One of Japan’s longest-running newspaper 4-frame manga strips has been undergoing some changes lately. The “Kobo-chan” strip went color for the first time at the beginning of this month. And creator Ueda Masashi has hinted that the lovable kindergartener may soon be joined by a younger brother or sister. “Kobo-chan” has appeared over 8,000 times in the morning edition of the Yomiuri Shimbun and has been syndicated to almost every paper in the country. Its gentle humor is similar to that of the ever-popular Sazae-san and reminiscint of times past. Ueda maintains a strict daily schedule and always delivers his strip the night before publication. He has only missed a deadline four times in the last 23 years…Kobo-chan web site
Popular rock band L’Arc en Ciel made a secret live appearance yesterday at a promo event for an upcoming anime movie. The band have recorded the opening and ending themes for the movie version of the popular series “Hagane no Renkinjutsushi” (Fullmetal Alchemist), set to open next summer. The event, held at Osaka Castle Hall, was attended by over 10,000 fans, making it the biggest ever for an anime show. The anime, popularly known as “hagaren” started on TBS in October 2003 and ran until October of this year. The original comic has sold over 12 million copies.