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

Beijing to enact “Good Person Protection Ordinance”

In a lot of major cities around the world, people are hesitant to get involved when they see an injured person. After all, if movies have taught us one thing, it’s that the people who go to check on the fallen hero are often the first to get picked off by a terminator or Mike Myers in hot pursuit.

At best stopping to assist someone with a wound will likely set you off on a journey that Peter Travers of Rolling Stone calls “an rip-roaring, edge-of-your-seat adventure” and seriously, who has time for all that?

That might be why Good Samaritans are hard to come by in big cities everywhere, and in Beijing the government is looking to change that by offering protections in what is casually being referred to as the Good Person Protection Ordinance. However, rather than killbots and monsters, this measure will protect helpful souls from a much more real threat.

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Japan’s oldest sushi train serves up unorthodox Blueberry Cream Sushi

Around the internet there is a Japanese term, majikichi, which is short for “Maji de kichigai jimiteru kara yamero” or “Stop because you seriously seem to be losing your mind”. Needless to say it’s a convenient word.

Perhaps a good example of majikichi is in the sushi world. With all of Japan’s less traditional sushi restaurants known as “sushi trains” competing for people’s attention, they often come out with some eye-catching toppings, and sometimes things go too far.

In the true spirit of journalism, our reporter Nakano has been out and about finding the most majikichi sushi in the land from bacon sushi to rice omelet sushi. Now his travels bring him to Japan’s first ever sushi train chain Genki Sushi and their latest offering: Blueberry Cream Sushi.

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Waku Waku Gates and Magic Seats make Honda minivan cooler than it should be

Motor vehicles can generally be divided into two camps: function and style. On one end of the spectrum you might find head-turning sports cars that look sweet and can outrun both Smokey and the Bandit. On the other you’ll find minivans: the wonks of the automotive world.

Despite being extremely handy in daily life, minivans are so intrinsically uncool that even an “ironic cool” valued by hipsters cannot be found in them. However, there is something special about the latest Honda StepWGN that’s making people say “Cool! I want one!” and “That’s pretty awesome.”

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Video shows strangers in Singapore rally to lift truck, rescue man from underneath 【Video】

An act of tremendous altruism occurred in the city-state of Singapore late last week when dozens of strangers from different countries all came together in an attempt to help a man pinned beneath a tractor trailer.

Much of the incident was caught on video by someone in a nearby office building who later posted it on Facebook. The short clip attracted hundreds of thousands of views and an outpouring of support for those random unnamed pedestrians in Singapore.

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Thousands sign petition against TPP’s supposed copyright conditions

A few months ago, it was reported that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement may contain changes to copyright laws that many are calling “excessive.” In response to this, a growing number of lawyers, journalists, writers, and others involved in Japanese culture have signed a petition to convince the Japanese government to refuse such conditions.

If the agreement is reached, the minimum limit of copyrights could be extended by 20 years, and even non-copyright holders such as police and prosecutors may be given the ability to go after people for “infringements”. Those opposed feel that these changes could seriously damage the artistic freedom of Japan.

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How one man dealt with his cola-colored urine

“With my pants around my ankles, I stared at the toilet bowl for a while. Finally a dark cloud spread through the water. What is this bloody stuff in my urine?! I thought looking at its poisonous color, it was as if someone slowly poured a cola into the bowl. What the hell kind of pee is this, and what is going on inside me?!”

The following is a real experience of one of our writers when he found a worrisome discoloration in his pee. His name is Yuichiro Wasai, but after reading this you’ll know enough about him to be on a first-name basis. It’s a story worth reading, however. The cause of Yuichiro’s condition is rare but could happen to you or someone you know, and this knowledge may help.

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Mr. Sato discovers the band of his dreams: this small box

Hardcore readers of RocketNews24 may have caught the very few instances where Mr. Sato has pulled out a guitar and started playing. It’s easy to miss, though, as Mr. Sato is what’s known as a bochi gitarisuto (lonely guitarist) who plays alone at home solely for his own satisfaction.

But now our reporter is all too eager to show of his guitar stylings after discovering the Trio Band Creator by DigiTech. It looks just like a normal effects pedal but actually adds an automatic bass and drum accompaniment based on your own playing.

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Japanese government recognizes equal salon rights, men now “permitted” to get haircuts in them

A huge victory in the metrosexual rights movement was made last week when the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare decided to abolish a guideline which stated that “men should not be able to get haircuts at beauty salons.”

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Australia’s Muzz Buzz coffee shop to open Japan’s first drive-through outlet in Tottori

If you were to overlay a map of Japan with the locations of major restaurant and retail chains both domestic and international, the Chugoku region would look like a meteor hit it and Tottori Prefecture would be ground zero.

Tottori was the last prefecture in Japan to have a Starbuck’s open within its borders and still doesn’t have a 7-Eleven or Circle K anywhere. However, their fortunes appear to be changing, because the Australian coffee chain Muzz Buzz will be opening their first drive-through store in Tottori this autumn.

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New Bases Loaded game coming to PS4, ability to bunt a home run may be intact

On 26 June, 1987, Moeru!! Puro Yakyu (Burn!! Pro Baseball!!) hit the Japanese gaming market and one year later came to North America as Bases Loaded. It was a revolutionary game at the time with new features such as a television camera viewpoint, the ability to make batters charge the mound, and a world in which Hawaii was given a major league team.

Now it’s back and possibly better than ever with a new Bases Loaded title announced for the PlayStation 4 in winter of 2015. However, despite the leap from the NES to PS4 technology, it appears that they intend to keep as much of the original game’s character intact as possible, and and means we may once again be able to hit home runs by bunting.

