Let's make own face stickers of the messaging apps!---iOS apps "StickerMe" broke through 1M downloading

The message apps are popular all over the world, and the apps to make original stickers only for oneself with it is popular. Japanese iOS apps StickerMe is popular in the whole area of Asia as well as Japan.

StickerMe is sticker making apps of Japanese startup Motion Portrait, and It broke through 1 million downloading from release in 1 month. Users can make various stickers using a portrait. We can use them in messaging apps such as LINE, kakao Talk, WeChat and Facebook message.

Originally Motion Portrait was the company which developed the 3D avatar using facial recognition technology to. However, they started development of the smartphone apps from 2010. And they aimed at a message apps movement more.
It is popular in China in particular, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, and according to them, 30 million stickers have been already used. Furthermore, they release stickers which cooperated with a Manga artists and a celebrityes, and Android version in June.

Does messaging application comm of DeNA go the way same as LINE?

DeNA added a game function in their messaging application comm, but slightly different from the existing messaging apps such as LINE and Kakao Talk.

They added the function that could play Daifugō, mahjong and poker with friends in a talking room(chat room) of comm. Okay, it is not a native apps.

When we use this function, half of the bottoms of the talking room become the game screen, and can play a game while chatting with friends. It resembles a system of the game portal site of the dawn. As for the game portal site around ten years ago(for example, early Hangame), games and a chat were combined.

The technique of comm which combines a game with messaging apps resembles LINE and Kakao Talk. However, games are not native apps. They can provide same games to all users at the same time.

Furthermore, they release the available stickers only at the time of a game play. They do not get profit in games and stickers(Because all of them are free). Before it, they make efforts in the acquisition of users and activation of the community. Will active users of comm increase by games?


Cute tie-up of Sumo wrestlers and Messaging apps LINE

Japan Sumo Association opened an official account this month in Messaging apps LINE. What kind of information do they show there? It's these.

What a Cute! They showed many cute photos as well as these. Besides, it is almost every day!

They appeal to youths for sumo by using LINE. Sumo is the national sports of Japan, but it is traditional culture and is a ceremony to God(Shinto). Well, it's the genre that youths do not like. Therefore they send a friendly atmosphere in LINE. Furthermore, they hold the photograph exhibition which collaborate with LINE in Ryougoku Sumo Hall.

However, unfortunately their account can check only in Japanese region.


Japanese little-known heavy metal band Ningen-Isu became the topic in Twitter triggered by Ozzfest Japan

On May 11 and 12, Ozzy Osbourne's heavy metal festival OzzFest Japan was held in Chiba, Makuhari messe. This is the first time that Ozzfest is held in Japan, and drew crowds of 20,000 fans on each day. Press release of Ozzfest is here.

Japanese bands appeared with many international bands on both days. Among them, there was the band which became the topic in the Japanese Internet conspicuously. The name is Ningen-Isu(人間椅子).

Most of overseas metalers seems to not know them. On the contrary, Japanese metalers did not know much them, too. However, they are expert bands reaching the activity 25th anniversary in this year.

They did major debut in 1989. In those days, Japan was an enthusiastic band boom, and they became in great demand for TV programs and events(besides, Japan was a panic because of prosperity in those days).

Later, however, the dark 90s came. The economy suddenly worsened, and the band boom ended with it. Record label threw them out because of the recession, they transferred to indies label and continued being active, but entered the long slump period. Overseas metalers will know that the 90s was the winter times for hard rock and heavy metal. The mass media completely ignored them, and they were not placed in even the music magazine. They became extremely poor, and the drummer withdrawal occurred successively.

However, they continued being active steadily while working part-time, released albums constantly and continued gigs. And the people who reevaluated them from the mid-2000s increased. What happened at this time? Well..., Web 2.0 movements. Their fans shared their information on various social media. Youtube in particular contributed. Their cool numbers and superior performance spread all over the world by Youtube and attracted young metalers and overseas metalers. This cover of King Crimson is really AWESOME!

They are influenced by Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, Budgie and other great hard rock band of 70s basically, incorporate Japanese folk music with doom/stoner sound, and write intellectual lyrics about classical literature, philosophy, Buddhism, Lovecraft Mythos, Japanese folk tale and Japanese horror tale. Their style may resemble Pagan Metal, but most people who listened to their numbers say "They are Japanese Black Sabath".  It was important that they appeared in Ozzfest in not only the career of their own but also the Japanese metal industry.

Thus, the stage in Ozzfest Japan of Ningen-Isu began. Their show was only 30 minutes, but it was really splendid! And the Twitter erupted just after that. The timeline of #OzzfestJapan(or #オズフェス) overflowed in Tweets which praised their show and it did not stop all the time. There were English Tweets of foreign audiences in them, too. Then, Ningen-Isu(人間椅子) became the trendy word of Twitter at last. It was the moment when many metalers rediscovered Ningen-Isu.

This is just after the show end that the staff of Ningen-Isu photographed.

After Ozzfest Japan was over, the praise to them continues. More than 30 news sites show their article, Tweets mentioning them still increasing, and their CDs ran low in Amazon.co.jp.
I think that this is current music industry. The fashion of the former music industry was influenced by TV, radio, magazine and newspaper. The artist ignored in them become nameless. However, social media make the fashion of the music industry now. It is democratization of the music industry. They showed the power of social media with themselves.

