Europe

Lone German supporter celebrates with victory lap of Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing is the busiest scramble crossing in the world, with 3,000 pedestrians crossing at once during peak times and recognized internationally thanks to prominent shots in films such as Lost in Translation. So what better place to celebrate your team’s win in the World Cup? You’re sure to attract some attention, even if it’s literally just you and a flag…

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Photo Feature: Japan Expo 2014

With more than 200,000 attendees visiting from all around the world, Japan Expo, the biggest anime convention in Europe, took place from July 2-6 at the Parc des Exposition in Paris. For its 15th Anniversary, Japan Expo invited numerous well-known and prestigious guests, including musicians Yoshiki and Kalafina, and character designer Daigo Ikeno. Other events included the European Cosplay Gathering finale, and the world premieres of Sword Art Online II and K: Missing Kings.

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That awkward moment when anime becomes reality

Here at RocketNews24 we’re always on the lookout for cases where life meets art, whether it’s characters from video games spliced into real-life falling-over gifs, or animals hanging out with giant fluffy figures at Disneyland. So when we saw this video that’s been dubbed “the anime fall in real life”, we knew it was the one for us.

These two handball players ended up in an awkward position when they collided on the court. Unfortunately for them, the moment – as well as their amused reaction – was captured and replayed in slow motion all over the internet, giving teenage boys the world over plenty to think about and anime fans reason to believe that their preferred medium of entertainment isn’t quite so removed from reality after all…

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Internet declares Yoko Ono’s Glastonbury festival set “the worst live performance ever” 【Video】

It’s been a week since Yoko Ono made her festival debut at Glastonbury. A week, however, is a long time on the internet. While music critics have been fairly kind – if not particularly enthusiastic – about the 81-year-old’s performance, netizens have let rip on the singer-songwriter’s erratic wailing, with one criticising Ono’s voice as sounding “like a goat with a sore throat”.

Join us after the jump for screaming, giant political banners, and an octogenarian dancing like there’s no one watching.

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Greece national football team players turn down individual bonuses for something else

The World Cup is not just a battle between nations to determine who is the strongest in the world. It is also a momentous celebration of international exchange and an opportunity for citizens of the world to display their national pride. Heart-wrenching and heartwarming stories alike are born from the event, which remain in people’s minds long after the final score has been forgotten. Some of the most memorable stories from the tournament don’t even take place on the pitch during gameplay; rather, they materialize in other acts of chivalry off the field.

Although Greece was defeated by Costa Rica on Sunday, Greek citizens couldn’t have been prouder to see their national team advance to the Round of 16 for the first time ever. The Greek athletes also seemed content just having served as representatives for their home country, as they incredibly refused individual monetary bonuses and instead asked for a joint venture that should further unite them in spirit with their fellow countrymen.

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Some reflections on the popularity of Japanese manga in Spain

You may be surprised to hear this, but Japanese manga is thriving in Spain. Look no further than massive conventions such as Madrid’s Expomanga and Barcelona’s Salón del Manga, where fans can celebrate their favorite series and characters with other like-minded people. So what are some of the factors that contribute to manga’s success in España?  

The folks at Japanese website Niconico News recently caught up with David Hernando, the Editorial Editor of Planeta DeAgostini Comics, which is a Spanish-Italian publisher that distributes many beloved Japanese manga series throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Mr. Hernando graciously shed some light on the current market for manga in Spain in an exclusive interview with them, and the following piece will attempt to summarize some of his key points, along with some other related topics we have taken notice of.

We would love to hear the thoughts of our readers residing in Spain as well, so please leave your comments at the end of the post!

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Norwegian metal singer covers Japanese pop songs galore

It’s nice to share some Japan-related news coming out of Scandinavia for a change!

Norway, along with its neighbors, is no stranger to the metal music scene. The northern European countries together constitute one of the world’s major strongholds for the various subgenres of metal music. But what do you get when you combine the vocal talents of a Norwegian symphonic metal singer with the catchy tunes of J-Pop?

Just listen to PelleK’s cover versions of the following anime songs to find out for yourself!

