All Stories by SoraNews24

Super Mega Important Debate – Natto: is it nom or vom? 【Poll closed】

Sometimes our modern lives lack conflict. Let’s remedy that today by having a massive fight about something that doesn’t really matter.

This week, we’re talking about the fermented soybeans known as natto, and there’s one question we need you all to answer: is this dish “nom” or is it decidedly “vom”?

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What happens when a guy goes to a Japanese women’s swimsuit store and asks for their best bikini?

Japan has recently seen an increase in merchandise like “men’s bras” and “men’s panties” with designs that are practically the same as women’s versions. Which is all well and good, but it’s left us with one question: Why are we still separating men’s and women’s swimsuits?

While we suppose women probably can’t wear men’s swimsuits without Johnny Law giving them a citation or two, there’s nothing really stopping men from throwing on something like, say, a bikini. And that’s exactly what a writer from our Japanese site did! Take a trip to the beach with us and see how he liked his new swimwear!

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Super Mega Important Debate: Tuna or salmon sushi? 【Poll now closed】

It’s finally the weekend, so what better way to squander our precious time off than by arguing over things that don’t really matter?

This week we’re asking: Which is better? Salmon sushi or tuna sushi?

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Upcoming male “female cosplay” event draws attention online and our interest

Cosplay is, of course, a popular pastime of otaku, and one of the most popular types of cosplay right now is the gender-norm-breaking “otoko no ko.” As we’ve explained previously, otoko no ko are men who identify as male and like wearing women’s clothes…and who often happen to look damn good doing it too!

And it seems that otoko no ko numbers are growing too, if the Internet is any indication. Though otoko no ko cosplay events have been around for a while, a contest coming up this weekend is drawing attention online.

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Did this guy really get his girlfriend to gain 40kg before asking her to marry him?

The Internet is full of stories, some true and some false. Some tales are so bizarre that we’re not sure which end of the spectrum they lie on, such as this one, in which a man in China allegedly met a girl, fell in love, and then got her to nearly double her body weight through massive amounts of food.

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One of the hardest things about cosplaying an anime character has to be the challenge of making cartoon facial and body features look as striking, interesting and attractive in real life as they do in the animated world.

Twitter in Japan has been buzzing with just that dilemma this week after the launch of the anime adaptation of light novel series Danmachi, known in English as Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?  Why? Because one particularly well-endowed female character, Hestia, has a blue ribbon enhancing her cleavage, and Twitter users across Japan decided to try it out in real life. While some fans were disappointed, others seemed to feel they might just be on to something with this ribbon thing!

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Win the chance to have your Japan wish granted by RocketNews24!!

Hello everyone! Thanks as ever for your loyal readership of RocketNews24. Today we have an exciting project that we want to share with you all, and we think it’s one that will make you very happy. Presenting: “Have your Japan wish granted by RocketNews24!

We’re sure that many of you have dreams of visiting Japan and fulfilling long-held wishes. But perhaps you haven’t quite been able to save up the cash for a plane ticket or didn’t know anyone in Japan to help you out once you got here, so you’ve been unable to realize those dreams.

If that sounds like you, then we’d like to help! If you have a wish you’d like to have granted in Japan then we invite you to enter our competition. RocketNews24 will use our funds and knowledge to make your dreams a reality here in Japan.

Join us after the jump for more details!

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Japan’s newest models are all about their busts: Classical statues reimagined as fashion idols

From hyperactive pear fairies to gross mushrooms, it seems that Japanese consumers have an appreciation for the unusual. Of course, it can be hard to predict exactly what will win hearts and minds, but that won’t stop people from trying to kickstart the newest craze.

Kadokawa, a publishing company among other things, Zarigani Works, a toy and merchandise production company, and Holbein, an arts materials company, have teamed up to turn classical statues into the latest hot items. They still haven’t revealed all the items they’ll be producing and it remains to be seen just how many people actually want products with Hermes’s statuesque face emblazoned on it, but you can’t blame them for trying!

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The Internet has a new crush again, and she just happens to be a golf caddie?!

Sometimes it seems like the collective Internet has the attention span of about five minutes. Though, to be fair, that’s longer than a Vine video, so we guess things aren’t completely hopeless. However, it also means that the Internet’s collective id develops (and loses) crushes faster than a mayfly.

And this week, the Japanese Internet masses have apparently developed a crush on a golf caddie.

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Haters gonna hate: Japanese RN24 writer claims Mr. Sato is trash, but we’re not buying it

While the advent of social media and the 24-hour news cycle has certainly made us more connected and increased our awareness of…stuff, it also seems to have resulted in a bit of an epidemic of shade-throwing. Whether it’s celebrities putting each other on blast or random Twitter eggs flaming each other, it can often feel like the Internet has drunk deep from the well of haterade.

For the most part, we here at RocketNews24 have stayed out of the fray, but it looks like all that’s about to change. While you may think that our ace reporter Mr. Sato is the coolest, sexist guy in the world, Nakano, another writer for the Japanese side, is going public with why our hero is a total jerk. But the real question is: Should we believe Nakano or is he just jealous? Read on and decide for yourself!

