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Pikachu ready for battle with his own set of samurai armor

Even though it’s been a week since we made the trip to downtown Yokohama to see the packs of roaming Pikachus, and we’ve still got a warm fuzzy feeling. Actually, warm and fuzzy is also an apt description of the lovable pocket monsters’ plush yellow coats, which brings up a concern.

Cuddly softness is all fine and good when Pikachu is handing out hugs, but what about when he goes back to his regular duties of fighting other Pokémon? Shouldn’t he be wrapped in something a bit more durable, like his own custom set of samurai armor?

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Sharks go for the great taste of internet

When you hear terms like “the cloud” being bandied about, it’s hard not to conjure up images of internet infrastructure being some servers housed in slick network of Gattaca-style complexes, each connected by some glowing, neon-colored optical cables like something out of Tron all topped off by touches from other sci-fi films.

Although shown to be relatively reliable, the reality is far less sexy: just a massive fiber optic cable lying along the murky depths of the ocean floor. What’s worse is that our internet service is constantly under attack by none other than hungry sharks. These occasional nibbles cause companies such as Google to undergo costly repair and reinforcement projects at several locations of their own undersea cables to protect themselves from the ravenous fish.

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【Follow-up】Now infamous panty shot scene at Comiket recreated in Lego form

On Monday, we brought you a rather disturbing photo of a group of photographers taking photos up a Shimakaze cosplayer’s skirt at this summer’s Comiket. Both Japanese and English online opinion about the scene seems to be pretty evenly divided between one group that says “What’s the big deal if she doesn’t have a problem with it…and she’s probably making a few bucks, too,” and the other “That is just wrong and shouldn’t be allowed” group.

Regardless of how you feel about it, the original photo has now become fairly famous after being retweeted thousands of times over Japanese forums. One person even took it upon himself to recreate the photo using nothing but Legos…and it’s actually quite impressive!

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BuzzFeed’s video of “anime expressions” delivers more laughs than useful language pointers

Last spring, BuzzFeed released a pair of videos, one dealing with what people around the world eat when they get up in the morning, and the other about what they eat after they get liquored up in a bar. Those are both interesting concepts, since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and the post-drinking, pre-hangover snack is the happiest, but we couldn’t help but scratch our heads at their selections for Japan, neither of which were things we remembered eating in our time living in the country.

Now, BuzzFeed has moved on from the foods Japan puts in its mouth to the words coming out of it, with a new video titled 11 Anime Expressions To Show How You Really Feel. Let’s see how they handled the switch from gastronomy to linguistics.

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Make a clay Yoda figure to turn from the dark side of summer: boredom

While there is plenty to do during summer in Japan, the warmer months of the year can start to get on your nerves when poisonous creatures keep sun-loving crowds away from the beach, or those sweaty days in the office when you see a little more than you bargained for. And as owners of the beloved (providing the prequels are totally forgotten) Star Wars franchise, Disney has a solution for those summertime blues: a fun craft project to make a clay Yoga figurine.

Requiring little more than a printer and some modeling clay, this Yoda is sure to make any young padawan into a Jedi-level sculptor.

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Space retro to steam punk: Sailor Moon girls get awesome makeovers

They might appear cute and doe-eyed in the original Japanese animated series, but we all know Sailor Moon girls are bad-ass. From a girl who throws flames to a chick with the power to annihilate an entire planet or star system, this is definitely a group you don’t want to mess with.

Fans are now taking the warrior characters out of the Japanese school yard and re-designing them with costumes, expressions and rendered environments that portray them as alternative, post-feminist, pop culture heroes. Take a look at the team as you’ve never seen them before – bruised after a battle or hanging out in cyber worlds, these are girls who fight, love and never run away.

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It’s that time of year again; when people in Japan make eggplant tanks

For many parts of Japan, this week is the Obon season. This is the time when several generations of family members all come together in one house for a visit. Luckily for the hosts, the vast majority of these relatives are ghosts so don’t take up a lot of space.

