Anime NYC powered by Crunchyroll, (www.AnimeNYC.com) one of North America’s largest conventions dedicated to anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture, celebrates its 5th Anniversary at New York’s Javits Center (655 W 34th St. at 11th Ave) from November 18-20. The convention features three days of over 400 exhibits, exclusive screenings, extensive panels, performances, and appearances by some of the biggest creators in Japan, all under one roof. Over 200 hours of programming is planned for the weekend.
This year, over 50,000 fans are expected to gather at Anime NYC from all 50 states and 27 different countries. Countries include: Canada, Mexico, England, France, Germany, Australia, China, Brazil, and Japan.
Anime NYC was founded in 2017 and has quickly become the fastest growing anime convention in the US, second only to Anime Expo which welcomes 100,000+ attendees in Los Angeles. Anime NYC has presented the largest Japanese concerts in NYC history and global premieres, before even Tokyo. The convention works with major companies in the Japanese entertainment world including Aniplex, Bandai Namco, Crunchyroll, GKIDS, HIDIVE, Kodansha, Sentai, TMS, VIZ Media, and Yen Press.
Anime NYC welcomes guests and panelists from across the US and Japan. Confirmed guests and panelists for this year’s convention include: Shuko Murase, Akihiro Nishino, Studio TRIGGER, Yoko Shimomura, and Johnny Yong Bosch.
More guests will be announced in the coming weeks.
Special Anime NYC Events
To celebrate their 5th Anniversary, Anime NYC will present A New World: intimate music from FINAL FANTASY on Friday, November 18 at 3 PM in the Special Events Hall of Anime NYC. From the team that brought you Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY, the FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE: Orchestra World Tour, NieR: Orchestra Concert and more, AWR Music Productions is proud to present a *SPECIAL NEW PROGRAM* of music to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of FINAL FANTASY. Under the direction of Eric Roth, the concert features the New World Players chamber ensemble performing exclusive arrangements from throughout the FINAL FANTASY series in the thrillingly personal style of this outstanding musical production. And as a very special treat for fans at Anime NYC, FINAL FANTASY XV and Kingdom Hearts composer Yoko Shimomura will make a rare in-person appearance at the concert. A concert ticket and a 3 Day or Friday Badge is required to attend.
On Saturday night, November 19 at Anime NYC, Cosplay takes over the Main Stage with the Anime NYC Masquerade. Guests will compete for the chance to win prizes for craftsmanship, showmanship, and of course, bragging rights. Costumes spanning the worlds of anime, manga, video games, musicals, books, and even comics and movies are all eligible for entry.
Also, throughout the weekend, Anime NYC will present Cosplay Meetups, where fans of a particular series or character can gather in costume, mingle, and get to meet others who share their passion. For a schedule of the Meetups, please visit: www.AnimeNYC.com.
The schedule for the weekend is as follows:
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18
1 PM to 7 PM – Exhibit Hall and Artist Alley
1 PM to 10 PM – Panels, Screenings, and Special Events
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19
10 AM to 7 PM – Exhibit Hall and Artist Alley
10 AM to 10 PM – Panels, Screenings, and Special Events
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20
10 AM to 4 PM – Exhibit Hall and Artist Alley
10 AM to 4 PM – Panels, Screenings, and Special Events
“Anime is mainstream in everything but name. There are giant anime balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, anime ads broadcast in Times Square, and major actors and sports stars talking about their love of Japanese animation, ” said Founder and Event Director of Anime NYC, Peter Tatara. “It’s nothing short of a culture-definition phenomenon around the globe, bringing fans of all ages, races, and backgrounds together. And Anime NYC is profoundly honored to be a showcase of the best of the anime world in the heart of the biggest city in America, creating a home for New York’s passionate anime audience and an opportunity for everyone else a chance to experience what they’re missing.
For more information about Anime NYC and to purchase badges for the convention, please visit: www.AnimeNYC.com.
Tatara has spent over 15 years in the live event space, helping to build experiences for audiences around the US and across the globe in countries including England, France, Germany, India, Singapore, and Australia. An anime fan since he was a child, Anime NYC is his dream come true.
Director of the latest Gundam film, Gundam Hathaway, which will have a special screening at Anime NYC. He has also directed popular titles including Witch Hunter Robin and Ergo Proxy. Murase is also a well known character designer and has contributed designs to Gundam Wing, Final Fantasy IX, and more.
Creator of Poupelle of Chimney Town, a Japanese media franchise which began life as a book from Nishino and has since been adapted into a stage play and feature film. Nishino will present a special screening of the theatrical version of Poupelle of Chimney Town at Anime NYC.
Beloved Japanese animation studio behind fan-favorite titles including Promare, Kill la Kill, Little Witch Academia, and SSSS.Gridman. TheirCyberpunk: Edgerunners premiered on Netflix earlier this month.
One of the most acclaimed female composers in Japan, Shimomura has composed the music to video games including Kingdom Hearts, Parasite Eve, and FINAL FANTASY XIV. She will make a rare appearance at a special FINAL FANTASY 35th Anniversary concert.
Acclaimed American voice actor known as the voice of Ichigo in the immensely popular anime series Bleach, which is getting a sequel anime series this fall. Also known for his roles as Vash the Stampede in Trigun, Lelouch Lamperouge in Code Geass, and Orga in Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans. In live-action, he was Black Ranger Adam Park in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
COVID 19 Policy for Anime NYC
1) All Anime NYC participants who are 5-years-old or older are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result to attend. Your proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test will be checked once upon your first arrival at Anime NYC, after which you will be given a wristband confirming your vaccination or negative test status has been verified. Keep this wristband on during all your time at Anime NYC. A guest is fully vaccinated if he/she has had two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or 1 shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
2) All attendees, exhibitors, guests, staff, crew, and all others 2-years-old or older entering the Javits Center must wear masks, and all face coverings must properly cover your nose and mouth.
