Master Blaster

Writer / Translator

Master Blaster is the two-man translating team of Canada’s Steven Le Blanc and Japan’s Masami M, a pair who in addition to writing work are in English education and created the StudyNow app for Japanese students of English.

Together they have written somewhere around 1,500 articles for RocketNews24 covering such diverse topics as Chinese men selling sanitary napkins to each other and a Japanese guy dragging an ear of corn around the Tokyo train system. A few of these were actually good, but don’t take our word for it! Here’s what our beloved readers had to say:

“One isn't always in the mood for bold tastes. But when I'm in the mood for bold flavor I turn to you.”
“Stupid article. Who cares what the Japanese think it's cool. You don't call a monkey, "gorilla".”
“You know, this is about the most cogent explanation of how a turbocharger works that I have ever seen in the non-motorsports world.”
“Thanks for the article peter!”
“It's people like you who make exploitation possible.”
“It looks yummy and the story was great. Thank you for the smile.”

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All Stories by Master Blaster

Tanuki magically disguises self as cat to get food

Japanese raccoon dogs, or tanuki as they’re known over here, are animals with great significance in Japanese folk-lore. Among their many supernatural attributes such as giant scrota and swift speeds, the tanuki are also known for their purported shapeshifting abilities.

And though the above picture clearly dispels the size of their manhood, there appears to be some truth to their art of disguise. As the Twitter user who posted the photo explains, this little guy is actually pretending to be a stray cat so he can get some of the food laid out for him.

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Large horn growing out of woman’s head in China

The world is a wide and wonderful place, but its also full of hidden dangers and maladies that’d you’d never even expect. I try to watch my blood pressure and limit my starch intake, not for any particular reason. I mean, why wait for starch to be a problem?

I’d like to think I have all my cards in order, but then Liang Xiuzhen of Sichuan, China comes along to rock my world. She has taught me a valuable lesson that no matter how well you prepare for the future, you might still end up with an actual 13-centimeter (5-inch) by 6-centimeter (2-inch) horn growing out of your head.

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7-Eleven issues statement over the discontinued Olympic emblem, and their oden

With the Tokyo Olympic Committee (TOC) officially cutting ties with Kenjiro Sano’s much maligned emblem, one obvious question is on everyone’s lips: What does this mean for that oden poster made by the 7-Eleven in Musashikoganei, Tokyo?

Some of you may recall that this particular franchise had made a poster promoting their oden sale which bore a striking resemblance to the former Olympic emblem. After a request was made to the TOC, they had denied the poster’s commercial use and likeness to their intellectual property. However, now that the emblem will no longer be used, is the poster back in play?

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We eat Electrical Udon and Blue Curry while watching guys shoot each other with electricity

A little while back, we brought you news of Electrical Udon developed by Kurare of Arienai Rika (“Unbelievable Science”) for an event to be held in Osaka. Well, that event has come and gone, and we were fortunate enough to be there to get a taste of his technicolor noodles along with some other off-color foods like blue rice topped with even bluer curry and fried chicken with a secret green sauce.

We also got to see some of the DIY science that made Arienai Rika a cult hit with science and tech enthusiasts in Japan.

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Road shut down in China by hundreds of people who mistakenly thought they were picking up gold dust

There is an interesting phenomenon that we’ve seen in a few stories out of China. It appears sometimes when a transport vehicle spills some of its cargo, a group of people comes out of the woodwork to grab some of whatever landed on the road be it baby chickens, crabs, oranges, or grapes.

However, this time there’s gold in them thar spillages which of course led to sticky fingers on an unprecedented level. However, if anyone happened to notice a disturbance in the force recently, it was probably the sound of 100 or so voices crying out at once upon learning that their booty was not actually gold but something far stinkier.

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Taiwan train pass cancelled after image found to have come from Japanese adult video

Japanese actress Yui Hatano has been big in Taiwan after her sexy role in the film Sashimi, which came out in January this year. As a result, she has been hard at work establishing her brand there by appearing on one of the nation’s most used train IC cards among other things.

In many ways her fame could be compared to that of Sola Aoi in mainland China. In fact she would be a good comparison because both women have made the often challenging crossover from adult video to more mainstream movies. Of course, when walking that line between acting careers it’s not surprising when one spills over into the other.

