Captain Phasma figure is the perfect way to get ready for Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars fans have been blessed recently with a veritable Imperial March of fantastic toys. Many fans dream of possessing the coolest, best action figure out there and Bandai has been making it pretty hard to choose just one. They’ve made the choice a little more difficult with their newest toy now, however, which is modeled on a new character from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Move over Fett clones, the troopers have a new captain in town. Fall in line for Captain Phasma.

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On the short side? Lucky you! Japanese women describe what they love about shorter men

Despite the fact that plenty of tall guys can be found walking around Japan these days, it’s still true that the national average height for an adult Japanese male is 170cm (5’5″), which, compared to the figures for countries like the US, UK and Australia (all around 177cm, or 5’10”) might seem a little on the shorter side for some.

However, it’s not all bad news for shorter guys looking to find love in Japan—many Japanese women actually really like shorter men, and here are some of the reasons they gave as to why they like their fellas fun-sized.

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One Piece characters’ nationalities revealed, but fans have mixed opinions

One of the great things about the One Piece series is how intricate the world it’s set in is. Loosely based on historical colonial times, it’s familiar enough for readers to feel comfortable with, yet different enough to create a sense of magic and intrigue. Though originally written in Japanese, the manga hints that characters in the series also speak English, Spanish, French, and a handful of other languages.

It might not seem too farfetched, then, that some fans were curious about what nationalities the characters would have been had the story taken place in our world instead, and this is exactly what one reader asked the creator of the series. The answer they received wasn’t quite what some fans had in mind, though…

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Japanese coffee maker’s commercial is dark, milky, and udderly crazy 【Video】

Not everyone loves Japanese TV, but we have to admit that one thing it has going for it is absolutely bonkers commercials. You can find weird, unsettling, funny, emotional, or even just hilarious commercials the world over, but it sometimes seems that Japan has a particularly high concentration of them. Maybe there’s something in the coffee…

And speaking of coffee, Japanese coffee brand Blendy has produced one of the most bizarre commercials we’ve seen to date, mixing absurdist comedy with unsettling, dark undertones. Oh, and milk. Lots and lots of milk.

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Roll cake-headed town mascot character attacked by group of men, woman inside injured

Upon arriving in Japan, one of the first things you’ll probably notice is the large army of characters being used to sell anything from services to stationary to automobiles, or giving tips on being a good citizen like when it comes to separating your trash or picking up your dog’s poop after it finishes doing its duty. Most of them are cute, but some are downright scary.

In recent years, yurukyara, literally “weaker mascot characters”, have slowly been taking over the country, with more and more cities and businesses allocating funds to coming up with the prefect representative character costume each year. Aside from being hot and stuffy inside, being a yurukyara seems like a pretty awesome job. Kids are happy to see you, people are clamoring to get a picture of you, and generally everyone loves you…

Or at least that’s the impression we got until news of a mascot character in a small Ehime Prefecture town getting attacked.

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Training wear for the Hyperbolic Time Chamber? These DBZ threads are the perfect fit!

Halloween may be right around the corner, but October also means it’s time to break out all the hooded jackets and heavy sweaters that have been hidden away in drawers for the last several months. For those who find that moths have attacked your precious layers, look no further than these stylish zip up hoodies that are a little “bad” and a whole lot of fashionable.

Introducing a pair of parkas inspired by the greatest villains of the Dragon Ball Z universe; wearing one of these will definitely grant you a stylish level over 9,000.

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Japanese condiment company Kikkoman encourages Brits to desecrate white rice with tasty sauce

One of the first things that foreign visitors to Japan learn about Japanese cuisine is that white rice served by itself is meant to be enjoyed as it is, not soaked in soy or doused in dipping sauce. But many people who aren’t all that well-acquainted with Japanese food find the taste of plain boiled rice bland, and love to drizzle sweet and salty sauces all over in order to jazz it up a bit, even if it does make eating it with chopsticks ten times harder.

