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2-D anime characters so cute, you just gotta pinch their cheeks

Anime fans in Japan have been trying to bring 2-D characters to our world, most notably with the help of virtual reality headset Oculus Rift. But now a recent meme brings a more wholesome and easily-attainable approach. All you have to do is draw your favorite anime or manga character on your hand and give it a tug. If you’ve ever encountered a fictional character that was so cute you were overcome with the uncontrollable urge to pinch its cheeks, this is the meme for you!

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Is that cute girl’s profile pic really anything like her ‘real’ face?

This compilation of the makeup transformations of Japanese girls has sparked debate on whether anyone shows their ‘real’ face on the internet any more, and just what counts as a ‘real’ face these days anyway. Read on to see more of the startling power of makeup and good lighting, and find out the point these women are trying to make.

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Cats trapped in circles! Japanese blogger shows the best way to outsmart your kitty【Photos】

In a documentary about the making of Spirited Away, director Hayao Miyazaki is shown in his studio explaining how he wants a certain scene to look. When the dragon’s jaws are wrenched open, he says, it should look like a dog clenching its teeth, gums bared. Faced with blank stares at this analogy, he asks the animators if any of them have a dog. “I had a cat once”, offers up one young man. “A cat!” exclaims Miyazaki in despair, before whisking the entire team off to a vet’s surgery to have a closer look at some canine mouths.

Cats and dogs, as we know, are quite different, and one thing that sets them apart is cats’ contrariness. A dog’s reward is pleasing you, while a cat’s reward is pleasing itself. Getting a cat to do what you want, therefore, can be extraordinarily difficult. Unless, that is, you can manage to convince your cat that it made the decision all by itself.

From Japanese cat blog guremike, we bring you: the power of the magical cat-attracting circle. 

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【TBT】The top 9 anime situations that seem likely to happen, but never do

How many times have you ever been running to school late in the morning, rushing to get to class before the bell rings, only to turn the corner and bump into someone of the opposite sex, who you consequently fall in love with?

If your answer is more than “none,” chances are you’re either an anime character or an extremely well-organized stalker. Let’s face it: while there are plenty of situations found in anime or manga that seem like they could play out in real life, most are unlikely to ever naturally occur unless by some bizarre fluke.

Niconico News recently asked 500 of their readers to brainstorm some of the most common examples of such situations. Check what they came up with below!

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Auction for “the present I was going to surprise my girlfriend with” closes with a happy ending

A curious item came up for bid on Japan’s Yahoo! Auction site, simply titled, “The present I was going to surprise my girlfriend with – 2 years and 1 month old.” The story behind the ungiven present was as emotional as it seemed and included a description that inspired netizens all over to persevere even in the face of heartbreak. The item, a modest leather pencil case, started with an opening bid of just 2,000 yen (US$18) but closed at an impressive final price of 35,853 yen ($335).

The story of this young man’s unrequited love and the steps he took to mend his broken heart up next after the break!

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Are virtual reality schools the future of education in Japan?

Don’t like going to high school? Instead of physically going to campus and dealing with other whiney teens and your annoying teachers, you could send an avatar to go to a virtual school for you! Starting next spring, a private correspondence school in Chiba Prefecture called Meisei Cyber High School is opening its virtual doors!

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East meets West in the Pacific-centered version of the world map

Depending on what part of the world you live in, one of these maps will look right at home while the other might seem kind of off. However, given the overall dominance of the Euro-centric map, the other one is more likely to give an uncomfortable feeling to a greater number of people.

While both are currently in use in different countries, is it possible that one map is more valid than another?

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Superheroes, furry creatures, and Hello Kitty’s friend all get in on the kabe-don action

Where will it end? It seems like the Japanese internet still can’t get enough of the kabe-don phenomenon.

Over the past year, we’ve seen the trend evolve from the romantic aspirations of high school girls everywhere to incredibly intense displays of affection. This time, we’re proud to bring you 12 more glorious tweets of the kabe-don in action–and don’t think that humans are the only ones ‘walling’ it up!

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Video of guy giving pandas medicine is insanely cute, unless you’re the guy

Could there be any job better than panda keepers? Sure “chocolate-peanut-butter combination inspector” would be better if that job existed, but sadly it does not. What a dream it would be to spend every day with the world’s cutest animal!

Then again, like anything I suppose you’d get a little desensitized to the puffy black ears and roly-poly physique only to be left with constant bamboo eating, butt-scratching, and all the poop that goes along with such a lifestyle. Just watch as this panda keeper tries to give a couple cubs their medicine. The result is a cuteness-packed two minutes for us and a two-on-one wrestling match for the guy in the video.

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The Simpsons Halloween episode pays tribute to popular anime

The Simpsons had some fun last night in their “Treehouse of Horror XXV” Halloween episode, imagining a world where multiple incarnations of the Simpsons family has been created by an evil marketing entity.

Amongst them was a tribute to some popular anime titles, including Attack on Titan, NarutoPokémon, Bleach, One Piece, and Spirited Away.

