Jan. 10, 2015 | 5:00 a.m.
On Monday it was confirmed that Scarlett Johansson has signed on to star in DreamWorks’ live-action adaptation of “Ghost in the Shell,” but not all fans are embracing the news that the studio is opting for a non-Asian actress to play the lead role. While some fans of the franchise were excited to hear the project is moving further along in development, others lamented or even satirized the decision. “Ghost in the Shell,” based on Masamune Shirow’s manga series of the same name, is set in a fictional Japanese city and follows protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi and members of a covert task force within the Japanese National Public Safety Commission. The task force, known as Public Security Section 9, takes on various cybercriminals in a future where the line between technology and biology is blurred. The manga series spurred Mamoru […]
Dec. 05, 2014 | 8:58 a.m.
Ho, Ho, Ho(dor)! It’s the time of year for geek-friendly holiday shopping. Whether you’re shopping for fans of “Game of Thrones,” “Star Wars,” Batman or Captain Marvel, the annual Hero Complex holiday gift guide has you covered. This year’s selections include some family-friendly video games for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U; gorgeous hardcover books celebrating the anniversaries of Marvel Comics, Batman, the Teen Titans, “Alien” and Hello Kitty; a Godzilla toy that’s probably bigger than your dog; and a quadcopter camera drone, among other selections. Click through the gallery above for a peek at our selections. Items are listed below, sorted by cost. Under $25 “Living Language Dothraki,” $3.99 app, $19.99 audiobook, $30 online course: Athchomar chomakaan! The Khal or Khaleesi in your life must command the Dothraki language before commanding the troops, and thanks to Living Language’s new course (offered as an app, CD and guide […]
July 06, 2014 | 1:37 p.m.
“My name is Kimura U, and I am the most pink creator of the world.” Walking the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday during Anime Expo, Kimura U — wearing chunky pink platform heels, a pink leather jacket, pink tights, a pink frilly dress and ombre hair that faded from light purple to light pink — surprisingly fit in among a group of 200,000 attendees often eager to stand out through their apparel. But unlike the thousands of cosplayers dressed as characters, it’s Kimura U’s job to dress this way: She’s the Japanese ambassador of kawaii, a.k.a. the ambassador of cute. Appointed by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the position in 2009, U travels the world to promote Japanese culture abroad, specifically Harajuku fashion, a type of fashion based on trends in the Harajuku district […]
July 04, 2014 | 4:19 p.m.
At Anime Expo 2014, the wigs are out, big time. Organizers had promised to push the cosplay quotient at the annual anime and manga festival, and fans have shown their approval by filling the Los Angeles Convention Center with the surreal costumes, painted faces and most excellent hair of their favorite characters. Over here, the spiked red locks of Grell Sutcliff and the V-shaped bangs of Angelina Dalles, both from “Black Butler.” Over there, the muscled face of Colossal Titan. And over there, the white eyes and bloodied forehead of Fujitora from “One Piece.” Somewhere amid all the fur, the horns, the hats, the high stockings, the Pokemon onesies, the blue-painted faces, the skeleton-painted faces and a fair amount of skin, you could even see an Elsa from “Frozen,” a bit out of place, seemingly lost on her way to […]
July 04, 2014 | 9:22 a.m.
She came to the world’s attention as a 14-year-old klutz who encounters a talking black cat with a magical brooch. The cat’s brooch transformed Usagi Tsukino, or Serena to U.S. audiences, into the manga heroine Sailor Moon, one of the most recognizable of all anime icons. More than 20 years after Naoko Takeuchi created Sailor Moon and her fellow Sailor Senshi, she’s not only appeared on countless lunch boxes and notebooks, her red-bowed schoolgirl’s uniform with the thigh-high miniskirt remains one of the most recognizable costumes at gatherings like this year’s Anime Expo. The annual convention celebrating Japanese animation and pop culture kicks off Thursday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Saturday will be the expo’s “Sailor Moon Day.” Planned events include the premiere of the new series “Sailor Moon Crystal” as well as a panel where the first two […]
July 02, 2014 | 3:59 p.m.
