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Supaida-Man is here to save the day with sub-machine guns and giant robots!

Spider-Man is one of the most recognizable comic book characters of all time. However, unless you grew up in Japan in the 1970s, you probably aren’t familiar with this version of your friendly neighborhood wallcrawler. Here’s your chance to witness some historical web-slinging action as Marvel has re-released the live-action Japanese Spider-Man on their website. Grab some popcorn, you will want to watch this.

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An Italian take on a Japanese classic, but do people in Japan consider it sushi?

For years Japan has been toying around with combining its signature flavors with the many different cuisines of the world. Japan even has its own take on pasta that they call Japanese-style pasta (和風パスタ). Wouldn’t it be fair for Italian chefs to experiment with Japanese cuisine? Two chefs in Italy have been putting their personal touches to the idea of sushi, and their pasta sushi creation is now starting to make some noise in the US and on the Internet.

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Slightly less sweet Coca-Cola Life has potential to do well in Japan, if it ever makes it there

This may be old news to any British, Swedish or South American readers, but most of North America and Asia have yet to experience Coca-Cola’s newest creation: Coca-Cola Life.

In the face of the all-natural health trend, last fall Coca-Cola released a green-labeled, Stevia-sweetened cola in select areas around the world as a kind of test run. Unfortunately, Japan was not one of those testing places, despite their predilection for weird-flavored sodas and possession of palates less accommodating to the super-sweet.

Rose Yokoyama, a writer from RocketNews24’s partner website Pouch, got her hands on some Coke Life in order to try to it before it makes its debut in Japan (if it ever does). Here’s what she thought of the green cola!

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Tony Stark will have a see-through Samsung phone in ‘The Avengers’ sequel

Earth’s mightiest heroes will rely on a bunch of Samsung gear in “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” this summer.

Samsung is showing off a bunch tech developed for the sequel at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) currently taking place in Las Vegas.

CNET’s Shara Tibken snapped a few shots of the devices ranging from a see-through phone for Tony Stark to smartwatches that will be worn by the Avengers team.

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It’s the year of the sheep-dog! Introducing new clothes for your dog’s wardrobe

We have bid farewell to the year of the horse, and welcomed in the Year of the Sheep. New Year’s decorations, greeting cards, and the like are all adorned with more sweet, fluffy little lambs than you could shake one of their tails at. It almost makes you want to get an adorable little baby fleecey bundle for your own. I mean, sheep are allowed in apartments, right? Right!?

Or maybe it would just be easier to transform your dog into a sheep for the New Year instead!

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Is Mario’s Birdo a boy or a girl? Years after her first appearance, the debate rages on

It’s already kind of old news that one of gaming’s few potentially transgender characters has been hiding in plain sight since the late ’80s in the form of the adorable and misunderstood Mario villain, Birdo.

But that hasn’t stopped the Internet from debating all kinds of aspects about the character’s gender identity, from whether the whole “boy who thinks he’s a girl” thing is Mario canon or whether the character is pre- or post-op. While the Western web was shocked by this stunning news a while back, it seemed Japan was politely giving poor Birdo her privacy and staying out of it, until a recent Twitter post…

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Variety: Scarlett Johansson signs on to Hollywood’s Ghost in the Shell

Entertainment news source Variety reported on Monday that Scarlett Johansson has signed on to star in Dreamworks‘ adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. Deadline reported in October that the actress was offered the role, but she was still undecided at the time.

The film has not yet been greenlit for production, but Variety notes that Johansson’s involvement should make production more likely.

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Happy New Year and thank you from RocketNews24!

Well, folks, we’ve done it again. We’ve somehow survived yet another year without being wiped off the face of the planet or the interwebs, and I’m happy to report that our humble shrine to news, entertainment and general weirdness from Japan and Asia is now bigger, busier, and – dare I say it – slightly better looking than ever before.

Last year went by in a flash for us. Our team grew from 15 to 22, and we put out roughly twice the amount of content that we did in 2013. In return, we saw our readership positively explode, and now almost 190,000 of you kind souls allow our quirky news nuggets to appear alongside your friends’ tedious selfies and photos of their hideous children in your Facebook feed. It may sound like a bit of a cliché, but we really wouldn’t be here without you, and it’s only thanks to our readers that we’re able to keep on growing and can keep Mr Sato stocked with the Cuban cigars and exotic silk underwear he so voraciously consumes each day.

