Casey Baseel

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Casey Baseel spent his formative years staring in frustration at un-subtitled Japanese TV programming shown on Southern California’s international channel. Taking matters into his own hands, he moved to Tokyo to study the language, then found work in Yokohama a decade ago teaching, translating, and marketing hotels he can’t afford to stay in. When not participating in the eternal cycle of exercising to burn the calories form his love of Japanese food, Casey scours used comic and game shops for forgotten classics, drags his wife around the country in a quest to visit all its castles, sings karaoke not nearly as well as he thinks he does, and counts the days until the summertime bars open on Enoshima Beach.

All Stories by Casey Baseel

How many Mentos can the human body handle with a gulp of cola? We experiment 【Video】

There are some food and beverage pairings pretty much everyone finds complementary. Wine and red meat. Milk and cookies. Draft beer and edamame soybeans.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are certain combinations we’ve learned to stay away from. Soda and Mentos, for example, are well-known to produce a volatile reaction if consumed together. But just where exactly is the human body’s threshold for these two incompatible mouth-mates?

Or, more specifically, where is RocketNews24 reporter P.K.’s body’s threshold?

Read More

Why just climb Mt. Fuji when you can build it with this awesome paper-stacking kit?

There’s an undeniable sense of accomplishment you get from making it to the top of a mountain. Maybe it comes from putting such a long series of steps, each insignificant on its own, to rise to a height where the whole world appears differently.

But perhaps a hike doesn’t figure into your plans for the near future due to your busy schedule, flat-as-a-pancake local geography, or crippling fear of grizzly bears. If you can’t climb a mountain, though, the next best thing is to build one, also one step at a time, with this awesome series of paper craft models of Japanese mountains.

Read More

Keep your life in order with this Sailor Moon day planner and its flip-book art

Sailor Moon is a busy girl. Along with having to juggle her responsibilities as both a regular junior high school student and the guardian of humanity, she’s got a packed social calendar of hanging out with her friends and going on dates with her boyfriend/helping him recover his senses from one of his worryingly frequent brainwashings.

If you’ve got a similarly large number of appointments to keep track of, maybe you could use a little help from this Sailor Moon day planner featuring dozens of stylish touches and flip-book art inspired by the franchise.

Read More

Snoopy Museum scheduled to open in Tokyo’s Roppongi

As the glitzy center of Tokyo’s nightlife scene, Roppongi is best known for its high-profile dance clubs, high-class restaurants, and high-cover charge bars. But even if you’ve got no interest in dancing, dining, or drinking, there’s a new attraction coming to the neighborhood: the Snoopy Museum.

Read More

Don’t like the new Digimon character designs? Look like one of the old ones with Taichi’s goggles

With Digimon returning to the world of anime after a 15-year break, you’d think fans of the original series, which aired in 1999 and 2000, would be uniformly ecstatic. Nostalgia is a funny thing, though, and while some are glad to have the cast of kids and digital monsters back in any form, others are unhappy that the human characters look different from how they did in the original TV show.

Unless you’re a producer for the upcoming Digimon Adventure tri. movie series, though, there’s not much you can do about the onscreen visuals, except maybe sign a petition denouncing the new artwork. On the other hand, you can choose to make yourself look more like the classic Digimon cast with a pair of these goggles, modeled after lead character Taichi’s.

Read More

Crazy new Mos burger is covered in sauce, has a lineage that spans the globe

While everyone has his or her own preference on what ingredients make for a great burger, we can all pretty much agree on the proper construction method, right? Bread on the top and bottom, meat, vegetables, and condiments in between has pretty much been the standard for as long as anyone can remember.

Japanese hamburger outfit Mos Burger has been shaking up the burger blueprint this summer, though. This month, the chain released a burger that replaces its bun with two thick slices of tomato, and next month Mos is set to launch something equally unusual: a burger covered entirely in sauce, even on the outside!