That’s what happened when one of the photos used for a series of IC cards featuring Hatano was found to have been lifted straight off the box of one of the actress’ more risqué works.

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Cat wanted to join management team of Tokyo workspace

Once relegated to menial tasks like mousing or appearing in commercials, cats have been recently begun making huge inroads to other labor sectors such as service industries. Pioneer felines like Tama the station master and his successor Nitama along with Kuzya the assistant librarian cat at Novorossiysk Library in Russia.

Granted, those are only three, but those three cats alone amount to a staggering 7,560-percent increase in the employment rate for the species as a whole from the previous decade. And now one workspace in Tokyo is trying to get ahead of this trend by recruiting a cat for a management position. Humans need not apply.

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Did someone say squid pigs? We make Russia’s cutest recipe ever

Russia is a fascinating country for many reasons, but food tends not to be one of them. For example, how many of us have a Russian restaurant in our neighborhoods? It’s not surprising as dishes with names like “borscht” don’t exactly electrify the taste buds.

But not so fast! One Russian dish has been trending online recently not only for its delicious taste but its adorable appearance as well: Squid Piglets! As you might imagine they are little pigs made out of squid and other delicious stuff.

Or, if you’re struggling to imagine such a thing, join our reporter Meg as she shows us how to make these squiggly wiggly little squid-piglets.

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Not-so-pretty bird in India arrested on charges of verbal assault

A parrot answering to the name Hariyal was taken into police custody last week after a woman reported it for verbal abuse. The victim, one Janabai Sakharkar, claimed that every time the bird laid eyes on her it would begin to hurl obscenities.

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Man arrested for scamming millions of yen with complaints of “soggy bread”

Soggy bread is the pits. A great sandwich is equal parts texture and taste, so there’s no greater let-down when your bread feels like a freshly opened bucket of tile grout.

Actually, forget that. A bigger let-down is when someone exploits our shared hatred of soggy bread for their own personal gain. That’s what Tokyo Metro Police are suspecting Takashi Ishimoto of doing by making fraudulent complaints of damp sliced bread and raking in an estimated 30 million yen (US$251,000) from unsuspecting retailers in the process.

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7-Eleven oden ad refused by Tokyo Olympic Committee due to similarity to their logo

The dispute over the emblem for the 2020 Olympic games and its alleged plagiarism continues to simmer in Japan people are still suggesting alternatives to what are currently the most beleaguered geometric shapes in the world.

And then there are those who are embracing the still official emblem for what it is. Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is one such proponent. One franchise in Musashikoganei created a homage out of the delicious Japanese stewed food known as oden for a promotional posted to be hung in their store.

However, the Tokyo Olympic Committee politely refused use of the poster saying that the placement of foodstuffs infringed on the likeness of their emblem which is currently being accused of infringing on another logo.

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We search for the best sushi in Kenya

Tuna is a powerhouse of a fish which swims all over the world’s waters, and the Indian Ocean is no exception. Countless fishing boats settle at major ports such as the one in Mombasa, Kenya, providing a breeding ground for commerce, cultural exchange, and of course fresh fish.

Our reporter Go Hatori, after getting voluntarily beaten by Maasai warriors, postulated that with Mombasa’s capacity to get fresh fish, there may very well be some great sushi in Kenya as well. Go didn’t really put any research into this, but what adventure starts with careful thought and census taking?

So he hit the streets of Nairobi and started asking people “Do you know any sushi restaurants around here?” Thinking he may have found a hidden oasis of sushi tucked away on the African continent, Go was able to compile a list of three Kenyan restaurants for his sushi safari.

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Future residents of Singapore condo offer gifts and thanks to the men who are building it

It’s a sad predicament when those who work to provide people with things such as food and shelter are also those who are the most overworked and underpaid. For example, The Topiary, a condominium under construction in the Sengkang area of Singapore, made the news for their treatment of the 200 or so workers who had to spend their nights in a cramped, rat-infested basement of a parking garage.

That’s why the future occupants of The Topiary took it upon themselves to show these builders, many of whom came from other countries such as India, how they felt. They surprised the workers, bearing gifts and signs which read “Thank you for building our home.”