3) Cosplay masks and helmets are permitted but approved face coverings must be worn under the cosplay. Upon entry to the building, you may be required to remove your cosplay mask for security and show your approved face covering.
4) Anime NYC is a large gathering, and vaccinations or negative COVID tests as well as face coverings are for the health and safety of all participants. We unfortunately cannot make exceptions for individuals.
For more information about Anime NYCand to purchase badges for the convention, please visit:www.AnimeNYC.com
Leica, “A BATHING APE” and Stash have collaborated on a limited-edition camera, merging industry-leading technology with a chic, urban sensibility. The Leica D-Lux 7 “A BATHING APE®︎ X STASH” consists of a black-finish compact camera sold exclusively through Leica, and a silver-finish version available exclusively through pioneering streetwear brand, A BATHING APE®︎. Both special editions feature the signature ABC CAMO look of BAPE® covering the camera body, the brand’s APE HEAD insignia, as well as the distinctive wild style tag of American graffiti artist, STASH. The result is a camera that integrates the power of street photography with icons of streetwear and street art.
The streetwear label BAPE® (A BATHING APE®︎) encapsulates the youthful spirit of an entire generation, bringing Tokyo’s urban street style to the world with its contemporary designs. From the Asian metropolis, we turn our attention to New York, where pioneering street-art legend STASH (aka Josh Franklin) paved the way for a new genre of graffiti by moving his creations from the anonymity of subway tunnels into the public eye. Finally, we turn to Wetzlar: the German city that has become almost synonymous with the art of optical engineering and camera design. This special-edition camera combines the creative energies of Tokyo and New York. Photography has always been used to document both street art and street fashion – now the Leica D-Lux 7 “A BATHING APE®︎ X STASH” is a tangible manifestation of this connective link.
“When I started doing graffiti in the early 1980s, the term ‘street art’ didn’t exist. It was only later, when we emerged from the tunnels and train stations, that we became much more visible. Documenting my art through photography has always been part of my creativity. With the advent of digital cameras, I got my first Leica,” STASH recalls, who recognizes many parallels between the three art forms. “They are visual, based on color, form and expressive freedom. I think they are strongly youth-driven, and there is so much creativity between them that one feeds into the other to help complete the story.”
When designing the limited special edition of the Leica D-Lux 7, the Brooklyn-based artist incorporated both the famously graphic-heavy style of the BAPE® label, and his own distinctive visual approach.
The Leica D-Lux 7 “A BATHING APE®︎ X STASH” offers the same technical specifications as the serial production model, including a Micro Four Thirds sensor, fast 24–75mm (35mm camera equivalent) zoom lens with optical image stabilization, and an aperture range of f/1.7–2.8 to deliver outstanding images, anytime, anyplace. For the effective resolution of 17 megapixels, the lens utilizes a central portion of the sensor (whose total resolution is over 21 million pixels), resulting in an even higher image quality and a sensor that delivers 4K 30fps and full-HD 60fps videos. The black-finish Leica D-Lux 7 “A BATHING APE®︎ X STASH” retails for $1,895, and comes with an additional carrying strap, a specially designed camera pouch, and an auto lens cap that opens and closes as the lens retracts and extends.
To mark the launch of the limited-edition Leica D-Lux 7, a selection of photographs by STASH will be presented in a special exhibition at Leica Store Los Angeles.
A BATHING APE®︎
Situated in the heart of Tokyo, one of the leading fashion hubs of the world, Nowhere Co., Ltd. strives to introduce Japanese fashion culture to the world. Since the brand’s establishment in 1993, it has remained as a symbol of street fashion for more than 28 years. Thus far, it has produced iconic design items, original patterns, and characters such as “APE HEAD”, “BAPE® CAMO”, “BAPE STA™”, “SHARK HOODIE” and “BABY MILO®” etc. It has now expanded into Mens, Ladies and Kids line and is carried throughout stores in Japan, US, UK, France, China and various Asian countries. It has also created successful collaborations with established international brands and reputable artists. These collaborations are recognized as being genreless and flexible, not limited to fashion and apparel categories only.
One of the pioneers of New York’s graffiti scene, STASH (Josh Franklin) is firmly established as an innovator and influencer in the world of urban design. His vision of integrating graphic graffiti elements and fonts into commercial product designs captured the attention of a broad audience and helped graffiti culture rise from the shadows of subway tunnels into the light of public acceptance. His hidden (‘stashed away’) messages and iconic signature have become a brand in their own right, immortalized in high-profile collaborations with major brands in the streetwear cosmos. In his search for new forms of expression, the photography enthusiast has found a perfect match in Leica: the collaboration is another milestone for the street artist to manifest his concept of capturing the fleeting moment.
Leica Camera – A Partner for Photography Leica Camera AG is an international, premium manufacturer of cameras and sports optics. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies. An integral part of the brand’s culture is the diversity of activities the company undertakes for the advancement of photography. In addition to the Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies spread around the world, there are the Leica Hall of Fame Award and, in particular, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), which is considered one of the most innovative sponsorship awards existing today. Furthermore, Leica Camera AG, with its headquarters in Wetzlar, Hesse, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, has a worldwide network of its own national organizations and Leica Retail Stores.
