Europe

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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Kawaii kitchenware alert! Create cute kitty cookies with this awesome rolling-pin!

Recently we’ve been going crazy over kitty kitchen cookware, like the adorable kitty knife we featured a little while back. But our quest for kittycat-themed culinary goods is still ongoing, and this amazing kitty rolling-pin by Etsy seller Mood For Wood has got us seriously craving some freshly baked cookies, pronto!

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Someone at Studio Ghibli call this student film-maker and give him a job! 【Video】

Lush greenery, magical flying machines and huge, squelching monsters, overlaid with a soaring orchestral soundtrack. This animated short makes no pretence about its strongest influence – it’s a beautiful homage to the works of Hayao Miyazaki.

The film even features a mysterious-looking gentleman who looks suspiciously like Miyazaki himself. But this short, which has been gaining attention online in Japan and abroad, was not made by a team of professional animators, but a young film student in Paris.

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Ghibli anime director Isao Takahata receives France’s prestigious Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

Anime fans around the world were disappointed in February when The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which all signs point to being the final directorial effort from veteran filmmaker Isao Takahata, failed to capture the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Still, it’s unlikely the low-key Takahata himself got too worked up over the result, given the many accolades he’s received over his almost 50-year career. Besides, this week Takahata had another honor bestowed upon him, as he was given the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government.

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Singer Gackt claims he was victim of racial discrimination in Paris hotel, handled it with class

Singer, musician and occasional actor/author/jack of all trades Gackt has had a long and successful career on the Japanese music scene, and also enjoys considerable popularity abroad. During an overseas trip recently, he encountered an unsettling example of what he claims to be blatant racial discrimination in a Parisian hotel. But just what happened?

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What if Elsa was from some other country? 24 Hetalia variations of the Frozen queen

The Frozen craze might have died down a little over the past couple of months as Baymax stood under the spotlight for a while, but then came the live-action Cinderella movie, and packed along with it was Frozen Fever, a short animation feature that brought Elsa and Anna back into the spotlight again.

As Frozen fans tremble in excitement over the mini sequel of the animation blockbuster, which was a little less snowy than the first, we couldn’t help but wonder, what would Elsa have looked like if her story was set somewhere else?

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New Toyota Europe ad has weather forecasters trembling in their seats [Video]

Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota is becoming as well-known for their wacky commercials as they are for their cars. We’ve seen everything from incredibly addictive live-action Doraemon ads to CMs featuring World Order and Busta Rhymes.

The car company recently took a slightly more sentimental turn with their commercials, but Toyota is back to being funny again now. A new ad for the Europe-exclusive AYGO x-wave, a canvas-topped compact car, is taking revenge on weather forecasters for their inaccurate predictions. It’s a silly ad that doesn’t focus much on the car, but we laugh and approve nonetheless.

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“We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map

Finland: land of the Moomins, Santa Claus Village, and exceedingly simple metro lines.  

A series of maps comparing the municipal subway layouts in major cities around the world has been tickling some net users who just can’t get enough of Helsinki’s metro design. Some are calling it proof that Finns like to keep things simple–and you’ve got to admit, when you see the image stacked up next to a map of Tokyo’s metro system, they may have a point!

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Swiss otaku is as crazy as he can be, and his Twitter followers can’t get enough

There are “impressive” people in every fandom, but Japanese anime, manga and game fans certainly know how to take things over the top. There are more volumes to read, more episodes to watch, and more merchandise to buy than for just about any other fandom out there. You never knew you wanted a mint case cover adorned with your favorite character until you saw it there in the store.

If you have the money to spend, Japan will have made something for you to buy. A self-proclaimed Swiss otaku seems to have some extra cash, and he often uses it to take his fandom beyond anything you could possibly imagine. His recent set of tweets are causing a ruckus on the Internet and most people can only muster one simple question: Why???

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