Global

Bullet hell fans in heaven with shooter series Touhou Project officially coming to the West

With the globalization of the video game business, just about every successful series sees a worldwide release. Sure, niche titles here and there might remain exclusive to Japan, but when you think about long-running franchises, like Nintendo’s Mario, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy, or Konami’s Metal Gear, it’s pretty much a given that each and every installment will make its way to the rest of the world sooner or later.

However, it’s taken almost two decades for one of Japan’s most beloved video game series to secure a release in English-speaking territories. The wait is just about over, though, as the phenomenally popular shooter series Touhou Project is finally making its official overseas debut.

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YouTubers introduce five words you didn’t know were Japanese, we come up with five more!

I’m addicted to following the Instagram and YouTube accounts of foreigners in Japan. Not only can it be really cool to see a different perspective on the country, you can also learn some great stuff, too. Take this video by Rachel of “Rachel & Jun” fame, together with “Texan in Tokyo” (aka Grace) as they explain five words you didn’t know were Japanese!

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Pretty Guardian Pyramid Head! Silent Hill x Sailor Moon cosplay will haunt your dreams

I’m a big fan of the Silent Hill series since way back. The first time I stepped into that crazy, messed up-town way back in 1999, I was hooked. Of course, at the time I was a preteen and had no business playing such a scary game. Still, thanks to a parental lack of understanding/interest in video games, I was free to slash my way unsupervised through hoards of zombie nurses, all the while uncovering the town’s deep, dark secrets.

Of course, other girls my age were probably busy with something a little more wholesome around that time: the Sailor Moon anime. But what would it look like if you mixed the two? Well…

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Japanese celebricat Maru becomes fashion icon with fetching Starbucks frock【Video】

His Royal Roundness, Maru, is one of the most famous cats in Japan, a country with no shortage of beloved feline stars, in part because of his extensive oeuvre. We’ve seen his majestic jumping, his moving efforts to squeeze his girth into tiny boxes, his awe-inspiring agility, and even his benevolent patience with lesser beings. Now Maru has taken the fashion world by storm with an upcycled frock and some serious attitude.

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Car Wars! “X-Wings” is the movie we wish Disney-Pixar would make next 【Video】

Everybody loves a good Disney/Pixar movie (unless you don’t, in which case you obviously hate fun). And (mostly) everybody loves awesome automobiles and methods of transportation. First, we had “Cars”, and then we had “Planes”. The next logical step has to involve outer space, right? (Huh? Trains? Boats? Drones? Ssh…) After all, we all love space movies like Interstellar and, you know, Star Wars.

Now, we finally have the perfect marriage of space hi-jinks and cute animation in X-Wings, aka Car Wars! Wait, what?

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Superhero Wasabi Woman debuts in hilarious video made by English-learning students [Video]

What do you get when you have a group of intermediate/advanced English language students make a video about adjectives? You get “Wassabi Woman,” that’s what.

A video recently surfaced on YouTube that is putting to shame all of the group project videos any of us have ever made and is making English teachers around the world smile.

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I live in Animal Crossing – Get the music from Nintendo’s cutest village sim in your browser

If, like me, you spend the majority of your waking hours sitting in front of a computer screen, you probably have some kind of musical accompaniment to help keep the dark bunnies of insanity at bay. But it can be hard to find music that is both pleasant to listen to and not overly distracting while working, so you may find yourself spending more time choosing an audio track than getting any actual work done.

Thankfully, you can now get the music from Nintendo’s adorable community sim Animal Crossing right in your web browser as a free plugin for Google Chrome. And not only that, the tunes change depending on the time of day–just like in the game!

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No one will be flying Evangelion spear to the moon as crowdfunding project dies on the vine

We recently talked about how the opening theme of anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” is almost painfully ubiquitous in Japan. Overseas, though, the more famous tune is the series’ ending theme, the English-language jazz standard “Fly Me to the Moon.”