Listen to 360 MAG Vaughn Lowery and Chef Shin Podcast: HERE
Chef Shin Thompson was an underground Cookman turned Michelin star chef in Chicago for his Chicago Restaurant. Although he spends most of his career in Chicago. He now recently moved to LA to start a new Japanese BBQ restaurant.
The challenge he had to have to earn the star for the restaurant in Chicago is that you must be able to cook well for 365 days. Chef Shin Thompson felt accomplished that the people were able to realize the passion that he has for the food. He said, “It was a great feeling to be recognized for all the hard work that went over the years.”
At first, he got interested in being a chef because of his parents. He said, “My dad was really big into cooking at home and replicating recipes from his travels and so really where I got interested in it.”
As a child, he would spend most of his time traveling with his dad. He said, “I first got exposed to food from all the different travels, my dad used to take me out of school for weeks at a time…so take me out of school and we just learn about different cultures, and we traveled all over Europe and all over Asia.”
His family comes from a Japanese household; therefore, it played a huge role in introducing him to the food. “My mother is Japanese, so anybody who’s in a Japanese family will tell you that food is a big part of the culture in Japan and is a heritage to be a big cook if you’re Japanese. So, my mom was always cooking Japanese food and my dad was always cooking food from all of these different cultures, so I got exposed to a lot of different things at a young age.” He spoke.
While he works on a restaurant tour, he introduces us to his challenges and thoughts on what means to succeed in the restaurant business. He said, “The interesting part about the restaurant business that I find fascinating is it takes different skills sets, so you need to be an artist from the chef perspective you need a business person that can really understand the numbers and the food costs, labor costs, you need marketing and being able to or more like psychology getting into the mind of the people who coming into the restaurant.”
According toChef Shin Thompson, the restaurant will have private rooms with “Asian-looking screens.” Along with the modern look and Japanese style. It will have the décor of “Japanese charred wood, which is called Shou Sugi Ban, which is a Japanese technique that is used in ancient times, where they actually charred the wood and they would use it for the siding in their homes” he said. It’s good for resisting fire. The reason is that there is nothing to burn since the wood is already charred.
For the menu, “The BBQ grill menu is about $148 dollars for domestic tasting, which includes full meal” he said. There will be an A5 version that is not domestic, however, it will more expensive. In Japan, having a restaurant being A5 means the best.
Some of the upgrades that are still in progress are the “wine cellar that we will have in the middle of the dining room, as well as several dry agers that will be built in the wall as a display.” Therefore, when a guest walks in, they will see the dry agers that will have meat.
One piece of advice that Chef Shin Thompson gives to young chefs is “there are a lot of sacrifices that you need to put in as a young chef and in order to make sure it is worthwhile, you need to be 100% passionate about what you do.”
Performers will include ALI, who sang “LOST IN PARADISE feat. AKLO” (the ending theme of 1st season of the TV anime Jujutsu Kaisen), yama, who sang “Oz.” (the ending theme of the 1st season of the TV anime “Ranking of Kings”), and many others.
The archived footage of the conceptual concert, “INSIDE THE FIRST TAKE,” organised by the YouTube channel “THE FIRST TAKE,” will be streamed overseas on Stagecrowd.
“THE FIRST TAKE” is a YouTube channel from Japan that films and releases videos featuring artist performances shot in a single take. The channel has over 6 million subscribers — the most out of all omnibus music channels in Japan.
Performances are filmed in a pure white space with the artist in front of a single mic. The production is simple and stripped down, and the resulting footage highlights the artist’s pure talent.
In this conceptual concert, fans can witness the single-take filming style of “THE FIRST TAKE.” In addition, before an artist’s performance, an exclusive documentary about the track that will be performed will also be shown with English subtitle, deepening your understanding of the song.
Featured performers include popular artists who made global hits such as ALI, who sang “LOST IN PARADISE feat. AKLO” (the ending theme of 1st season of the TV anime “Jujutsu Kaisen”), yama, who sang “Oz.” (the ending theme of the 1st season of the TV anime “Ranking of Kings”), ReoNa, who sang “ANIMA” (the opening theme of the TV anime “Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld”), and many others.
It’s the first ever live performance from THE FIRST TAKE, gathering artists that have been trending
INSIDE THE FIRST TAKE
■ What is “THE FIRST TAKE”?
“THE FIRST TAKE” is a YouTube channel that captures artists’ amazing vocal performances in a single take on stunning 4K quality.
The channel was established on 15th November 2019, and in less than a year reached 2 million subscribers in September 2020. The next year the number increased by 3 million, bringing the total number of subscribers to 5 million.
Amongst all Japanese music YouTube channels (outside of official artist accounts), “THE FIRST TAKE” was the fastest channel to reach 5 million and 6 million subscribers and is the most subscribed channel for the Japanese omnibus genre.
Artists who have appeared on “THE FIRST TAKE” include LiSA, who sang the global hit Gurenge, the first opening theme of the TV anime “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba,” and TK from Ling tosite Sigure, who sang “unravel”, the first opening theme of the TV anime “Tokyo Ghoul.”
In addition, many artists from outside Japan have also appeared, such as Stray Kids, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, Jun. K (from 2PM), and Pentatonix (who appeared in a collaboration song with Little Glee Monster).
The channel is popular with the international audience, with about 30% of the subscribers being overseas users from countries and regions such as Taiwan, Indonesia, the United States, and the Philippines.