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Young people around Beijing have suddenly begun taking selfies in front of a Uniqlo shop as a part of a recent trend that started online. Many of the photographs depict a man standing behind his girlfriend, occasionally in provocative poses.

The reason for these peculiar pics is a graphic sex tape that went viral in China showing a man and women having intercourse inside a Uniqlo dressing room. The video has become a hit in a country that strictly prohibits such material from being available to the population.

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“Nintendo president assassinated by Freemasons” conspiracy theory floats around social networks

It has been five days since Satoru Iwata, the much beloved president of Nintendo, tragically passed away, and fans have been dealing with the sudden loss in numerous different ways – some with written messages, some with heartrending art.

They say there are five stages of grief that people may go through in times like this: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, according to an anonymous dissertation circulating around Line, someone found the magic whistle and warped all the way to grief stage 6: accusation of an omnipotent clandestine society.

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PanTea? This pair of granny panties in a teapot can be yours for only 1 million yen!

If you’re like me, then you certainly love gazing at a piece of modern art while sipping white wine out of a vinegar dispenser with a wilted rose floating inside. But if you’re one of those weirdos who doesn’t, then you may wonder why this pair of granny panties soaking in a teapot is on sale with an asking price of 1,081,728 yen (US$8,753).

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Sushi shop in Tokyo has no name, passes savings on to you with 10-yen sushi!

In Yoyogi, Tokyo, there stands an unnamed sushi shop which sells impressively crafted sushi at rock-bottom prices. It’s a fairly new restaurant, known to locals as “The Sushi Shop With No Name” or “That Sushi Shop That Still Doesn’t Have A Name.”

To us, it became known as “The Place That Serves Yellowtail Sushi For Only 10 Yen (US$0.08) A Piece!” Granted, that’s not the catchiest of names, especially with the conversion to US dollars, but it’s definitely enticing.

And so, our resident sushi expert Mr. Sato set out to find this shop with no name and see if their quality also makes this a place worth visiting.

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Soak yourself in 100% pure hot spring water at home for less than 100 yen!

In the land of earthquakes, typhoons, blistering summers and mountains of snow in the winter, Japan’s plentiful and luxurious hot springs are Mother Nature’s way of letting us know that she doesn’t totally hate us.

But the number of true hot springs – where water naturally comes from the ground rather than being pumped in and then heated – is lower than you might imagine. Many places such as the new “hot spring” being built in Shinjuku have their water shipped in from a real hot spring source.

And now, if you live in the Kanto area, you can ship in your own hot spring water too! Why pay entry into some huge complex when you can soak in your own home bathtub away from the leering eyes of RocketNews24 journalists or tattoo-prudes. Oh, and did we mention it’s ridiculously cheap?

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I scream, you scream, we all scream at “Soft Susheam”

If you’re thinking that one “would have to be out of their ever-lovin’ mind to mix sushi and soft serve ice cream,” then you’re not alone; that’s exactly what our reporter Nakano thought when he spotted an item called “Soft Susheam” on the menu of an Iwasaka sushi train restaurant in Okayama City. And yet, like a moth to a flame, he found himself unable to resist its lure.

Could something which sounded like a cross between soft-serve ice cream and sushi – two foods which, when served alone, have always been true crowd-pleasers – really work? Nakano simply had to find out.

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A lemon has infinite vitamin C: unofficial joint study of Soft Drink Association, Twitter users

For some reason Japanese people love them some excessive amounts of vitamin C. Go to any convenience store or supermarket and your sure to find competing brands of drinks all loaded with the recommended daily intake of the stuff several times over.

But really, how many of us know off-hand what the daily recommended intake is? That’s why back in 2009 the Japan Soft Drink Association (JSDA) came up with a new labeling system that measures the amount of vitamin C added in units of lemons. I’m not sure how that actually makes it any clearer, but at least its something.

However, in the process it seems they have inadvertently created a formula that shows how a single lemon contains an infinite amount vitamin C.

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Korea’s Mexicana Chicken offers fried chicken in strawberry, banana, and melon flavors

On 5 July, Korean chicken restaurant Mexicana Chicken unveiled their new selection of “Stoplight Chicken” which are small pieces of boneless chicken coated in flavored powders colored red, yellow, and green.

Apparently emboldened by the previous success of chicken nuggets coated in cheese powder, Mexicana has decided to go all out and add strawberry, banana, and melon to the available flavors for their fried chicken. However, according to online reaction, the result is not great.

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Japan’s Amazon Prime Day sale offering huge discounts on million-dollar artwork and more

Around the world, 15 July is Prime Day over at the online retailer Amazon. This is the day when members of their subscription service Amazon Prime get in on one big sale that they claim is as big as it gets.

And it certainly is looking big, according to a sneak peak of four items that will be on sale come Prime Day. One of them is a set of 12 original works by Final Fantasy artist Yoshitaka Amano valued at 260,000,000 yen (US$2,150,000) on every day except Prime Day!

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Leiji Matsumoto begins project to build real Galaxy Express 999

It’s been nearly 40 years since the Galaxy Express 999 first departed for the Planet Prometheum and all of the emotional existential adventures in between. It became a manga and anime series that filled viewers’ heads with fantasies of romantic space travel on a locomotive.

Now it seems series creator Leiji Matsumoto is tired of dreaming and is readying to construct a real Galaxy Express 999. Before you ask: No, he’s not high.

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