The 23rd Anime Expo, the largest anime and manga convention in North America, is opening Thursday at the Los Angeles Convention Center for four days of exhibits, panel discussions, concerts, commerce and, yes, cosplay (take a peek at the gallery above for duds from 2014). After feedback from last year’s attendants, the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, which organizes the expo, has expanded the role of costume play in the event, creating more sets where cosplayers dressed as their favorite anime (animation) and manga (comics) characters can take photographs. “Anime Expo draws a lot of people who get into costume, and we wanted to provide an area for them to be able to take some really good pictures. We have a lot of really cool sets,” said Meg Amo, the society’s brand manager, citing a Japanese garden and a […]
June 19, 2014 | 5:01 p.m.
North American “Sailor Moon” fans can rejoice: “Sailor Moon Crystal,” the new reboot of the classic anime franchise, will be available to stream starting July 5 on Hulu and Viz Media’s Neon Alley. Based on Naoko Takeuchi’s long-running manga series, “Sailor Moon Crystal” will retell the story of Usagi Tsukino discovering she is Sailor Moon. As revealed in the trailer below, Usagi meets Luna, a black cat that can talk, who has been searching for her. After she is given a special brooch to transform into Sailor Moon, Usagi is tasked with the mission to gather her allies, other Sailor Senshi or “Guardians,” and defeat the enemy. As in the original anime series that aired in the U.S. starting in 1995, Sailor Moon’s mission also involves seeking out the Legendary Silver Crystal and protecting it from Queen Beryl. “Fans everywhere […]
July 19, 2013 | 2:45 p.m.
Spandex-wearing superheroes, helmeted space troopers, sword-wielding warriors and plodding robots have once again descended on San Diego for Comic-Con International, where scores of fanboys and fangirls can always be counted on to show off their creative cosplay. The pageantry includes faithful re-creations of major and minor characters from comics, TV shows and movies, as well as personalized interpretations that are alternately humorous, sexed-up or just plain idiosyncratic. Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer likened cosplay to Halloween for grown-ups and told Hero Complex, “One of the cool things, certainly about Comic-Con anyway, is when you wear a costume, you get to be that character.” FULL COVERAGE: San Diego Comic-Con 2013 Another cool thing about Comic-Con: No reference is too obscure. “You may wear a costume that nobody else knows what it is, or you don’t think they do,” Glanzer said, “but at […]
July 05, 2013 | 2:29 p.m.
Princesses, warriors, robots and all manner of fantastical creatures poured through the doors of the Los Angeles Convention Center Friday morning for the second day of the 22nd annual Anime Expo, a celebration of Japanese cartoons and comic books that includes gaming, comics, concerts, fashion shows, lectures and more. More than 50,000 people are expected to turn up for the weekend event — most of them dressed as a favorite character or in trendy Japanese fashions, and ready to pose for photographers. High school senior Allison Martin was the subject of a number of shots Friday — clad as Princess Euphemia from “Code Geass,” she wore a long, elegantly styled pink wig and a white ball gown. “It’s sort of like I really hope no one from my school sees me here,” said Martin with a nervous laugh. “I don’t […]
July 03, 2013 | 6:30 a.m.
With a character in mind, they set out. Yards of fabric in bright colors come together to resemble animated garb, accompanied by equally colorful wigs, accessories and makeup. The cosplayers and anime-lovers are getting ready for the second-largest anime convention in the country. This weekend, more than 50,000 people, many of them dressed as favorite characters or in trendy Japanese fashions, are expected to turn up at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the 22nd annual Anime Expo, a celebration of Japanese cartoons and comic books that includes gaming, comics, concerts, fashion shows, lectures and more. Event Organizer Greg Hignight said attendance has grown as the Internet has made the Japanese animated content more accessible to American audiences, along with exposure on the Cartoon Network. “Because the world is flattening, it’s a lot easier for people to discover international content,” […]