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Pufferfish or plane crashes? What causes more deaths in Japan?

Megadeth once said there are “99 ways to die” and while I’d hate to question their methodology in arriving at that conclusion, I’d wager that there are actually many more. Japan is no exception, of course. Despite the nation’s relatively low rate of violent crime there are plenty of natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanoes that can do us in. Giant hornets, cuisine that features plentiful raw meats, and poisonous fish are all parts of daily life in Japan as well.

But statistically speaking, just how dangerous are these things? Let’s find out with a morbidly fun game that we like to call “Which Causes More Deaths?”

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Another fake bank discovered in China, inability to withdraw money dead give-away

In less than half a year since a counterfeit bank was discovered in Nanjing, China, the founder of another fake bank has been arrested in Shandong Province. Although not quite as sinister as the previous unlicensed money lenders, this suspected fraudster seemed not so much evil as just stubbornly convinced that he could run a financial institution despite not knowing certain core concepts of banking such as allowing your customers to withdraw money from their accounts.

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New Tokyo restaurant promises food that tastes like crap: actual poo-flavored curry

It’s getting harder and harder to be truly original these days, and nothing much seems to surprise anymore. And then something like Curry Shop Shimizu opens in Tokyo. This is a real curry restaurant that specializes in poo-flavored curry.

The very notion of that is sure to send a flurry of questions up to the old cranium, the biggest one no doubt being “How do they know what poo tastes like?” Well, they actually have a good explanation for that, along with answers to other questions you may be pondering…

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Artificial meteor showers a possibility for Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

In recent months there have been a few snags with the preparations for the 2020 Olympic games to be held in Tokyo. Poorly planned stadiums and allegations of copyright infringement have really been taking the wind out of everyone’s sails for what is usually an auspicious event.

At this point it might take a magical feat of celestial beauty to lift people’s spirits, like a thousand multi-colored shooting stars descending at once over the site of the games during their opening ceremony. But while they’re predictable, those hard-headed events known as meteor showers tend not to occur at our mere beck and call.

However, now a small team in Japan has nearly completed creating an artificial meteor shower that can be seen anytime and anywhere you want, and which may even be brighter and more colorful that the real thing.

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Mr. Sato smokes some dead leaves he found on the street 【Retro Sato】

With RocketNews24’s fast-paced global news cycle of Polish otaku nylon parties and Taiwanese McDonald’s employees, we can’t always keep up on all the escapades of our star reporter Mr. Sato. So, every once in a while we would like to take a look back to some of his past antics that we might have missed in a segment called “Retro Sato.”

This installment we’re going way back to the year 20 hundred and 14. It was a simpler time when Pharrell’s “Happy” was topping the charts and an Ebola outbreak was threatening to destroy us all. However, on one unusually chilly March morning Mr. Sato was taking a walk to ease his troubled heart. A sales tax hike was set to take place in a few weeks and that meant his monthly cigarette budget would have to go up as well. It was then that some dead leaves gently floated down in front of his eyes.

“That’s it! I’m a freaking genius!” thought Mr. Sato as he gathered a bunch of the fallen foliage in a plastic bag and ran back to the RocketNews24 offices.

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“Tub Live” cosplay is getting attention both at Comiket 88 and online

As the latest Comiket dojinshi gathering continues, many of the best cosplayers from Japan and beyond have come out to strut their stuff dressed as everyone’s favorite anime, video game, and anti-piracy characters.

One such group of cosplayers have been getting attention for their new spin on a relatively old favorite. Taking the original cast of the hit series Love Live! and adding a few extra pounds, this group of youngsters have created Debu Live!, which could best be translated as Tub Live! in order to awkwardly keep the pun intact.

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Job Buddhas and paper hand jobs: Thai government’s list of jobs foreigners may not do is amazing

In this increasingly globalized society, controlling immigration and labor practices becomes an ever more challenging issue for nations. In the case of Thailand, the Ministry of Labor has outlined a list of 39 jobs that foreigners are prohibited from performing in the country.

Of course, since the list is directed at those from other countries the ministry had the list carefully translated into English. So, let’s take a moment to educate ourselves in Thai labor laws with their list titled “Career aliens do not: Not alien to the professional set of career. Professional and not an alien to do.”

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