These cute kids have a message for Hollywood. Please cast Asians in the live action Akira movie.

While I agree with the sentiment and love the video, I’m not so sure the role model argument holds up. Our two leads, Tetsuo and Kaneda, aren’t exactly people I’d want my kids to emulate. Tetsuo has a giant chip on his shoulder and grows into a power hungry psychopath. Kaneda is a tech school drop out who treats Tetsuo like a twerp and leads a gang of fellow drop outs. Then Kaneda spends the rest of the film trying to kill his friend.

I think Kei has some role model qualities. She’s a revolutionary, she’s strong willed, she kicks ass. Out of all of the characters, I wouldn’t mind terribly if my kids grew up to be like her. I’d slap the taste out of their mouths if they grew up like Kaneda or Tetsuo.

I suppose the role model argument could also be more along the lines of seeing Asian actors in leading roles. I can totally get behind that. Even though Kaneda and Tetsuo aren’t the most positive characters in the world, seeing Asian actors in lead roles in a Western film would be pretty cool for cute little Asian kids.

The slow loris is terribly cute. It is also terribly endangered.

Like most everyone who saw the video, I fell in love with the creature the instant I saw the slow loris tickling video. I even wrote one in to the comic, sorta. As of this writing, that video has been seen by over 6 million viewers. Along with a new clip of a slow loris reaching for a cocktail umbrella, viral videos of the slow loris have inspired a very lucrative yet very illegal export market.

The slow loris is an endangered nocturnal primate native to Southeast Asia that’s listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is the world’s only venomous primate and has sharp teeth to defend itself. You may wonder, then, why neither the tickled loris nor the umbrella loris bite the people handling them in the videos. That’s because those lorises have had their teeth removed. And because they’re nocturnal, what we may mistake as squinty-eyed glee is really abject confusion.

Poachers sell infant slow lorises in open air markets in Indonesia and Thailand. Because of their newfound popularity, the illegal trade is spreading west to Europe and the U.S.

This must end.

Owning a slow loris is illegal. The cute lorises in the tickling and umbrella videos or any other cute pet loris video you see on YouTube were obtained illegally. The owners may not have known that this is an illegal trade so it’s up to us to spread the word. If more people were made aware of the illegal trade and the trauma these adorable creatures suffer, perhaps we can prevent their extinction.

I feel horrible for helping to promote the tickling loris video. I hope I can help spread the word about their plight. I found a page at which has some information and links to organizations dedicated to primate conservation. If there are other organizations that deal directly with the slow loris trade, please let me know. Also, videos of animal cruelty violate YouTube’s Community Guidelines. I would submit that these cute loris pet videos are indeed cruel to them and would encourage anyone who sees them to report them to YouTube. Thus far, they haven’t taken any of the loris videos down, but if enough people say something, maybe they’ll do something about it.

Source: The Independent

“K-Town” promises to do for Asian Americans what “The Jersey Shore” does for… um… Jersey Americans? My head hurts.

Anyway, this sizzle reel is more like a sizzle preview since it hardly really shows anything except girl-on-girl grinding (awesome!) and some man junk (awesome!). Typically, a sizzle reel includes highlights from a show to give networks a taste of what you’re trying to sell. There’s probably a longer cut of this around somewhere.

It’s funny, I can totally see Lance hanging out with a group of people just like that. And I’m certain he’d love a show like this. As for me, I’m seriously glad I don’t have cable. I have no desire to ever watch “The Jersey Shore” and an Asian American version of it doesn’t really appeal to me. But I can’t say I wouldn’t be tempted to leave it on in the background if I happened to land on it while channel surfing.

Still no word on a network or air date for “K-Town.” Will you tune in when it premiers?

You guys, this made me cry. In fact, I’m tearing up as I write this because I’m either such a nerd or such a wimp. But there be tears welling up.

The actors who portray Tokusatsu heroes like Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and Super Sentai Rangers are all very aware of their place in Japanese pop culture. Many of them still enjoy their roles and have fond memories of the shows they were associated with. Children and adults on the street recognize them as their characters.

When the tsunami hit, Teruaki Ogawa who portrayed NinjaRed on Kakuranger started a twitter account to send out inspirational messages to the people of Japan as NinjaRed. Word soon spread throughout the Tokusatsu actor community and many have joined to help spread words of hope as their characters. Ultramen, Kamen Riders, Rangers, and other toku heroes have all sent out tweets to encourage the Japanese to keep fighting. Over-Time has a compilation of translations for English speakers.

The one message that really started the tears rolling for me was from Hiroya Fujimiya who portrayed Ultraman Agul, pictured up top, in Ultraman Gaia:

You’ve all done well up until now! Things may be difficult even from now but only you can help the people who are around you. You have a power that even we cannot match! That is the finishing attack known as a smile! Even if it’s hard now, someday you will be able to save people too!

The finishing attack known as a smile!

So freaking epic!

I mean, I’m way too old to be a Japanese school kid and I was totally inspired by those words. They probably will mean more if you’re familiar with the series the character is from, but all of the messages on that account are full of awesomeness.

Source: Over-Time

If you hadn’t heard, Warner Bros is producing a live action Akira movie. Actually, this has been in the works for years. When we first heard rumors, they were going to change the setting from Neo Tokyo to Neo Manhattan. No word on who they were planning on casting as Tetsuo Shima or Shotaro Kaneda.

This past week, we’ve learned that Warner Bros has a short list of actors they want to portray our favorite name shouters. Unfortunately, you won’t find an Asian name. While I’ve personally started to call this movie Steve, Prince Gomolvilas has an even better suggestion for how to handle the news about the whitewashing of Akira.