The song’s sweet sentimentalism takes on an ironic atmosphere coming after an episode of Evangelion’s painfully subversive depiction of the horrors that could unfold if 14-year-olds were actually tasked with fighting giant invading aliens. And now, “Fly Me to the Moon” will probably take on even more of a bittersweet tone for Eva fans, as the crowdfunding project to send the anime’s Spear of Longinus to the moon has fallen short of its goal.

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Modern take on Japanese fan dance has naked men, international appeal

Ah, the Japanese fan dance. In popular culture, its staid connections to Noh and Kabuki theater are put aside in favor of something more risque. Usually it’s a coy geisha slowly using her fans to seductively cover and reveal her face and body. But just as more businesses are capitalizing on male sex appeal these days, the modern Japanese fan dance has a hot, sweaty man version too.

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Hyperkin’s joke design for a Game Boy emulator for iPhones is now the real deal…maybe

You might imagine that, in 2015, with smartphone, PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS, few gamers would ever want to go back to the simple graphics of the original Nintendo Game Boy. But you’d be very wrong. People go out of their way to make their high-tech gizmos play the old-school games of yore. Call it nostalgia, call it silly, but many call it simply, awesome.

Video game peripheral and accessory manufacturers Hyperkin just announced some new plans for a Game Boy-esque accessory into which you can insert your smartphone and play original Game Boy games. Now this sounds pretty good, but it’s already getting mixed reviews.

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This woolly Yoshi Amiibo will make magic happen on-screen, be your bedtime buddy afterwards

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that, as well as being a huge video game nerd, I’m also a bit of a tree-hugger at heart, albeit one that possess neither a tie-dyed t-shirt nor the coordination required to play hacky sack. So as much as I like the idea of surrounding myself with dozens of Nintendo’s cute little Amiibo figurines, I just can’t bring myself to add yet more mass-produced plastic junk to my home when I know that it’ll only end up in a landfill someday (come on, Amiibo can be hard to find, but they’re hardly collector’s items).

But this woolly Yoshi Amiibo announced by Nintendo of America last night is not only much kinder to the environment, it’s one of the most adorable things ever, so I don’t think I’ll be able to resist getting one of my own.

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Tekken video game series shows off its first fighter from the Philippines: Josie Rizal 【Video】

Tekken 7, the latest installment of video game developer Bandai Namco’s popular fighting game series, hit Japanese arcades last month. Even though the game launched with close to two dozen playable characters, the series has always had a tradition of adding new fighters after each game’s debut, and Tekken 7 is no exception.

The newest member of the Tekken cast is also its first to hail from the Philippines. But while more content is almost always a plus, gamers aren’t unanimous in their reactions to Josie Rizal.

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Here’s what we got when we ordered the chef’s recommendation…at McDonald’s!

If you’re a foodie who dreams of eating at Michelin and Zagat rated establishments, perhaps you’ve also fantasized about saying to the Maitre d’ at a fancy restaurant, “Can I speak with the chef? I’d like to thank him/her for a superb meal.”  Granted, such a dining situation may not come up very often, but what you may be able to do more easily instead is to order “whatever the chef’ recommends.

And that’s exactly what our RocketNews24 Japan staff decided to do at a series of restaurants, the first one being  none other than…McDonald’s! Now, we’d like to think that all people working in a kitchen, whatever the type of restaurant, actually want to serve tasty food, and to that end would likely have a definite opinion on what they would most like customers to try.  So, asking for the chef’s recommendation should result in a more than satisfying meal, right? Well, we were certainly excited to find out what the recommendation would be at one of the world’s best-known fast food chains!

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Metal Gear movie finds scriptwriter, presumably prepared to write dialogue including “Snaaake!!!”

For decades, the Metal Gear franchise has been teaching video game players to be patient. In contrast to other games, where the hero can just load up on firepower and go charging in with guns blazing, Metal Gear is all about staying hidden, carefully infiltrating enemy territory, and only striking when the time is right.

