Europe

Man creates series of videos documenting his attempt to walk from China to Germany

You may not realize this, but the English version of RocketNews24 (there’s a Japanese site too!) has only been around for a mere five years! Believe it or not, cool and quirky things happened around Japan and Asia before we started writing about them, so there are years worth of interesting things that we didn’t get to tell you about. Sometimes, like today, we bring you stories from the past, because they are so cool, they should see the light again.

Today we take you back to a story that started on November 9, 2007, when Christoph Rehage, a 26-year-old German, started his 45,000-kilometer (27,962-mile) walk across China. He documented his adventure in various mediums, but most notably, in a five-minute time-lapse.

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Math-solving phone app is the quickest way to self-study, skip homework, and/or fail your tests

I think we can all agree that math is a pretty handy thing to understand, right? A basic concept of things like fractions and algebraic equivalents is what keeps us from getting taken advantage of by con men who make such tempting offers as trading two of their shiny monies (or even three!) for our one paper money when the latter is actually of greater value.

Still, basic math is all about following the proper procedures to arrive at the one true solution, which is why you don’t get partial credit for having the wrong answer on your math assignment just because you took a novel approach and wrote the numbers with nice penmanship. As such, you can program a machine to spit out the answer in a fraction of a second, and with a new smartphone app, all you have to do is snap a picture of the math problem, and let the app take over from there.

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Anime is dead – Carcass of beloved Ghibli character seemingly washed up on beach

Every now and again, some outspoken fan of Japanese animation, distraught over what he sees as a decline in quality among the art form’s offerings, will hold up the shining example of some new title that shows promise, billing it as “the show that will save anime.” But if this tweet is to be believed, it’s too late. Anime is already dead, as proven by a mysterious, Ghibli-like carcass that washed up on the beach.

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Someone stole a truck filled with copies of Nintendo’s new game

Somebody really wanted to get ahold of Nintendo’s Splatoon game for Wii U.

Ars Technica reports that a truck full of copies of the shooter game was stolen while on its way from Nintendo’s European warehouse to deliver the games to video game chain Game.

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This squirrel is sub-par! More nonsense Japanese hits the fashion market

It’s already a well-known fact that terrible, nonsensical English (or Engrish, as the phenomenon is known) is found everywhere in Japan. For the most part, Engrish happens because many people just like the look that English print gives to their outfit and accessories, and really don’t give a second thought as to what it means.

But those from western countries are really not much better, choosing clothes or tattoos with kanji characters simply because they look cool, without really giving thought to what the characters themselves might mean. This unfortunately ends with poor souls who forever have the word “kitchen” inked on their arm, or a t-shirt that proudly proclaims the wearer is a beautiful fish.

Now, another western brand is stepping up to add to garbled Japanese to their threads with a fall line apparently dedicated to “bad squirrels”

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Beautiful “Blue Chocolate of Happiness” turned into ice cream, available by advance order only!

So, chocolate and ice cream —  a delightful combination any way you look at it, right? And nowhere in the world can you expect the combination to be appreciated more than in Japan, the land of the Valentines’ Day chocolate craze and unbelievable ice cream flavors.

As a matter of fact, the Japanese love both foods so much that we couldn’t be satisfied with just regular chocolate ice cream. We had to create an extra-special version of the combination, and you only have to take one look at the picture of the ice cream to see how unique it is. Available only by advance order, it’s ice cream made from the Quernon d’Ardoise chocolate from France … and it comes in a bright, eye-popping blue!

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Legend of Zelda robe is perfect for relaxing after you step out of your master bath

For decades, Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series has stayed more or less faithful to its original character design for its hero, Link. In each game, the silent protagonist has long bangs, pointed ears, and green clothing.

In his very first adventure, though, Link didn’t wear any pants. Instead, he sported a thigh-length tunic-like garment. It was a bit of an odd choice, considering that his bare legs sticking out kind of made it look like a dress.

But hey, maybe the fabric used for Hyrulian underwear doesn’t breathe well, and Link needed all the cooling ventilation he could get while running through those eight dungeons. Or perhaps the reason he went pantless is because that was neither a tunic nor a dress, but a comfortable Legend of Zelda bathrobe, like this one you can now buy for yourself.

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Japanese people reveal the six western foods they find most disgusting

Japanese cuisine is known for containing certain dishes that many westerners find hard to stomach, delicious as they may be. That includes sashimi (raw fish!) and natto (fermented soybeans!).

But what about the flip-side of the coin? Which western foods make Japanese people want to barf? The results may surprise you – or perhaps not. Here’s a list!

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These rad, super-rare cutting knives are (presumably) for cooking

If you’re gonna slay a dragon, you might as well do it in style. May we suggest these crazily cool-looking cutting knives that only need to be sharpened every 25 years?

You read that right: These knives will keep their edge for an astonishing 25 years – a quarter of your entire life, if you’re lucky, and five times as long as your passing interest in cooking that you took up to impress that one girl in college who was really into kale and organic, grass-fed wagyu beef.

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Here’s what angry girlfriends yelling at you in six different languages sounds like!

Even the happiest of couples has the occasional argument, and some people even genuinely enjoy a good squabble with the other half in order to keep things exciting and blow away the cobwebs every now and then. But what does it sound like to have an irate ladyfriend berate you in different languages?

In this video from YouTuber The World of Dave, poor Dave himself endures the screams of seven ranting ladies as they give his ear a good bending in their native tongues. Which would you least like to be on the receiving end of?