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Saga Prefecture targets foreign tourists with weirdly unimpressive commercial 【Video】

Marketing is often billed as a creative job. Agencies are paid to come up with the most eye-catching, unique advertising possible in order to better capture the attention of potential customers. Nevertheless, all too often it seems commercial producers can’t resist the low-hanging fruit of lukewarm, gimmicky gags that anyone would get without too much trouble. Obviously, this isn’t always the case, but when something works once for one company, you can expect to see others adopt similar tactics over and over. Dead horses and whips and all that.

Now, I have to admit, it can’t be easy to make a hit commercial every time, but after watching this tourism ad, I think Saga Prefecture needs to go back to the drawing board.

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Buyer keepers? Photos of returned mail being sold on the street go viral in China

Ordering things online or through the mail always has an element of uncertainty to it. If you walk into a store to buy a new computer, you can be fairly certain that the package you walk out with is actually a new computer. But when ordering online, there’s always a chance that it’s a scam or that the post office will simply never get it to you. We’re not trying to disparage our beleaguered postal workers, but it’s inevitable that something will fall through the cracks in any large organization.

But have you ever wondered what happens when your mail doesn’t get to you? Where the heck does it all go? Well, if you’re really unlucky, it might end up being sold in the street.

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Now you can experience getting stopped by the Japanese police on Google Streetview

Google Maps has been a great boon to me in my time in Japan. In fact, GPS maps were the biggest reason I got my first smartphone in 2009, followed closely by the ability to write unfamiliar kanji by hand into a dictionary I’d always have with me. But Google Maps was definitely the biggest draw.

In the interceding six years, Google Maps has grown from something useful to something indispensable to many people. It’s not just good for helping you find a tiny store in Shibuya, either, since the maps can open up a whole world of digital sightseeing for people. And where there are bored people on computers, there are also bound to be Easter Eggs and creepy pranks to be discovered.

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What are Japan’s Twitter users talking about today? Llamas? Dresses? Nope! Cups of urine! (Kinda)

This week has been a busy one for the Internet. We suppose the Internet is always busy, but it seems like we’ve reached peak Internet wackiness what with all the rampaging llamas, baffling dresses, superpowered fishes, and Sesame Street parodying House of Cards. So, by now, you might be thinking that it’s time to give the Internet a break and maybe settle down with a good book.

But before you do, you might want to see the hilarious tweet that’s taken Twitter by storm in JapanUrine for a real treat!

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Woman drying underwear in airport lobby deals blow to Asian relations

On 1 February, 2015 the often contentious relations between Asian countries were further inflamed when a woman of uncertain nationality spread out her pink bra and black panties to dry on the back of a bench in the lobby of Chiang Mai International Airport in Thailand.

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New sushi snowglobe looks good enough to eat…minus the sparkles

Ikura gunkan-maki has always looked like a jewel-encrusted circle of seaweed to me. The beautiful, almost neon-orange spheres look so inviting as they sit glistening atop their bed of rice. But as dazzling as this traditional fare is, whenever I actually eat ikura gunkan-maki, I’m never able to get past the sensation of dozens of salmon eggs popping as I chewed. That’s why I’m very much excited for these sushi snow globes that afford an endless view of this deceptive dish.

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In a country steeped in tradition, two prefectures are completely void of historical temples

Japan is often praised for its ability to preserve traditional customs and architecture while still functioning as a modern society. There are few other places in the world where you can be in the middle of a buzzing metropolis, only to turn a corner and be face-to-face with a shrine that has stood for centuries. But did you know that there are actually entire prefectures that do not contain a single old temple?

Join us after the jump as we explore two such places and explain exactly why architecture that was hundreds of years old disappeared.

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Field testing the magic, voice-operated pendant from Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky 【Video】

We’re sure many anime fans shared our excitement last May when the newest replica of the pendant from Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky was announced. Sure, there had been chances to buy a necklace modeled after heroine Sheeta’s magical levistone accessory before, but this was the first time we’d be able to get our hands on one that actually reacts when you speak one of the film’s incantations into it.

Likewise, we’re sure many of the Ghibli faithful were as heartbroken as we were when the initial shipment of the special pendants sold out almost immediately. Still, the six months it took for a restock was a just a minor addition to the 20-plus years we’ve been waiting to try the pedant out since we first saw Laputa.

Now, finally, we’ve got the levistone pendant in our hands, and we’re ready to field test its ability to respond to our mystic commands.

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Trouble on the pot? Here are five songs our Japanese writer chose to give you dookie power!

Hemorrhoids are, apparently, a pain in the butt. Your humble writer must confess to a lack of experience in the hemorrhoid department, but I will certainly admit a great deal of sympathy for those with the affliction. However, one of our Japanese writers, a certain Mr. Wasai, is quite experienced in the painful pooping department.

Of course, hemorrhoids aren’t exactly the most glamorous physical malady, and a large number of Japanese people are certainly embarrassed to discuss it. But Wasai is here to provide support for everyone in the form of music! Here are the five songs that best reflect his dookie affliction.

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Terrorists release third video of Japanese hostage, say it will be his last

More than a week has passed since terrorist organization ISIS released its first video of Japanese hostages Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto. Days later, in a second video, a voice believed to be Goto’s was heard stating that Yukawa had been killed by the terrorists.

Now, a third statement has been released, in which a man identifying himself as Goto says that he has only 24 hours left before he will be murdered as well.

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