But even though they’re ghosts it’d be rude not to lay out some food for them, and so it’s not uncommon to place some snacks or beverages on graves or family altars in the home. Among these you might find shoryo uma, little animals made of cucumber and eggplant meant symbolize animals which carry the spirits to and from the otherworld.

Traditionally these tiny animals are made by jabbing four sticks into the vegetable for legs. The result is quaint but kind of looks like something I’d slap together for my third grade art project so I could get back to playing Dragon Warrior - hardly something fit for the people who paved the way for your existence to ride in on! As such some people in Japan have begun pimping their shoryo uma to make sure their ancestors’ rides are safe, comfy, and in some cases kind of epic.

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Explosions in the kitchen: This is why you don’t heat canned coffee directly on the stove…

One of our favorite things about Japan is the convenience of just about everything, especially the vending machines. Wherever you are, there’s at least one machine just waiting to quench your thirst–and all of them have any tired writer’s favorite drink: Coffee!

Even more conveniently, though, most machines offer a choice of hot or cold cans–but, of course, the cans will cool down if you don’t drink them right away. In which case you might be tempted to try heating your can up on the stove, like this Japanese Twitter user. That would be a bad idea.

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Lingerie retailer catering to flat-chested girls inundated with orders within hours of opening

“Why should only big-breasted girls get all the fun of lingerie shopping?” is apparently the question that led Japanese fashion school student Gomi Hayakawa to design and sell these stylish lingerie sets, tailor-made for flat chested girls, under the brand name of “Feast.”

Now, I understand that, in English, “flat-chested” has mildly derogatory connotations (imagine how a guy would react if you described him as having “micro junk” or something), but trust me, in this case I’m literally just directly translating. Japanese has so many words for varying sizes, textures and shapes of breasts your head will spin.

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Japan asks if bananas with Sprite will make you puke, Brazilian comedians answer 【Video】

Last week, we took a look at a deeply moving diaper commercial, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the RocketNews24 office (with the exception of Mr. Sato, whose tear ducts are still clogged with cheese). Today, we’re taking a look at a different video about fluids being expelled from the body.

Wow, that sounds digesting and vague, doesn’t it? Well, to be specific, it’s a video about vomiting.

Hmm…still pretty abstract and nasty, huh? OK, one more try: It’s a video about whether or not eating a banana and then drinking Sprite will make you puke (SPARKLE!).

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Smart kitty claims the toilet faucet as its napping ground, gives only an inch due to running water

Cats are known throughout the world for their amazing ability to put themselves exactly where they don’t belong. Whether they’re plunged deep where the sun doesn’t shine into a narrow crawl space or looking down on their “hoomans” from the attic, there’s no end to their hiding spots.

However, one Japanese Twiter user found her cat in what could best be described as a “compromising” position…under the toilet faucet!

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This Japanese pork is now being sold with its very own sexy manga series: The Four Men of Pigs

Usually when I think of pork, I think of a delicious salty-yet-sweet meat that will one day lead to my first and third heart attacks. I never really took the time to think about the elegant back story that goes on around the slaughterhouses… Excuse me, how gauche; abattoirs of Japan.

Luckily, Japan’s Silky Pork is bringing all the drama and intrigue of the pork product industry to the forefront in a sexy new online manga series. Titled Four Men of Pigs: The Silky Porco Story, it’s kind of like popular soap Dynasty, only with pork, the legendary Pig of Happiness, and a discernible lack of any female characters.

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Owner walks Segway dog… or Segway dog walks owner?

While the dog you owned in your childhood may have been a total idiot that barked at its own farts, super smart dogs aren’t all that uncommon, and the Internet has done a beautiful job of giving us a one-stop shop for viewing all the glorious tricks and people-things canines are capable of.

Some dogs on the Internet are so smart, in fact, it’s hard to tell who is the owner and who is the pet. Such as this jogging man with casually Segway-riding dog that was spotted in China recently.

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The Great Obon Disaster: A fable of cicadas, dancing, and cats

Obon is a great time to be in Japan–the summer festivals fill the country with nights of folk music, stall food, and, of course, dancing. While the cops may not approve of you tearing it up in a club, surely no one could complain about the traditional circle dances of Obon.