■ Stream Information
Thursday, 16 June 2022 ALI / Creepy Nuts / Da-iCE / yama
Saturday, 18 June 2022 Soushi Sakiyama / HENTAI SHINSHI CLUB / miwa / ReoNa
ATARASHII GAKKO! Releases the new song “Pineapple Kryptonite” produced by Money Mark. ATARASHII GAKKO!, a four-girl progressive Japanese pop-group, blends punk energy with elements of pop, rock, jazz, and hip-hop presenting it via avant-garde, self-choreographed dance, and today they’ve released their newest song. “Pineapple Kryptonite” 88rising. The track is the first single from ATARASHII GAKKO!’s forthcoming EP, which was created with legendary producer, Money Mark (known for his collaboration with the Beastie Boys among many others) and will be out later this year. The track is a high octane banger, perfect for soundtracking a car chase or running from an alien invasion, as seen in the song’s brilliant music video.
Directed by the legendary, Phillip G. Atwell, responsible for game-changing videos by Eminem, Eve feat. Gwen Stefani, Tupac, and more, the music video for “Pineapple Kryptonite” is rich in texture, featuring the dynamic choreography for which the girls are known. The video takes place in the California desert during an epic intergalactic confrontation as ATARASHII GAKKO! battles dog-abducting, evil pineapple-fearing aliens. Paying homage to the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” ATARASHII GAKKO! tried out their acting skills by playing the distressed American family in the video. They also did all their own stunts!
Translated to “New School” in Japanese, ATARASHII GAKKO! are clad in school uniforms and self-proclaimed representatives of Seishun (Japanese youth). A resistance of tiny proportions, the group strives to live and create with individuality by finding freedom within society’s acceptable margins by pushing boundaries a little bit at a time. It’s music that shows restraint on its face but is bursting with passion. Members Mizyu (the Sleeping Kitten), Suzuka(The Wildcard), Kanon(The Graceful One), and (the nice and funky one) are all trained in Kumitaisou – an acrobatic formation that trains in strength, balance, concentration, teamwork, and coordination. 360 Magazine is impressed to see how this pop group brings together the whole world.
FIRST SOLO FEMALE JAPANESE POP ARTIST TO HIT GOLD STATUS IN THE US
“Infusing pop and R&B to create a refreshing sound. Show Me is a soulful sonic fusion lifted by [Sena] Kana’s soaring, ethereal vocals.” NYLON
“Upon first listen, presents itself as an ethereal pop-infused love letter to perseverance. But, a production-heavy backing teases that there is more to the serene cut than meets the eye, and, rightly so.” WONDERLAND MAGAZINE
Sena Kana, the first solo female Japanese pop artist to hit gold status in the United States is back with the official video for new single “Show Me” linking up with mega-producer Poo Bear(Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Usher) as well as featured artist, hitmaker and multi-instrumentalist Ty Dolla $ign, also appearing in the video now premiering viaNYLON.
On “Show Me,” the rising talent fuses the best of pop, R&B/hip hop, electronic, and classical. Sonics with her lyrics about sincerity, intentions, and commitment to your loved ones. She croons on the opening, “Don’t you want to show me what it’s like to be loved?” The final product transcends genre lines and offers up a story that is relatable to all, making the single an instant hit that can reach a wide audience.
Sena Kana explains, “Show Me’ is about the anxiety of not being able to convey what you want to say and highlights the importance of making an effort to show someone how you feel. It’s a song about the hope that comes from that effort of trying to connect with someone even when it is difficult.” She tells Wonderland Magazine,” The ultimate goal is to make people all over the world kinder and to make the world a better place through my music. To create a world where there are no more wars and conflicts, and where we can help each other even under disasters and hardships. I hope that my song can be a catalyst for each of us to show our true kindness, to not give up on finding new solutions, and to not become complacent.”
Ty Dolla $ign elaborates further, “Show Me’ is all about that magic that happens in collaboration. It was originally brought to me through my brother Poo Bear and with his incredible production merging with Sena’s one and only voice, I knew it was a hit the moment I heard it.” Sena Kana dishes to NYLON, “The collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign came about organically after I was introduced to him by my dear friend, Poo Bear. ‘Show Me’ started while Poo Bear and I were working on my debut EP last year. After we had finished writing the single, we felt like we should look to add another artist to the mix. Poo Bear connected me with his friend Ty, who was interested in the song after his first listen. We were also asking our friends, and in that time we asked around, Ty had written his part and recorded it, sent it over to Poo Bear and we both instantly knew that this was the perfect feature.”
Sena Kana knows the formula of collaboration well and has clearly mastered the art, bringing a one-of-a-kind flair to the table when working with creatives all around the world. Acclaimed by publications ranging fromBillboardtoHollywoodLifeto HipHopDX, Sena envisions her music as a two-way emotional conduit. Honing in on her signature sound, Sena broke boundaries between borders and styles on the 2019 breakthrough “Up”featuring Sheppard and Wiz Khalifa. Uniting three genres and countries, the release possessed international appeal from Japan to Australia to the USA. Sena’s heavenly hypnotic delivery acted as the glue between genres with the fluttering vocal proclamation, “Nothing’s gonna bring us down. We’re going up, up and up and up.” The track’s uplifting message immediately resonated with listeners, resulting in a wealth of spins and a gold plaque from the RIAA. Amassing 100 million collective streams and counting across her discography, “Show Me” continues to present Sena’s introspection and affinity for community and connection. She states, “My goal for the project whether through recordings or live performances is to have people listen to my music and be able to feel the warmth through it. Despite whatever hardships, perhaps they can see a little silver lining in this.”
