Global

Small hands? Japanese Twitterer gets creative and makes handy case for the wider iPhone 6

We are well aware of the lengths Apple fanatics go to for their devices, and while waiting in line for 48 hours may make for some precious memories, one fan’s devotion gave rise to something quite tangible and utilitarian. Whether you have small hands or inherited stubby fingers like Lisa Simpson, check out the clever case Japanese Twitterer and sound engineer Gusoh came up with so that he could still easily manipulate the larger iPhone 6 with one hand! That leaves the other five digits free for, say, coffee or an iPod Touch? (I’m sure you’ve seen these busy people on the train, right?)

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Ghibli anime inspires beautiful cosplay from across the seas 【Photos】

While the works of Studio Ghibli are widely loved in Japan, they exist in a sort of special realm outside ordinary anime fandom. Totoro, Kiki, and their kin may be universally respected, but they’re so much a part of the country’s shared pop cultural heritage that they don’t inspire the same sort of passionate, individual connection that you see with newer animated characters with a narrower target market.

Things are a little different in the west, though, where for many people, the films of Japan’s most hallowed animation are a more recent discovery. That new-found enthusiasm sometimes provides the spark of inspiration that leads to some amazing expressions of fans’ love for the characters, as shown in this collection of beautiful Ghibli cosplay.

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People are getting into fights outside Apple stores because no one in China can buy an iPhone 6

Fights have broken out all over the world in the last couple of days in front of Apple Stores as people queued for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

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Opera AOI blends the old and the new with vocaloids and bunraku puppets

The use of vocaloids, artificial singers programmed on a computer, has created its own niche in online art. Thousands share their individually crafted songs using one of the dozens of synthetic voices available posting them to sites such as Niconico for the fun and entertainment of all.

Their popularity has risen to the point of vocaloids getting adopted by highly acclaimed musicians and artists. The figurehead of vocaloids, Hatsune Miku, has collaborated with Louis Vuitton, Lady Gaga, the Japanese Self Defense Force’s Central Band, Pharrell Williams, and Isao Tomita to name a few.

This time, however, artificial performers of the present will be merged with artificial performers of the past in Vocaloid Opera AOI with Bunraku Puppets. I love it when a name perfectly explains what something is so I don’t have to, so let’s get right to looking at trailer for this human-free opera.

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Japanese team wins Ig Nobel prize for confirming that banana peels are in fact slippery

They feature so prominently in our Saturday morning cartoons and Charlie Chaplin movies that mankind has simply taken it as gospel that stepping on a banana peel will cause you to comically slip and fall with such a force that birds and stars will circle your head.

But did you know that until recently this was only a theory, unproven by a peer-reviewed scientific study? Thanks to the hard work done by Kiyoshi Mabuchi and his team at Kitasato University who were able to apply a frictional coefficient, we can unequivocally say that banana peels really are slippery when you step on them. Little wonder the group was awarded the 2014 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics.

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Häagen-Dazs creates winter wonderland that’s both gorgeous to look at and sweet to taste!

It seems only a short while ago that we were battling the unrelenting summer heat here in Tokyo, but now that autumn is on its way, apparently it’s already time to start hearing news about Christmas — heavens, it’s hard to keep up with the passing of the seasons!

Well, for those of you who like to start thinking early about the Holiday Season, one of the reporters from our sister site Pouch has a very special Christmas cake to introduce to you. It’s an absolutely gorgeous creation by gourmet ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs — which is more than enough to catch our attention and make our mouths water. And even though they’ll only be available in one shop in France, the cakes look so exquisite that we just had to share the pictures with you!

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Insane lines for the iPhone 6 from around the world

On Sept. 19, Apple’s iPhone 6 finally hit stores around the world. People have been lining up since last week in some cities waiting for the big day. This tweet from Walt Piecyk at BTIG tells you a lot: “Streets are a mess in line including bags of feces. Security presence is higher.”

Even better than a tweet? Photos. Here’s a look at the insanely long lines from around the world.

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It’s on like Donkey Kong! Netizens crack up over DK’s fearsome taunt

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS just hit the stores this past week in Japan, and already over a million copies were sold and with so many different characters to choose from, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Maybe it’s not how the character fights but how it ridicules your opponents as they fly off the battlefield. Nintendo always has their staple characters that have appeared in every Smash Bros. game so far, but there’s one whose taunts are more hilarious than the rest: the master of the bongos himself, Donkey Kong!

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Jiggly Japanese pear mascot lands itself in deep water in the US【Video】

Have you been wondering what Japan’s favorite mascot has been up to lately? Who, you say? Why, Funasshi, of course, Japan’s squiggly wiggly pear mascot from Funabashi City in Chiba! After rocketing to fame and winning Japan’s top mascot honors in 2013, Funasshi has been touring Japan and the world! Its latest trip was to report for Fuji TV’s “World’s Best Of Picture Show: Top Research“. Find out all the American locations a gyrating pear looks out of place in after the jump.

