Scott R Dixon

Scott Dixon is a writer/reporter living in New York and misses his celebrity lifestyle in rural Sasayama, Hyogo where he taught English and remixed the junior high English textbook's videos into an H.P. Lovecraft soap opera. His first experience with Japan was at 14 when he accidentally signed up for Japanese class at his Kansas high school. Two school district Kanji competition championships, one study abroad year in Tokyo, several home-stays in Iwate prefecture, three years of Sasayama boar meat and a few chuu-hais later, he considers it a pretty good mistake.

All Stories by Scott R Dixon

Dragon Ball Z: Super Extreme Butoden arriving on 3DS on June 11 with extra goodies

Dragon Ball Z fans are already having a great year between an upcoming movie and a recently launched PlayStation 4 game, not to mention cool promotional events that let you hurl Goku’s famous kamehamehas at their foes in Tokyo. And video game publisher Bandai Namco has just announced that the next title in the one-on-one fighting Butoden series will be coming to the Nintendo 3DS on June 11.

Not only can fans look forward to playing Dragon Ball Z: Super Extreme Butoden this summer, but there will be three special items included in every game for Dragon Ball Z fanatics who can get their hands on a copy.

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We try the world’s first Kit Kat sandwich at First Kitchen, find out it’s like a bad date

Japan is a country serious about its Kit Kat candy bars, treating them with the respect of gourmet chocolate and putting them on top of pizza. Now the Japanese fast food chain First Kitchen has brought the world its first Kit Kat sandwich, so we of course had to try what seemed like a delicious idea. Click below for our review of the dessert and why our Kit Kat taster compared it to a bad date

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Anime vs. real life: “Video evidence” of Ghibli soot sprites is really thousands of spiders

Studio Ghibli fans all over the world love visiting places that remind them of their iconic anime films like Laputa: Castle in the Sky or Spirited Away. But Japanese netizens recently discovered a home in Mexico City that was not quite the ode to Hayao Miyazaki films as it seemed. At first glance, netizens thought they were looking at video evidence of the existence of soot sprites from My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, but soon realized the horrifying truth that the home was crawling with spiders.

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Sega to turn the addicting Puyo Puyo puzzle game into a live show in Tokyo for its 24th anniversary

If you live outside of Japan, you’d be forgiven if you said you’d never heard of a wildly popular tile-matching video game Puyo Puyo. The puzzle game may have been initially inspired by Tetris, but the combination of competitive gameplay, cute characters, and a fun storyline have gained a huge following in Japan since it was first launched there in 1991.

And to celebrate the 24 years since gamers first got addicted to arranging rows of colorful, little blobs, Sega is turning the game into a live show next month with a cast of Japanese idols, actresses and models.

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Attack on Kansai: manga creators post free comic translated into the Osaka area dialect

There seems to be no stopping the enormously popular manga-turned-anime series (and soon-to-be live-action film) Attack on Titan with fans all over the world who can’t get enough of its terrifying world. Attack on Titan has seen crossovers and fan-made tributes before, but last week the manga creators themselves surprised fans when they published a special online comic of the first issue completely translated into the Kansai dialect spoken in western Japan around Osaka.

Attack on Titan announced the free comic by posting a picture of the redesigned cover showing well-known symbols of the Osaka area, such as the Hanshin Tigers baseball team, takoyaki and of course, purple-haired obachan.

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Get a pen pal because Japanese post offices are about to launch super cute regional postcards

If you haven’t been in a Japanese post office lately, you might not have heard of the annual Regional Form Cards postcard series. Since 2009, there has been a new set every year that depicts every one of Japan’s 47 prefectures through postcards shaped like a local food, landmark or well-known citizen.

The seventh edition of the series is going to launch this week, so you might want to get yourself a pen pal or two from Japan to send you some of the cool postcards that show what makes every prefecture famous!

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Product placement level up: Final Fantasy XV and Coleman team up for camping scenes

If you’re looking forward to action role-playing game Final Fantasy XV and also happen to have a love for the outdoors, then we have some exciting news for you. A Japanese video game news site has recently uncovered some more details on the “camping” feature in Square Enix’s forthcoming title where characters can rest, manage stats and cook food. And to emphasize just how important camping will be to the storyline, Square Enix has partnered with outdoor equipment Coleman to bring its camping gear, such as tents, chairs and stoves, straight into the world of Final Fantasy.

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Chinese trucker hauling huge boat on highway attracts police, $32 fine and a lot of laughs

When you don’t have access to the right equipment, sometimes you just have to get creative and find a way to get the job done. But a Chinese truck driver who was caught hauling a massive 30-meter-long (98 feet) boat that weighs 100 tons found out that you might want to stay off the highway, since police frown on endangering the lives of the rest of the driving public. And this isn’t even the first time a Chinese trucker has been pulled over for transporting a comically large sea vessel down a highway.

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Not all beauty standards are universal. For example, many Westerners might find it strange that, while tanned or darker skin is considered attractive back home, the use of skin-whitening products is the norm in many Asian countries. But what about the ideal body type? While some may adhere to a rather unrealistic and insane one, just how common is the image of the “ideal female body” across the world?

A Japanese Twitter post with two models of the same age and height got the Internet talking about just that recently when netizens began to wonder which woman fit the world’s image of the “ideal” body shape.

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Rice balls, sushi and ramen: Japanese women share what they’d eat for their last meal

We all have our favorite foods, but have you ever thought about what you would choose to eat if you knew that would be your last meal? Would you want an exotic delicacy or would you rather have a familiar taste before you shuffle off this mortal coil?

A Japanese website recently polled a group of women to ask them what they would order for their last meal and we’ve got the results below the break.

