero in the universe of Code Geass, but despite his gifts and royal birthright he is unable to pursue the Hero’s Journey under the mantle of a traditional hero.
Lelouch ultimately wants to create a peaceful world for his sister Nunnally, but while his intentions are altruistic, his actions are driven by revenge. Lelouch will stop at nothing to achieve peace, even if it means hurting innocents. By taking on the mantle of “Zero,” Lelouch obliterates his identity as the traditional golden prince and becomes a new kind of heroic archetype; a nameless modern hero with only the end, not the means, as his driving force.
On the other side of the coin is Suzaku Kururugi, a former prince of Japan, now relegated to an “Eleven” status after Britannia invades his country. A less Machiavellian character than his friend Lelouch, he is a gentle soul, dedicated to helping his colonized country from within. Suzaku plays the traditional foil to Lelouch in Code Geass; while their endgame might be the same, they are not willing to pay the same price for peace. Haunted by the secret that he killed his father, the last emperor of Japan, Suzaku doesn’t believe that the end justifies the means.
Suzaku operates “Lancelot” the White Knightmare Frame, and initially embodies the Arthurian figure of Lancelot, the noble, perfect knight thwarted by fate. Compelled to save Japan from within, Suzaku serves Britannia with honor, especially under Princess Euphemia li Britannia, Lelouch’s half-sister. It is ultimately Euphemia’s death at Lelouch’s hands that drives Suzaku to become much like his foil: mechanical, cold, and driven by revenge. Suzaku’s ultimate goal of peace remains to the same, but his methods are no longer peaceful. Although Suzaku might retain traces of his gentle nature, he slowly comes to realize that perhaps the ends are more important than the means. Having sacrificed his ideals for the greater good, Suzaku takes on the mantle of Zero himself, replacing Lelouch as the nameless modern anti-hero in order to achieve peace.
We must admit, this new nameless hero seems more relevant in chaotic modern times than the idealistic traditional hero with his steadfast morals and spotless ideals. Zero is the antithesis of an archetypal hero; a modern anti-hero figure with no ties and no qualms to anything tangible. He only seeks peace, no matter the cost. Code Geass forces us to ask, “Do the ends justify the means?” Are Lelouch and Suzaku vindicated in the end when their actions, however destructive, finally achieve peace? We put the question to you, anime otakus, and look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.
The truth behind Itachi’s actions leaves Naruto, Kakashi, and Yamato in shock. Madara then goes on to reveal the eternal hate stemming from as far back as the rivalry between the two sons of the legendary Sage of the Sixth Paths and its relation to the Uchiha clan.
While sparring with Ikkaku and Renji inside Squad 11’s dojo, Ichigo meets Seizo, whose mild-mannered personality seems out of place within the hot-blooded Squad 11. Once a powerful Soul Reaper, Seizo lost most of his spirit energy after taking a hit from a Hollow meant for Ikkaku. Ichigo, having seen Seizo’s unfair treatment within the squad, questions if he is truly content with his current life.
Tenma, Yato, and Yuzuriha are surrounded by Veronica’s zombies, only to be saved by Cancer Saint Manigoldo. Manigoldo had come to protect Tenma at the pope’s orders. With his overwhelming power, he splits Veronica’s body in two. But even this isn’t enough to kill him, and Veronica tries to cause them all to rot along with the forest. Meanwhile, the Twin Gods Hypnos and Thanatos watch the battle from the palace as they play Chess…
Did you know Although KuroKami was created as a Japanese manga, its produced by an entirely Korean manhwa team.
Every day, we try to bring you one great deal on anime/gaming merchandise. We negotiate and work directly with merchants for deep discounts. When you buy, it's handled directly through CR. You will be supporting a site you trust, and we pass even bigger savings onto you!
Over the past week, we've released some amazing products that appeals to the sensibilities of any anime fan looking to fill his/her collection.
We've featured great products like a 1-Year Subscription to Otaku USA:
Ruroni Kenshin Figure Set:
Death Note Bookends:
And many more! We try and keep the deals as fresh as possible, so keep your eyes open for the next great deal to hit before you miss it! For more information, check it out here
The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by these authors do not necessarily
reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Crunchyroll.com and/or its affiliates.