Read More

Solo Theater: The surreal home theater in a box for your smartphone or tablet

A home theater setup can be a great way to enjoy your favorite movies. But what if you don’t have the space for a lot of bulky, high-end audio/video equipment, or if you just don’t have people over often enough to justify the cost? Furthermore, what’s the point in investing in a big screen TV and array of speakers if you watch most of your movies and videos on your smartphone or tablet?

Thankfully, there’s now a way to recapture the Cinemaplex experience in a compact and affordable way, with the single-occupant Solo Theater from Japanese design house Lucy Alter Design.

Read More

Another Naruto sequel? “No way. Please, let me rest,” pleads series creator

The latest installment of the Naruto anime franchise, Boruto -Naruto the Movie-, isn’t scheduled to open until August 7, but the film itself is already complete. Series creator Masashi Kishimoto recently appeared at an advance screening of the movie, where he offered glowing praise for the finished product, plus some candid talk on his feelings about producing a sequel.

Read More

Here’s why you should never shine a black light on a used anime character figure

With the unrelenting flow of new animated series produced in Japan, the country’s hyper-otaku could always use some extra cash to pay for the latest and greatest anime goodies. To raise those funds, many superfans eventually cycle out the stuff they’re tired of by selling it online or to a retailer specializing in used items. On the other side of that equations, if you’re an anime fan, but not the hardest of the hardcore, you can pick up used Blu-rays and DVDs at attractive discounts from their original prices.

You can even find anime character figures for sale in the second-hand market, but there are a couple of things you’ll want to investigate before buying a used statuette. First, you’ll want to make sure it’s in good, scratch-free condition. Double-checking that it’s not a cheaply made knockoff is also a good idea.

But while doing your homework in important, there’s also one thing to remember after the deal is done and you’ve got your used figure sitting on your shelf: Whatever you do, don’t shine a black light on it.

If you’re reading this at work, be advised that things are going to get pretty gross from here on!

Read More

The male cosplayers (and their occasionally faceless characters) of Summer Wonder Festival

Last weekend, we headed out to Chiba Prefecture to attend Wonder Festival, the world’s largest model and garage kit-building convention. Along with all sorts of inanimate representations of animated characters, we also checked out all of the impressive cosplayers who’d gathered from all over Japan for the event.

We already shared our photos of the female costumers, but we remembered to save some room on our memory card for the guys as well, and so we proudly present the male cosplayers of this year’s Summer Wonder Festival.

Read More

The female cosplayers (and their occasionally male characters) of Summer Wonder Festival

Last weekend, it was once again time for Japan’s model and garage kit enthusiasts to gather for the summer iteration of Wonder Festival, held at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba Prefecture. But while the event’s primary goal is to showcase the talents of those recreating anime and video game characters in plastic and resin, you’ll also find plenty of fans bringing their favorite heroes and heroines to life in flesh and cloth, as Wonder Festival has also become a major draw for cosplayers.

But would the soaring temperature during this year’s Summer Wonder Festival keep cosplayers in their air-conditioned homes? Not at all, and we figured if they were going to brave the heat, we would too, so we grabbed our camera and headed for the convention.

Read More

Sailor Moon and her pals are ready for tea time with these cool cup-hugging figures

While each member of the core cast of Sailor Moon has her own personality, the one descriptor that works across the board for the Sailor Senshi is “helpful.” Even protagonist Usagi, for all of her lack of willpower regarding the temptations of junk food and video games, is always ready to lend a hand to those in need when the chips are down.

Case in point: Not only will the hit anime’s magical girls protect your town from interdimensional monsters on a weekly basis, they’ll even keep you company during your coffee break, in the form of these cheerful Sailor Moon figures that’ll cling to the edge of your cup as you sip your beverage.

Read More

Pikachu dance video teaches how to shake your tail in preparation for annual Pokémon outbreak

In just a little over a week, the city of Yokohama is going to be overrun with Pikachus for the second year in a row. And as awesomely adorable as it was seeing them parading about town last year, this iteration of the seemingly annual Pokémon event promises to be even more exciting, as the beloved Pocket Monsters are set to dance their way through Yokohama’s bayside Minato Mirai district.

