By Yayoi Kawatoko / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterHere comes the stupidest samurai in the universe! The live-action film adaptation of "Gintama," the blockbuster manga serialized in the Shukan Shonen Jump weekly magazine since late 2003, has finally hit theaters.
With the number of copies printed exceeding 51 million, "Gintama" has laughs, affection, battles and just about everything else. A sci-fi period fantasy by Hideaki Sorachi, the manga has an outrageous premise: The samurai warriors from the tumultuous years leading up to the Meiji Restoration take on invading space aliens.
YONAGO, Tottori Prefecture--The manga-covered Kitaro Train cars running on the JR Sakai Line are to be given a spooky makeover featuring six "yokai" monster illustrations, West Japan Railway Co.'s (JR West) Yonago branch has announced.
The train cars are currently illustrated with characters from the "Gegege no Kitaro" horror manga and anime series including Kitaro, Sunakake-Baba, Konaki-Jiji, Nezumi-Otoko, Neko-Musume and Medama-Oyaji.
In January, it became a social issue that public workers serving as caseworkers to help people in need in a city in Kanagawa Prefecture had worn jackets with a logo, in romaji, stating "HOGO NAMENNA" (Don’t abuse the public welfare benefits). Their backs bore English sentences that included "THEY ARE DREGS!" which indicated that some people illegally receive welfare benefits. The city mayor officially apologized, saying, "These expressions are inappropriate." The public criticism is not surprising, as some caseworkers wore these jackets when visiting families on welfare benefits.
Rapid progress is being made in the field of genome editing, an advanced type of genetic engineering that involves directly rewriting genes. A technology called CRISPR-Cas9, which was introduced in 2012, is said to be able to edit gene information as simply as carrying out a cut and paste command on a computer, and there are hopes that the technology could lead to cures for hereditary diseases.
At the same time, some have said the ability to freely modify the genes of fertilized eggs is moving us closer to creating "designer babies." This week’s manga, "Designs," presents a world in the not-too-distant future where genetic technology has advanced even further and with more sinister results.
Roswell Hosoki enjoys a tasty snack to enhance his drinking sessions, just like Sotatsu Iwama, the 30-something office worker character he created for his long-running manga series "Sake no Hosomochi" (The narrow road of drinking).
Each episode in the series, which is carried in the manga magazine Shukan Manga Goraku (Weekly manga goraku) published by Nihon Bungeisha Co., features a scene where the characters enjoy a drink. The short manga series has also been published in book form, reaching 40 volumes to date since its debut in 1994.