Giant Robot NewsBot – May 27, 2011

Less Than $800 Gets You to Tokyo for Four Nights

“Tourism to Japan has dropped by more than 60% since the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and ongoing nuclear reactor leaks.” If you’re a Japan enthusiast (like we are), you know that for the right price you’ll jump on a plane to Tokyo or Osaka at the drop of a hat. Well, for the remarkable price of $780 per person, the Japan National Tourist Organization is offering round trip airfare (from select US cities) and four night’s accommodation in Tokyo. You’d better hurry, though, as this offer ends this Tuesday, May 31st, and some departure dates have already been sold out. (L.A. Times – Cheap Tokyo Package)

What Exactly is Boutaoshi?

No one outside Japan is quite sure what to make of Boutaoshi. It seems to combine elements of soccer, rugby, capture the flag, and a sports riot. In the video on Laughing Squid, you’ll see a guy on a pole, men ripping each other’s jerseys, and a vague sense that the players are not only organized in some strange way, but are actually enjoying themselves. Check it out and make up your own mind. (Laughing Squid – Boutaoshi) Japan Security Watch actually has a summary of some of the game’s rules, which you can read on their site. (Japan Security Watch – Boutaoshi)

You can also pick up a Region 2 copy of a Boutaoshi movie on DVD. We’re interested to know what kind of scripted story can be made about such an odd sport, so drop us a line if you see the movie. (YesAsia – Boutaoshi DVD)

Korean Filmmakers Chase Hollywood Success

“The biggest obstacle for Korean films to advance into Hollywood is that the U.S. movie industry is largely based on personal networks.” If you’ve seen films like Joon-ho Bong’s “Mother”, or Park Chan-wook’s “Oldboy”, you know that Korean cinema is as fresh, artistic and vital as anything made in the U.S. or Europe. Yet, with certain occasional exceptions, Korean filmmakers have had a heck of a time gaining recognition and success in Hollywood.  And it isn’t always the tight-knit nature of the Hollywood community keeping Korean directors on the outs. The directors might just be sabotaging themselves. (Korea Herald – Korean Films and Hollywood)

Will “Sex and Zen 3D” bring “Extreme Ecstasy” to America?

“It is just like being a voyeur near someone’s bed.” It seems like a pretty logical, naturally-progressing idea, using 3D technology to make a pornographic film. We’re pretty sure for some folks it’s a dream come true. And that’s what the producers and American distributor of “Sex and Zen 3D: Extreme Ecstasy” are banking on. The film out-grossed “Avatar” on its opening day in Hong Kong, and it has done very respectable business in Australia and New Zealand. Not bad for what is being described as essentially a blue movie on steroids. So, although a final release date has not been set, look for “Extreme Ecstasy” soon in a movie theater near you! (Hollywood Reporter – Sex and Zen 3D: Extreme Ecstasy)

Skirts Versus Tracksuits: China Settles for “Most Sporty” School Uniform

“There’s so much tracksuit that you can’t pick out the guys from the girls when looking from afar.” School uniforms in Asia run the gamut from really cute (Japan) to really sexy (Thailand). Then there is China, which in the utilitarian approach typical of that country’s government has adopted a rather amorphous, asexual track suit as the official uniform in public schools. As the article linked below suggests, perhaps this is an advantage placing emphasis on student performance versus looks. But it would be interesting to see how Western kids’ reaction to such a similarly-enforced dress code. (RocketNews24 – Asian School Uniforms)