Fans have been putting that patience to use as the most popular branch of the franchise, Metal Gear Solid, keeps inching towards its long-discussed live-action film adaptation. The production seems to have finally hit another checkpoint, though, with reports that the movie now has a scriptwriter.

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Sony chooses today to announce “PlayStation Flow” goggles, body sensors and post-swim dryer

Hot on the heels of its Project Morpheus virtual reality headset, Sony has announced a series of brand new gaming accessories that are sure to make a splash. Say hello to PlayStation Flow, a set of swimming goggles, arm and leg sensors, and even a full-body dryer.

These things almost seem too bizarre to be true…

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Google knows you’re no April Fool, so they offer you Pac-Man playable in Google Maps

You may remember Google’s April Fools’ challenge last year, since it was pretty epic. If you missed it, Google came out with a game where you could search for Pokemon on the Google Maps app on your mobile device. It got rave reviews and it’s such a shame that it was only available for a limited time.

This year, Google is reaching out to a slightly older generation of video game lovers, letting us play Pac-Man on real streets of Google Maps!! Of course, being Google and April Fools’ Day, there is a catch, but more or less, you can transform neighborhoods into Pac-Man game screens.

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Japanese start-up invents faucet gadget to reduce water usage by up to 95 percent

Although over 70 percent of the Earth is covered in water, over 96 percent of that is salty. As anyone who’s gotten a mouthful of ocean water knows, we can’t drink that, and bathing in it is a big no-no. So, we are dependent on the limited fresh water supply, 70 percent of which is used for agriculture. That doesn’t leave much for us, so water conservation has been a hot topic for years, especially in places like Southern California that are suffering from droughts.

Companies all over the world have been coming out with water-efficient faucets and toilets to help, but they have barely made a dent in mitigating the problem, that is, until one Japanese entrepreneur set their mind to the problem. In 2009, a Japanese start-up created a water-saving nozzle that is purported to reduce water usage by up to 95 percent. This could be a life-changing and world-changing invention.

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Win the chance to have your Japan wish granted by RocketNews24!!

Hello everyone! Thanks as ever for your loyal readership of RocketNews24. Today we have an exciting project that we want to share with you all, and we think it’s one that will make you very happy. Presenting: “Have your Japan wish granted by RocketNews24!

We’re sure that many of you have dreams of visiting Japan and fulfilling long-held wishes. But perhaps you haven’t quite been able to save up the cash for a plane ticket or didn’t know anyone in Japan to help you out once you got here, so you’ve been unable to realize those dreams.

If that sounds like you, then we’d like to help! If you have a wish you’d like to have granted in Japan then we invite you to enter our competition. RocketNews24 will use our funds and knowledge to make your dreams a reality here in Japan.

Join us after the jump for more details!

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KanColle anime character’s catchphrase “poi” is POIsed to take over the world! POI POI!

Remember that Swiss otaku with a penchant for Yuudachi Kai Ni, the upgraded version of a character from the Kantai Collection (KanColle) anime/video game franchise who’s been made famous by her ubiquitous catchphrase, “poi?” He decorated every square inch of a bathroom with pictures of the moe girl’s face making her signature poi pose, only to apparently be overcome with emotion a few snapshots later and proceed to rip them all down in a fit of poi-ful rage.

It turns out this man isn’t the only one riding the poi train, because this particular catchphrase is currently experiencing a wave of popularity outside of Japan, poi–much to the bafflement and amusement of Japanese folks. POOOI!!

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Nine of our Japanese writers share the restaurants they absolutely must visit again!

Have you ever had a meal so good that you decided you absolutely had to come back at least once before you kicked the bucket? It might have been some tiny restaurant on a beach or a five-star establishment in Shinjuku, but we imagine lots of people have some special place where the food was just freaking perfect.

So, we asked our Japanese writers what those places were for them and compiled the answers. You’re welcome! Click below to find out the ten places (someone cheated) they absolutely must visit again and see if your favorite eatery made the list.

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