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Virtual reality gear Tesla Suit hopes to make gaming a lot more touchy-feely

Video game technology continues to find ways to make things more interactive with the recent releases of VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus. Still, even with those immersive improvements players aren’t getting a full sense of their virtual environments.

For example, playing a first-person shooter without the actual fear of feeling a bullet slam into your chest can never quite compare to a realistic experience. And even the richest game-world textures can’t match the real thing if you can’t touch them with your own two hands.

UK development team Tesla Studios (no connection to the cars) is aiming to fill those gaps between reality and virtual reality with the Tesla Suit; a full-body haptic feedback device allowing you to touch game environments and characters and let them touch you all over your body.

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Stirring animated version of Hokusai paintings is like watching anime from the Edo period 【Video】

If there’s one Japanese artist just about everyone is familiar with, it’s Hokusai. Even if they don’t know the late Edo-period painter by name, his landscape series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji is instantly recognizable, with The Great Wave off Kanagawa and South Wind, Clear Sky, better known as Red Fuji, perhaps the most famous works in all of Japanese painting.

Hokusai passed away in 1849, meaning he never got the chance to work in the mediums of motion pictures. Had he been born a bit later though, and had the desire to move into animation, perhaps the result would have looked a little something like this video.

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Book shows the art of the Hayao Miyazaki Pippi Longstocking anime we never got

Sometimes they might be princesses, and other times they might be fish, but a recurring theme in the works of anime legend Hayao Miyazaki is “resilient, strong-willed girl gets tangled up in an adventure.”

But no matter how many times he goes to that well, Miyazaki always seems to come up with something unique. The character arc of Castle in the Sky Laputa’s Sheeta is different from that of Spirited Away’s Chihiro, which is again unlike the one which little witch Kiki goes through in starting her fledgling delivery service.

So it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed that there’s one plucky heroine Miyazaki never got to bring to life in anime form: Pippi Longstocking. Thankfully, there is a book that details the plan to do so and shows some of the imaginative concept art Miyazaki created for his anime that never was.

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Japan celebrates birth of royal baby, brings Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to shop in Omotesando

We can just imagine how immensely excited all of England must be about the birth of the new princess (and we’ve all swooned over the darling pictures, haven’t we?) … because we’re pretty excited here in Japan too! It seems the Japanese public has always had a fondness for the British royal family, perhaps because we have our own well-respected and loved imperial family, and the new royal baby has received huge attention on the Japanese media.

We’ve been so delighted with the birth of Princess Charlotte, in fact, that a British themed boutique in Omotesando, Tokyo, has welcomed to their store the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — well, their very life-like figures, actually, and we visited the shop to join in the celebration!

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Monkey princess? Debate erupts over Japanese zoo naming baby macaque after new British princess

Japan’s always had a soft spot for the dashing, regal couple of the U.K.’s Prince William and wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. The warmhearted admiration got kicked up a notch when the prince (who’s also a duke, just for good measure) made his first trip to Japan this spring, and the infatuation went into overdrive this week with the news of the birth of the couple’s second child.

That exuberance has manifested itself in many ways, including visitors to an animal park in Oita Prefecture deciding that the facility’s newborn baby should share the infant princess’ name, Charlotte. 

Not everyone agrees that’s such an honor, though.

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Our reporter tries an English take on a Japanese classic: Miso soup…with beef and kale

Miso soup: the quintessential Japanese food. The soup takes on a different form from region to region and in different households throughout Japan, but it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that miso soup is the soul of Japanese cooking.

However, one of England’s top chefs recently published his own take on the soup. What kind of “neo-Japanese soup” could this possibly be!? Of course, our reporter just had to find out by making it herself–keep reading to see the results of her cooking after the jump.

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This Dragon Ball tribute is a great way to refresh your memory of the classic series

With a new Dragon Ball show announced for July, now is just about the perfect time to take a quick refresher on the original series! While you could spend a couple of hours browsing through recaps of all the old episodes, or even try rewatching the whole series before July, we have an easier way to remind yourself of all the animated fun.

Check out this awesome animated YouTube video, complete with authentic music clips from the show!

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Turkish Airlines serves okonomiyaki as an in-flight meal, or do they…?

Traveling abroad can be scary at times, but for some people, the meals on the plane are the most dreaded part. Despite, or perhaps in reaction to, the bad reputation that airlines have received in the past for their in-flight meals, many have taken steps in the right direction, trying to please their customers with a variety of delicious in-flight foods.

Turkish Airlines is doing a great job satisfying palates of all kinds. But they might not always hit the mark with the names of the foods the offer…

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Japanese Twitter user attempts British cuisine, ends up with monstrous fish dish from hell

As a British person living overseas, you get to hear a lot of negative stereotypes about your country’s cuisine. Generally, people think that we eat nothing but fish and chips, washed down by copious amounts of tea, and that the rest of our food is bland, unappetizing and poorly presented. But this couldn’t be further from the truth – British people are actually crazy about food and cooking, we’re obsessed with celebrity chefs and cooking shows, and Britain has plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants to be proud of.

Still, there’s certain aspects of British cuisine that are hard to defend, like the disgusting fish dish known as Stargazy Pie, which one Japanese Twitter user recently attempted, to horrifying results and plenty of ridicule…

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The crazy Swiss otaku is back and he’s got the best Hestia costume to come out yet

It’s been almost a month since we witnessed the “Extreme Swiss Otaku” breaking the Internet. If you thought his last crazy “Poi! Poi! Poi!” antics of plastering a men’s restroom with posters of Yudachi Kai Ni from Kantai Collection was nuts, just wait until you see his latest tomfoolery.

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