However, unfortunately the usage of social media of their and their label TOKUMA Japan is VERY POOR. The official site is only Japanese and does not support a smartphone. They have neither the Facebook page nor the Twitter account. There is barely the official blog, but is only Japanese. In the first place even iTunes is only Japan. They do not have social media literacy and global expansion ability. It is a serious opportunity loss. If you want to get their information and works by a language except the Japanese from the foreign countries, let's petition TOKUMA Japan by e-mail(mail form is only Japanese, too! F**K! Please use the translation tool).

By the way, They releases new album "Mandoro(萬燈籠)" on August 7. The price is 3000yen. "Mandoro" is a dialect of Tohoku , Japan, and meaning "Very bright"(Its original meaning is "10,000 lanterns") . The reservation of this began in Amazon.co.jp. Afterwards, the tour in Japan is held until from September 12 ~ 30. The tickets are not yet sold.

-Tour schedule-
September 12 Sapporo Bessie Hall
September 15 Aomori quarter
September 16 Sendai enn2nd
September 20 Hakata DRUM Be-1
September 21 Kumamoto DRUM Be-9 V-1
September 23 Osaka ROCK TOWN
September 24 Kobe Chicken George
September 26 Nagoya Electric Lady Land
September 29 Shibuya O-WEST
September 30 Shibuya O-WEST

These are the Youtube videos which TOKUMA Japan showed in a hurry. These numbers were played in Ozzfest Japan(Videos are before Ozzfest Japan).

If you like them, search "Ningen-Isu" or "人間椅子" in Youtube. Other photos of Ozzfest Japan are here.


DeNA(Mobage) gets mid-core games secretly

I see news that GREE is out of condition frequently recently. On the other hand, DeNA seems to grow up solidly. And they gave announcement on new games in succession this week. They provide "Godus", the new works of Peter Molyneux in Mobage of Japan, Korea, Europe and U.S.

Peter Molyneux is the artist who is famous in Japan, and Japanese game news sites reported progress of Godus project  in Kickstarter one by one. However, the press release of DeNA was reached with surprise. There are the people who still speak ill of a mobile social game in Japan(The most are core gamers). They think that social game platformers provide only a casual games. DeNA seems to gradually evolve from there.

Furthermore, they announced that they released mobile game of TRPG masterpiece "Dungeons & Dragons". The title is "Dungeons & Dragons Arena of War". It's a turn battle RPG of full 3DCG developed by Unity.

What will the difference between GREE and DeNA be? GREE persisted in the J-style mobile social game in the foreign countries. However, the Japanese market is very unique. Probably, the localization is insufficient only by translation and artworks change. DeNA performs a partnership tie-up abroad and gets new games locally. Besides, they put a mobile game for mid-cores in the field of vision. Will this become the new guidance of the Japanese mobile social game market?

Subsidiary of Sony starts business that make figures by 3D printer

Sony music communications, one of Sony groups starts new business "3D Print Figure". They make real figure skating 3D scanner and 3D printer.

This was released at ANIME CONTENTS EXPO 2013 held in Chiba Makuhari messe in March, and became the topic. However, costs may be slightly expensive. S size(h/15cm) is 49,000yen(about 490USD), M size(h/20cm) is 69,000yen(about 690USD), and L size(h/30cm) is 120,000yen(1200USD). We can order life-sized size, but how much the cost? :D

There are already similar business in Japan and abroad. However, it is important that Sony group began this. Though it was not music business, why did they begin this? I think that they make collaboration with artists sometime soon. Because a sample already includes the figure of the member of girls band AKB48.

Japanese startup goopa helps Anime by crowd funding

Japanese startup goopa opened crowd funding platform "Anipipo". Today's Japan has too many crowd funding platform. However, a characteristic of Anipipo is specialize project contents in Anime.

This is crowd funding service supporting creators making a new attempt in the anime industry. Some projects have been already shown. However, goopa intends to support the projects except anime such as a movie, game, figure in future. Interestingly, they have already performed English support(This is rare in Japan). Well, naturally they think about global expansion. Their first year aim total support circulation sum is 50 million yen(about 50.0000USD).


LINE provides a game even in mobile virtual world LINE Play

Social game platform LINE GAME of Japanese popular messaging application LINE is peak form. However, they do not seem to be satisfied with it. They offer a game in mobile virtual world LINE Play. The first game is "Tsuri Tomo(Fishing friends)".

The fishing is a basic game existing in every virtual worlds and MMOs. Tsuri Tomo is similar to them, too. Users catch various fish at the sea and can make a fish album. There are 240 kinds of kinds of fish, and we can be improved by catching many fish and can upgrade a fishing rod and bait.

Unfortunately this is contents only for Japanese regions at present. However, of course they will provide this in a global region in future.


JapanSocial provides Japanese mobile games for Taiwanese players

Japanese game startup JapanSocial opens platform "TokyoGameStyle" that providing Japanese mobile social games  for Taiwanese on June 1.

They translate and localize popular Japanese mobile social games for a Taiwanese. The offer of 7 games has been already arranged informally.

They disclose information in Taiwanese maximum game site Bahamut and start pre-registration ahead of opening. According to them, the press release for Taiwan is received favorably by Taiwanese people. Furthermore, the official FaceBook page of TokyoGameStyle gets 3,500 Like!.