Despite our recent growth spurt, RocketNews24 is still staffed by a very close-knit team. Unlike some faceless media machine operated by corporate giants, we still get fuzzies when you like us and feel genuinely disappointed when you don’t. We read every single one of your comments (yes, even the long, ranting ones that make us want to double-check that the front door’s locked before heading to bed) and we take what you say to heart. We aim to make RocketNews24 a place that people like to come to for everything from commentary on recent news events and Japanese internet chatter to cooking tips and the latest from our Asian feline overlords, and it’s through your feedback that we know where and how we need to improve. So thank you. Your clicks and comments mean a lot.

Lest you worry that, what with all this back-patting and uncharacteristic seasonal cheer, we’re about to start slacking off, let me assure you that we have big plans for 2015. I won’t spoil any surprises, but I can say that we’ve already started work on a couple of projects that we think you’ll really like, and which – should the Internet gods be so kind as to shine their rays of benevolent fibre optic light on us – will soon become a regular part of RocketNews24. We’ll also be aiming to increase our output even further and will be striving to bring you not just better quality news and original content but to deliver it faster than ever before.

Once again, a genuine thank you from everyone here at RocketNews24 for all your support throughout 2014. No matter what your friends and colleagues may say behind your back, to us you are a vision of loveliness, and we don’t think you smell like turnips or wet suede shoes in the slightest.

Happy 2015! Here’s to a great Year of the Sheep!

Japanese scientists debunk popular belief about the “old-person smell”

What do you dread the most about growing old? Is it the aching muscles after what used to be an easy exercise routine? The need to get up and pee multiple times during the night? Or how about that distinctive “old-person smell” that sneaks into the air whenever a senior citizen is around?

Speaking of that last one, have you ever wondered where that particular odor comes from? Although many people believe that the source of the smell is behind the ears, a team of Japanese researchers have recently disproved this theory after what must have been an excruciatingly odoriferous ordeal. You might want to plug your nose for this one, folks–things are about to smell more than a little fishy around here…

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Merry Christmas from RocketNews24!

We’re taking a little break today to spend some quality time with our two favorite men: Santa and Mr. Sato. But while we’re stuffing our faces with Christmas cake and taking selfies with Colonel Sanders, we’ll be sure to pause, raise a glass of whatever questionable liquor Mr. Sato brought along, and toast you, our dedicated reader. Thank you for making 2014 our most successful year yet! And even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, we hope your day is filled with glad tidings and all the fried chicken you can stomach.

Around the world in 22 upside-down houses 【Photos】

Especially during this hectic holiday season it sure would be nice to get away from it all. Everyone needs a chance to refresh and get a new perspective on things. And what better way to get a new perspective than to visit an upside down house?

You might be thinking “What, are you high? There are no upside down houses where I live.” Well, you might be right about the high part, but couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to upside down houses because they can be found all over the world it seems. Here is just a small sampling of these dizzying monuments, perhaps one of them is in your very own backyard – or over it.

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“Sushi Chic” is the new style trend we could really sink our teeth into

When your average Westerner thinks of Japan, what’s most likely to spring to the forefront of their minds? We’re betting that sushi, samurai, anime and geisha are up there in the top ten, with sushi being the best-known incarnation of Japanese food abroad. But it seems that stylish overseas consumers aren’t satisfied with simply eating their sushi – they want to wear it on their bodies, too, so everyone can see how cool and cutting-edge they really are. Join us as we take a look at some of the weird and wonderful sushi fashion items available for purchase right now.

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Sharp’s awesome new display tech licensed to Nintendo… who may not even use it for games

When you picture the evolution of TVs and other electronic displays, it’s hard not to be in awe at just how far they’ve come, getting thinner, more lightweight and portable than ever, with higher definition and brightness to the point that real-life basically looks pretty dull in comparison. But they’ve never really been able to shake that same boring shape: a flat rectangle.

So when Sharp announced it had developed a “Free-Form Display” that could be manufactured in virtually any shape, a lot of people more technically oriented than I am – and thus able to more easily imagine the many uses of a display shaped like a shoe or something – instantly proclaimed it a game-changer.

And when Sharp boasted about the technology, among those companies listening was Nintendo, who promptly snapped up a license for the tech and became the first company to officially announce it would use it for a future product.