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We still don’t feel bad for you, Emperor: Photos of actors and their historical counterparts

There’s no doubt that beauty standards change with the times–just compare the “beauties” from Renaissance paintings to any fashion magazine today. As “beauty” is no more set in stone than culture, it’s hardly surprising that there have been changes over the years. But it’s easy to forget that our contemporary standards haven’t always existed–and even easier to be bewildered by old photos. Nothing emphasizes this difference as much as the recent appearance of photos comparing actors from contemporary Chinese TV dramas and photos of their actual historical counterparts.

Check out this video by Off the Great Wall, a YouTube channel run by two Asian Americans, to get a glimpse of Chinese royalty on TV and in reality.

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The ultimate in smartphone accessories has hopped into the market

Get ready. Here comes a brand new way to enjoy your smartphone. This revolutionary new case not only supports all types of smartphones with a custom fit, but it comes with an incredible range of features never seen before in other cases.

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Robot rebellion begins with a cranky Roomba, Internet users too busy laughing to fight back

2015 is only a few months away, and while we’re still nowhere near getting the hoverboards from Back to the Future Part II, we do, at the very least, have robots to do our house chores for us! It’s such an exciting new frontier for housework that someone even made a robot vacuum simulator! While you might still have to make your own dinner, at least you can always drop your onion skins on the floor without worry, knowing your little automated vacuum buddy will clean up after you.

It’s like we really are living in the future! Unfortunately, while our robot vacuums may be automated, it turns out that they’re not much smarter than a pile of rocks, as one shocked Japanese Twitter user recently discovered.

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Raw, frozen eggs are the new food trend in Japan, apparently

Japan seems like a heaven for lovers of raw food–you can even get raw horse meat, if you’re so inclined. Coming from the midwest of the US, I am seriously disinclined to touch any meat that’s not cooked well-done, especially if it comes from a formerly feathered friend. The very concept of “raw egg” is intrinsically linked to “death by salmonella” in my mind, despite the fact that raw egg dishes have been popular in Japan since long before I was born.

But knowing something logically and accepting it emotionally are two very different things. So, while I’m reluctant to try it, I’m that sure raw, frozen egg dishes are actually exceptionally tasty.

So, if you are interested in trying it, here’s some information on the dish and how to make it yourself.

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Bus otaku can now buy “request stop” buttons from Tokyu Bus Corp, push to their heart’s content

It’s no secret that there are tons of densha otaku, or train nerds, (and tons of different types as well) in Japan. And with the wide range of trains zipping around the country, it’s totally understandable. But what about bus nerds? Do they even exist?

Well, while we haven’t actually met anyone who claims to be a bus nerd, this new product from the Tokyu Bus Corporation makes us think they must be out there. And if you’re a bus nerd, you’ll be happy to know that you can now have your own authentic “stop” button at home! But you’ll have to put it together yourself.

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Considering a tattoo? Take it for a removable test run with these tattoo sleeves

The whole reason tattoos are so cool is that they literally become a part of you after you get one. They can’t be erased – at least not without some expensive laser surgery. There’s a certain cool factor in being confident enough in your feelings about Professor Farnsworth or the Triforce to get them permanently etched into your skin.

On the flip-side, though, it’s all too common for people to get a tattoo that they later very much regret. Whether it’s the name of a college girlfriend you’ve long since broken up with, the name of that emo band you thought was cool in the early 2000s, or a veritable collage of anime characters from the 80s and 90s, some tattoo choices can come back to haunt you.

That may be a thing of the past, though, now that Japanese companies are offering removable tattoo sleeves!

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Transform a sushi mat into a stylish makeup tool organizer in just a few steps!

Sometimes, people are subconsciously bound by their cultural habits and traditions, and fail to see beyond the appearance of things. To the Japanese, a bamboo makisu (sushi mat) is used to make sushi, but in the hands of someone outside of Japan, the traditional culinary item is transformed into something completely unrelated to food. If you’re looking to add some Japanese element into your daily life, read on for the simple DIY instructions to make your own sushi mat brush organizer!

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This set of stairs at Kitakata Station really cares

When it comes to going up and down in life, stairs really seem to be the most inconsiderate. Rather than carrying you along like your friends the escalator or elevator, stairs just seem to lay there without moving an inch to help you.

Even in Japan where politeness is a way of life, the stairs still just sit there waiting for us to do all the heavy lifting. All except a few flights of extremely well-mannered stairs located in Kitakata Station in Fukushima Prefecture. While they don’t physically help you to go up, they do still have power… the power to move you.

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Gripping footage of a cat walking backwards on two legs is today’s must-see cat video

In a scene we’re not sure belongs in a Three Ring Circus or a feline-themed sequel to The Exorcist, a Japanese YouTuber managed to film their cat somehow not only walking on two legs – a somewhat rare occurrence compared to dogs – but doing it backwards like it does it all the time.

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Somebody turned a Disney Channel cartoon into an anime and it’s pretty awesome

There are a lot of topsy-turvy world “What if…?” scenarios to ponder. Like, “What if I’d invested the money from my crappy summer job as a kid instead of blowing it all on Fruit by the Foot?,” “What if John Candy had lived to make Cool Runnings 2?,” or even, “What if cats ruled the world?” (oh wait, that one’s true…).

But if you were ever wondering what the world would be like if Disney were run entirely by Japanese people, it looks like a particularly talented animator with a love of anime has taken the time to give you a short glimpse of that scenario with this awesome anime tribute titled, “What if Gravity Falls was an anime?”

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