Born in Tokyo, Japan, music immediately called to Sena Kana, as if by destiny. She vividly recalls falling in love with musicals such as The Sound of Music. She became transfixed by the stories and sounds of that film. Inspired and invigorated, she spent her school days deeply involved in both music and the stage. She studied the foundations and techniques of classical music and learned compositions such as Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro,” to name a few. In 2017, Sena Kana made her musical debut with “Live Your Dreams,” which soared to #1 on EU iTunes and #1 on the France Digital Song Sales chart the following year, both achievements acting as the precursor to her global take off in 2019.
“I’d like to get past the boundaries of nationality,” she says as a closing note, “The kindness inside of people is what I want to share most through what I do. We can get up again, believe in our dreams again, and connect with people again. Those are the kinds of songs I want to sing. Thatߣs the kind of music I want to make. It’s really my dream to bring people together through music.”
By: Kai Yeo, Vaughn Lowery, Armon Hayes,Emily Bunn x Sydney Mayer
Lexus has announced its brand new 2022 NX model, equipped with updated technology and driving dynamics. Toyota and Lexus invited 360 Magazine to fly out with Delta Comfort+ to visit the automaker’s headquarters in Texas, so the company embarked on a Covid-friendly, four-day lifestyle trip for the first time since the pandemic. The trip offered participants the opportunity to experience the new 2022 Lexus NX, learn about Lexus’s initiatives and launches for the near future, and even ride with celebrity drivers like Scott Pruett.
The headquarters in Plano, TX is a state-of-the-art corporate campus oasis. The architecture displays outstanding craftsmanship and an innovative foundation, which are the principles upon which that Toyota was founded. Meredith Ezinma Ramsay, – classical hip-hop violinist who has worked with artists such as SZA, Kendrick Lamar, and most famously with Beyoncé on her Coachella stage – performed a strings piece at the campus to introduce the Lexus NX 2022.
Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel
The Renaissance Dallas was breathtaking. An anchor to the upscale complex of Legacy West in Plano, the cosmopolitan hotel was located in the city within walking distance of top dining and shopping options. Drink in hand, visitors can gather at the rooftop pool or by the fire pit to relax and enjoy our food. The rooms were also equipped with pillow-top bedding, high-speed Wi-Fi, and a smart TV.
Designed to highlight local and regional cultures, Renaissance Dallas allows guests to immerse themselves in a creative blend of North Texas western influences and Asian culture. The hotel prides itself on “West of Zen” visual art experiences, as well as an urban mixed-use development. As Lexus is a brand that originated from Japan, this theme was fitting for the trip. Simply staying in the hotel was already a vacation in itself.
Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Toyota. Marketed in more than 70 countries and territories worldwide, the Lexus brand is Japan’s largest-selling maker of premium cars. Akio Toyoda, current CEO and grandson of Toyota founder, has promoted sports models like the Lexus IS-F and Lexus LF-A at auto races. He also participates as a driver at racing events under the fake name “Morizo.” It’s unusual to see a brand’s president be so hands-on with development, but that’s just another reason that Toyota is a unique company prepared to lead the future.
Since the pandemic started, global mobility has been essentially halted and there has been a huge financial downturn, even for the giants of the car manufacturing industry. AutoBlog has posted that Toyota hit their decade’s lowest sales in 2019, “The Japanese automaker said its sales in July fell 19% versus the same month in 2019, to 169,484 units.“ Despite being one of the top brands of car manufacturing, Toyota was also affected by the Covid crisis, “In its financial year (FY) ending in March 2021, Toyota only produced 7.55M units of vehicles compared to 8.82M in FY 2020. FY 2021’s figure is also the lowest number of vehicles produced by Toyota since FY 2012 when Toyota only produced 7.44M vehicles.“
As they compete with Volkswagen for the top car brand spot and struggle with sales during the pandemic, Toyota continues to produce car models with strong, new developments.
The NX will be available in a variety of fresh colors, including Redline, Cloudburst Gray, and Grecian Water. There will also be options that include Ultra White, Obsidian, and Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0, which are exclusive to the F Sport NX models.
Luxury Inside and Out
The 2022 NX will also have additional updates made to alleviate interior cabin noise and reduce exterior distractions. On the inside, drivers can choose their nature theme of choice with Thematic Ambient Illumination, an optional feature that transforms the NX interior with 14 themes and 64 colors. Each mode has been carefully selected “to express ephemeral emotions and evoke nature-inspired feelings.” The themes included are Rain Forest, Waterfall, and Sunset.
Luxury is not only about looks, but also about how the customer feels. The new NX comes with standard heated front seats and optional heated rear seats for added comfort throughout the cabin. Increased head and legroom, as well as storage space, have also been added. Interior seat and console colors come in Black, Black with Rich Cream, Palomino, and Rioja Red NuLuxe.
For the NX’s first time, the panoramic moonroof lets passengers see the sky with the push of a button. The smooth gliding opening and closing elevates the luxury feel and provides easy stargazing and airflow.
Cockpit Design and New Multimedia System
The NX driver-centered cockpit has been updated with the driver in mind. To better connect the driver to the vehicle, the new 7-inch Multi Instrument Display (MID) and optional 10-inch Head Up Display (HUD) are designed to convey vehicle information as well as alerts within the driver’s line of sight. All functions are accessible through the steering wheel to allow for intuitive operation while still ensuring safe driving practices and keeping the driver’s eyes on the road.
