Europe

AKB48 not just popular in Japan – Belgian politician lobbying for first European concert

The most famous idol group in Japan, AKB48, has a lot of fans all over the world. Not only do they perform to sold-out venues within Japan, but they have also held packed concerts in the US and other parts of Asia.

The group of singing female pop stars hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but one mega-fan might be influential enough to convince the AKB48 brass to take their tour bus to Belgium.

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We try dessert sushi (with a French twist!)【Recipe】

Sushi has become well known and loved the world over. Granted, a lot of what you’ll find in your home country is altered from “traditional” sushi to cater to local tastes (and would have ol’ Jiro shaking his fist), but what food doesn’t go through a bit of change when it crosses borders?

The only thing this dessert sushi has in common with its namesake is that it contains rice. But that doesn’t change the fact that it looks absolutely delicious and that you should get in your kitchen and go try making it right now!

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Photo reveals possible otaku support for Ukraine forces

As our regular readers know, RocketNews24 has been closely monitoring the unrest occurring in the Ukraine over the past year. With several journalists embedded on both sides of the conflict we have continued to bring you the most detailed coverage of this complex situation.

And now a shocking new revelation has come to light via a Twitter user. If the source is correct, this is an image of a Ukrainian soldier standing in front of a poster for the harem-comedic manga and anime Kiss X Sis. This could very well mean the Ukrainian forces have been receiving aid from otaku without UN Security Counsel approval.

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You can’t remake perfection, but Resident Evil 2 fans try anyway (and get creators’ attention)

Resident Evil 2 was released for the original Sony Playstation in 1998 and built upon the foundations of the first Resident Evil game to spawn an entire franchise of viral zombie horror games, movies, and other media. While the first game had a fairly self-contained “haunted house” type story, the second game put a Hollywood-esque movie-style spin on things, pitting players against an entire city of bloodthirsty zombies. It is Resident Evil 2 that gave birth to the Resident Evil franchise, and it is Resident Evil 2 that fans most desperately wish to see remade with modern technology.

But, while Capcom, the series’ creator, has recently been busy polishing up and re-releasing two old remakes of the original game and its prequel, an official Resident Evil 2 remake has yet to materialise. Instead, several dedicated fans from Italian indie software development studio Invader Games has taken matters into their own hands and rolled out their own version of Resident Evil 2, built using Unreal Engine 4.

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Franco-German artist is making a torii gate made of speakers

A Franco-German artist is tasked reinterpreting an iconic symbol of Japanese culture. The torii gate is usually seen outside of Shinto shrines as a marker designating an entrance into a sacred space. Benoît Maubrey is creating a more interactive version than the traditional red ones found throughout Japan.

Meriken Park in Kobe will be the site of a torii made entirely out of 300 recycled speakers. The sculpture is functional and includes a four-way channel so visitors can speak to one another through the gate using a microphone or their smartphones. When it’s not in use, the gate will emit varying kinds of white noise.

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McDonald’s France serving up a McFlurry mess, Japanese customer not impressed

McDonald’s Japan has seen its profits tumble over the last year especially, mostly due to safety concerns after tainted meat was found to be have been used in some of its products. The situation is not nearly as dire over in Europe, but if the following tweet is to believed, it seems McDonald’s staff in France could work on their food presentation skills.

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New music video by Sasanomaly is making paper marionette puppets cool again 【Video】

What was the last really creative music video you remember seeing? While watching artists sing, dance, and play their instruments never seems to get old, it’s nice to see something more unique once in a while.

Enter Sasanomaly and his new video for his cover of Hatsune Miku‘s “Synesthesia Ghost.” Not only is it a fresh idea, it’s very cool, kind of creepy and involves art students from Prague!

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How have Russian beauty trends changed over the last hundred years?【Video】

Cut Video’s 100 Years of Beauty series has been updated with a new video focusing on Russian beauty trends. In the popular video series, we see one model transformed by a team of makeup artists into a woman representing different historical eras from the 1910s to the 2010s, all set to a great soundtrack.