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Fox Japan to release ultimate edition of Commando, announced in series of possibly drunken tweets

People look to Japan for many reasons, from the rich heritage of samurai or tea ceremonies to pop culture phenomenons such as anime. But the one thing I truly love about Japan is its people’s taste in film.

Classics such as Die Hard and Robocop are widely accepted as the cinematic gold they are, and now Arnold Schwarzenegger’s greatest rocket launcher-wielding performance in Commando is getting the royal treatment by 20th Century Fox Japan in honor of the 30th anniversary of its release here. Far from a simple added commentary track, this special release is chock-full of exclusive features befitting a monumental specimen of the art from such as this.

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OPPO’s new R5 smartphone is a multi-tool disguised as the thinnest cell phone ever

Apple’s iPhone 6 has gotten a lot of press for being very flexible in all the wrong situations. Competitors are chomping at the bit to occupy any ground the iPhone gives up. Introducing OPPO’s new entry into an extremely saturated market, the R5. Coming in at a ludicrously slender 4.85 mm, OPPO is ready to show the world what its new phone can do. In an obvious attempt to illustrate the clear differences between Apple’s phone and OPPO’s R5, they created a commercial to show just how tough it really is. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have some fruit to cut, a nail to hammer in, or need to lift a car 4.85 mm off the ground, don’t take out a multi-tool, just get out your new R5!

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Awkward: Official PlayStation montage features image taken from Wii U game, Pixiv user’s fan art

Take a quick look at the character-packed image above. That’s a whole lot of faces, right? And in the 20 years since Sony’s first video games console was released, they’ve all appeared on some PlayStation platform or other. Even if you’re more of an Xbox kid or a PC gamer, you have to admit that’s an impressive lineup, and for older PlayStation fans especially it’s bound conjure up a lot of happy gaming memories.

But in creating this image in honour of 20 years of PlayStation, it would seem that someone over at Sony Europe struggled to source one or two character images that really fit in with their vision. You’d think that being on the inside, an artist working for Sony would have access to a whole host of officially licensed images, but it looks like they decided to turn to the internet for help, using an image of Mega Man as he appears only in Nintendo’s latest edition of Super Smash Bros, and even borrowing a piece of fan art created by a Japanese Pixiv user, who later spotted their work on Sony’s official site. Awkward.

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Character images of new Digimon Adventure series released, expected to air in spring 2015

At an event marking the 15th anniversary of the original Digimon Adventure series in Odaiba, Tokyo on 1 August, an announcement was made declaring a brand new chapter in the human-monster buddy saga will bring back the original characters.

Along with the announcement came a special anniversary website with some Digi-Eggs containing details of the new series. However, no matter how much you rubbed those suckers nothing came out – until now.

The hatchling information included a brief rundown of the staff and a first look at all eight of the DigiDestined more evolved…I mean grown up.

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BABYMETAL keeps turning metalheads, voted Best Metal Album of the Year

What’s cute, frilly and metal all over? BABYMETAL of course! From relative obscurity only two years ago, to doing various concerts around the world in 2014, the presence of BABYMETAL has been sudden, if not shocking. It’s hard to believe that the combination of idol music and hardcore metal has created something that many people are getting fired up over. In fact, BABYMETAL has such a fan base now that their self-titled first album was voted as the Number 1 Metal Album of 2014. Say what?!?

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Tohoku University team discovers blue light is effective at killing insects

Earlier this year Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their development of an efficient blue light-emitting diode (blue LED).

It was a well-deserved victory for the Japanese scientists whose invention continues to impact our lives in ways we often don’t even notice. It could be in the display you’re looking at right now or it could be helping some of the millions of people in parts of the world without electrical infrastructure get affordable lights for their homes.

And now in a report published in Scientific Reports, a team of researchers from Tohoku University have found a new use for blue LED. When used in the right frequency it can be an effective, safe, clean, and cheap way to kill insects. For the first time, they showed that visible light around the blue part of the spectrum is lethal to insects such as mosquitoes and fruit flies.

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Old footage shows Aikido master tangle with Robert Kennedy’s security staff

Before his passing in 1994, 10 dan Aikido master Gozo Shioda was living proof that size truly doesn’t matter. At a height of about 156cm (5’1) and weighing in at around 45kg (106lbs) he could still be seen overpowering several larger men at the same time through his training and skill of manipulating his attackers’ own power.

One particular high point of his career was during a visit by then United States Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 1962. During the demonstration he invited one of Kennedy’s bodyguards to take part as well.

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