• Remember when everyone used to joke about having a robot girlfriend way, way, wayyyy into the future? Well, thanks to Sega Toys, the same company which brought us the popular Playstation 3 console, that reality is upon us. The New York Daily News has some information on EMA, the robotic girlfriend who hands out business cards, sings and looks a little bit like Barbie: “Case in point, the robot has what her designers have dubbed a “love mode” in which she pecks at people’s faces in a rough simulation of a kiss that’s about as close as you can get to a smooch from a toy with no actual lips. The toy is intended for adult men, starting around age 20, Sega says, and she will retail for about $175 starting in September. The company is hoping to sell 10,000 in the first year as part of what Japan hopes will grow into a $10 billion market for artificial intelligence over the coming decade.”
  • The New York Asian Film Festival is set to kick off and, like always, has a few heavyweights from Japan which will be sure to please the crowds. Mark Pollard of Kung Fu Cinema tells us what to expect from flicks like Dororo: “Acclaimed indie filmmaker Akihito Shiota’s first venture into the period-fantasy genre, is not another solemn-faced epic although it’s deep enough in some of its themes. But mostly it deserves adjectives that used to be rolled out for old Errol Flynn movies: dashing, swashbuckling, rollicking. And it’s cool, too, though not in the post-post modern sense. Instead, it’s cool in the 10-year-old fan sense, which may not seem strange since it’s based on a classic comic by Osamu Tezuka (creator of Astro Boy). Given all the comic book adaptations that strain to be for adults—and fall into wretched excess—it’s a refreshing change of genre pace.”


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