But it turns out there’s a critic for everything!

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【Monday Kickstart】Beat the weekly grind with these adorable ‘jamming baby owls’

Who‘s got to go to work, you ask? Not us!, is what these two adorable owlets seem to be saying as they lazily bob back and forth in this YouTube video. These fuzzy little guys have even been popping up on Japanese websites, so we thought we’d spread the kawaiiness some more. No matter how dreary your Monday may be, keep calm and ‘jam’ with these owls!

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Someone’s mother carved this Love Live! watermelon art, left the Internet applauding

There is, obviously, an unending supply of anime available for your viewing pleasure in Japan. Whether you want giants, cyborgs, or balls from dragons, there’s something for everyone. But one of the most popular shows right now is the high-school-idol series Love Live!. The anime has proven so popular, it even inspired a bizarre recruiting tweet from the Japan Self-Defense Forces last year and this massive back-piece tattoo earlier this summer.

Recently, a main character of the show, Honoka, had her birthday, and a dedicated Japanese Twitter user’s mother carved this surprisingly detailed piece of watermelon art in celebration.

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Lego models of Ghibli characters pay tribute to Hayao Miyazaki

It’s been an emotional week for fans around the world after news broke about the possible closure of Studio Ghibli’s production department. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki thankfully cleared up some of the misconceptions out there, and while we’re still left with many unanswered questions, his words left us with a glimmer of hope that even the great Hayao Miyazaki himself may be back to make a short animated film in the near future.

Miyazaki himself has publicly stated that last year’s The Wind Rises would be his final feature-length film, even if he continues making short films after retirement. So how do you pay tribute to a man whose career spans decades and who created some of the most beloved movies around the world? Well, one fan’s idea to build Lego models of his famous characters and a bust of the master himself seems like a good start!  

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Hello Kitty producers appear to be losing touch with reality

For around four decades Sanrio has been pumping out character merchandise at an increasing rate. Headlined by Japanese kawaii icon Hello Kitty, they boast hundreds of characters, some of which thrive and others that just kind of hang around.

Indeed, the company has never faltered in their mission to continuously create cuteness for our amusement and expendable cash. However, to do so must require long hours at the drawing table penciling in adorable black pupils in just the right proportion to fit the squishiest round face you ever gosh darned seen.

In doing so they seemed to have forgotten what an actual human head looks like adrift in their ocean of chubby puppies and fruit-eared kitties. That has to be the only reason to explain this cardboard cutout posted on Twitter recently in which no person’s face could possibly fit properly.

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Finally guys can get the support they need at night with the Floral Goodnight Bra

Men’s undergarments that were traditionally used by women such as bras shouldn’t be shocking news if you’re a regular reader of this site. However, there appear to be many still surprised by them according to the recent popularity of the Frills & Ribbons Men’s T-Back Shorts on Twitter in Japan.

While we were looking into this particular pair of trending lacy lavender thongs with ribbons for guys, we found something even better. It’s called the Floral Goodnight Bra (Kahei Oyasumi Bra) and gives men the much-needed support as they sleep resulting round-the-clock chest protection.

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From samurai to waterfalls: Some of the best places online to check out old photos of Japan

If you’re anything like us, you love old stuff from Japan. The temples, shrines, centuries-old festivals, and museums are some of our favorite things to check out when we have free time. There’s just something absolutely captivating about all the relics of the past that live on in Japan–but they’re just not quite as good as time travel! Come on, scientists, we want to hang out with Nobunaga! Well, while we’re waiting for Doc Brown to get back with the DeLorean, we can still at least look at old photos of Japan.

Though you might think there aren’t many–after all, it wasn’t like the samurai were running around with smartphones, snapping selfies–it turns out that there may be quite a few more than we realized! After a few hours clicking around the Internet, we’ve come up with our six favorite sites for finding old photos of Japan. Be sure to check them out and see what life was like over a hundred years ago!

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