An optional 14-inch touch screen (first for NX) features an immersive multimedia experience. The large screen allows for easy operation and viewing. Dial controls remain for frequently used functions such as climate control and media volume, and comfort features are readily accessible. This all-new interface allows the NX to integrate and navigate swiftly, providing intuitive technology at the driver’s fingertips. Equipped with Human Machine Interface (HMI), user interaction is enhanced through sight, touch and voice, thus catering to accessibility needs. Following the customer-first approach, the newly developed Virtual Assistant (VA) is intended to be the primary way occupants interact with the new multimedia system. The voice-first approach allows front seat occupants to access features such as navigation, media, phone, and other vehicle settings. The built-in VA responses allow for intuitive replies, thus creating a human-like conversation.
The Lexus Interface was devised with function and easy access in mind. 100% cloud capability and Google POI integration allows the system to have faster and more accurate navigation to get the driver and passengers to their destination quickly and safely. Enhanced navigation allows for offline mode, which detects when vehicles enter areas with low connection and then automatically downloads maps in advance, saving trouble and panic.
In the age of digital transformation, the user profile feature creates a more personalized experience so that moving from vehicle to vehicle is convenient. The driver’s personalized settings will be retained on the cloud and are accessible each time they return to the vehicle. Once created, users can use a Bluetooth device to access their profile. An extension of the user profile feature, vehicles equipped with this new system will enable owners the access to a digital key. This digital key allows drivers to lock/unlock and start/stop their vehicle through the Toyota of Lexus app (when within Bluetooth proximity to the vehicle). The digital key can be shared with up to seven different guest users and no password or PIN is required, creating a seamless guest experience via the app.
Through the app, drivers also receive personalized maintenance updates and vehicle health reports to help maintain their vehicle. For the 2022 model, Lexus NX will also feature standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, as well as a new addition to charge your phone wirelessly.
With the safety of all passengers in mind, the new Lexus NX will come equipped with the latest Lexus Safety System +3.0 for safe driving. Functions of the system include:
Risk Avoidance Emergency Steer Assist – supports collision avoidance within the lane by providing gentle braking and steering operation.
Left Turn Oncoming Vehicle Detection/Braking – designed to provide a warning and automatic braking if the driver turns left in front of an oncoming vehicle.
Right/Left Turn Oncoming Pedestrian Detection/Braking – designed to provide a warning and automatic braking if a driver turns left or right in front of an oncoming pedestrian or cyclist.
Oncoming Vehicle Detection added to the Pre-Collision System – designed to alert the driver, and potentially activate automatic emergency braking to help avoid a frontal collision.
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Curve Speed Management – maintains a cruising speed in alignment with the flow of traffic while managing speed on curves.
Additions to the current Lexus Safety System features for NX:
Road Sign Assist – displays select road sign information in the instrument panel.
Pre-collision System – provides the potential to detect a preceding vehicle, pedestrian, or cyclist in low-light situations.
Lane Assistance – designed to provide an audible alert if an inadvertent lane departure is detected.
Intelligent High Beam– provides greater visibility for drivers with added illumination when the road ahead is clear, then temporarily switches to low beams when it detects the headlamps or taillamps of vehicles ahead.
Road Sign Assist – uses a built-in camera to help provide road sign information in the instrument panel or even on the available Head-Up Display. The system can also alert the driver of certain detected signs that otherwise might have been missed.
Safety Exit – seamless door opening with the push of a button, when activated it makes sure that door does not open when there are passers-by such as bikes or pedestrians. Available for rear doors as well for protection of children and family.
These safety features provide peace of mind for unexpected emergencies and connect drivers with a 24/7 emergency response agent.
The all-new 2022 NX will start production in the third quarter of 2021. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
New NX 350 2.4 Turbo Engine
Enhancements in vehicle rigidity now allows the NX for a higher horsepower 2.4 turbo gas engine. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but the new 8-speed transmission also provides the gas-powered NX with the feel of a performance vehicle with the perspective of a crossover utility vehicle. The turbo gas-powered engine has an estimated 275 horsepower and 317lbs. per foot of torque. When combined, the engine results in a 0–60 second time of 6.8 seconds, which is half a second quicker than the previous models.
This is made possible by improvements to torsional rigidity through laser peening welding and the addition of high rigidity foam. The twin hood lock also adds front lateral flexural rigidity that improves the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
NX 450h+ Plug-In Hybrid
The new plug-in hybrid PHEV system brings Lexus Electrified to life through performance and design, as well as through the signature quietness of this model. The NX 450h+ has an estimated 36-mile range on electric power only, made possible by the newly developed lithium-ion battery. The system achieves the EV output equivalent to a 2.0-liter engine. When combined with the newly developed hybrid transaxle, a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine delivers on the performance luxury guests are seeking with an estimated 6.0 second 0–60 second time.
The high-output and high-efficiency systems were constructed to reduce power loss when converting AC power to DC power, resulting in shorter charging times. The NX plug-in hybrid can be fully charged in about two and a half hours when equipped with the optional 6.6 kW Expedited Onboard Charger. With the standard 3.3 kW charger, it will take about four and a half hours.
For a sporty driving experience, the NX 450h+ uses a newly developed, electronically-controlled, full-time AWD system. Optimizing front and rear torque distribution according to the driving conditions, the driver can control the vehicle as intended, with elegant control for a wide range of driving styles.