The UK is one place that probably isn’t known for having a high level of familiarity with Japanese food. Chains like Wagamama and Shoryu Ramen do exist, but they tend to play fast and loose with the definition of Japanese food, and as a result many British diners wind up getting their tastebuds in a bit of a tangle. But now, Japanese company Kikkoman is actually encouraging this desecrating behaviour by bringing out a new product in the UK market: Kikkoman Sweet Sauce for Rice! As you might expect, it’s raising eyebrows in Japan.

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Free Zen-like mobile game about broken pots contains the wisdom of ancient Japanese philosophy

Do you think putting together broken bits of pottery sounds like fun? No, me neither. And I’d never imagine something that’s so tedious in real life would make a good basis for a game. However, that’s the theme behind this free Android app which draws upon an ancient Japanese philosophy and, after reading some reviews, I was convinced that I had to give it a go myself.

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Introducing eight nuggets of life wisdom to up your random trivia game

You know that one person who could definitely win Jeopardy because he/she just seems to know everything? RocketNews24 is happy (and a bit smug) to announce that today we’re going to be that person and share with you some tokens of life wisdom that were originally offered up on the Japanese internet. Want to find out the luckiest day of the year, an early warning sign for cancer, and a subconscious way to boost productivity at work? Let us enlighten you!

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Enliven your next lunar party with these beautiful Moon Glasses

Moon watching parties and festivals abound the world over—and with good reason! There’s nothing quite like drinking in the light of a full moon, is there? It’s magical and fun in just the right proportions. And now, thanks to the Korean design company Tale, you can buy the perfect glasses for your next moon viewing party!

These beautiful Moon Glasses mimic the phases of the moon as they’re filled, going from a new moon to a full moon as your pour in your liquid of choice. 

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“Cute-but-ugly” photos of hamsters trending as Twitter users celebrate their quirky pets【Photos】

We just love hamsters—from their adorable butts to the way they look napping, they never fail to put a smile on our collective faces. But we suppose we’d be lying if we saidthat  hamsters are always cute. After all, not many people look “pretty” when eating! And sometimes hamsters just look so weird in a way that we can’t quite explain. Basically, they’re 90 percent “totes adorbs” and 10 percent “WTF, mate?!”

But even at their ugliest, hamsters still manage to be cute, as the popular Twitter hashtag #AllJapanCuteButUglyHamsterChampionshipSeries so ably demonstrates. Check out some of the best photos below and prepare to go “Awwww!” at all sorts of silly-looking hammies!

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“Photos” of Hatsune Miku watching herself perform on TV are strangely adorable

Music Station is well-known in Japan for its weekly music performances featuring new and popular artists from both Japan and overseas. The program recently entered its 30th year, which was celebrated with a special 10-hour show called Music Station Ultra Fest. The show featured numerous performers, from Momoiro Clover Z to Koda Kumi to X Japan, as well as fan favorite Hatsune Miku.

Inspired by the event, fantasy artist Shu Mizoguchi decided to tweet a pair of “photos” of Hatsune Miku at home watching herself perform on TV! Check out his CG models and more of his fabulous artwork below!

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Japanese Twitter user wows Internet with hologram wristwatch, cat tank, and steampunk creations

For as long as we can remember, holograms have been one of the coolest science fiction technologies that still haven’t quite lived up to the promises of our favorite films and TV shows. We’re a long way from chatting with Mark Twain on the holodeck, basically, but that doesn’t mean current “hologram” technology isn’t cool!

One of the neater everyday hologram-like technologies you can easily buy is a propeller clock. In fact, using a simple microcontroller, some LEDs, and a spinning motor, you could even build your own propeller clock. But this enterprising Twitter user decided a propeller clock wasn’t enough and ended up making a propeller watch! It’s not entirely practical, but it is completely awesome!