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A lost cat experiences Tokyo Disneyland hospitality and the Internet erupts in joy

Despite prices going up again, Tokyo Disneyland still is one of the happiest places on earth where you can meet all of your favorite characters, ride those amazing rides and of course, experience that legendary Disney hospitality. Last week, a Japanese twitter user even spotted one of the cast members (as park employees are called) extending the Disney treatment to a cat who had apparently lost its way.

Japanese netizens could barely hold in their glee at seeing this lost cat being treated so well. Click below to see what the cast member did to get netizens squealing with glee!

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The defrosted reality of 24 frozen meals at Thai 7-Elevens [Photos]

The frozen food section at the local convenience store may not hold any lofty culinary treasures, but it does hold the key to saving time and energy after a long day. All around the world, people value frozen foods for their convenience and, sometimes, their deliciousness.

But can you really trust the picture on the front of the package to be what comes out of the microwave? One Thai netizen went on a quest to demystify the frozen food section of Thailand’s 7-Elevens and posted photos of 24 heated up meals to see how they compared to people’s expectations.

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Japanese netizens rediscover “Full Armor Game Boy,” question how the ’90s defined portability

Despite the Game Boy’s revolutionary specs for its time, the small screen, the lack of a backlight and minuscule speaker left much to be desired for gamers in the 1990s. And although many just considered the Game Boy’s limitations a minor price to pay to take the fun of Nintendo anywhere they wanted, some accessory makers brought a few products to market to jazz it up a bit.

Recently Japanese netizens came across a picture of one such accessory that tripled the size of the Game Boy, calling to question just how “portable” this gaming option was.

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American man’s dramatic nine-second snow struggle captivates Japanese netizens 【GIFs】

Have you ever laughed at someone falling or giggled uncontrollably when your server dropped those plates all over the restaurant floor? Then you my friend, have experienced the untranslatable German word schadenfreude: taking pleasure in others’ misfortune. And there has been a whole lot of schadenfreude going around the Internet in Japan the past few days after netizens discovered a hilarious video of a poor winter-weary guy in America falling in the snow for a solid nine seconds.

Click below to see more the man’s struggle and how the Internet has made him surf, play hockey and even dodge Darth Maul’s light saber in Star Wars Episode I.

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D Free: a new wearable device that gives you a 10-minute warning to find a toilet 【Video】

After inventing the printing press, mastering the power of flight, and connecting the world through the power of the Internet, it’s inspiring to know there is still more human ingenuity out there innovating and giving us life-changing products like a USB-powered rice ball warmer. But our species is a bright bunch and we continue to find new ways to harness technology, like a Japanese startup that has announced a new wearable device that predicts bowel movements and gives the user a 10-minute heads-up before needing to find a toilet.

It may not be as trendy of a wearable as the upcoming Apple Watch, but it could be a life-changing device for people who suffer from incontinence or those working in the nursing home industry.

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Gunma Prefecture automat diner serves surprisingly delicious hamburgers with a side of nostalgia

From corn soup to gold soda cans to stag beetles, you can find almost anything in vending machines situated on approximately every street corner in Japan. And not too long ago in Showa-era Japan, it was pretty common to see restaurants staffed entirely by vending machines serving bland, but hot food at an affordable price. Some savvy business owner decided to cash in on this nostalgia and recently opened up an automat diner where customers can relive a time when “dining out” meant putting coins into a vending machine and waiting for your food to pop out!

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Chinese comedians pitch brilliant boyfriend-rental service to fend off nagging parents 【Video】

The Lunar New Year is China’s biggest holiday and the time when most of the country travels back home in impressive numbers, prays for luck and of course spends some quality time with family who remind their adult children why they’re failing at life. And the Spring Festival, as it’s commonly called, can be an exceptionally annoying time for single 20- and 30-somethings whose more traditional parents gripe constantly about the lack of a significant other and the every-decreasing hope of a grandchild. A Chinese comedy group put out a video recently that offers single woman a solution to this headache—a company that rents out boyfriends to impress your parents and get them off your case until the next New Year holiday.

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Mr. Sato channels his inner Elsa, books a night at a Hokkaido ice hotel 【Photos】

February: the time when most of us in the northern hemisphere look at the calendar in despair as spring takes its sweet time to arrive. It’s also the perfect month to get away to a warmer locale, soak up some sun and recharge yourself to be able to get through the last (hopefully) weeks of winter.

But instead of packing a swimsuit and sunscreen for that trip to the beach, our beloved reporter Mr. Sato instead decided to fully embrace winter and booked a stay at an ice hotel in Hokkaido for a vacation he’ll never forget or let (it) go.

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15 outstanding Street Fighter cosplayers that shoot a hadouken straight to the heart 【Photos】

Who doesn’t get all nostalgic remembering the afternoons (that turned into late nights) spent playing Street Fighter II at home until your thumbs hurt? Recently we came across a fantastic group of cosplayers that almost made us forget that 1994 Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle and remember what made Street Fighter such a great game with so many iconic characters, such as Chun-Li, Guile and Vega.

Click below to see 15 of the best Street Fighter cosplayers out there as well as some very creative gender-swaps from the classic video game!

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Korean fitness guru goes from cute to drop-dead gorgeous, sparks beauty standards debate 【Photos】

While it’s hard to believe, not everyone is born fitting perfectly into the extremely high (and sometimes, a little repetitive) standards of what a person “should” look like. Recently, some Korean net users were reminded of this little fact of life when they came across photos of a gorgeously curvaceous South Korean fitness instructor during her days as a cute girl-next-door type.

Not believing the woman could become this dramatically beautiful without the help of a good plastic surgeon, the before and after pics sparked a debate about beauty standards and why we care so much about how we look. Click below to see more photos of the fitness guru who went from cute to va-va-voom.

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