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How do you hide a 760-tonne ship? Paint it so bright it dazzles

A retired pilot ship sits in a Liverpool dock, painted in vivid red, yellow and green stripes. This is a “Dazzle Ship”, decorated with a unique and eccentric British camouflage method originally developed during World War One.

The British navy had tried different methods of disguising ships, but none had proved effective. Realising that it must be impossible to successfully conceal a boat, marine artist Norman Wilkinson suggested a radical, opposite approach: a design that would instead confuse and disorientate the enemy, making it difficult for a U-boat commander to estimate the boat’s speed or direction. The Dazzle Ship was born.

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Did Portuguese soccer player flip off referee, or was he just looking for gold?

When someone has complete authority over you, the temptation to assert yourself, even in secret, can be overwhelming. A kid gets lectured by his parents, then sighs and says, “Yeah, whatever,” as soon as they’re out of earshot. A student spends his time in detention writing curse words on the underside of his desk.

Or, a professional soccer player seemingly flips off the referee while his back is turned.

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UK company buys Japanese netizen’s creepy Thomas doodle, turns it into a T-shirt

Only in this day and age can a completely disturbing drawing of Thomas the Tank Engine created in Japan be discovered by a company nearly half a world away in the UK, and then be purchased from the Japanese artist and turned into a T-shirt. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the power of the internet at its best (or worst, depending on how you look at it).

And if this drawing looks familiar, it should. Read on to find out more.

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Lingo mambo! Spanish YouTuber teaches us 14 Taiwanese pet phrases【Video】

One of the best things about living overseas is the opportunity to learn the local lingo. By learning to communicate with the locals, it’s easier to get by day-to-day, and you’ll be able to unravel much more about the country’s culture. A Spanish YouTuber living in Taiwan shared a list of must-know pet phrases that he picked up by observing the locals. If you’re learning the Chinese language, starting a new phase in life in Taiwan, or even just imagining taking a trip to the lovely country, hit the “read more” button!

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Math, art, and music: Sputniko! reimagines J-pop【J-Tunes】

J-pop usually brings to mind images of teenage girls dancing in unison while singing songs about…something resembling love. It’s about as saccharine as you can get without actually pouring a sachet of sugar directly into your ear. But there’s an exception to every rule, and we today we have for you some of the most fascinating pop music–and videos–you’ll likely ever see.

Even if you’re not a J-pop fan, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Sputniko!, the artist name of Hiromi Ozaki, and her delightful take on popular music. One of the recipients of Vogue Japan’s 2013 Women of the Year award, this mathematician-turned-artist is not at all what you would call an idol–in fact she’s almost an anti-idol! Her music, voice, and videos, though, are just as enjoyable as anything you’ll find on the radio and far, far more thoughtful. Oh, and did we mention that she’s a professor at MIT?

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Sweet Charity indeed! Hello Kitty teams up with world-renowned patissier for a worthy cause

They say charity is sweet, but we’re pretty sure it doesn’t come much sweeter than this. Yes, it’s a charity project that involves an internationally renowned patissier, as well as the most famous mascot cat in the world, and it’s called “Macaron Day“. Even the name sounds sweet, doesn’t it?

As the name suggests, the charity features the delectable macarons created by master pastry chef  Pierre Hermé, but it’s also about raising money for children fighting serious diseases. And this year, our beloved Hello Kitty will be pitching in to help with the project — by becoming the PR ambassador for Macaron Day in Japan! Now, we know we’ve often described Hello Kitty as a hardcore entrepreneur who isn’t at all picky about the jobs she takes on, but this time, she’s all about seriously contributing to a good cause. But what kind of event is this Macaron Day, and how exactly did Hello Kitty become involved in it?

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Yea or nay? Japanese netizens get the nori rolling as they weigh in on the all new dragon-maki

The now ubiquitous California roll first made its debut at a Los Angeles restaurant in the 1960s. Developed by chef Ichirō Mashita, it was perfect for the not-yet-adventurous as it contained no raw fish, and the ura-maki (reverse roll) technique kept the nori hidden from view (this was cleverly cooked up by another chef after he saw American patrons peeling the black stuff off).