With the festivities almost ready to get started, the Pokémon Company has released this handy instructional video to help fans get ready by teaching them how to do the Pikachu Dance (which may or may not include a moonwalk).

Read More

Paint your room in Ayanami Blue with official Evangelion paint

While there’s no way you could call the Evangelion franchise underappreciated as a whole, one part of the anime classic that often gets overlooked is its effective use of color. Add a couple of splashes of green and black to a field of purple, for example, and any fan will instantly think of the show’s central robot, Eva Unit-01.

Likewise, it’s impossible to imagine Rei Ayanami, Evangelion’s most famous female character, without the otherworldly fragile aura imparted by her distinctive blue hair. The color is so iconic that one Japanese paint company has even started selling a new shade, Ayanami Blue, that’s an exact match or Rei’s trademark tresses.

Read More

Website of pics of hot Japanese guys promises to make women feel “as much moisture as placenta”

Recently, we explained how to say “Introduce me to a cute girl” in Japanese, which is “Kawaii ko wo shoukai shite.” On the other hand, if it’s a hot guy you’d rather meet, just replace kawaii ko (cute girl) with ikemen (hot guy).

If you’re willing to settle for the fantasy of perusing pictures of ikemen, though, there’s a new site filled with images of handsome up-and-coming Japanese actors for download, and its organizers promise the photos will “Turn on the switch of excitement” in women, and that they have “moisturizing effects equal to placenta extracts.”

Read More

Japanese kitty doesn’t seem to grasp the difference between shaking hands and boxing 【Video】

About a month ago, we had the chance to shake hands with an otter, and it was adorable. As the little guy gently laid his hand in ours, a sense of calm came over us, and given how relaxed he was through the whole affair, he seemed to be in good spirits, too.

But not every animal grasps the finer points of this human greeting, as shown by this video of a cat owner in Japan looking for a handshake, and finding out that her pet has a lightning-fast left hook.

Read More

“Do honky” command Japanese TV show’s T-shirts

Once a year, Japan’s Fuji TV broadcasts a marathon program called FNS 27-Hour TV. A huge team of A-list comedians, musicians, and media personalities make appearances during the show, and since its beginning in 1997 it’s been a ratings hit for the network.

But as the younger generation increasingly looks to the Internet for entertainment content, this year Fuji TV wanted to remind viewers that TV is still relevant and worth watching. Oh, and also apparently that they should sleep with white people, if you take the program’s T-shirts at face value.

Read More

Just what the heck is the Tokyo Olympics symbol supposed to be?

Back before Tokyo was selected as the host of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the organizing committee started putting up posters around the capital touting its status as a candidate city. The logo was a circle of cherry blossoms using four of the five colors of the Olympic rings (with purple substituting for black).

You could say it was a clichéd choice, but on the other hand, it’d be hard to come up with a symbol more instantly associated with Japan than the sakura. Mt. Fuji, maybe, but it isn’t in Tokyo, and a piece of sushi would look more like a promotion for a restaurant than a sporting competition.

But perhaps because the cherry blossoms bloom in spring and Tokyo is hosting the Summer Games, the sakura ring isn’t going to be used for the actual 2020 Olympics and Paralympics themselves. Instead, Japan’s Olympic Committee recently came up with two new logos. In the eyes of some people in Japan, however, even though the designs embody a deep message, they’re lacking in aesthetic sense.

Read More

Collection of retro travel posters proves Japan has always been a cool place to visit 【Photos】

Last year, over 13 million foreign visitors took a trip to Japan. Many of the country’s best attractions, though, are actually hundreds of years old. That means that while they’ve been drawing more international travelers than ever in the 21st century, they were hardly being ignored in the 20th, as shown by this collection of retro-cool travel posters from the early and mid-1900s.

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. ...
  9. 101
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 20,480 other followers