It’s not just fun to see how makeup and hair trends have changed through the ages, it also serves as a lens through which to look and learn about a society at different periods in its history. The social conditions of a country are reflected in its people and the trends of the time, and Russia is particularly interesting due to its wildly fluctuating political situation which led to big changes from decade to decade.

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More lifehacks! The easiest way to keep champagne from going flat, tested

There are all kinds of urban legends and so-called old wives’ tales that proclaim the health benefits, or time-saving benefits, borderline magical properties, or terrifying dangers of doing X or Y. We’ve heard them all: Don’t eat within thirty minutes of swimming or you’ll get a cramp and literally die, bundle up when it’s cold outside or you’ll get a cold (by the way, oh my god, people, stop it with this; a cold is a virus, you don’t get it from the weather), an apple a day will keep the doctor away, a watched pot never boils, etc.

It’s almost like these old sayings and legends are the pre-Internet era equivalent of lifehacks! And since we’ve sort of been on a lifehacking streak recently, we decided to give one of these a test for ourselves: Specifically, the rumor that sticking a spoon into the neck of a champagne bottle will keep it from going flat.

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When guards attack: This is why you don’t mock the big guys with the guns!

A stereotypical scene of a visit to London includes a trip to Buckingham Palace and a touristy photo-op of a silly pose next to one of the Queen’s Guards. With their distinct, bright red coats and big poofy black hats, to many tourists they might just seem like ceremonial guards, but they are actually fully operational soldiers entrusted with an important job, and they take their job very seriously.

People seem to get a kick out of trying to get a reaction out of these guys, but you really don’t want to mess with them. Someone probably should’ve warned this kid, before he pushed a soldier a little too far and ended up staring into the barrel of his gun!

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The future has arrived: Lexus reveals prototype of a real Hoverboard

Ever since watching the character of Marty McFly ride his hoverboard in that famous hoverboard chase scene in Back to the Future Part II , I’m sure most kids have wanted to own one. Perhaps that day is not too far away.

Lexus recently released a video teaser for its latest invention, the SLIDE, and while it’s not for sale, the company is on the verge of making the world’s first real rideable hoverboard a reality.

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How a Hibari Misora classic became a cowboy-themed ska song with an Irish flavor

Scientifically speaking, sounds are simply vibrations that spread through the air for anyone’s ears and brain to pick up on and interpret. Sometimes, if those vibrations are just right, they can seem to travel much farther and deeper than anyone could imagine.

In that same way, a song can spread around the world when it hits people just the right way. That’s perhaps why a Japanese folk song by the legendary Hibari Misora from the 50s ended up as a British ska tune in the late 80s. Here’s the evolution of that song based on an explanation by Tsuyoshi Sato of music website Tap the Pop.

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Swiss hotel fights food wastefulness with photos of starving children

As a child, did your parents ever try to get you to finish everything on your plate by telling you how there are starving children in the world who aren’t lucky enough to have the luxury of a decent meal? As a kid, it probably just seemed like an unfair guilt-trip, but as adults hopefully we have all now realized the truth behind those words and the importance of not being wasteful.

A particular Swiss hotel has taken similar tactics to curb the wastefulness of its guests at the breakfast buffet, after shameful amounts of food have been left partially or wholly uneaten and then thrown away. But the hotel took it a step further by including shocking photos to help drive the message home.

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U.K. gamebook’s redone cover tells you everything you need to know about Japanese fantasy RPG art

A fundamental difference in the way Japan and the west approach fantasy role-playing games is how much more optimism Japanese creators tend to apply to the genre. Consider the most common opening scenarios for the two regions. How many western RPGs start with a group of grizzled and profiteering adventurers, brought together in a shady tavern by tales of riches waiting to be claimed? About as many as there are Japanese ones that begin with some plucky, clean-cut childhood friends leaving their bucolic village on a quest to see the wonders of the world and help strangers along the way.

The gap even extends to visual designs, with much western fantasy art looking like it’s covered with a thin film of dust, blood, or mead. Japan, on the other hand, likes to believe that everything can look sleek, freshly scrubbed, and even sexy in a medieval setting.

One of the founding fathers of fantasy gaming, though, isn’t right pleased about that aesthetic.

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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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