Good morning everyone,

If I didn't know any better, I'd say that rainy season had started. It's going to rain today, then be nice tomorrow and after that, we'll see clouds, rain, sun and...well, a bit of everything for the next week or so. Today will only get up to 18C, but the rest of the forecast is calling for highs between 20C and 23C all week.

You have to respect the ability of Universal Studios Japan to think outside of the box. Obviously, Disney’s extensive pantheon of beloved animated characters are out of the Osaka amusement park’s reach, since their images are reserved for use at Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. The other side of the coin, though, is that USJ (as Universal Studios Japan is also known) can theoretically create themed attractions based on just about any fictional characters that aren’t Disney properties.

In particular, the rosters of anime and Japanese video game series are wide open, and in the past USJ has teamed up with franchises including Attack on Titan and Evangelion. This summer the park is going back to the anime and manga well again for the Universal Jump Summer event, a collaborative effort with the Weekly Shonen Jump manga anthology.

US 1

Three of the magazine’s biggest hits will be represented. Pirate tale One Piece has been the basis of previous live-action performances at Universal Studios Japan, and is coming back again for a brand new show dubbed the One Piece Premier Show 2016.

US 2

Fans of psychological/supernatural thriller Death Note won’t want to miss Death Note The Escape, in which they join forces with the series’ detective L for what sounds like a themed version of the “escape games” that have become increasingly popular in Japan over the past few years.

US 3

Finally, Dragon Ball Z The Real 4-D pits Dragon Ball’s heroic Goku against the evil Frieza. The term “4-D” often gets used in Japan to describe movie or video attractions that also make use of atmospheric effects such as flashing lights, gusts of wind, or sprays of water, all of which sound like they would make fine enhancements to the experience of watching the two martial artists pound on/fire energy blasts at each other.

The one flaw in this manga-rich ointment is that supplemental tickets will have to be purchased for admission to the One Piece and Death Note attractions (access to Dragon Ball Z The Real 4-D is included with regular admission to the park). Pricing has yet to be announced, but even if it means shelling out a few more yen, we imagine plenty of fans will think its money well-spent.

All of which means that I won't be going to USJ anytime soon...ha ha!

The Universal Jump Summer attractions open on July 1, and will be around until September 4.

Have a great day!

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