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Eggplant found with naturally grown-in accessory holder

In Japan “straps” can be found everywhere. They’re like key chains, but with an elastic band. People primarily attach them to their mobile phones, but you can also spot them on anything else under the sun like gym bags or sleep apnea machines.

Now it seems that mother nature is getting in on the action by creating an eggplant with a loophole just right for attaching straps to. And attach straps is just what the lucky owner did.

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Thomas the Tank Engine’s video visit to Japan is more Japanese than life in Japan

Being that he’s a train on an island, you wouldn’t expect Thomas the Tank Engine to do much international traveling. However, thanks to a bit of clever storytelling (and Thomas’ absolute lack of compunction about stowing away on freight ships), the beloved locomotive has embarked on a globe-trotting tour in an ongoing video series.

In one of the most recent episodes, Thomas even arrives in Japan, where he takes in the local sites in a whirlwind visit that’s more Japanese than actually living in Japan.

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Man At Arms is back, forging the epic Excalibur from Fate/Stay Night【Video】

Two weeks ago, we were blown away by the Oathkeeper Keyblade created by the talented blacksmiths and craftsmen over on the YouTube show Man At Arms: Reforged. After binge-watching all their previous episodes, we drummed away at our keyboards, waiting for their next beautiful piece to show up, and when it finally did, we weren’t disappointed.

This week the team crafted the holy sword from the mega-popular series Fate/Stay Night.  Spoiler alert, the finished Sword of Promised Victory looks absolutely stunning and incredibly deadly.

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Which anime fighting techniques would win in real life? Fans give their answer with comedic video

A couple of American anime fans (well, at least one of them is anyway…) recently released a YouTube video that imagines a super obsessive anime enthusiast trying out his favorite techniques from the anime worlds he’s grown up watching.

Most of the techniques provide less-than-stellar results (spoiler: writing a person’s name in a “Death Note” doesn’t work), but a surprise last-ditch attempt proves much more successful. Let’s watch:

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Coin laundries in Japan are now more popular than ever, but what makes them so good?

If you’re used to using a dryer when you do laundry in your home country, you might be in for a surprise if you ever move to Japan. Despite the country’s numerous technological advancements to make your life easier, clothes dryers here pale in comparison to many overseas models, and they aren’t something you’ll find in your average Japanese household. Instead, most Japanese people prefer to hang their washing outside to air dry.

Sure it’s a more affordable and ecological way of doing things, but what do you do when the rainy and typhoon seasons make drying clothes outside impossible or you have too much laundry to hang outside all at once? It’s time for a trip to the laundromat, or what Japanese like to call a koin randorii (coin laundry).  In fact, they’re becoming so popular that over the past 10 years the number of coin laundries across Japan has almost doubled, despite little growth in the laundromat industry world-wide.

But why is the coin laundry business suddenly booming? We decided to find out!

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Think you’re a “super player”? Test your gaming habits against this Nintendo relic from the 80s

A rare legal video game document was unearthed recently by a Twitter user which outlines the eight laws that true “super players” must follow to be certified as such by the makers of the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, still known to this day as one of the most difficult games ever made.

However, like many constitutions this was made during different times and might not apply too well to modern life or in this case modern gaming. Still, if you want to see if you’re a true old-school super player take a look at the eight articles you must adhere to.

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“Unlimited Hand” controller aims to bring hand movement and physical feedback to your VR games

As ridiculously excited as we are about virtual reality and gaming, there are still a few sticking points such as how we’ll navigate these non-physical worlds. Right now, the main methods are either controllers or walking around a room—both are great for general controls, but what about reaching out and actually touching someone? Well, we’re not quite there yet, but Japanese company H2L may have the solution we’re looking for.

Only two days after posting their US$20,000 Kickstarter campaign, they’ve already achieved over 150 percent of their funding goal (over $34,000 at the time of writing). And when you see why people are so excited about backing this product, there’s a good chance you’ll be next in line to pledge!

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