Along with the navigation, Predictive Efficient Drive will be coupled to learn driving habits and predict the expected roadway ahead while analyzing real-time traffic reports. This helps to optimize charging and discharging of the hybrid battery. With more miles clocked on the NX, more data is gathered to help optimize fuel consumption. With accumulated knowledge about the driver’s behavior, the system will be able to predict when the vehicle is likely to slow down or stop. This allows for more efficient energy to be recovered and recharged into the hybrid battery, optimizing battery capacity for the electricity plug-in hybrid model. While Lexus is unable to give us the exact specs yet, an official announcement will be made later on.
Hybrid Performance and Fuel Economy
Known for their signature driving performance, passengers can experience great performance and fuel economy with the new Lexus NX 350h. With a combined 239 horsepower, a 20% increase over the current model, and an estimated 36 MPG, the NX hybrid brings a brilliant performance that illustrates the brand’s hybrid leadership. Passengers will also be able to feel the quicker 0–60 time with 1.5 seconds taken off the time from previous NX generations at 7.2 seconds.
The hybrid drive system pairs the D4-S fuel injection 2.5L 4-cylinder gasoline engine with two high-torque electric drive motor-generators for strong acceleration and passing performance. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft for the rear wheels, the AWD system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels to maintain optimal traction.
Teammate Advanced Drive Backgrounder
The Teammate advanced driver assistance will debut on select 2022 Lexus LS 500h models with AWD and is expected to arrive in the US this fall. The Level 2 system evolves from adaptive cruise control to automatically change lanes and pass vehicles while driving.
Designed to partner with and assist the driver on the highway, it enables automatic steering, acceleration, and braking on the highway under the active supervision of the driver. This technology also enables the car to parallel park itself or back into a parking spot. Lexus Teammate teams two systems: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.
Safety is the first priority of the automated driving development program, so Lexus has committed Advanced Drive to this cause. The Advanced Drive integrates the vehicle’s mapping system and plans 6 miles ahead to help reach the car’s destination. This benefits the driver by reducing fatigue from driving. A series of fail-safe operations are also included to help prevent loss of control for up to four seconds in the event of a system malfunction or limitation.
Developed in close coordination between Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor North America, engineers used the same test vehicles in both countries. This allowed for the development of U.S.-specific considerations, such as HOV lanes and draw bridges. These tests helped to incorporate catered design and performance into the Advanced Drive system.
Alongside the safety of passengers, the environment is also a top priority. Toyota and Lexus will debut a new, electrified model lineup, with two battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). These models are eco-friendly and brilliantly created, similar to a “Mission Impossible” movie.
The new electrified models further expand Toyota’s leadership in alternative powertrain vehicles. Toyota’s goal is to have 40% of new vehicle sales be electrified models and expects that to increase to nearly 70% by 2030. Toyota hybrid vehicles sold globally have avoided emitting an estimated 139 million tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. In the US alone, Toyota hybrid vehicles have avoided 38 million tons of GHG. This achievement was made possible with Toyota’s commitment to the environment.
Toyota’s internal research found that both the BEV and PHEV models provide similar environmental benefits. By factoring in pollutants created by electricity production and using it to charge batteries, the production of a PHEV emits less GHG. Both of these models have a unique profile and by diversifying their car portfolio, consumers will have a bigger range of models to choose from to best suit their usage needs and cost profile, while still maximizing GHG reduction.
At the press conference, Toyota promised 20 new models by 2025 for more sustainable development and looked to continue expanding their electrified car models. As further proof of Toyota’s commitment to the environment, they agreed to purchase power from a Clearway Energy Group wind farm to reduce the overall carbon footprint from electricity used from the power grid. For transparency and positive environmental impact, Toyota writes an annual environmental report to update its consumers.
One of the most enchanting new voices in pop music, Japan-born singer/songwriter Grace Aimi has released her eagerly awaited debut EP PICNIC. Out today via Capitol Records, PICNIC showcases the 20-year-old artist’s bright and airy but emotionally honest brand of R&B-leaning pop.
True to its title, PICNIC embodies a beautifully breezy sound, perfectly capturing the sensation of lazing about in the sun with your friends and loved ones. At the same time, the EP’s six songs often find Grace reflecting on her experience in heartbreak, revealing her deep sensitivity and radiantly hopeful outlook. Through her music, she wants to show people there is a way to go through something bad and still come out happy, “I can feel sad or lonely, but there is a perfect world out there that I just need to go find,” says Grace.
Merging the intimacy and imagination of bedroom-pop with the lush and languid grooves of R&B, PICNIC includes previously released singles like Rainbow; (a soulful and shimmering track built on trap-pop beats), True Feelings; (a sweetly melancholy piece laced with bluesy acoustic guitar work), and My Eyes; (a piano-driven song that landed on Apple Music’s New in Pop playlist). In addition, PICNIC opens with Grace’s debut single Eternal Sunshine; a gorgeously quirky meditation on the meaning of happiness. All throughout the EP, Grace shows her gift for crafting unforgettable melodies, as well as her soft and subtle but endlessly commanding vocal presence.
Hailing from Okinawa, Grace considers her homeland essential to her sensibilities as an artist. “I come from an island that was decimated during World War II, yet people here are beautifully resilient, genuinely happy,” she says. “I’ve been raised in an environment where you find the good and move forward. I want to share that Okinawan spirit.”