Before long, the world was overflowing with innovative creations like the rainbow roll, spider roll, Alaska, Vegas, monkey, Godzilla… what were we talking about again? Right, sushi! And as you can imagine, many of these unique maki-zushi have become popular reverse imports since the advent of the first American-born roll.

But how does the general public in Japan feel about these flamboyant works of fusion? Is sushi still a revered art form with tried-and-true traditions, or a limitless playground? To explore this the RN24 way, let’s consider the dragon roll above since it has been garnering lots of attention as of late. Read on for a look at Japanese netizens’ varied and entertaining responses!

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Serbian cosplayer takes Attack on Titan cosplay to new frontiers 【Photos】

Among the myriad colorful subcultures Japan has, anime and cosplay are definitely the more prominent of those that have mesmerized fans across the globe. I don’t know if you think the same, but I think that cosplayers are some of the most passionate people I personally know. Regardless of how bulky their props or how skimpy their costumes are, they’re always ready to strike a pose for the camera.

We’re sure many of you have seen beautiful girls dressed in revealing skin-baring cosplay outfits posing in compromising positions. However, we often forget that sexy cosplays are not just for girls. Serbian artist Borivoje Naumovski reminds us that male cosplayers can be very sexy too! Ladies (and gentlemen), feast your eyes on possibly the hottest Erwin Smith cosplay we’ve seen!

(Semi-NSFW pics after the jump)

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Nine countries, tons of food, one mode of transportation – From Beijing to London by train

This spring, our Japanese-language correspondent Kuzo travelled to Thailand, where, among other things, he treated himself to the largest hamburger we’ve ever seen. All that beefy goodness must have given him plenty of energy, since he’s back on the road again, this time travelling all the way from Beijing to London by train.

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Champagne, macarons and Pikachu? Paris plays host to Europe’s first Pokémon Center

The Pokémon video games may have been created in Japan, but there is no lack of Pokémon fandom in the rest of the world from redesigning sports logos to pokéball engagement rings. And to showcase France’s Pokémon love, a pop-up Pokémon Center has opened up in Paris this month featuring original art, limited edition goods and even a special pokémon sent directly to your Nintendo 3DS.

Unlike Japan’s eight Pokémon Centers, which usually focus on the series’ merchandise, the highlight of this pop-up show is the Pokémon gallery where you can sip champagne, munch on Pikachu macarons and appreciate the amazing artwork, including some amateur fan art. Click below to take a peek inside the “Pokégallery” and find out which Pokémon is France’s favorite!

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Tweeters urge Japanese to donate to Serbian flood relief as repayment for Tōhoku support

Japan is no stranger to natural disasters, and the world rose up in support after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011 left thousands dead and millions homeless. Now it’s time for Japanese people to repay that kindness by supporting one of their greatest benefactors through their own period of crisis.

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Famous websites like you’ve never seen them before… as fashionable dresses!

Creators can be inspired by anything and everything around them. It could be a sight, a sound, a person, or even a website. Italy-based artist and design student Victor Faretina created a series of dresses inspired by some famous websites, titled Web in Vogue.

As people working on and for the Internet, we spend an awful lot of time surfing websites, but the idea of wearing a website certainly hasn’t crossed our minds. However, these amazing gowns designed by Victor are definitely making us look at the websites we visit daily in a different light!

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France vs Taiwan: Which country has more warm-hearted and helpful citizens?

Earlier this month, YouTube user NorniTube uploaded a controversial video of a social experiment which looked at how a person’s appearance can affect the responses they get from the general public. One two different days, he pretended to collapse on a Paris street to see if anyone would come to his aid, on one occasion wearing shabby clothes, on the other dressed in a smart suit. (We’ll leave you to watch the video to find out how it went!)

After watching NorniTube’s video, YouTuber Hei Nan decided to test the reactions of his fellow Taiwanese citizens by doing a similar experiment on the streets of his city. Were the Taiwanese more or less likely to help out that the Parisians in NorniTube’s video? Find out after the jump!

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