Spy x Family & Japanese government collaborate to promote social security numbers

Japan’s Digital Agency has launched a collaboration between the government’s My Number Card (Individual Number Card) system and popular manga and anime series Spy × Family. The campaign aims to encourage more Japanese citizens to apply for their own card.

pixiv announces its policies on AI art to differentiate between regular posts and AI-generated works

pixiv has announced its policy on AI-generated works. The announcement states, “We have recently witnessed a surge of inquiries regarding artworks in which all or most of the production process is carried out by AI,” and starting in late October, the site plans to implement some changes.

Japanese porn site sees large influx of AI-generated art and mandates them to be labeled as such

The launch of NovelAI Diffusion has caused a rapid increase in the amount of AI-generated works available on Japanese digital content sites like FANZA. According to FANZA's new guidelines, any AI-generated content must now include the “AI-Generated” tag.

Dropkick on My Devil! anime allows monetization of “illegal” uploads with conditions

Dropkick on My Devil! anime's guidelines for derivative works allow content creators to monetize clips, commentary, and explanation videos on YouTube and Niconico when meeting certain conditions. It appears their aim is to use illegal uploads as advertising while receiving a share of the profit to fund continuing the series.

AI image generator “mimic” renews its anti-fraud policies after receiving criticism

mimic is an AI-powered image generating service where users upload their own illustrations, and the service’s AI then learns from the images in order to create new illustrations of a similar style. mimic will incorporate stronger measures to prevent fraudulent use of the service and plans to launch the new beta version in October.

Stable Diffusion-made AI art of Pikachu in 1920s Tokyo is both realistic and scary

Stable Diffusion-made AI art of Pokémon (Pikachu) in 1920s Tokyo is both realistic and scary. We spoke with its creator about what led to its creation and the possibilities of AI-generated images.

Light Anime is a new anime production method that is faster and cheaper

Light Anime is a new anime production method that can significantly cut down on the time and cost that is associated with traditional animation production methods. It makes it easier to bring more anime into the market in a timely manner.

Over 1,400 digital 3D models of biological specimens have been released by a university in Japan

Japan's Kyushu University has released over 1,400 digital 3D biological specimens. The majority of the models fall under the CC BY 4.0 license, meaning it is possible for anyone to download and use them. A large percentage of the newly released models are of aquatic life, but there is still a diverse range of insects and plants.

A pixiv clone site has been created, and users were using “magic words” to try to take it down

vpixiv is a malicious clone site that has caused quite a stir within Japan. The site was created via unauthorized copying of the data from artist community site pixiv. In response to vpixiv, pixiv users were adding “magic words” to their profiles as a method to have their account pages deleted from the clone site.

New AI image generating service in Japan stirs debate. Artists decry their work being used for AI art generation

RADIUS5 released their new AI-powered image generating service “mimic” in Japan. To use mimic, artists upload their own illustrations to be analyzed by the AI and the service generates new images with a similar style. A debate broke out among creators in Japan with RADIUS5 temporarily suspending the service on August 30, only a day after its release.

A massive anime database cataloging nearly 15,000 titles made available to the public

The Association of Japanese Animations recently released Anime Taizen, a consolidated database of information regarding Japanese anime, to the public. The database was made available with information for 14,710 different anime and 175,755 episodes of anime.

FIMMIGRM is an AI track generator that automatically creates original songs

FIMMIGRM is a music creation service that generates songs using AI. The service uses an AI that uses machine learning to analyze the characteristics of hit songs, to create a variety of different melodies and chord progressions. The service allows for songs to be purchased for a low price without any of the hassles that normally come with rights management.

Can’t decide what to read? An online bookstore in Japan now offers a book gacha

Japanese online bookstore honto has begun offering a “book gacha” in which users only pick the genre that they want to read. There are around 100 paperback novels (all in Japanese) that are included in the gacha.

Students who game longer have lower test scores on Japan’s national achievement test

Students who game longer have lower test scores on Japan’s national achievement test. It wasn’t just limited to gaming as time spent on social media and video sites also showed a comparable trend in relation to test results.

A Shinto shrine in Japan to offer lucky charm NFTs as it searches for new revenue streams

The Kemigawa Shinto Shrine in Japan to offer Omamori NFTs (good luck charm NFTs) as it searches for new revenue streams. Like the real thing, the benefits of the NFT charms wear off after a year, after which they are automatically burned.

Initial D collaboration taxis are now running in Gunma, Japan, the setting of the hit series

Initial D, a popular manga and anime series that takes place in Gunma, Japan, is collaborating with taxis in Gunma’s Shibukawa city. The collaboration sees taxis in the city wrapped with three different designs based on the series, including one based on protagonist Takumi Fujiwara’s Toyota Sprinter Trueno (AE86).

The University of Tokyo to establish Metaverse courses that will teach engineering in virtual space

The University of Tokyo has announced that they will soon offer Metaverse courses to teach engineering in a virtual space. The intention is to provide a new style of learning to a wide range of people including middle and high school students, working adults, and more.

Haruhi Suzumiya’s real-life school faces an uncertain future due to Japan’s declining population

The school featured in the popular light novel, manga, and anime series Haruhi Suzumiya was modeled on real-life Japanese high school Nishinomiya Kita High, located in Japan's Hyogo prefecture. But this real school may soon be consolidated into another school.

A device that can alter the taste of food has been developed by a Japanese university professor

Meiji University in Japan has announced that they have developed a device that can alter the appearance and taste of food. It is named TTTV2 which stands for “Transform The Taste and Visual appearance.”

What if you could see your coworkers’ HP bar? One company’s system gains attention in Japan

Japanese company Onken made a tweet showing their “coworker HP badges” which began to spread on social media. As the name implies, the badges display an HP bar that workers can pin to themselves to show how much HP they have left in the tank.

Sekai Saionji from School Days becomes a VTuber

Sekai Saionji, one of the heroines from the game and anime series School Days, has made her debut as a VTuber on the YouTube channel of Shiho Kawaragi, who voiced the character in the anime series.

New DAO style share house in Tokyo to use NFTs for residence

Roopt神楽坂DAO (Roopt Kagurazaka DAO), a share house located in Tokyo that uses NFTs, will open in September. One NFT is worth 30,000 yen (around $220) and can be exchanged for a one month stay at the share house.
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