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Increase your EXP with this Dragon Warrior-inspired Slime Curry, don’t forget the Squelch spell

A Curry Slime draws near!

Over the years, various goods and edibles have been spawned by Slimes, the ever-popular video game baddies from the Dragon Warrior/Quest series. To get in on the google-eyed action, funky Japanese bookstore chain Village Vanguard has come up with this newest addition to its lineup of creative pre-made curries: the Slime Curry. It’s not quite as cute as the Hatsune Miku curry and it’s not quite the ghastly shade of green of this matcha one, but this gloopy little curry slime can’t wait to sidle up to your next plate of rice!

Command?

Eat
Run
Get details after the jump!

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Here’s an easy way to check if the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will fit in your pocket

With Apple’s announcement of their new iPhone lineup the burning question on everyone’s lips is – but is it gonna fit in my pocket?! Download and print this handy to-scale model and find out!

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Pic of the Week, Round 5: Winner!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s finally time to announce our Pic of the Week!

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It’s time to vote, vote, vote for your favourite photo!

It’s that time again, folks: the polls are now open for this week’s Pic of the Week!

Join us after the jump to see our 10 favourite photos and to choose the one that you think most deserves to win.

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“Hate summer homework, kids? We’ll do it for you!” A disturbingly booming business in Japan

The following is a typical scene that many families in Japan will have recently experienced, and probably not for the first time: It’s August 31, the last day of summer vacation and the fall semester is starting in less than 24 hours. The kids who played all month suddenly realize that they have to do 40 pages of kanji and math drills, write a book report for a book they haven’t read, and fill in 30 days’ worth of journal entries–an assignment that they dutifully kept up with for all of the first week of summer break. They clamor for help, and despite the scoldings and I-told-you-so’s, “nice” parents and the more responsible siblings reluctantly pitch in.

Sure, the above isn’t an exemplary approach to avoiding bad grades, but recently an even more dubious method has been getting a lot of attention: online businesses have been offering to do your child’s homework and school projects for a fee! While the homework-by-proxy racket is nothing new, recent media coverage of the growing enterprise has brought to light this questionable practice and its appalling popularity among elementary and junior high school students.

What does this teach, and not teach, future adults? Why are parents taking advantage of these services for their young children? One twisted reason will probably surprise you.

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New world record set for highest score in arcade classic Donkey Kong

Ever since the 2007 documentary film The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, the world record score for 1980s arcade hit Donkey Kong has been kind of a big deal. For years, the existing record seemed nigh-on unbeatable, with players pouring their hearts, souls, and stacks of quarters into ageing arcade machines in the name of claiming the title for themselves.

But now there’s a new score to beat, and it comes from a relative newcomer, no less.

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10,000 anime fans pick Psycho-Pass 2 as the most anticipated fall anime

Charapedia asked 10,000 what anime series they’re most looking forward to this Fall. The sequel to Gen Urobuchi‘s futuristic, dystopian crime-drama Psycho-Pass took the top spot with 2,015 votes. Here’s the Top 20ranked based on all votes, followed by Top 10 by gender.

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Pic of the Week, Round 4: Winner!!

Ladies and gentlemen of das internets, we have a winner!

This week’s contest was the closest yet, with just one percent of the vote between the photos that claimed first and second place. Our Pic of the Week, plus two honourable mentions, await you after the jump.

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Move over Beats, there’s a new overpriced set of headphones on the market

So, you love to blast your music wherever you go, but you can’t find any headphones fashionable enough to match your wardrobe. While that’s not likely a problem many of us have, someone has found a solution! Chanel–yes, Chanel–will be releasing their newest fashion accessory–headphones–mid-September. And, don’t worry, fashionistas, they are exactly as expensive as you would think they are!

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It’s time to vote for this week’s Pic of the Week!

It’s Monday evening here in Japan, and that can mean only one thing – it’s time to vote for our Pic of the Week! Join us after the jump for 10 superb photos taken by our very own readers and to vote for the one you think deserves to be crowned Pic of the Week.

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New Sony Cyber-shot: a perfume bottle camera specifically designed for selfies

Recently, a weekend stroll around Tokyo took me to Roppongi, where I stumbled upon a giant replica of Godzilla, emerging waist-up from the grass next to a busy road. What ended up stopping me in my tracks was not the menacing monster with fluorescent blue spikes but the gaggle of girls running around his waist, holding up strange-looking perfume bottles as if to calm the beast with a spray of Chanel No. 5.

What the fashionable young ladies were actually doing came as a bit of a surprise; they were taking photos of Godzilla with iPhones in cases that resembled perfume bottles. It’s the hot new trend in China at the moment, and from the looks of things, we all might be following them soon as Sony has just released a perfume bottle that’s more than a case - it’s an actual Cyber-shot camera.

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