Losing out: Only eight anime released theatrically in Japan last year made more than ¥1bn (around $8.5 million). The biggest contender was, oh irony, Disney's Frozen. The domestic animated winner for the year? Doraemon: Stand By Me, with some ¥8bn to its name. (No, it's not about Doraemon and Nobita discovering a dead body. Part of me wishes it was.)

Amazon 1611720184

Miencyclopedia weighs a ton: The long-awaited, much-bruited, and extremely heavy third revised edition of The Anime Encyclopedia is finally here. If you worry about your shelves sagging, grab the Kindle copy (and watch your phone promptly tear through the bottom of your pocket). I think I will cycle out a few older reference works to make room for this indomitably important tome.

Takahata talks: About a new film, that is. From the sound of it, it's a dive back into history along the lines of Grave of the Fireflies's sufferings of the downtrodden: "[It's] a story about exploited girls, forced to work as nannies with infants strapped on their backs." Let's face it, any movie synopsized that abruptly is going to sound silly, and the mere fact that Takahata is set to give us something after The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is unimpeachably good news.

The girls are alright: "Children of Sailor Moon" explores the evolution of magical girls in anime across the decades. Food for thought: Mary Poppins as the ... well, spiritual godmother of the magical girl? Now there's something to consider.

A space to do it yourself: Washington, D.C. cosplayers are hereby invited to help fund a makerspace for cosplayers there.

Cool is relative: Fan polls inevitably make me dubious, but the latest one — fans pick the "coolest ladies of anime" — has some worthy women of note. Fujiko Miné, Karn, Akane Tsunemori, Revy, Erza Scarlet, Motoko The Major, Celty, and Mikasa made the running, although the lack of Kanuka Clancy, Maetel, or Sharon Apple (shut up, so what if she's a computer) kinda hurts.

Mainland love: Young people in China are apparently becoming anime and manga fans at an unprecedented rate. Be interesting to see how the fandom takes shape there vs. the way it did in Hong Kong, or in places that were served by, say, the international-English version of Rurouni Kenshin (e.g., Malaysia, if memory serves).

About the Author

Serdar Yegulalp (@GanrikiDotOrg) is Editor-in-Chief of Ganriki.org. He has written about anime professionally as the Anime Guide for Anime.About.com, and as a contributor to Advanced Media Network, but has also been exploring the subject on his own since 1998.
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