Tracklist for PICNIC by Grace Aimi:
About Grace Aimi
Twenty-year-old biracial Gen Z songstress Grace Aimi began her career with her brother posting covers in both Japanese and English on their YouTube channel, Gracie and Gabe. Grace’s radiant but raspy voice complemented her brother playing his ukulele as they performed covers of artists like Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie, and Post Malone, among others. Their videos quickly garnered buzz, earning over 10M views in total before Grace made her debut as a solo artist. In August 2020, Grace released her summery debut single, Eternal Sunshine; (a track produced by Chaki Zulu, who’s known for his work with Japan’s hottest hip-hop artists). With her debut EP due soon, Grace’s global upbringing and angelic yet husky vocals make her a force to be reckoned with.
Accelerating a rapid rise to the forefront of international culture, Universal Music Group Korea’s first K-POP idol group TRI.BE unveil their second single album, CONMIGO, today via Republic Records. It features the title track “RUB-A-DUM” and accompanying anthem “LORO.”
Listen to CONMIGOHERE and watch the video for “RUB-A-DUM” HERE.
With CONMIGO, these fiery and fierce women only amplify their signature “Girl Swag,” radiating contagious levels of self-confidence in the process. As a high-energy call-to-arms, “RUB-A-DUM” nods to the timeless tale of the Pied Piper and invites fans to follow with the clarion call, “Everybody come play with TRI.BE,” making it irresistible not to. On “LORO” –– Spanish for “Parrot” –– the girls preach about finding confidence in your true self. They might just urge you to mirror TRI.BE’s magnetic moves, much like a parrot. Musically, the multinational group fuses a young and refreshing mix of Dancehall and Reggaeton beats like never before.
Reflective of the title, CONMIGO—or “With Me” in Spanish—the group welcomes an alliance from all who want to come and dance. “RUB-A-DUM” and “LORO” elevate TRI.BE’s eclectic charisma as they continue their boundary-breaking rise.
The first-of-its-kind quadrilingual group, TRI.BE consists of seven members—SONGSUN, JINHA, HYUNBIN, and SOEUN hailing from Seoul, KELLY and JIA from Taipei, and MIRE from Tokyo—and speaks and sings in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Earlier this year, they teamed up with two of the most famous K-POP producers in the world, S.Tiger [BEAST, IU, 4Minute, MOMOLAND, EXID, T-ARA, Apink, HyunA] and none other than TRI.BE’s supportive big sister EXID’s ELLY, for the two tracks on TRI.BE Da Loca, generating 5 million-plus streams right out of the gate. The two have come together yet again with TRI.BE to create another masterpiece, CONMIGO.
TRI.BE’s name comes from the combination of the words “triangle,” which signifies the most perfect shape, and “being,” leading to the slogan, “We are perfect as we are.” The group conveys the message of self-love and confidence by unapologetically flaunting their key concept of “Girl Swag.”
Pokemon Has Reached 100M in All-Time Sales – Most Valuable Media Franchise Globally
The Pokemon Franchise is celebrating its 25-year anniversary for the entire year of 2021, and what better way to mark the occasion than crossing an important milestone in the franchise’s history. The franchise started as a game but has since expanded into many facets of media and entertainment, making it one of the most recognizable media franchises in the world. According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites, The Pokemon Franchise’s all-time sales have reached $100B making it the most valuable media franchise of all time as of January 2021.
Pokemon – From Game to Media Franchise with All-Time Sales Of $100B
Pokemon, short for its Japanese title of Pocket Monsters, was first released as a game on Nintendo’s handheld console GameBoy in 1996. Soon after, a Manga and Anime centered around the game was released and soon gained a significant amount of popularity. This is a break from the traditional life cycle of popular media brands commonly found in Japan of Animes being turned into games rather than the other way around.
Since then, the franchise has successfully expanded into many other facets of entertainment such as movies and trading cards, creating an entire Pokemon Universe and generating enormous amounts of sales along the way. Pokemon’s $100B all-time sales make it the most valuable media franchise in the world ahead of other icons such as Hello Kitty, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, and even the entire Star Wars Franchise.
The franchise’s movie adaptation, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (2019), earned the second-highest at the box office out of any video game movie as of March 2021 with gross earnings of $432M.
Nintendo’s Pokemon Games Always Popular – Combined Over 350M Copies Sold
Since the original game launched on the GameBoy in 1996, there have been over 70 titles created by Nintendo for the Pokemon Franchise all amounting to over 350M copies sold. The top eight Nintendo Pokemon games alone combine for over 150M copies sold. Even more impressively a total of 14 different Pokemon titles accomplished the feat of selling 10M copies or more.
Pokemon’s original game from 1996, Pokemon Red/Green/Blue, is the best-selling Pokemon game of all time with over 31M copies sold.
Pokemon Go and Pokemon Home – 2 New Adaptations That Are Hugely Popular
Pokemon Go is a mobile augmented reality (AR) game published and developed in 2016 by Niantic in partnership with Nintendo and the Pokemon Company. The game turned mobile users into real-life Pokemon trainers who can catch Pokemon they encounter in the real world, visualized through AR on a mobile device. In its first month after release, the game had a record-setting 500M downloads. Pokemon Go was also the third-highest grossing mobile game worldwide with $1.2B in estimated player spend.
Pokemon Home was launched in February 2020 and allowed cloud-based storage for users and their items from the Pokemon universe. The app was downloaded almost 12.3M times in 2020 making it the most downloaded Pokemon game that was published in 2020. In Q4 of 2020 alone, there were over 6.4M downloads of Pokemon Home.
You can read more about the story with more statistics and information on the website.
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